Carnival Cruise Line names final Vista-class ship

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Carnival Cruise Line has officially named Carnival Panorama in Long Beach, California, where the 4,008-passenger ship will be based.

No cruise line has deployed a new ship on the US west coast for 25 years, Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy told more than 2,000 guests at last night’s ceremony onboard.

Carnival Corporation chairman Micky Arison, Arnold Donald, the corporation’s chief executive; and Princess Cruises’ president Jan Swartz were just some of the leading industry figures in attendance for the naming of the line’s final Vista-class ship.

Chefs Guy Fieri, Emeril Lagasse and Rudi Sodamin were all given a rousing reception by the crowd on the ship’s lido deck.

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Duffy said: “This is the first new ship that will homeport here year-round for 25 years. We are very happy to homeport [Carnival Panorama] here in Long Beach alongside Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Imagination.”

Carnival Panorama has several new features including cooking school Carnival Kitchen, trampoline park Sky Zone and military veterans venue Heroes Tribute Bar.

Duffy said Heroes Tribute Bar on deck five was the feature which had “the most meaning”.

“At Carnival Cruise Line, we look to the godmother to personify the Carnival mission,” added Duffy, who introduced Carnival Panorama’s godmother Vanna White.

TV host White, who has starred in US game show Wheel of Fortune for 37 years, officially named the ship by pressing a button which smashed a bottle against the ship’s hull.

She said: “This naming of a brand-new ship is a once in a lifetime opportunity and one that I will never forget.

“Thank you, Carnival Cruise Line, for allowing me to serve as the ship’s godmother. I just know that the ship will provide endless fun for families for years to come.”

Carnival Panorama is operating six, seven and eight-day Mexican Riviera cruises from Long Beach year-round.

Arison on Carnival Corp.’s post-Concordia changes

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There was some interesting back-and-forth last week in federal court between Carnival Corp. chairman Micky Arison and U.S. District Court Judge Patricia Seitz that started out predictably but veered into unexpected territory.

Arison had been summoned to a status conference in the ongoing probation proceedings that Carnival is involved in as a result of Princess Cruises pleading guilty to environmental crimes in 2016.

Seitz was there to hold Carnival’s feet to the fire, in a bid to stop continuing violations of environmental laws that have put her in a position of having to harangue Carnival about the problems.

Then she took a less confrontational tack.

“What do you love about being in your business, Mr Arison?”

Arison, one of the few people in a room full of lawyers and consultants who have actually worked on a cruise ship, recounted his 50-year career at Carnival, which included 32 years as its CEO.

“I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished,” Arison said. “Obviously we wouldn’t be here if we were perfect.”

Seitz then expressed her admiration for how Carnival reformed some of its processes after the sinking of the Costa Concordia on Jan. 13, 2012.

“That was the worst day of my life,” Arison admitted in a hoarse voice.

Arison told Seitz that the Concordia illustrates some of the unique dilemmas in the cruise business that are not always understood by those outside the industry. As an example, he said, Carnival Corp. trains its bridge officers to work as a team. But the Italian Coast Guard, which trains Carnival’s Italian officer corps, had a different approach.

That meant that creating a uniform safety culture across Carnival’s 10 brands was hard to achieve.

“The Italian rules at that time were archaic,” Arison said. “The captain was the master. Other team members [on the bridge] could not question the captain.” Arison said Carnival lobbied hard with the Italian government to change the rules, but only after the Concordia accident were the changes made.

Seitz also had praise for the Arison Maritime Center, which Carnival opened in 2016 in Almere, the Netherlands. There, the company trains 6,500 bridge and engineering officers annually, in state-of-the-art simulators. That also gives the company a roadmap for change, she said.

Arison said that his family — and himself personally — was proud of having created the training centre. “We never put our name on a building in Miami,” he added, despite plenty of offers. “That was one building we were proud to put our name on.”

Carnival and Arison’s Pledge $2 Million for Hurricane Relief

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Carnival Corporation today announced that the corporation’s philanthropic arm, Carnival Foundation, and its nine global cruise line brands together with the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation have pledged to donate $2 million in funding and in-kind support for relief efforts in The Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian, according to a press release.

Carnival Foundation and the company’s nine cruise line brands are pledging a total of $1 million in monetary and in-kind donations in support of immediate relief and recovery efforts in The Bahamas.

Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison and his wife Madeleine are matching the corporation’s commitment with a $1 million donation from the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation.

“We are fully committed to supporting the critical relief and recovery efforts already underway for The Bahamas, and we are working closely with officials and affected communities to identify the needs for support and assistance,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “Our company has always been closely tied to The Bahamas with a rich history spanning many years, so it’s heartbreaking to see the impact of Hurricane Dorian, and our thoughts and prayers are with the people of The Bahamas. We have long admired the unyielding spirit of the Bahamian people and have no doubt they will overcome, rebuild and recover, and we look forward to supporting their efforts.”

A portion of the combined pledge will immediately go to support efforts being managed by Direct Relief, an international humanitarian organization that provides critical medications and supplies during emergency situations. Direct Relief is currently assembling and delivering requested medical aid and additional emergency medical caches with first-aid supplies to the affected areas in The Bahamas.

In addition, Carnival Corporation and its brands are working together with local officials, community leaders and key relief and recovery organizations to identify the most timely and urgent relief needs and immediate allocations for additional funds and support.

Separately, the company today announced an effort to collect and deliver food and supplies donated in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties for the people of The Bahamas, through a partnership with Tropical Shipping and The Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). The effort, funded by Carnival Corporation and Tropical Shipping, will work in partnership with NEMA to provide immediate assistance to the people of the Bahamas where it is most needed.