Carnival Cruise Line Gives Controversial Statue A New Home

When Carnival Firenze begins sailing out of Long Beach, California next month, a piece of art that caused a bit of a stir on another ship in the fleet will be on board.

A picture of the 27th ship in Carnival's fleet, Carnival Firenze, with two men shaking hands.

While the statue is undoubtedly a good thematic fit with the ship’s Italian theme, only time will tell if it sets tongues wagging here as it did during its previous tenure.

Some Find the Statue Offensive


The artwork in question is the very famous — and famously nude — statue of David, which has been considered one of the greatest pieces ever created even as it has, from the start, left some proclaiming its depiction of the male body “obscene.”

The statue would make the perfect wedding gift if the Firenze were a bride. Why? Because it meets the traditional requirements of being something old, new, borrowed, and blue.

You see, the replica of the infamous state of David is based on something old (the original was crafted in the 1500s), it’s moving to a new home, it’s kinda sorta been “borrowed” from the Carnival Pride and those offended by David’s nudity would say artist Michelangelo was working “blue.”


Aboard the Pride, the statue stood in the steakhouse bearing its creator’s name. But when the ship emerged from a 2023 drydock, it did so with a rebranded steakhouse and without the state.

While Carnival never officially addressed its removal, Brand Ambassador John Heald has historically referenced the statue’s nudity and offended some guests.

Will David Wear A Figleaf?


At various points, Carnival tried to address the complaints of more conservative guests by adorning David’s privates with a figleaf. After the adornment was removed several times, Carnival took a more permanent step by outfitting the faux Italian stallion with a more permanent clay-molded covering.

As it turns out while David is now moving to a ship with a more European sensibility, his naughty bits will remain covered.


The debate over David’s appropriateness rages on, however. One woman was so traumatized by “it” being in her face during a special anniversary dinner on the Pride that she told the story in the comment section beneath one of Heald’s posts.

Over the years, Carnival Pride has seen its share of nudity, after all, it was home to the 2022 Bare Necessities Nude Cruise.

Of the over 5,000 comments, however, most said that the fuss was, in essence, much ado about nothing. One asked if those who’d been offended had “ever walked by the pool? That offends me! If you don’t like it, go buy a yacht!”

Where to See the Real Deal


If you want to see the original, uncensored statue of David, you’ll have to take a Mediterranean cruise to Italy, where the 17-foot statue stands at the Accademia Gallery of Florence (accessible by a ship that stops in Livorno). 

Fun Fact: It has been said that Michelangelo moved at a turtle’s pace while creating his signature masterpiece, starting the sculpture in 1501 and completing it in 1504. 

As for the imitation’s new home, the Carnival Firenze was built for sister line Costa, and is the second to be rebranded under the “Carnival Fun, Italian Style: program. 

The first vessel, Carnival Venezia, themed after the city of Venice, entered service out of New York City in June 2023. 

Firenze, Italian for Florence, will sail from Long Beach, California on April 25, 2024.

Carnival Firenze Ship Tour

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