These range from activating the glass-topped Lido Deck with a sail-away party and after-dinner Italian Street Party with music, dancing, finger foods and maybe even a spaghetti-eating contest, to a Captain’s Venetian Toast in the atrium where cast members don Venetian costumes and passengers wear masks.
There will be a new Italian restaurant and a new category of Terazza staterooms aft, facing a deck that will have an exclusive sail-away event. Guy Fieri is even developing a pepperoni pizza burger for Guy's Burger Joint.
Year-round from New York
Carnival Venezia, to cruise year-round from New York starting in June, and Carnival Firenze, to operate from Long Beach, California, in 2024, are new 135,500gt ships that Costa Cruises designed with heavy Italian theming for the Chinese market. But with China still closed to cruising, Carnival is getting the pair.
They will be 'Costa ships on the outside and Italian ships on the inside but of course with Carnival crew and, more importantly, Carnival fun with an Italian flair,' Carnival President Christine Duffy said today.
'They'll be very much like the Vista class in terms of the general arrangement so if you know your way around Carnival Vista, Horizon or Panorama, you'll feel right at home here but with a very different look and feel, and a unique Italian style,' added Carnival's Glenn Aprile, director of newbuild product development.
Duffy and Aprile shared a live virtual preview of Carnival Venezia's features from the Italian restaurant Il Mulano in New York's Greenwich Village, where the maitre d' and many staff are former cruise ship crew.
Embarking in Piazza San Marco
When passengers embark, they'll be surrounded by Italian architectural design inside the atrium, modeled after Piazza San Marco in Venice, down to the columns topped with the lion of Venice beneath a painted sky. And look for feathers on the bar, recalling the pigeons of Venice (and New York City, Duffy quipped).
The ship also features an elegant theater with red, tufted velvet seats, Teatro Rosso, the stage for Playlist Productions including the new 'Color My World' from Carnival Celebration. And the Lido Deck has a retractable glass roof so the pool can be used when sailing from New York in the winter.
On the top deck, Carnival Venezia will have an adults-only Serenity retreat, featuring lounging furniture, sun beds and two whirlpools plus a new Spritz Bar for aperol or Campari spritzes.
New Terrazza staterooms with special perks
Carnival is also introducing a new concept, Terrazza staterooms, which are similar to the Havana staterooms on other ships. Located on decks 5-9 aft, these 77 accommodations include interior, balconies (many with aft-facing views) and the special Terrazza cabanas sporting private patios with loungers, a hammock and direct lanai access to Terrazza Carnevale.
Passengers get exclusive access to Carnevale Lounge in the morning with complimentary continental breakfast, along with Terrazza-branded robes and towels, a special sea days burnch and an exclusive sail-away event at Terrazza Carnevale with live music.
Duffy said this would be a bucket-list experience — sailing from New York with the fabulous Manhattan skyline and Verrazzano Narrows Bridge views: 'That's where I want to stay.'
Passengers will find signature Carnival restaurants and bars on Venezia, including the steak house Fahrenheit 555, Bonsai Sushi & Teppanyaki and the Chef’s Table, along with Lido Marketplace, Seafood Shack, Pizzeria del Capitano, Piano Bar 88 and Heroes Tribute Lounge.
Italian menu items and new specialty restaurant
In addition, many Carnival mainstays will offer special Italian menu items. For example, gelato will join the coffee and snack options at Java Blue Café.
In addition, La Strada Grill, open for breakfast and lunch, will serve grilled Italian street food and sandwiches, while Tomodoro is a new Mexitalian fusion spot with Italian meatballs and Sicilian chicken alongside tacos and burritos.
The main dining rooms, Canal Grande and Marco Polo, are dripping with elegant Italian sculptures and architectural designs, including a real-life Venetian gondola in one. Special Italian dishes will be featured, including favorites from Carnival’s Cucina del Capitano restaurant.
In addition, a new Italian dining concept is being created, with more details to be shared soon.
Expertly crafted cocktails feature at Amari, similar to the Alchemy bars across the Carnival fleet, but here with a variety of Italian liqueurs and bitters prepared in an interactive experience. Think of drinks like negroni, Americano, Amalfi martini and sbagliato. Select Alchemy cocktails also will be served.
At Frizzante, a variety of bubbly drinks, from prosecco to spritzes and bellinis, will be served along with Italian beer, Italian coffee and biscotti.
At the Carnevale Bar & Lounge, images of the masquerades at the annual Carnival in Venice will be projected on LED screens in a venue with live music, fine Italian wines and classic cocktails.
Inspired by the famous Venetian canals, the Gondola Lounge features a large stage with a dance floor and live entertainment. This lounge opens to the outside for a stroll around the lanai.
Rococó will transform from a serious, baroque spot to a cheeky bar serving frozen drinks, from colorful layered creations with Italian flavors such as limoncello and bellini to margaritas, daiquiris and piña coladas.
Speaking of drinks, Duffy and Aprile toasted the new ship with Aperol spritzes at Il Mulano.