WHY IT RATES: The new-look ship will unveil a $200 million renovation this spring.—Patrick Clarke, TravelPulse Senior Writer
Carnival Cruise Line has announced the senior leadership team for the totally transformed Carnival Radiance which is set to debut in Europe on April 29, 2020, following an extensive $200 million refurbishment in Cadiz, Spain.
Currently sailing as Carnival Victory, the ship will depart Miami March 2 for a 38-day dry dock and emerge as Carnival Radiance featuring all of the line’s culinary, beverage and entertainment innovations added as part of the line’s $2 billion fleetwide ship enhancement program.
Among Carnival Radiance’s many offerings will be the first-ever Big Chicken at sea restaurant created by the line’s Chief Fun Officer, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal.
Carnival Radiance’s senior leadership team comprises some of the most experienced mariners in cruising:
—Captain Stefano Bonica/Captain Arik Mazzi: Captain Bonica will command the ship during dry dock while Captain Mazzi will take over once the vessel begins service in the U.S. Bonica attended Istituto Tecnico Nautico Caio Duilio in Messina and joined Carnival as a third officer in 2000. He was named captain in 2017 and has served on virtually every ship in the fleet during his two decades with the company.
Hailing from La Spezia, Italy, Mazzi served in the Italian Navy and joined Carnival Cruise Line as a deck cadet in 2000. During his 20 years with the company, he has served on a number of ships in the fleet, most recently as captain of Carnival Fantasy, Ecstasy and Victory.
—Chief Engineer Giovanni Lombardo: A 25-year Carnival veteran, Lombardo followed in his footsteps of his father, also a chief engineer with the company, when he joined Carnival as a third engineer aboard Carnival Ecstasy. After working on a number of vessels across the fleet, he was named chief engineer in 2007 and has served in this capacity primarily aboard the line’s Destiny-class ships.
—Hotel Director Caroline Bourke: The Cork, Ireland, native and 16-year company veteran was part of the inaugural team that introduced Carnival Radiance’s sister ship, Carnival Sunrise, last year. Bourke joined Carnival Cruise Line in 2004 and was promoted to guest services manager in 2009 before being named hotel director in 2016. Her hospitality career began at the Hayfield Manor Hotel after earning her degree from the Cork Institute of Technology in Ireland.
These experienced mariners will lead a team of more than 1,000 crew members who will travel to Cadiz to prepare Carnival Radiance for her inaugural voyage – a 10-day sailing from Barcelona April 29, kicking off a schedule of nine- and 12-day Mediterranean cruises. The ship will then reposition to New York to offer four- to nine-day cruises to Bermuda, the Caribbean and eastern Canada, as well as five- to seven-day voyages from Norfolk.
In November, Carnival Radiance shifts to Port Canaveral for six- to eight-day Caribbean voyages through May 2021 after which it will move to Galveston, significantly expanding the line’s offerings from that port.
New offerings added to Carnival Radiance during the bow-to-stern makeover will include Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse created by Food Network star Guy Fieri, Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, Bonsai Sushi, and the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub. All of the ship’s spaces will be transformed including the water park, youth facilities, retail shops, Cloud 9 Spa and a new Liquid Lounge home to Carnival’s award-winning Playlist Productions shows.
SOURCE: Carnival Cruise Line press release.
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