Leadership Revealed for Next Carnival Italian-Style Ship

Carnival Cruise Line has revealed the lead officers for Carnival Firenze, including who will serve as cruise director on the new ship.

With just over two months to go until she sets sail for the first time under the Carnival name, Carnival Firenze now has her leadership team in place with fine officers and crew members who will collectively bring more than 75 years’ worth of Carnival experience to the ship.

The ship is currently being renovated and updated to reflect her new association, and this new team will be an amazing part of her transition to Carnival Cruise Line.

Senior Officers Announced for Carnival Firenze

Three amazing officers have been chosen to lead Carnival Firenze and ensure the ship remains in peak operation to deliver outstanding vacations to all who sail on her.

Leading the entire vessel will be Captain Crescenzo Palomba, a native of Italy who began working for Carnival Cruise Line in 1999. In total, he has worked on 20 vessels over the years, including Carnival Venezia, Carnival Dream, Carnival Valor, Carnival Spirit, Carnival Liberty, and Carnival Elation. All of that experience will add up to a sure hand guiding the 135,156-gross-ton, Vista-class ship.

Heading up the technical team onboard will be Chief Engineer Rosario Capilli, also from Italy. He began his career with Carnival Cruise Line as a second engineer in 1990, and advanced to chief engineer in 2002. In total, Capilli has worked on 13 other Carnival ships, including Vista-class vessels Carnival Horizon and Carnival Vista.

Carnival Firenze Senior Officers
Carnival Firenze Senior Officers

To ensure all guests receive excellent service on every Carnival Firenze cruise, Renil Kuruvilla will serve as Hotel Director. From India, Kuruvilla has 30 years of hospitality management experience covering both land and cruise operations, and he joined Carnival in 2004. He has served as a hotel director aboard various vessels since 2011, and has worked on 14 other Fun Ships in the fleet.

“Our inaugural team members launching Carnival Firenze are fortunate to work alongside some of the most skilled and experienced leaders in the cruise industry,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “I’m certain this strong team is the perfect group to deliver [a] dynamic offering to our guests.”

Entertainment Leadership Team

While the leading officers are critical to how smoothly a vessel operates, the entertainment leadership is equally critical to ensure the very best guest experience. Carnival Firenze will have an amazing Fun Squad and entertainment team, led by two outstanding individuals.

Heading up the entertainment staff will be Gordon Travis as Entertainment Director, leading the ship’s dancers, musicians, and other entertainment technical and support staff. Travis is from Scotland and brings more than 25 years of entertainment experience to his role, including 10 years in the cruise industry.

He has been an entertainment director for Carnival since 2016, including aboard Carnival Venezia, and therefore is already knowledgeable about the unique “Carnival Fun Italian Style” vibe on the ships transferred from Costa Cruises.

The visible face of fun aboard Carnival Firenze will be Cruise Director Joey Boyes, originally from England but now a worldwide cruise favorite since he joined Carnival Cruise Line in 2017. Not only does he guide the Fun Squad, but his own unique stand up comedy incorporates dry British wit and charm to delight all audiences.

Carnival Firenze Leadership
Carnival Firenze Leadership

Boyes has also served as cruise director on Carnival Venezia, Carnival Panorama, and Carnival Horizon, diverse experiences that will serve him well as Carnival Firenze joins the fleet.

Read Also: All Carnival Cruise Ships by Age – Newest to Oldest

Carnival Firenze Being Renovated

The former Costa Firenze entered dry dock in late January for her transformation into Carnival Firenze, an extensive update that will take weeks to complete. Part of the renovation will include adding Carnival-branded spaces to the ship and other touches to update her offerings, but while preserving her distinctive Italian style before she relocates to California to welcome guests.

Carnival Firenze Cruise Ship Handover
Carnival Firenze Cruise Ship Handover

“This ship is a special addition to our fleet as we expand our operations on the West Coast, where we already embark more guests than any other cruise line,” said Duffy. “We have a unique opportunity to bring our signature FUN to a beautiful vessel inspired by the iconic city of Florence, Italy to our popular homeport of Long Beach.”

While few details have yet been revealed about what Carnival Firenze will offer, one iconic element is known – the replica of the famous Michelangelo David sculpture is being installed on the ship. The art piece was formerly on Carnival Pride, but was removed when that ship was renovated in May 2023.

Carnival Firenze is scheduled to welcome her first guests on April 25, 2024, an earlier-than-originally-planned inaugural sailing. The ship will be homeported from Long Beach, California, offering 3-7 night Baja and Mexican Riviera itineraries.


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