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PortMiami festivities usher in Carnival Celebration and Terminal F

Article-PortMiami festivities usher in Carnival Celebration and Terminal F

Godmother Cassidy Gifford, left, names Carnival Celebration as Carnival President Christine Duffy looks on
Carnival Celebration's christening by actress Cassidy Gifford Sunday evening capped Carnival Cruise Line's 50th anniversary year.

Gifford was joined by her mother Kathie Lee Gifford, who served as the godmother for Carnival's 1987-built Celebration. Along with an impromptu performance by Kathie Lee, who sang the memorable tune to the commercials that helped popularize the Carnival brand in the 1980s, attendees were treated to a preview of the new ship's entertainment, including an aerialist performance.

Capt. Vincenzo Alcaras and Carnival President Christine Duffy accompanied the godmother as she broke the ceremonial Champagne.

'Celebrate!' with Kool & The Gang

A concert by Kool & The Gang capped the night and included their dance classic 'Celebrate!'

Duffy called it the 'perfect culmination' of the 50th anniversary year and said Carnival Celebration 'builds on the success of our incredible Mardi Gras and the many innovations we introduced with our Excel class, including a top-deck roller-coaster,' along with new features.

She spoke before an audience in the ship's three-deck-high atrium, Celebration Central.

Emeril Lagasse opens Emeril's Bistro 1397

Also on Sunday evening, celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse cut a ribbon to open his second restaurant at sea, Emeril's Bistro 1397, inside Carnival Celebration's The Gateway, a new zone.

Lagasse's latest location builds on guest-favorite menu items from his restaurant on Mardi Gras and adds more international offerings to match The Gateway's travel theme.

The cuisines complement the visuals on 12 virtual 'windows' surrounding the space, The Gateway also features a 100-foot LED ceiling, sound effects and theatrical lighting that combine to create an ever-changing environment inside a two-deck-high promenade.

The Gateway also includes a new travel-inspired bar concept, Latitudes, which evokes a classic airport or train station with a modern take on a vintage departures board. Together, Latitudes and Emeril's Bistro serve international dishes that change to correspond with the zone's nightly themes and featured cultures.

820 Biscayne

Another new part of Carnival Celebration is the Miami-themed zone 820 Biscayne, named after Carnival's first headquarters address and designed as a tribute to Miami's cultural vibe and its dining and beverage offerings.

Terminal F opening

The newly redesigned and expanded Terminal F opened its doors in conjunction with Carnival Celebration as the first LNG-powered cruise ship based at PortMiami.

At a ribbon-cutting Duffy was joined by Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, county ommissioners and Carnival Corp. & plc CEO Josh Weinstein.

Duffy announced a $25,000 donation to the Miami Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in honor of the Miami-Dade leadership. The donation will support medical and health services to more than 6,000 women veterans in the county.

The terminal's new open design provides greater efficiency and flexibility to accommodate Carnival's newest class of ships. The facility also maximizes technology to quickly move travelers through embarkation.

Digital media experiences are built into all three levels of Terminal F, including an immersive tunnel cruisers pass through on level two. The digital screens showcase images of the ship, destinations, underwater seascapes and the nighttime sky.

Alternating eastern/western Caribbean cruises

Today Carnival Celebration is set to carry its first passengers from PortMiami on a six-day Thanksgiving cruise to Grand Turk, Amber Cove and Nassau. On Nov. 27, the ship will begin a rotation of weekly eastern and western Caribbean sailings departing Sundays to such destinations as the Dominican Republic, St. Thomas, Cozumel and Costa Maya.

Five Fun Ships homeport at Miami

Adding Carnival Celebration at Terminal F, five of Carnival's 24 ships now homeport in Miami. Going forward, the line expects to embark more than 20,000 cruisers per week from there.

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