Thursday, February 7, 2013

Carnival Destiny Sails into the Sunshine & Carnival Victory Makes a Splash in Miami

Carnival Destiny has departed on its final voyage from Miami—an 18-day trans-Atlantic crossing that ends in Venice, Italy, on Feb. 22 when the vessel will be in position for a $155 million renovation that will add a host of dining, bar, and entertainment innovations and spectacular outdoor spaces.

After a 49-day dry dock at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, the ship will emerge rebuilt and be renamed Carnival Sunshine. It then debuts with a series of Mediterranean cruises beginning with a 14-day voyage from Venice to Barcelona April 12-26, 2013. The ship will then operate a series of 18 nine- and 12-day Mediterranean cruises either round-trip from Barcelona or sailing between Barcelona and Venice. Following a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing departing Barcelona Nov. 1 and arriving New Orleans Nov. 17, Carnival Sunshine will operate a special 6-day Caribbean cruise departing Nov. 18 before launching year-round 7-day Caribbean service from the Big Easy Nov. 24, 2013.

Innovations added during the dry dock will include a stunning three-level Serenity adults-only retreat, a WaterWorks aqua park featuring a 334-foot-long water slide—the longest in the “Fun Ship” fleet—along with fun poolside watering holes RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar, and unique to Carnival Sunshine spaces such as Havana Bar, Ji Ji Asian Kitchen, ShakeSpot, JavaBlue Café, and more.

Carnival Destiny entered service in November 1996 as the world’s first 100,000-plus-ton cruise ship, introducing a wide variety of new features and facilities. Over the past 17 years, the original Destiny-class ship has played a pioneering role in the company’s history, operating voyages from Miami, San Juan, New York, Boston, Norfolk, Virginia, and other ports and carrying millions of satisfied vacationers. The ship is ready to make history again, undergoing an unprecedented makeover that will add all of the exciting elements that are part of Carnival’s “Fun Ship” 2.0 enhancement program.

With one ship heading toward its destiny, another—sister-ship Carnival Victory—has arrived at PortMiami to kick off its new year-round schedule of 4- and 5-day cruises that visit tropical ports throughout the Caribbean and Bahamas. Carnival Victory’s new Miami-based schedule features three distinctly different itineraries, providing cruisers with a variety of convenient and affordable cruise options departing from one of America’s top tourist destinations.

Four-day “long weekend” cruises departing Thursdays call at Key West, Florida, and Cozumel, Mexico; 5-day cruises departing Mondays include stops at Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands; the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay; and Nassau, The Bahamas; and five-day voyages departing Saturdays feature George Town, Grand Cayman; and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Each of these destinations offers a truly unique vacation experience, with miles of gorgeous white-sand beaches and an interesting array of shore excursion choices such as zip-lining, horseback riding, kayaking, and more.

Carnival Victory offers a variety of ways to have fun, from a 214-foot-long Twister water slide and fun supervised activities and spacious play areas for kids in three age groups to a 270-square-foot poolside LED screen showing nightly Dive-In Movies and a wide range of dancing and entertainment venues, including the Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez. Dining options range from two full-service restaurants with extensive menus and wine lists to a two-level casual eatery offering an array of delectable culinary choices, including a New York-style deli, an Asian specialty venue, a 24-hour pizzeria, pasta- and meat-carving stations, and a Taste of the Nations area offering a different international cuisine each day. Additionally, 60 percent of the ship’s 1,379 staterooms offer either an ocean view or private balcony.

Image Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines

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