American Actor to Serve as Godfather to Carnival Firenze

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Carnival Cruise Line revealed the christening date for its newest ship, Carnival Firenze, and also announced that American stage and screen star Jonathan Bennett will serve as godfather during the April 24, 2024 ceremony at the Port of Long Beach (Los Angeles). The ship, the second in the line’s Carnival Fun Italian Style theme, will homeport in the Southern California destination.

Second Ship to Sail Under ‘Fun Italian Style’ Theme

It was an offer from Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy that film and stage actor Jonathan Bennett just couldn’t refuse. In a surprise appearance at Bennett’s rehearsal hall, Duffy asked the actor to serve as godfather to the line’s newest ship, Carnival Firenze, set to debut in late April 2024. He happily agreed.

Bennett is best known for his roles as Aaron Samuels in the 2004 comedy film “Mean Girls,” and as Bud McNulty in the movie “Cheaper by the Dozen 2.” He also was a host on the Food Network’s “Halloween Wars” and on “Cake Wars.” In January 2024, Bennett made his Broadway debut, performing in “Spamalot.”

Jonathan is a true brand ambassador for Carnival. He cruises with us, honeymooned with us and tells his friends and family to vacation with Carnival. He is friendly and welcoming to everyone and embodies the Carnival style of fun,said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

The actor had been aboard the inaugural voyage of Carnival Venezia in May 2023, when that ship was introduced as the first Carnival Fun Italian Style vessel. Both Carnival Venezia and Carnival Firenze formerly sailed under the Costa Cruises brand, and were transferred to the Carnival Cruise Line fleet. Both brands are owned by Carnival Corporation.

The interior designs of the line’s Fun Italian Style ships are inspired by Italian destinations — Florence for Carnival Firenze, and Venice for Carnival Venezia. Comedian Jay Leno was godfather to Carnival Venezia.

Carnival Firenze Godfather
Carnival Firenze Godfather

Cruise Line President Duffy said Bennett was the perfect choice for the godfather of Carnival Firenze, even though he is not of Italian heritage.

After he sailed on the first voyage of Carnival Firenze’s sister ship Carnival Venezia last May, he told me it would be his dream to be the godfather of one of our ships, so how could I turn down such a request for such a terrific friend to Carnival,added Duffy.

The 5,000-guest Costa Firenze sailed her final voyage with Costa Cruises in January 2024, before undergoing a full renovation at a shipyard in Spain, where a slew of Carnival Cruise Line’s branded venues and amenities was added.

The ship, which entered service in 2021, is currently on her way to Long Beach, sailing a transatlantic voyage that has her calling at South American ports this week.

Jonathan Bennett Already Has Ties to Carnival

Aside from cruising with Carnival Cruise Line in the past, Bennett is familiar with the line and its executives from attending various events. He was the host, for instance, at the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration in New York, where Carnival Cruise Line has for the past three years been the sponsor of the iconic ball drop.

Read Also: When is the Best Time to Cruise the Mexican Riviera?

This is an amazing honor and I’m so proud to know that I’ll always be a part of the Carnival Firenze family. When I told Christine that I’d love to be a Carnival cruise ship godfather, I never thought she’d take my request seriously,said Jonathan Bennett

“I’m so excited to not only be the ship’s godfather, but to also get to cruise on Carnival Firenze as a guest now that Carnival Fun Italian Style is coming to the West Coast,Bennett added.

Following the ship’s naming ceremony, Carnival Firenze will depart on her first cruise under the Carnival Cruise Line brand on April 25, 2024. The 7-day Mexican Riviera sailing will call at Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The ship will offer year-round voyages, from 3 to 7 days, to Baja Mexico and the Mexican Riviera.

Carnival Venezia is based in New York and will deploy to Port Canaveral in December 2024.

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