Carnival Firenze Gets an Italian-Style Christening at Long Beach

Carnival Firenze’s long-awaited christening took place on April 24 at its home port in Long Beach, California. Godfather Jonathan Bennett joined the Italian-themed festivities.

People celebrating at a ship's naming ceremony with a large bell and floral decorations on stage, under a sign that reads
Carnival Firenze is officially named in Long Beach (Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

The evening’s celebrations included blessings from Catholic priest Father Charbel Grbavac, a rendition of Nessun Dorma by Carnival Cruise Line’s Playlist Productions, and a performance by Leslie Kritzer. 

The vessel’s godfather, Jonathan Bennett, is famously known for his role as Aaron Samuels in Mean Girls. Though he is American, he was jokingly declared an “honorary Italian” during the ceremony.

A man holding a
Jonathan Bennett is the godfather of Carnival Firenze (Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

Built before the pandemic in 2019, the former Costa Firenze was originally made for Costa Cruises, another cruise line brand under Carnival Corporation.

As demand in the US grew, it was later decided that the Firenze and its sister ship, Carnival Venezia, would sail under Carnival Cruise Line with the tagline, “Carnival Fun, Italian Style.” 

Two men on stage, one in a suit and the other in a naval officer uniform, joyfully pouring a large bottle over a ceremonial bell at a carnival event.
Godfather Jonathan Bennett and Captain Enzo Palomba christen Carnival Firenze (Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

As part of the rebrand, Carnival Firenze underwent a 49-day drydock in Spain. It re-emerged with Italian aesthetics and AI capabilities, enabling it to map out the most efficient energy-saving routes.

It also boasts shore power connectivity, more seating at the Lido buffet, additional spa rooms, and new restaurants.

Three people, two men and one woman, smiling and sitting on a carousel horse inside a luxurious shopping mall.
Godfather Jonathan Bennett, Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy, and Captain Enzo Palomba (Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

The Los Angeles home port is strategically important for Carnival. In 2025, it plans to deploy more than 200 cruises and accommodate over 750,000 passengers from Long Beach, leading to a 100,000 growth in passengers compared to 2019.

Large cruise ship docked at a pier under a clear blue sky, with visible Carnival Firenze logo on the funnel and people on the deck.
(Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

“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 the cruise line’s president, Christine Duffy.

The 5,000-passenger Carnival Firenze offers year-round itineraries from Long Beach. Itineraries include 4- to 7-day trips to Mexican destinations like Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, and the Mexican Riviera. It is one of 5 ships that joined the Carnival fleet in the last year-and-a-half. 

Carnival Firenze is the fifth new Carnival ship in the past 18 months, following Carnival Jubilee, Carnival Venezia, Carnival Luminosa, and Carnival Celebration.

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