2013 is gearing up to be a great year for cruising, with several lines introducing new ships. Carnival Cruise Lines is leading the way with an exciting new endeavor this spring: Carnival Destiny is being transformed into Carnival Sunshine!
The $155 Million Refit will change the ship so much that it will be practically brand new, hence the name change — which I love, by the way The makeover will incorporate ALL of the “Fun Ship 2.0” dining, bar and entertainment features, as well as adding 182 new cabins and new choices such as The Havana Bar, ShakeSpot, JavaBlue Café, Pizzeria del Capitano, a three-level Serenity adults-only retreat, a full-service Asian restaurant, Jiji Asian Kitchen, inspired by the line’s popular Mongolian Wok eateries, and a massive racing-themed water park. Awesome, right!? After an extended dry dock this spring, Carnival Sunshine will operate a summer schedule of Mediterranean voyages before re-positioning to New Orleans on year-round Caribbean cruises in the fall.
In addition to Carnival Sunshine, Carnival Cruise Lines has a few more exciting developments:
U.S. Debut of New Carnival Breeze – The 3,690-passenger Carnival Breeze is now sailing year-round six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises from Miami, becoming the largest Carnival ship ever based in South Florida. In addition to many popular features that debuted on Carnival Magic – including the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub, Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, and SportSquare outdoor recreation area — Carnival Breeze introduced Carnival’s first Thrill Theater, with interactive special effects that make viewers feel as if they are part of the movie, as well as new culinary choices such as Bonsai Sushi, the line’s first full-service sushi restaurant, and a complimentary open-air outdoor dining venue called Fat Jimmy’s C-Side BBQ.
Carnival’s Largest European Season Ever in 2013 – For the first time, Carnival will deploy two ships in Europe offering an exciting choice of options, including the line’s first Norwegian fjords itinerary and its first extended program from the UK. From April to September 2013, Carnival Legend will operate 12-day voyages to Norway/Western Europe, the British Isles and the Baltic departing from Dover (London), along with 12-day Mediterranean cruises departing from Venice and Barcelona. Following an extensive $155 million refit, Carnival Destiny will be renamed Carnival Sunshine and launch a series of Mediterranean cruises beginning with a 14-day voyage from Venice to Barcelona April 12-26, 2013 then offer 18 nine- and 12-day Mediterranean cruises from either Barcelona or Venice.
Continued Rollout of $500 Million Fun Ship 2.0 Enhancement Program – The rollout of Carnival’s $500 million “Fun Ship 2.0” enhancement program continues with the renovation of the Carnival Conquest and Carnival Glory late last year. The line’s most ambitious program to date, Fun Ship 2.0 will transform the line’s on-board experience through branded spaces and celebrity partnerships. The initiative includes partnerships with George Lopez, who serves as the line’s creative director for comedy to enhance the fleetwide Punchliner Comedy Clubs, and Food Network personality Guy Fieri, who developed a new free burger venue called Guy’s Burger Joint, as well as top brands such as EASPORTS Bar and Hasbro. New food and beverage concepts such as the poolside RedFrog Rum Bar, BlueIguana Tequila Bar and BlueIguana Cantina and the “cocktail pharmacy” Alchemy Bar, along with entertainment choices and Playlist Productions and a partnership with celebrity song master DJ IRIE, are also included.
Carnival Adds Third Ship to West Coast - Carnival will expand capacity on the West Coast with the introduction of year-round three and four-day cruises on the 2,052-passenger Carnival Imagination from Long Beach, Calif., beginning January 26, 2014. The move will bring the total number of Carnival ships operating from Long Beach to three and further solidify the line’s position as Southern California’s largest cruise operator. Carnival Imagination will offer three-day cruises to Ensenada, Mexico, departing on Thursdays and four-day voyages to Catalina Island and Ensenada departing on Sundays. The vessel’s sister ship, Carnival Inspiration, will continue to offer a similar program from Long Beach with three-day cruises departing on Fridays and four-day cruises on Mondays. Together, Carnival’s three West Coast-based these ships will carry 550,000 guests annually from Long Beach – more than any other cruise operator.