Carnival Cruise took a number of ships out of its fleet during the the pandemic, and it plans to replace them in a truly novel way.
The covid pandemic forced Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) – Get Carnival Corporation Report to make some tough decisions about its fleet. Ships including Carnival Sensation and Carnival Ecstasy — its two oldest, built in the early 1990s — were retired.
That made sense because older cruise ships cost more to operate than more modern ones.
The cruise line has a number of additions coming to its fleet to make up for the losses.
First, Carnival will soon put its newest flagship, Carnival Celebration, into operation, giving it a sister ship to its current standard bearer, Mardi Gras. That ship will rival the newest offerings from rival Royal Caribbean (RCL) – Get Royal Caribbean Group Report. And it won’t be the only addition to the company’s fleet.
Carnival has a bold plan to add three more ships to its fleet from its owned-and-operated Costa cruise line. Two of those ships will retain their current designs, while the third will be revamped to more fully reflect the Carnival aesthetic.
Carnival Adding Three Costa Ships
Carnival plans to move three ships — Costa Luminosa, Costa Venezia and Costa Firenze — to its fleet.
Luminosa will be completely rebranded and renamed Carnival Luminosa, while Costa Venezia and Costa Firenze will be retaining their Costa Cruises identities and Italian aesthetic.
“Costa Venezia and Costa Firenze will bring Carnival’s guests the ambiance and beauty of Italy,” Carnival President Christine Duffy said in a statement. “We’re going to invite our guests to Choose Fun with Carnival, Italian Style!”
Keeping Costa Venezia and Costa Firenze as they are gives the cruise line a different offering to compete with Royal Caribbean.
“This is an exciting opportunity for us to operate two additional beautiful Vista class ships in the U.S. and bring a unique experience to those who love the culture, food and vibe of Italy,” Duffy added.
“There are lots of ways we plan to create an immersive fun experience for our guests who choose to sail on these ships, which have beautiful Italian-design elements, dining and retail that will deliver Carnival fun leveraging the spirit of Italy from our sister line Costa Cruises.”
Luminosa, which just sailed its last voyage under the Costa banner, will be transformed before it joins Carnival.
Luminosa Becomes a ‘Fun Ship’
After its dry dock, Luminosa will sail from Brisbane, Australia, on Nov. 6, 2022, before repositioning for seasonal service from Seattle to Alaska next May.
Before that happens, though, the ship will get an exterior makeover to add the new livery that was introduced on Mardi Gras in 2021 and has been added to half the Carnival fleet, with the red, white and blue hues long associated with Carnival Cruise Line.
The ship will also boast a vintage funnel design reminiscent of the funnels on Carnival’s original ships like Mardi Gras, Carnivale, and Festivale.
And the changes to the ship won’t involve only its exterior. The ship will also add a number of signature Carnival entertainment and dining venues.
“Featuring guest favorites from entertainment, youth, and spa, to casino, bars and dining, offerings will include Playlist Productions, the Punchliner Comedy Club, Limelight Lounge, Piano Bar 88, Alchemy Bar, RedFrog Rum Bar, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, Chef’s Table, Bonsai Sushi Express, Seaday Brunch, Serenity Adult-Only Retreat, and Cloud 9 Spa, among others,” the cruise line said in a news release.
“To truly make Luminosa feel part of the Carnival Cruise Line family, we are adding our beautiful new livery to her hull, of course, and are keeping her throwback funnel design that once adorned some of our most iconic earlier vessels,” Duffy said.
“We’ll be adding some Carnival features in the upcoming dry dock and adapting some existing features to align with Carnival’s casual style, but ultimately, our crew will make everyone feel right at home as soon as they join the ship.”
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This story was originally published September 6, 2022 10:09 AM.
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