MIAMI – On the heels of the rave reviews of its newest ship Mardi Gras, Carnival Cruise Line announced that its third Excel-class ship – to be named Carnival Jubilee – will be delivered in 2023 and based in Galveston, Tex.
The announcement about Carnival Jubilee was made the same day that Carnival confirmed that all 22 of its U.S.-based ships will be back in guest operations by March 2022. Nineteen ships had been confirmed by February, and now Carnival Sensation will restart from Mobile, Ala. effective Mar. 5, Carnival Ecstasy will restart from Jacksonville, Fla. effective Mar. 7, and Carnival Paradise will restart from Tampa, Fla. effective Mar. 12.
“Carnival was the first cruise line to offer year-round cruising from Galveston in 2000, and we have continued to grow our presence and support of the Port of Galveston’s expansion, so we are thrilled to bring our brand-new Carnival Jubilee to Texas and the greater southwest region,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “This beautiful, innovative ship will bring an entirely new cruise experience to our guests, and we’ve got some great surprises to fun it up in ways we know they are going to love.”
Carnival Jubilee will be the third in the Excel-class for Carnival, joining sisters Mardi Gras, sailing from Port Canaveral since earlier this year, and Carnival Celebration, which will be delivered in late 2022 and based in Miami. The ships utilize a liquefied natural gas (LNG) technology platform. Carnival Corp. pioneered the introduction of LNG fuel in the passenger cruise sector as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and compliance throughout its global operations. Mardi Gras is the first LNG-powered cruise ship to operate in North America, and more information about the technology can be found in this video.
However, this new Excel-class ship will not be the first Jubilee to sail from Galveston. As it gets ready to celebrate its 50th birthday in 2022, Carnival has resurrected some of the names of its previous ships that were popular with guests at the company’s inception – such as Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration, and now, Carnival Jubilee. Celebration was the first year-round ship positioned in Galveston in 2000 and was soon joined by Jubilee in 2002. So now, just more than 21 years later, this new Carnival Jubilee – four times larger than her predecessor – will make her debut at the port ushering new ways for the next generation of cruise enthusiasts to have fun.
The announcement was made at the annual CruiseWorld travel advisor conference in Miami Beach, Fla. Creating an extra special moment during the event, Duffy was joined on stage by a seven-foot cowboy who had been positioned around the convention for the previous 24 hours teasing that “something big is coming to Texas.” The more than 1,000 travel advisors in attendance cheered as the Carnival team revealed the news and passed out Texas-themed goodies and trinkets.
“We love Texas, and Texas loves Carnival. Galveston is one of our most popular homeports, and we draw guests to Texas from across the Midwest, southwest and western U.S. Bringing a brand-new ship to a market is a big commitment, and it’s one we gladly make for the greater Galveston community and entire region,” said Duffy.
Carnival Jubilee will arrive at 182,800 gross tons, with a capacity of more than 5,400 guests and 1,700 crew. She’ll be sailing seven-day western Caribbean itineraries and will include features from her sister ships that guests know and love including the BOLT roller coaster on the top deck, expanded dining options, new designs for suites and staterooms, and a stunning, three-deck atrium on the starboard side of the ship that overlooks the ocean and converts to an entertainment venue at night. The ship will also have six fun-filled zones like her sisters, two of which will be brand-new concepts to be revealed at a later date. Details on these just-for-Jubilee firsts and other exciting news will be shared over the coming months.
Carnival Jubilee will be open for sale in early 2022.
Carnival Cruise Line resumes guest operations from Tampa with Carnival Pride
Also, Carnival Cruise Line resumed guest operations from Tampa, Fla. with Carnival Pride. A second ship, Carnival Paradise, will join Carnival Pride, in March 2022.
To commemorate the special day, Carnival held a “Back to Fun” event at the Port of Tampa. Carnival’s Vice President of Guest Operations Sarah Beth Reno, Carnival Pride Captain Rino Costanzo, and Port Tampa Bay’s Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Raul Alfonso cut a ceremonial ribbon to much fanfare and officially welcomed the first guests on board. Carnival Pride is set to depart today on a seven-day cruise to the Western Caribbean with stops in the Mexican ports of Costa Maya and Cozumel, as well as Belize and Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras.
“We have been a proud member of the Tampa community for more than 25 years, having been the first cruise line to sail from Tampa in 1994, so we’re absolutely thrilled to provide our guests an opportunity to get Back to Fun from the port while supporting the local economy,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
“We are so pleased to have Carnival Cruise Line returning to Port Tampa Bay. The return of cruising has a far-reaching impact on our region, with many local businesses standing to benefit. It’s estimated that a ship like Carnival Pride generates an average of $334,000 in passenger and crew onshore spending per call,” said Raul Alfonso, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, Port Tampa Bay.
Carnival Cruise Line launched the first year-round cruise program from Tampa in 1994 on the since-retired Tropicale, carrying 28,000 passengers a year. The line has since increased passenger capacity nine-fold, making it one of the largest cruise operators in the area. Cruise operations in Tampa are part of Carnival’s close-to-home ship deployment strategy which positions ships near large U.S. population centers along the East and West Coasts and the Gulf of Mexico to make cruising convenient for everyone.
Carnival Pride’s offerings from Tampa include six-, seven- and eight-day Western Caribbean sailings.
With more than half of its U.S. fleet already in guest operations, additional ships will resume service in the coming weeks and months as Carnival’s successful restart of operations continues. All 22 of its U.S.-based ships will be back in guest operations by March 2022.