Carnival Venezia officially joined the Carnival Cruise Line fleet this week when it was christened by its godfather Jay Leno at a ceremony in New York on Wednesday.
The ship, which is the first of three Carnival ships to join the fleet over the next year, received a blessing from Father Enrique Salvo of St. Patrick's Cathedral prior to Jay Leno, the first godfather ever named to a Carnival ship, christening the ship.
"By highlighting his own Italian heritage, Jay is helping us celebrate the Italian theming guests will experience when they cruise on this beautiful ship," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "We've heard great reviews from guests who sailed on the ship's transatlantic crossing, and now I am so happy to welcome our first guests joining us from New York to enjoy what's in store for them."
The ship is now sailing on a four-day departure to Bermuda. The plan is for Venezia to sail four-, five- six- and eight-day sailings to the Caribbean, Bermuda, and ports in Canada and New England, including Saint John's and Halifax. Then, starting on Sept. 29, it will alternate between eight- to 12-day cruises to the Eastern Caribbean, Southern Caribbean, and The Bahamas.
Originally built for Costa Cruises, the 4,000-passenger ship is the same class as Carnival's Vista Class. It is the second of three Costa Cruises ships that have been or will be transferred to Carnival.
The ship blends Costa and Carnival stylings, making it unlike anything else in the Carnival fleet. In particular, it celebrates Venice, Italy, with a Venice-inspired atrium Piazza San Marco, and Italian restaurants including Marco Polo and Canal Grande Restaurants, along with the new specialty restaurant Il Viaggio.
The onboard Italian influence includes Teatro Russo, designed to look like an Italian opera house with tufted red velvet seats and chandeliers. It also features a number of Carnival mainstays such as Guy Fieri’s Guy’s Burger Joint, the steakhouse Fahrenheit 555, Bonsai Sushi & Teppanyaki and the Chef’s Table, the Lido Marketplace, Seafood Shack and Pizzeria del Capitano, Piano Bar 88, and more.