Iconic Statue Returning to a New Carnival Cruise Ship

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Carnival Cruise Line is bringing back an amazing – though occasionally controversial – statue as a focal point, but on a new cruise ship. The upcoming Carnival Firenze will showcase the piece when the ship debuts in April 2024 as a new ship in the cruise line’s Carnival Fun, Italian Style rebranding.

Statue of David to Return on New Carnival Ship

The statue in question is the recreation of Michelangelo’s famous David that was previously installed on Carnival Pride as a centerpiece in the ship’s steakhouse. When Carnival Pride debuted, the steakhouse was named David’s, but the specialty dining venue was rebranded in May 2023 during the ship’s revitalization drydock.

As the steakhouse aboard Carnival Pride is no longer themed to the spectacular piece of Renaissance art, the statue was removed and hasn’t been seen since.

Now, Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald has hinted at the statue’s return, sharing a photo of the cruise line’s president, Christine Duffy, recently standing in the lobby of what is still, for the moment, Costa Firenze.

“Last weekend our President Christine Duffy went to visit the Costa Firenze which next year will become the Carnival Firenze. Christine reported that the ship was really beautiful and I am sure that everyone on the West Coast will be excited to see her sailing from Long Beach,” Heald said.

“Now, take a look at the photo and the Christmas Tree because when the ship becomes Carnival Firenze there will be something else standing where that tree is now. It’s an old friend from another ship. Can you guess what it is that will have pride of place there?”

Christine Duffy on Costa Firenze
Christine Duffy on Costa Firenze

While Heald has not definitively confirmed that the new addition to the ship will be the David statue, the hints are clear – “an old friend from another ship” and “pride” strongly suggest the statue will be returning.

Many guests have commented on Heald’s hint, happy that the statue will be returning and eager to set sail on Carnival Firenze next year.

It is even more appropriate that David will be showcased aboard Carnival Firenze, as the ship’s name is “Florence” in Italian, and that iconic Italian city is where the original David is permanently housed in Galleria dell-Accademia art museum.

About David

While the original statue of David is a 17-foot marble masterpiece carved from 1501-1504, the statue Carnival Cruise Line owns is not quite an exact replica.

When Carnival Pride debuted in 2002, the statue was an exact recreation of the famous sculpture. Over the years, however, various complaints from more conservative cruisers led the cruise line to add a fig leaf over the anatomically-correct statue’s more private bits.

Michaelangelo’s masterpiece David
Michaelangelo’s masterpiece David (Photo Credit: David L. Brown)

Interestingly, it is not uncommon for works of art to be similarly adjusted, and many famous pieces have been altered to more modern modesty and privacy standards many years after they may have originally be sculpted or painted.

There is no word on whether or not the statue will maintain its fig leaf modesty when it is reinstalled aboard Carnival Firenze.

Sailing Carnival Firenze

While the ship is still currently Costa Cruises’ Costa Firenze, the vessel will undergo an extensive dry dock when it is rebranded to join the Fun Ship Fleet. The same happened to Carnival Venezia prior to that ship’s transfer, with Carnival-branded venues added to the ship.

Costa Firenze‘s final sailing is a unique 1-night cruise from Marseille, France to Savona, Italy on January 20, 2024 before the ship will enter dry dock for her renovations. The ship is currently offering diverse Mediterranean itineraries from Barcelona, Marseille, Savoa, and Valencia.

Carnival Firenze Cruise Ship
Upcoming Carnival Firenze Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Mlle Sonyah)

Carnival Firenze is scheduled to debut at the end of April 2024, sailing from Long Beach, California. That debut has been controversial, as the schedule was adjusted and a new “inaugural” sailing added earlier than originally planned. The first inaugural cruise is now scheduled to depart April 25, 2024.

The ship will be offering 4-, 5-, and 7-night Mexican Riviera and Baja Mexico itineraries, visiting vibrant destinations such as Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, and Ensenada. Some sailings also include a visit to Catalina Island.

Whether sailing in the Mediterranean or visiting Mexico, the 135,225-gross-ton ship is sure to offer guests an amazing taste of Italy onboard, welcoming 4,126 guests aboard at double occupancy, or as many as 5,245 travelers if fully booked. Meanwhile, the ship’s 1,400 international crew members are sure to provide service everyone, even David, will enjoy.

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