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Cassidy Gifford Becomes Godmother of Carnival Celebration in Miami

Cassidy Gifford Becomes Godmother of Carnival Celebration in Miami

Actress Cassidy Gifford has become godmother of Carnival Celebration, in conjunction with Carnival’s ribbon-cutting for their newly redesigned and expanded Terminal F at PortMiami.

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On November 21, 2022, Carnival Cruise Line’s new ship Carnival Celebration arrived at its PortMiami homeport and was christened by actress Cassidy Gifford that evening. Gifford, the daughter of longtime Carnival spokesperson Kathie Lee Gifford, joins her mom in Carnival’s prestigious list of cruise ship godmothers.

An Excel-class sister ship to Carnival’s Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration is launching year-round service from its hometown of Miami.

“This naming ceremony of our new flagship Carnival Celebration is the perfect culmination of our 50th birthday as this spectacular ship honors our past and signifies the fun and growth ahead,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

“Carnival Celebration builds on the success of our incredible Mardi Gras and the many innovations we introduced with our Excel-classincluding a top-deck roller coaster, and offers unique features all her own that give guests a truly incredible new cruise experience to have fun and make memories,” Duffy continued, speaking before an audience gathered for the ceremony in the ship’s three-deck-high atrium, Celebration Central.

Carnival Celebration’s new godmother: Cassidy Gifford

Earlier this year, Carnival announced that Cassidy Gifford would be honored with the title of godmother of Carnival Celebration.

“Carnival’s been such a huge part of our family, pretty much my entire childhood,” said Cassidy.

“It’s an extraordinary blessing and honor to be asked…I’m so excited!” she continued.

You can watch Cassidy accepting the honor from her mom in the short video below, along with childhood pictures of Cassidy and her family on Carnival cruises.

Cassidy Gifford christened the ship with a traditional breaking of a champagne bottle, alongside Celebration‘s Captain Vincenzo Alcaras.

Cassidy was joined by Kathie Lee, who served as godmother of Carnival Celebration’s namesake, M/S Celebration, christened in 1987.

Kathie Lee, who sang in the legendary commercials that helped to popularize the Carnival brand in the 1980s, also gave an impromptu performance.

Cassidy Gifford, godmother of Carnival Celebration, and Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line, christen Carnival’s new flagship (image courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

Guests at the naming ceremony were treated to a preview of Carnival Celebration‘s entertainment programming, including an aerialist performance.

A concert by Kool & The Gang capped off the night, including their aptly-named dance classic, “Celebration”.

The entire event was broadcast online, allowing Carnival cruise fans everywhere to share in the festivities.

Carnival Celebration

Carnival Celebration‘s first guests to board the ship from Miami will depart on November 21 on a special six-day Thanksgiving cruise, with visits to Grand Turk, Amber Cove, and Nassau.

On November 27, the ship will begin a rotation of week-long Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings departing every Sunday. Celebration will visit several popular cruise destinations, including the Dominican Republic, St. Thomas, Cozumel, and Costa Maya.

Carnival Celebration‘s 2600+ staterooms can accommodate more than 5200 guests and offers over twenty dining venues and a dozen bars and lounges across six unique zones.

The ship’s Miami-themed zone, 820 Biscayne, is named after the address of Carnival’s first headquarters, and is designed as a tribute to Miami’s culture with unique dining and beverage offerings.

Celebration‘s top deck features the electric roller coaster BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster, which debuted on Mardi Gras in 2021. The top deck is also home to the resort-style Loft 19, which can be accessed directly from premium-category Excel suites.

Carnival Celebration is also the second ship in Carnival’s fleet with a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion system, which is part of the cruise line’s effort to pioneer green cruising.

Emeril Lagassé cuts ribbon on Emeril’s Bistro 1397

Celebrity chef Emeril Lagassé, who debuted his shipboard restaurant Emeril’s Bistro 1397 on Mardi Gras, added to the festivities as he cut the ribbon on the bistro’s second location on Sunday night.

On Celebration, Bistro 1397 is located in The Gateway zone, which also houses a new travel-inspired bar concept, Latitudes.

Lagasse’s newest location features favorite menu items from his first restaurant at sea, but adds more international offerings to match The Gateway zone’s theming.

PortMiami’s Terminal F ribbon-cutting ceremony

In conjunction with Carnival Celebration‘s arrival, the cruise line’s newly redesigned and expanded Terminal F opened its doors with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, another part of Sunday’s festivities.

Christine Duffy was joined by Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Miami-Dade County Commissioners, and Carnival Corporation CEO Josh Weinstein.

Prior to the ribbon cutting, Duffy announced a $25,000 donation from Carnival to the Miami Veterans Affairs Healthcare System. The donation will support medical and health services to more than six thousand female veterans in Miami-Dade.

The terminal’s new open design allows for exceptional efficiency and flexibility to accommodate Carnival’s newest Excel class of ships. The terminal also maximizes technology so guests can quickly move through the embarkation process and enjoy a more seamless boarding experience.

All three levels of the new terminal feature digital media experiences, including an immersive tunnel on level two that cruise ship guests will pass through.

With the addition of Carnival Celebration at Terminal F, five of Carnival’s 24-ship fleet are now homeported in Miami. According to a press release, Carnival now expects to embark more than 20,000 guests per week from PortMiami.

Are you excited that Cassidy Gifford is godmother of Carnival Celebration? Do you have any plans to sail on this new Carnival ship? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Carrie Ann Karstunen