Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Sunrise just celebrated its official ceremony following a $200 million dry dock. Kelly Arison, daughter of Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison and his wife Madeline, served as the refreshed and rebranded ship’s godmother at the ceremony, which took place at Manhattan Cruise Terminal in New York City.
Carnival notes that Kelly Arison's mother, Madeline, also served as godmother to the ship when it first entered service in 1999, and that her grandmother, Lin Arison, was godmother to Carnival Sunrise’s sibling vessel, Carnival Sunshine, in 2013.
The cruise line revamped the Carnival Sunrise as part of a $2 billion fleetwide ship update program, adding all of the line’s new branded food, beverage and entertainment offerings: Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, in collaboration with Food Network star Guy Fieri; The Chef’s Table fine dining experience; cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar; a new WaterWorks aqua park; the SportSquare recreation area; and a Serenity adults-only retreat, among many others.
During the Carnival Sunrise naming ceremony Arison “uncorked” a custom-made, four-foot-high champagne bottle sculpture designed by Miami-based artist Romero Britto in his signature vibrant colors. Smaller versions of the bottle will be sold onboard with proceeds benefiting the Ehlers-Danlos Society (EDS), an organization dedicated to serving those with joint hypermobility spectrum disorders, of which Arison is a strong advocate. Carnival also made a donation to the organization as part of the naming festivities.
Kathie Lee Gifford, who has also served as godmother for two Carnival ships, addressed the crowd during the event. Also included were a video featuring players from the Miami Heat, of which Micky Arison is a managing general partner. In the video, Dwyane Wade and Alonzo Mourning, as well as former Miami Heat player and Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal, congratulated Arison.
Carnival Sunrise will spend the summer in New York operating four- to 14-day voyages before repositioning to Fort Lauderdale for a winter schedule of Caribbean and Bahamian cruises beginning in October. Carnival Sunrise then heads back to New York for another season of cruises beginning in spring 2020.