Calgary Herald - - TRAVEL - AARON SAUN­DERS

Car­ni­val Cruise Line is do­ing so many ex­cit­ing things th­ese days I can barely keep up.

This time, the pop­u­lar Fun Ship line has an­nounced it will be reimag­in­ing its 2,764-guest Car­ni­val Vic­tory. Orig­i­nally launched in 2000, Car­ni­val Vic­tory will be re­fit­ted to such a de­gree that it will es­sen­tially be a new ship.

Be­cause of that, Car­ni­val thought a new name would be in or­der: Car­ni­val Ra­di­ance.

“Car­ni­val Ra­di­ance will of­fer un­prece­dented op­por­tu­ni­ties for our guests to ‘choose fun’ across our en­tire fleet and en­joy the widest va­ri­ety of culi­nary, bev­er­age and en­ter­tain­ment op­tions at sea,” said Chris­tine Duffy, pres­i­dent of Car­ni­val Cruise Line.

“This in­vest­ment in Car­ni­val Ra­di­ance and our many other re­fur­bish­ment projects re­flect our con­tin­ued com­mit­ment to pro­vid­ing our guests with fun, high-qual­ity va­ca­tion ex­pe­ri­ences across the Car­ni­val fleet re­gard­less of what ship they’re sail­ing on,” she added.

The US$200-mil­lion re­fit will be sim­i­lar to the one Car­ni­val Destiny un­der­went be­fore be­ing trans­formed into Car­ni­val Sun­shine in 2013 and comes hot on the heels of plans to turn Car­ni­val Tri­umph into Car­ni­val Sun­rise next year. It is all part of an eight-year, US$2-bil­lion fleet re­newal and mod­ern­iza­tion pro­gram that Car­ni­val states is the largest in the in­dus­try.

As for Car­ni­val Vic­tory, it will en­ter dry dock in Cadiz, Spain, on March 18, 2020 and will emerge as Car­ni­val Ra­di­ance on April 26 of that year.

Itin­er­ar­ies for the re­branded Car­ni­val Ra­di­ance will be an­nounced and open for sale in mid-No­vem­ber of this year, build­ing the an­tic­i­pa­tion of a Fun Ship favourite that is just months away from of­fer­ing an en­tirely new cruis­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

So what can cruis­ers ex­pect of the new Car­ni­val Ra­di­ance? More of the fun, new and cool fea­tures de­but­ing aboard new ships like this year’s Car­ni­val Hori­zon, and next year’s Car­ni­val Panorama.

This will see Car­ni­val Ra­di­ance’s food and bev­er­age op­tions com­pletely re­vamped to in­clude all the lat­est of­fer­ings, from the Ital­ian-themed Cucina del Cap­i­tano to the clas­sic Fahren­heit 555 Steak­house, with its el­e­gant din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence cen­tred on prime cuts of steak and sump­tu­ous seafood.

Other pop­u­lar venues, like the in­ti­mate Chef ’s Ta­ble din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and the all-new ship­board smoke­house — Guy’s Pig & An­chor Bar-B-Que that de­buted aboard Car­ni­val Hori­zon — will bring Car­ni­val’s new­est in­no­va­tions to yet an­other ship.

Guests will also find re­vamped bars and lounges, like the Pi­ano Bar 88 and the all-new Lime­light and Liq­uid Lounges, per­fect for drinks and evening en­ter­tain­ment op­tions.

The main rea­son to be ex­cited about this re­fit, though, is be­cause it takes an older and well-loved ship and gives it a new lease on life.

Car­ni­val has one of cruis­ing ’s most di­verse fleets, and there re­ally is a ship for ev­ery­one, from its smaller and more in­ti­mate Fan­tasy Class that of­fers a glimpse of how cruis­ing “used to be,” to the newer and larger Car­ni­val Vista and its new sis­ter, Car­ni­val Hori­zon.

I’m ex­cited be­cause I’m what you might call a “Car­ni­val Con­vert.” I went from hav­ing never sailed with Car­ni­val for years to the point where I love it, and fre­quently take a Car­ni­val cruise as my own per­sonal va­ca­tion at sea. Why, you ask? Value: Car­ni­val gives you a lot for a very de­cent price. Ship­board ser­vice is univer­sally ex­cel­lent, with some of the best crews at sea. Food is very good. Ac­com­mo­da­tions are larger than aver­age and are quite com­fort­able, and the ships are well-de­signed and of­fer some­thing for ev­ery­one.

Lastly, I love Car­ni­val be­cause it’s fun. In its trans­for­ma­tion from Car­ni­val Vic­tory, Car­ni­val Ra­di­ance is set to en­hance that fun.

Happy cruis­ing. Visit port­sand­, spon­sored by Ex­pe­dia CruiseShipCen­ters, 1-800-707-7327, www.cruiseshipcen­, for daily up­dates on the lat­est cruise news, best deals and be­hind-the-scenes sto­ries from the in­dus­try. You can also sign up for an email news­let­ter on the site for even more cruise in­for­ma­tion. Aaron Saun­ders may be con­tacted di­rectly at port­sand­[email protected]



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