Carnival Cruise Line holds christening ceremony for new Carnival Celebration in Miami

Carnival Cruise Line’s new Carnival Celebration, a sister ship to Mardi Gras, arrived at its PortMiami homeport Sunday and was christened by actress Cassidy Gifford.

Carnival Celebration is the cruise line’s second Excel-class cruise ship, the largest class of ship ever operated by Carnival, with a host of new features and amenities.

Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line, spoke before an audience gathered for the ceremony in the ship’s three-deck-high atrium, Celebration Central, where she said the ship was a reflection of Carnival’s 50-year history.

Carnival Celebration

“This naming ceremony of our new flagship Carnival Celebration is the perfect culmination of our 50th birthday as this spectacular ship honors our past and signifies the fun and growth ahead,” said Duffy.

“Carnival Celebration builds on the success of our incredible Mardi Gras and the many innovations we introduced with our Excel-class, including a top-deck roller coaster, and offers unique features all her own that give guests a truly incredible new cruise experience to have fun and make memories,” she added.

Carnival Celebration Godmother Cassidy Gifford then christened the ship alongside Captain Vincenzo Alcaras, with the traditional breaking of a champagne bottle, which was released remotely and broadcast in the atrium via video link.

Cassidy Gifford christened the ship with the traditional breaking of a champagne bottle, which was released remotely and broadcast in the atrium via video link

Gifford was also joined by her mother, Kathie Lee Gifford, who served as godmother of Carnival Celebration’s namesake, M/S Celebration, which was similarly christened in 1987.

Along with an impromptu performance by Kathie Lee, attendees were also treated to a preview of Carnival Celebration’s entertainment programming with an aerialist performance and a concert by Kool & The Gang.

Carnival Celebration’s maiden passenger voyage departed Miami Monday. The special six-day ThanksgivingCruise will call in Grand Turk, Amber Cove and Nassau.

Carnival Celebration’s name is a nod to the cruise line’s 50th anniversary, and this half-century theme has been incorporated into the ship’s design, such as the Golden Jubilee Lounge, which includes many items of decor from previous Carnival ships.

The Golden Jubilee Lounge replaces the Brass Magnolia that is featured on the ship’s sister ship, Mardi Gras, and is located within a new zone called The Gateway.

This zone will celebrate travel in general with design and décor inspired by classic transportation stations and grand terminals from around the world, as well as iconic global departure points.

There are five additional themed zones onboard, four of which are the same as those aboard Mardi Gras, and a number of new dining experiences, such as Latitudes, The Golden Jubilee and Emeril’s Bistro 1397 restaurants.

Along with The Gateway, the other new zone aboard Carnival Celebration is the Miami-themed 820 Biscayne zone. The new zone, located on Deck 8 and occupying the same space as La Piazza zone aboard Mardi Gras, will celebrate the culture, architectural styles and flavors of Miami.

On her top decks, Carnival Celebration also boasts the Ultimate Playground zone, where the shipboard roller coaster BOLT will offer a 800-foot track that passengers can ride in a self-propelled car at up to 40 mph (64 km/h).

Up here, there is also an extensive water park and sports center.

On November 27th, the ship will begin a series of week-long Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings that depart every Sunday, visiting popular Caribbean cruise destinations, such as the Dominican Republic and St. Thomas, as well as Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico.

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