Newest Carnival Cruise Ship Officially Christened in Texas

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It’s a day for celebration for Carnival Cruise Line as the fleet’s newest ship has been officially christened on what would have been the 100th birthday of Carnival Cruise Line founder Ted Arison.

In true celebratory style with larger than life Texas-sized festivities, Carnival Jubilee has officially been named as the 26th ship in the Carnival fleet.

Carnival Jubilee Officially Christened

Hosted by the ship’s own resident Texan, cruise director Kyndall Fire, the naming ceremony was held at Carnival Jubilee‘s official homeport, Galveston, Texas. In fact, the Excel-class vessel is the first ship to ever have been named in Galveston, which befits Carnival Jubilee’s connection to the Lone Star State, including the Texas star on her bow, special venues and events onboard, and more.

Also present were cruise officials and special guests, including Carnival Jubilee‘s ceremonial godmother, Gwen Stefani and Carnival Cruise Line President, Christine Duffy, along with Craig Brown, the Mayor of the City of Galveston.

A special surprise is that Brown declared February 24 as officially “Carnival Jubilee Day” while presenting Duffy with a key to the City of Galveston, further cementing the connection between Carnival Cruise Line and the Texas homeport.

In true Texas fashion, the larger-than-life festivities included a rope trick and whip cracking performance by Will Fitzpatrick, as well as more traditional elements, such as a performance of the Star Spangled Banner, blessings for the ship and all who will sail on her, and special remarks thanking and acknowledging those involved with bringing the ship to Galveston.

Carnival Jubilee naming Ceremony
Carnival Jubilee naming Ceremony

“Building a ship is very complicated, it takes a long time. Things do not always go the way we planned,” Duffy said while acknowledging those who helped bring Carnival Jubilee to life. “This ship would not have happened without you and the amazing, amazing team.”

Duffy also gave hearty thanks and acknowledgments to the crew members of Carnival Jubilee, noting that the ship itself is just the hardware, but the crew is the heart of any vessel.

“What makes Carnival truly special is the passion of the 1,700 crew members aboard the ship,” Duffy said.

During the ceremony, Duffy also showcased Carnival Cruise Line’s commitment to giving back by presenting $50,000 on behalf of Gwen Stefani – Carnival Jubilee‘s godmother – to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

The donation was accompanied by a commitment to raise a total of $50 million for the charity by 2030, which Carnival Cruise Line has partnered with since 2010. To date, Carnival Cruise Line has raised $33 million for St. Jude.

St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital Donation
St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital Donation

With so many memorable moments packed into one naming ceremony, of special note was the official christening with Gwen Stefani. A Texas-sized lever, capped appropriately with a cowboy hat and lassoed by Will Fitzpatrick, was used to release the oversized champagne bottle that crashed against the ship’s name for the official instant of naming.

The full ceremony was livestreamed online as well as through social media, permitting not only the 6,000 passengers onboard the ship for her next sailing, but also Carnival cruise fans around the world, to enjoy the special moment.

Winning Bid for the Boots

Part of the naming ceremony included announcing the winner of the specially made Carnival Jubilee cowboy boots. The cruise line ran an auction for the custom-made, handcrafted boots earlier in the month, with all proceeds going to support Operation Homefront.

Carnival Jubilee Boots
Carnival Jubilee Boots

Ultimately, the winning bid came in at $25,000, which will not only give the winner the very special, very unique boots from Houston-based Parker Boot Company, but also a 7-night cruise aboard Carnival Jubilee in a balcony stateroom.

The winner of the boots with that highest bid is Emerson Hankamer, Chief Executive Officer of Vacations To Go, the world’s largest cruise travel agency.

More Texas Connections

Carnival Jubilee has a wide variety of Texas connections to celebrate. Carnival Cruise Line is now the Official Cruise Line of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, a partnership that was announced in December 2023, the day before Carnival Jubilee first arrived in Texas.

The ship will also feature a unique celebration of all things Texas with the Lone Star Tailgate Party, an exclusive event only found on this one special ship. Offered aboard every sailing, the party celebrates all things fun and family – the epitome of Carnival Cruise Line.

Carnival Jubilee Arriving in Galveston
Carnival Jubilee Arriving in Galveston (Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line)

Onboard music by Texas artists, Texas-themed trivia events, and more are all part of the special vibe the new ship brings to the fleet.

Carnival Jubilee is now the fourth of five ships to join the Carnival fleet in less than 20 months, amazing growth by the cruise line. The new additions include not only her sister ship, Carnival Celebration, but also the three transfers from Costa Cruises that have been converted into Carnival ships – Carnival Luminosa, Carnival Venezia, and the soon-to-debut Carnival Firenze.

Carnival Jubilee will remain homeported in Galveston year-round at least through April 2026 (future itineraries past that date have not yet been released), offering 7-night Western Caribbean sailings visiting Roatan, Costa Maya, and Cozumel, with amazing Texas-sized fun along on every voyage.

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