Carnival Celebration’s godmother Cassidy Gifford (centre) and Carnival Cruise Line’s president Christine Duffy (centre right)
Carnival Cruise Line has christened its new flagship Carnival Celebration in a ceremony at PortMiami in Florida, USA.
Carnival Celebration’s godmother Cassidy Gifford christened the ship with the traditional breaking of a champagne bottle against its hull, alongside Captain Vincenzo Alcaras. She was also joined by her mother Kathie Lee Gifford, who served as godmother of Carnival Celebration’s namesake, Celebration, when it was christened in 1987.
During the celebrations, Kathie Lee Gifford sang the tune to Carnival’s television advertisements during the 1980s. Attendees also watched a preview of Carnival Celebration’s entertainment programming, including an aerialist performance. A concert by Kool & The Gang concluded the event, including a rendition of their song ‘Celebrate!’.
"This naming ceremony of our new flagship Carnival Celebration is the perfect culmination of our 50th birthday as this spectacular ship honours our past and signifies the fun and growth ahead,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Carnival Celebration builds on the success of our incredible Mardi Gras and the many innovations we introduced with our Excel-class, including a top-deck roller coaster, and offers unique features all her own that give guests a truly incredible new cruise experience to have fun and make memories."
The arrival of Carnival Celebration also marked the opening of Carnival’s newly redesigned and expanded Terminal F at PortMiami. The cruise line held a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the facility’s opening, with Duffy joined by Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Miami-Dade County Commissioners and Carnival Corporation’s CEO Josh Weinstein.
The terminal’s new design is intended to allow guests to move through the embarkation process more quickly and allow Carnival’s newest class of ship to dock smoothly. Digital media experiences have been built into the three levels of the new terminal, including a tunnel of screens on level two that guests will pass through. The screens showcase images of the ship, destinations, underwater seascapes and the night-time sky.
Following the ceremony, Carnival Celebration departed on a six-day Thanksgiving cruise, with calls to Grand Turk, Amber Cove and Nassau. The ship will then begin a rotation of week-long Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings that depart every Sunday throughout the year from Miami. Five of Carnival’s 24-ship fleet are now homeported in Miami, and the cruise line expects to embark more than 20,000 guests per week from PortMiami.
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