Carnival to expand Destiny, rename ship Carnival Sunshine

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In the company’s largest single-ship revitalization, Carnival Cruise Lines early next year will invest $155 million to expand and refit the 2,642-passenger Carnival Destiny. The ship will be renamed the Carnival Sunshine following the renovation.

During a 49-day drydock beginning in February at a Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, two existing decks will be expanded and a partial deck added to the Destiny, which will enable the company to add 182 cabins, more than a dozen Fun Ship 2.0 dining and lounge areas, the adults-only Sanctuary retreat, the Cloud 9 Spa and the SportsSquare outdoor recreation complex.

Entertainment programs rolled out under Fun Ship 2.0 also will be incorporated, such as “Hasbro, The Family Game Show.”

Carnival DestinyThe line said that all of the ship’s cabins will be redesigned with a tropical decor, and the new cabins will be added across a range of accommodation categories, from interior to balcony cabins, including 96 new spa cabins.

The Carnival Destiny entered service in 1996 as the world’s largest cruise ship. The 101,353-gross-ton vessel was the first in the Destiny class; the Carnival Triumph and the Carnival Victory were constructed as sister ships, but both have an extra deck, bringing their capacity to 2,758 passengers. When the refit is completed, the Destiny, renamed the Sunshine, will have capacity for 3,006 passengers.

“This is our most ambitious ship conversion project to date and it will radically transform the Carnival Destiny into essentially an entirely new ship offering a variety of exciting dining and beverage choices, spectacular outdoor spaces and entertainment options, and onboard innovations not available anywhere else,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival's president and CEO. 

Following dry dock, the Carnival Sunshine will operate a series of Mediterranean voyages from Barcelona and Venice, starting with a 14-day voyage from Venice April 12, 2013.

Eighteen nine- and 12-day Mediterranean cruises will be offered, either roundtrip from Barcelona or sailing between Barcelona and Venice.  Port calls will include Marseilles, France; Monaco; Livorno and Civitavecchia, Italy; and Dubrovnik, Croatia.

The ship will sail a 16-day transatlantic crossing departing Barcelona Nov. 1, 2013, and arrive in New Orleans Nov. 17, positioning the vessel for its year-round deployment from the Big Easy.

After one six-day cruise from New Orleans Nov. 18 to 24, the Carnival Sunshine will launch year-round seven-day cruises from that port.  Three itineraries will be offered: two Western Caribbean routes and one to Florida and the Bahamas.

The ship will replace the Carnival Conquest, which is currently based in New Orleans.  Details on the Carnival Conquest’s new deployment have not yet been announced.

For cruise news and updates, follow Donna Tunney on Twitter @dttravelweekly. 

This article has been updated with the correct number of passengers for the Carnival Sunshine.

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