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Carnival Cruise Line adds fifth new ship to fleet in 18 months

Carnival Firenze
Carnival Firenze is officially named in Long Beach.

The ship set sail on a seven-day cruise to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán and Cabo San Lucas.

LONG BEACH – Carnival Cruise Line solidified its position as the leading cruise line in California last Wednesday as it christened its newest ship, Carnival Firenze, at its new home, the Long Beach Cruise Terminal.

Hollywood actor Jonathan Bennett served as the ship’s godfather, and he and Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy celebrated all things Italian with the help of a Broadway star, a Puccini aria, and even a Catholic priest making a running jump onto the stage to deliver a blessing.

The 5,000-guest Carnival Fun Italian Style ship is sailing year-round from the Port of Long Beach, building on the popularity of Carnival cruises by adding significant capacity and joining two Carnival ships currently sailing year-round – the 5,100-passenger Carnival Panorama and the nearly 4,000-passenger Carnival Radiance. Launching just ahead of the busy summer travel season, and amid continued growth of cruise vacations’ popularity, Carnival Firenze is part of a significant expansion that added five ships to the Carnival fleet in the past 18 months. By next year, Carnival will embark more than 750,000 guests from Long Beach on more than 200 sailings, an increase of 100,000 more guests compared to 2019.

Carnival Firenze

Godfather Jonathan Bennett, Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy and Captain Enzo Palomba.

“We carry more guests than any other cruise line from California, and now this ship is giving us the opportunity to offer more fun to more people sailing from Long Beach,” said Duffy. “The recipe combining this ship’s beautiful Italian theming with the familiarity of our friendly team’s hospitality is, in a word, perfecto!”

Bennett was made an honorary Italian during the fun-filled evening, which included a performance of Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma” by Carnival’s Playlist Productions cast, an Italian blessing by Father Charbel Grbavac of the Mary Star of the Sea Catholic church in nearby San Pedro, and was capped off by a show-stopping performance by Leslie Kritzer, Bennett’s co-star from the recent Broadway revival of “Spamalot.”

Like sister Carnival Venezia, the ship features new concepts and experiences that put an Italian Style twist on Carnival staples for guests to enjoy. Carnival Firenze, however, is the first ship in the fleet to usher in new technology and harnesses artificial intelligence that creates guides for optimal, energy-saving routes on each sailing. The ship’s captain and officers will be the first to utilize this significant update to Carnival’s voyage efficiency system, ahead of a fleetwide rollout the cruise line expects to begin later this year. The ship is also the latest Carnival vessel to utilize shore power and joins Carnival Panorama and Carnival Radiance in connecting to the electric grid while docked in Long Beach instead of running its engines.

The 2020-built Carnival Firenze just finished a 49-day dry dock in Cadiz, Spain that integrated Carnival Fun Italian Style features into the ship’s beautiful design. Notable additions to the ship include the specialty restaurant Il Viaggio – Italian for “The Voyage;” it’s aptly named as its menu promises a journey across Italy through the country’s rich and diverse cuisine. Special programming, like Festa Italiana, a top-deck “street party,” enhances the Italian theming. The ship will sail a variety of itinerary lengths, with three- to seven-day Baja Mexico and Mexican Riviera cruises open for sale now through the spring of 2026.

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Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.