Carnival Cruise Lines’ newly transformed 3006-passenger Carnival Sunshine was scheduled to depart this afternoon on its inaugural voyage from New Orleans following a 75-day, $155 million renovation.
Earlier this year the ship underwent an extensive retrofit in Italy which focussed on cosmetic enhancements, guest amenities, dining and new staterooms, as well as the implementation of new enhancements identified through a fleetwide operational review in wake of the Carnival Triumph incident in the Gulf of Mexico in February. As part of the review, the Carnival Sunshine, chosen because it was already in dry dock for the retrofit, received improvements aimed at enhancing operating redundancies, the scope of hotel services that can run on emergency power, and improve each ship’s fire prevention, detection and suppression systems.
The vessel, formerly Carnival Destiny, was officially renamed during a private ceremony on Sunday by godmother Lin Arison, a noted philanthropist, author and wife of the late Ted Arison, founder of Carnival Cruise Lines.
“The transformation of Carnival Sunshine is unlike anything that’s ever been done before and the results are simply extraordinary, with a variety of truly fabulous features and unique innovations for our guests to enjoy,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO. “We are delighted that Carnival Sunshine will make its inaugural U.S. sailing from the Port of New Orleans, one of our most popular homeports and a valued business partner for the past 20 years.”
Carnival Sunshine will be the largest Carnival Cruise Lines ship ever to be homeported in New Orleans and will operate a series of seven-day cruises to popular Caribbean destinations through April.
“Cruising is big business at the Port of New Orleans and Carnival’s commitment of this fabulously transformed ship is evidence of that,” said Gary LaGrange, Port of New Orleans’ president and CEO. “Carnival is a wonderful partner of the Port, the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana and has been for more than two decades. Carnival has consistently increased its presence here and we will continue to work closely with them to expand in the future.”