Carnival Reveals Senior Staff For First ‘Italian-Style’ Ship

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Carnival Cruise Line revealed the senior officers and top entertainment staff who will lead operations aboard the line’s new addition to the fleet, Carnival Venezia, formerly the Costa Venezia.

The ship, which was built for Costa Cruises and transferred to the Carnival brand, is undergoing a dry dock refit at the Navantia shipyard in Cadiz, Spain, and is due to arrive in New York in June.

Veteran Carnival Captain at the Helm of Carnival Venezia

The 4,208-guest Carnival Venezia is in the process of a major refurbishment that will signal the launch of Carnival Cruise Line’s “Carnival Fun Italian Style” concept.

The ship promises to bring a distinctly Italian vibe to the New York cruise scene. Her atrium is modeled on the Piazza San Marco in Venice, the Lido deck has influences from the Italian Riviera and the Gondola Lounge is inspired by Venetian canals.

So it seems fitting that Captain Claudio Cupisti, who hails from Viareggio, Italy, will be at the helm of the 135,225 gross-ton ship. Captain Cupisti has 34 years of experience at Carnival, having worked on 20 Carnival ships, including Carnival Breeze, Carnival Elation, Carnival Splendor, Carnival Valor and others.

Carnival also appointed Cesare Boldrini as chief engineer of Carnival Venezia. He’s from La Spezia, Italy, and joined the cruise line in 1996 as an engine cadet. Boldrini has worked as chief engineer since 2011.

Karl Hallberg, from Sweden, will be the ship’s hotel director. Hallberg has previously served in the hotel director role on 10 Carnival ships since he joined the company six years ago.

Milena Krivokapic
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

Milena Krivokapic was tapped as entertainment director. Hailing from Montenegro, she has been with Carnival since 2015 in a variety of entertainment-related positions.

Perhaps no staff member has as much influence on a cruiser’s experience as the cruise director. For the new ship, Carnival has named Marques “MarQ” Matthias to the position. He joined Carnival in 2015 and was part of the launch team on Carnival Vista. Matthias was named a cruise director just one year later.

Cruise Director Marques “MarQ” Matthias
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy said, “As we continue to grow our operations, it’s key for us to build strong teams who can ensure the success of our new ships and their crew members. We’re fortunate to have some of the most experienced mariners in the cruise industry coming together to make Carnival Venezia feel right at home, for our guests, as part of the Carnival fleet.”

Ship Will Soon Depart Barcelona For New York

The ship will depart on her transatlantic crossing from Barcelona on May 29, en route to her new homeport of New York.

Duffy and Carnival brand’s chief culinary officer, Emeril Lagasse, will be onboard for part of the 15-night crossing and participate in several special events during the cruise. Planned activities include a Sail Away Party, a Captain’s Venetian Toast, and cooking demonstrations.

Carnival Venezia is due to arrive in New York on June 13. A four-day Bermuda cruise departs June 15, followed by year-round sailings to destinations including the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Canada, and New England.

Carnival Venezia Cruise Ship
Render Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

The ship formally became Carnival Venezia in late March when she was officially registered with the Bahamas Maritime Authority during a ceremony in Cadiz, Spain.

Another ship, the 4,072-guest Carnival Firenze, also a former Costa Cruises’ vessel, will become the second Carnival Cruise Line “Carnival Fun Italian Style” ship in 2024.

In all, three Costa ships were transferred to the Carnival brand. The third, the 2,260-guest Carnival Luminosa, is not part of the Italian-style project. Carnival Cruise Line and Costa Cruises are both Carnival Corporation brands.

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