Carnival Panorama named in star-studded affair

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Carnival Panorama Capt. Carlo Queirolo with the ship's godmother, Vanna White.
Carnival Panorama Capt. Carlo Queirolo with the ship's godmother, Vanna White.

The Carnival Panorama, Carnival Cruise Line's first new ship to be based on the West Coast in 20 years, was named by "Wheel of Fortune" hostess Vanna White in Long Beach, Calif. 

In a nod to the popular game show she has co-hosted for 37 years, White turned a series of letters spelling out PANORAMA that triggered the release of a bottle of champagne to officially christen the ship.

Carnival also held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Carnival Kitchen, its first onboard culinary center, which offers interactive cooking, baking and decorating demonstrations. 

Carnival president Christine Duffy flanked by chefs Guy Fieri (left) and Rudi Sodamin.
Carnival president Christine Duffy flanked by chefs Guy Fieri (left) and Rudi Sodamin.

Carnival's "Culinary All Stars" team was in attendance, including Guy Fieri, whose Burger Joint and Smokehouse Brewhouse are on the Panorama, and Emeril Lagasse and Rudi Sodamin, who each will have restaurants -- Emeril's Bistro 1396 and Rudi's Seagrill -- on the Mardi Gras, a ship entering service next August.

Other highlights: a performance by the University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band, an appearance by the Carnival AirShip blimp, and a fireworks display.

Following an inaugural three-day preview cruise, the Panorama will begin sailing seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises from Long Beach year-round, departing every Saturday. The cruises will visit Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.

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