Godmother Kelly Arison (centre left) christened Carnival Sunrise with the uncorking of a four-foot champagne bottle (Image: Carnival Cruise Line)
On 23 May, Carnival Cruise Line celebrated the christening of Carnival Sunrise after a US$200 million dry dock.
Godmother Kelly Arison, daughter of Carnival Corporation chairman Micky Arison, uncorked a four-foot champagne bottle sculpture designed by Miami-based artist Romero Britto to officially name the vessel during the ceremony in New York.
Kelly Arison continued the family tradition as godmother of the refurbished ship. Her mother, Madeline Arison, was godmother to the ship when she first entered service as Carnival Triumph in 1999, while her grandmother, Lin Arison, was godmother to Carnival Sunshine in 2013.
“To be a part of Carnival Sunrise’s official naming is more than I could have ever imagined and an experience I’ll never forget," said Kelly Arison. “The ship is absolutely beautiful and I’m so honoured to not only carry on my family’s legacy as godmother, but to also use this opportunity to raise awareness for a well-deserving organisation, the Ehlers-Danlos Society.”
In an effort to raise money for Arison’s chosen charity, smaller versions of Britto’s one-of-a-kind bottle will be sold onboard. Carnival also made a donation to the organisation as part of the naming festivities. The ceremony also included a speech with US TV host and long-time Carnival partner Kathie Lee Gifford.
Carnival Sunrise, which formerly sailed as Carnival Triumph, was converted as part of the company’s US$2 billion fleetwide refurbishment programme. She now features all Carnival's popular eateries and onboard innovations.
"The planning for this project began more than two years ago and involved 7,000 people who worked together to deliver this amazing transformation,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We are so excited to welcome Carnival Sunrise to the Carnival Cruise Line fleet – she is already winning over our guests and providing so many new ways to ‘Choose Fun’.
“It has also been such a special and unique opportunity to have Madeleine Arison, who served as godmother at the original delivery of this vessel 20 years ago, pass the honour of serving as godmother to her daughter Kelly during our official naming ceremony.”
Carnival Sunrise will now spend the summer in New York offering four- to 14-day voyages before repositioning to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for her winter itineraries to the Caribbean and The Bahamas in October.