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'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.