Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, the rebranded and revitalized Carnival Venezia, has recently made her inaugural visits to two top Southern Caribbean destinations – Barbados and Curaçao.

Each occasion was marked with a welcoming ceremony, a time-honored tradition when a ship visits a port for the first time, intended to bring good wishes to all visitors and mariners.

Carnival Venezia is currently sailing her first Southern Caribbean itinerary since her transformation from Costa Venezia. The “new” ship – transformed earlier this year from Costa Venezia – is calling on popular ports for the first time with her new identity, and being welcomed at each tropical port.

The ship is currently sailing a 15-night Southern Caribbean cruise roundtrip from New York, having departed on Friday, September 29, 2023. The first port of call was Grand Turk on October 2, followed by Oranjestad, Aruba on October 4.

The inaugural call to Willemstad, Curaçao was made on Thursday, October 5, 2023, when Carnival Venezia docked at the Ernest Jackie Voges pier and was welcomed by a ceremony organized by Curaçao Ports Authority (CPA) and the shipping agent Maduro Shipping.

Carnival Venezia Docked in Curacao (Photo Credit: Curaçao Ports Authority)

The ship’s master, Captain Crescenzo Palomba, was given a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion, which has a detailed engraving of the vessel arriving at the port.

Other mementos were presented by various local authorities welcoming the ship, and short speeches noted just how vital the cruise industry is for the island nation.

Carnival Venezia remained in Curaçao from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., giving the 3,899 guests onboard the Vista-class ship plenty of time to explore the amazing destination.

The next inaugural call of the sailing followed a day at sea, when Carnival Venezia reached Bridgetown, Barbados on Saturday, October 7, 2023. Once again the ship was welcomed by a local delegation, led by Minister of Tourism & International Business the Honorable Ian Gooding-Edghill, along with various port and tourism representatives.

This inaugural call was marked with the captain accepting a plaque with a map of the island and noting the day of this first visit.

Not only was Carnival Venezia‘s October 7 visit the first time the ship has visited Barbados, but that visit has the distinction of being the first official ship visit of the winter 2023-2024 sailing season for the island nation. Seabourn Cruises’ Seabourn Pursuit and TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff 4 are also scheduled for visits this month as the season begins.

Carnival Venezia Docked in Barbados (Photo Credit: Barbados Port Inc)

Throughout the winter months, vessels from P&O Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Princess Cruises, Marella Cruises, AIDA Cruises, Cunard Line, and more are scheduled to visit Barbados before the season winds down in the spring. An impressive 18 inaugural calls by different cruise lines and vessels are scheduled for this sailing season.

“We are ecstatic to welcome cruisers back to Barbados, whether they’ve visited us before or are experiencing our destination for the very first time,” said Tia Broomes, senior business development manager at Cruise Barbados.

“The response we continue to see from our cruise line partners and interest in Barbados demonstrates our attractiveness as a cruise destination. We are well-prepared for this cruise season and eager to share the rich tapestry of Barbadian culture, delectable cuisine, lively traditions and serene beaches with visitors. This season promises to be one of our most memorable yet.”

Carnival Venezia will be back on Friday, November 3, 2023 with additional calls scheduled in March 2024 and November 2024. For now, the 133,500-gross-ton vessel has continued on its way, with port visits to St. Lucia, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas wrapping up the itinerary before returning to New York on Saturday, October 14.

No other Carnival Cruise Line ships will be visiting Bridgetown until April 2024, when Carnival Pride visits as part of a 14-night Southern Caribbean repositioning cruise from Tampa, Florida to Baltimore, Maryland.

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