Carnival Cruise Line is looking pretty good for 50, so everybody is invited to toast the line on board new ship Carnival Celebration when it arrives to Miami this fall in a unique venue called the Golden Jubilee.
The bar and lounge will be a centerpiece feature of a still secretive neighborhood, the details of which have not been announced.
It’s the second ship in the new largest class for the line that was founded in 1972, a sister ship to Mardi Gras that began sailing out of Port Canaveral last summer. Just like Mardi Gras, the ship will feature six neighborhoods, similar to how Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class ships are divvied up.
The line, though, has only announced the names of five of the six: One, 820 Biscayne, pays deference to Miami and the original address of the Carnival headquarters when the line began business.
This bar continues the self-congratulatory presence on board.
“The Golden Jubilee is the ultimate nod to our 50th Birthday — a nostalgic but timeless lounge where our guests can re-live and connect with Carnival’s yesteryears while enjoying a glamorous and elegant space that embraces our current Carnival style,” said Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy in a press release.
The bar and lounge located on Deck 6 will take the place of The Brass Magnolia found on Mardi Gras. The history of the cruise line will be present in artwork, memorabilia and original pieces from Carnival’s earlier vessels.
That includes a centerpiece brass chandelier and walls adorned with blueprint reproductions of the line’s evolution of ships over the years; chairs re-created from TSS Carnivale’s Riverboat Lounge; cocktail tables from Carnival Fascination’s Hollywood Boulevard complete with signed caricature sketches by Al Hirschfeld; the original etched glass, nickel and mahogany partition wall from TSS Mardi Gras’ casino; and original decorative etchings of musical instruments and the polished brass and glass nightclub doors from TSS Carnivale.
Also in the venue will be an original bronze statue of Carnival founder Ted Arison and Finnish shipbuilder Martin Saarikangas that were given as a gift from the Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Helsinki, Finland to the cruise line 1993 when it took possession of Carnival Sensation.
More features pay homage to other ships’ moments over the years such as Carnival Inspiration’s first transit of the Panama Canal.
And the design will include throwbacks such as round windows similar to portholes on Carnival’s original ships.
The menu itself will bring back cocktails of yore. Think Harvey Wallbangers and Tom Collins, although updated for half a century later with premium ingredients and elevated presentations.
The history lesson will spill out into the adjacent promenade as well.
That includes a porthole gallery installation showing the evolution of what the line calls its Fun Ships. The decorative viewing windows feature three-dimensional dioramas, one for each decade of the line’s history, and one for the future.
Cruisers will also find an original vintage engine telegraph from 1955 installed on TSS Carnivale; coins for each of the line’s past and present ships embedded into floor; a model of the new ship’s historic predecessor, TSS Carnivale and a 12-foot-long model of the new ship.
The line said it would reveal the name and more details about this final neighborhood closer to the inaugural sailing date from PortMiami on Nov. 21.
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It and the Mardi Gras share many of the same features including similar approaches to the atrium, called Celebration Central on the new ship. Both have the BOLT roller coaster as part of the top-deck are called The Ultimate Playground along with segments called Summer Landing and Lido.
The two ships, and a third coming in 2023 called Carnival Jubilee, are the largest in the fleet, coming in at 1,130 feet long, 180,800 gross tons and boasting a 5,282-passenger capacity based on double occupancy. The line has dubbed these ships its Excel class.
In comparison, TSS Carnivale came in at around 25,500 gross tons and was 640 feet long. It sailed with the line beginning in 1976, but was originally launched in 1955 as the Empress of Britain in a ceremony with Queen Elizabeth II. It then was sold in 1964 sailing for the Greek Line and renamed SS Queen Anna Maria before shifting to Carnival for an 18-year run with the line.
Carnival Celebration will become the 24th ship in the Carnival fleet. Like Mardi Gras, it’s powered by liquefied natural gas, and will be the first LNG-powered vessel to homeport in Miami. LNG fuel is a cleaner-burning fuel than the diesel most ships rely on.
Like Mardi Gras, it will also have its own WaterWorks aqua park, SportSquare area with mini-golf, ropes course and basketball court, Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse, Alchemy Bar, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, a two-level RedFrog Tiki Bar, Shaquille O’Neal’s Big Chicken restaurant, Guy’s Burger Joint, Seafood Shack, and BlueIguana Cantina among other spaces.
The ship will feature more than 20 stateroom categories including the family-friendly Family Harbor and adults-only Havana Cabana options.
Once in Miami, the ship will sail five-, six-, seven- and eight-night Caribbean itineraries.