MIAMI — Carnival Cruise Line’s new flagship Carnival Celebration arrived at its PortMiami homeport this past weekend and was christened by actress Cassidy Gifford.
The Excel-class sister to the Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration is launching year-round service from Miami.
“Tonight’s naming ceremony of our new flagship Carnival Celebration is the perfect culmination of our 50th birthday as this spectacular ship honors our past and signifies the fun and growth ahead,” said Christine Duffy, President, 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.”
Duffy spoke before an audience gathered for the ceremony in the ship’s three-deck-high atrium, Celebration Central. Carnival Celebration Godmother Cassidy Gifford christened the ship, with a traditional breaking of a champagne bottle, alongside Capt. Vincenzo Alcaras. Gifford was also joined by her mother, Kathie Lee Gifford, who served as godmother of Carnival Celebration’s namesake, M/S Celebration, which was similarly christened in 1987.
The event included a performance by Kathie Lee, who sang the memorable tune to the ads that helped to popularize the Carnival brand in the 1980s. An aerialist performance and a concert by Kool & The Gang, singing their dance classic, ‘Celebrate!’ capped off the night.
The ship’s first guests to board the ship from Miami are sailing a special six-day Thanksgiving cruise, with visits to Grand Turk, Amber Cove and Nassau. On Nov. 27, the ship starts a rotation of week-long Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings that depart every Sunday and visit popular destinations, such as the D.R. and St. Thomas, as well as Cozumel and Costa Maya.
The 5,200-passenger ship, with 2,600+ staterooms, offers more than 20 dining venues, not to mention a dozen bars and lounges across six unique zones. The ship’s Miami-themed zone, 820 Biscayne, is named after Carnival’s first headquarters address and is designed as a tribute to Miami’s cultural vibe and its dining and beverage offerings.
The ship’s top deck features the all-electric roller coaster BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster, also a popular feature on Mardi Gras since its debut in 2021. Also on the top deck, the resort-style Loft 19 can be accessed directly from premium category Excel suites – one of 11 styles featured across 180 total suites on board.
Carnival Celebration is also the second ship in the Carnival fleet, and the first to homeport in Miami, with a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion system, which is part of Carnival Corporation’s green cruising platform.
Carnival’s newly redesigned and expanded Terminal F at PortMiami opened its doors in conjunction with Carnival Celebration’s arrival. The cruise line held a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the facility’s grand opening. Adding Carnival Celebration at Terminal F, now five of Carnival’s 24-ship fleet are homeported in Miami. Ultimately Carnival expects to embark more than 20,000 guests per week from PortMiami.