Italian line Costa Cruises officially handed over the Costa Venezia to Carnival Cruise Line during a ceremony in Cadiz, Spain. The 5,145-guest ship will undergo a two-month dry dock renovation at the Navantia shipyard in Cadiz, in preparation for becoming the first “Fun Italian Style” ship in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet.
From Captain to Captain
The long-planned transfer of Costa Cruises’ Costa Venezia to the Carnival Cruise Line fleet was completed on March 22, when the vessel, now called Carnival Venezia, was officially handed over from Costa Captain Tihomir Muzic to Carnival Captain Claudio Cupisti.
The ship, which launched in 2019, was built by Costa Cruises for its Chinese market itineraries, but the collapse of that market in recent years prompted Carnival Corporation, parent company of both cruise lines, to rethink the strategy.
Carnival Venezia is the second of three Costa Cruises’ vessels that have joined, or soon will join, Carnival Cruise Line. Costa Luminosa, now Carnival Luminosa, transferred to Carnival in November 2022, and Costa Firenze is scheduled to transfer to Carnival in 2024.
Carnival Luminosa is not scheduled to be part of what Carnival Cruise Line calls its “Fun Italian Style” ships. That designation launches with Carnival Venezia, and refers to the ship’s Italian-style architecture, design inspirations, and entertainment and dining options.
Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy said, “We are so pleased to welcome Carnival Venezia to the fleet, which following a dry dock, will debut as our first ‘Fun Italian Style’ ship this May. A big thank you to everyone from our sister line Costa and all those within the Carnival family who will work to add the Carnival touches to this ship over the next two months.”
Following the dry dock refit, Carnival Venezia will depart on her 15-day transatlantic sailing from Barcelona to New York on May 29, 2023, and operate year-round sailings from New York’s Manhattan Cruise Terminal starting on June 15, 2023. Cruise options from the Big Apple will feature 22 itineraries of varying lengths, calling at 25 ports in 14 countries.
Italian Inspirations for Carnival Venezia
Carnival Venezia’s atrium was inspired by Venice’s main public square, the Piazza San Marco, while its Lido deck was modeled on aspects of the Italian Riviera. New dining options focused on the flavors of Italy will include La Strada Grill, serving classic Italian street food, and Tomororo, a Mexitalian fusion restaurant.
Carnival Cruise Line favorites, such as Guy’s Burger Joint, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse and Bonsai Sushi & Teppanyaki, will be offered on Carnival Venezia as well. In fact, some menus will be altered to reflect the ship’s Italian influence; Guy’s Burger Joint will add a pepperoni burger to its menu, for instance.
Entertainment spaces will include the Gondola Lounge, a nod to the famous Venetian canals, along with Carnevale Bar & Lounge, which will sport a theme tied to the Venetian masquerades during Carnevale.
Activities will feature an Italian Street Party and for youngsters, Captain’s Venetian Toast will offer Italian-inspired programming for children and teens. Also, for youth, Carnival Venezia will feature Camp Ocean and Club O2, and the ship’s SportSquare will be set up with Italian favorites such as bocce ball and foosball.
New Stateroom Category
A new class of stateroom will debut onboard Carnival Venezia following the refit. Terrazza staterooms, which will be similar to the line’s existing Havana staterooms found on some Carnival ships, will be offered in a range of categories from interior to balcony.
Guests who book Terrazza Cabanas will enjoy private patios with direct access to Terrazza Carnevale, an outdoor terraced deck featuring two whirlpools, a bar, and lounging spaces.
Terrazza Carnevale is for the exclusive use of guests staying in the ship’s 77 Terrazza staterooms, which also come with other perks, including an exclusive sail-away party with live music.