Carnival Celebration Arrives In Florida for the First Time

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Carnival Celebration, Carnival Cruise Line’s newest Excel-class cruise ship, is in the United States. The ship sailed on a 14-day transatlantic cruise from the United Kingdom to her new home port, PortMiami. 

The 180,800 gross-tons cruise ship is the sister ship to Mardi Gras, Carnival’s hugely successful first LNG-powered vessel. We look at what you can expect from the most anticipated cruise ship of 2022

Carnival Celebration is in Miami

After much anticipation, the moment is finally here. Carnival Celebration is in PortMiami, ready for her inaugural season sailing from the world’s biggest cruise port. The vessel actually arrived much earlier than expected in the very early hours of Sunday morning, while still dark, due to a guest needing some medical attention ashore.

The 180,800 gross-tons, 5,374-passenger made her way into PortMiami, where she docked at her new home, the 471,000-square-foot Terminal F. The terminal, upgraded recently at the cost of $170 million, will play host to the naming ceremony later today.

The arrival of the Carnival Celebration is the culmination of the 50th anniversary celebrations for Carnival Cruise Line, which included exciting activities, special events, new merchandise, and much more in the past year.

Carnival Celebration Cruise Ship
Carnival Celebration Cruise Ship (Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line)

Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line: “She represents the culmination of our 50th birthday while also shining a light on our bright future with so much more excitement to come!”

Carnival Cruise Line officially took delivery of the new Excel-class vessel, Carnival Celebration, from the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland on Wednesday, November 2, 2022. 

Four days later, the latest cruise ship in the Carnival fleet sailed on her inaugural voyage with guests onboard from Southampton. The maiden voyage included stops in La Coruña and Vigo, Spain; Funchal (Maderia), Portugal; and Tenerife (Canary Islands), Spain.

Despite some confusion over how much the price of the BOLT roller coaster ride was and some bad weather early in the voyage, guests enjoyed being the first to enjoy Carnival’s new cruise ship.

Also, during the call in La Coruna, the Miami-based cruise line celebrated the changing of the ship’s registry to The Bahamas by raising the flag.

Naming Ceremony and Terminal Opening

Today will be filled with festivities as cruise line executives, and several celebrities will make their way to PortMiami to witness the naming ceremony for the new ship and the grand opening of the newly upgraded Terminal F. Carnival’s president, Christine Duffy, will be joined by Cassidy Gifford, the Godmother of Carnival’s new cruise ship. 

Cassidy Gifford is the daughter of Kathy Lee Gifford, the famous actress who played a prominent role in Carnival’s history and served as godmother for the original Carnival Celebration.

Cassidy Gifford, after being asked by Carnival to take on the responsibility of being godmother: “Carnival Cruise Line has been a huge part of our family with my earliest memories taking family trips on Carnival ships. And now to be asked to be Godmother of the namesake ship to the one my mom christened is truly an honor and a blessing.

The Terminal opening, with the ribbon-cutting ceremony, will take place at 4:30 PM, and the naming ceremony for the vessel will take place slightly later at 6:00 PM. The event will also be broadcast virtually online.

On November 21, Carnival Celebration will begin her inaugural Caribbean season from Miami with a six-night eastern Caribbean cruise visiting Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; and Nassau in the Bahamas.

Carnival Celebration Delivery
Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Celebration will arrive again in Miami on November 27 for her first western Caribbean cruise, visiting Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico, and Roatan, Honduras. Carnival Celebration will continue to sail on eastern and western Caribbean cruises throughout the coming year, ranging in length between five and eight nights. 

Carnival Celebration is the second in a series of three Excel-class vessels for Carnival Cruise Line. The first vessel, Mardi Gras, made its maiden voyage last summer. Construction on the third vessel, Carnival Jubilee, began earlier this year at the Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany.

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