Costa Firenze has set sail on her final voyage with Costa Cruises before the ship will be officially retired from the line, extensively refurbished, and rebranded to join Carnival Cruise Line as Carnival Firenze.
The final Costa Firenze cruise is a Mediterranean sailing that will ultimately end in Savona, Italy on January 21, 2024, before the ship enters dry dock in preparation for her Fun Ship transformation.
Costa Firenze has welcomed guests for her final 10-night Mediterranean sailing, having embarked guests in Valencia, Spain for a trip that will include visits to Portugal, the Canary Islands, and Spain before ending in Barcelona on January 19. A special 1-night cruise will embark in Marseille, France on January 20 and end in Savona, Italy on January 21.
At that time, the ship will officially end her service life with Costa Cruises, and instead will be transformed into the “Costa by Carnival” concept and renamed Carnival Firenze.
This final sailing is sure to a be a celebratory yet sad occasion as crew members and guests alike enjoy what makes Costa Firenze a unique and memorable ship. Undoubtedly, there will be special events and activities onboard to commemorate the ship as she finishes this chapter in her service life.
The 135,136-gross-ton, Vista-class Costa Firenze joined Costa Cruises in late 2020 and first set sail in July 2021, and so has had a relatively short lifespan with the Italian cruise line.
Both Costa Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line are under the same parent company, Carnival Corporation & plc.
Now, the vessel will undergo an extensive refit and revitalization to bring her spaces and atmosphere more in sync with Carnival Cruise Line, though her Italian nature will be preserved. The transfer of the ship was first announced in June 2022, at the same time it was announced that her sister ship Costa Venezia would become Carnival Venezia – which occurred in May 2023.
Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald has even shared hints of what’s to come for the new Carnival Firenze, including the installation of the replica David statue on the ship. The statue was formerly aboard Carnival Pride in the David’s steakhouse, but when that venue was rebranded in May 2023, the statue was removed.
“Now, take a look at the photo and the Christmas Tree because when the ship becomes Carnival Firenze there will be something else standing where that tree is now. It’s an old friend from another ship. Can you guess what it is that will have pride of place there?” Heald asked when showing off holiday sailing photos aboard Costa Firenze.
While Carnival Cruise Line has not released a great number of details about Carnival Firenze‘s transformation – undoubtedly, some details will be revealed in the weeks before her debut – some public spaces will be rebranded with Carnival favorites such as the ever popular Guy’s Burger Joint, Bonsai Teppanyaki, the Serenity Adults-Only Retreat, and the WaterWorks aquapark.
The ship will also be receiving the new blue-and-gold livery also worn by Costa Venezia that matches the style of the red-white-and-blue hull livery that debuted with Mardi Gras and has since been rolled out throughout the Carnival fleet.
A range of regular maintenance updates such as flooring refreshes, painting, deck repair, lighting upgrades, and other typical dry dock work will also be part of the three months the ship will be out of service.
Once refit and ready to welcome guests again, Carnival Firenze will be welcomed into the Carnival Cruise Line fleet with various ceremonies, such as changing her national registry and an official renaming.
On April 25, 2024, the ship will welcome her first guests under the Carnival brand from her new homeport in Long Beach, California – an earlier-than-originally-planned inaugural sailing that has been controversial for some guests.
Carnival Firenze will then offer Baja Mexico and Mexican Riviera sailings ranging from 3-7 nights, visiting ports such as Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, Cabo San Lucas, Ensenada, and Catalina, depending on the sailing date and cruise length.
The ship is scheduled to be based year-round from Long Beach at least through April 2026. Itineraries past that date have not yet been released.
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