For the longest time, people who lived in the Mid-Atlantic states in the US got left out when it came to cruising. If you wanted to go on the latest or greatest cruise ship in the US, you typically had to fly to the southern ports like Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Occasionally, a newer or bigger ship would come up for a season or two, but your choices were severely limited in the North East and Mid-Atlantic. Thankfully, Carnival has some exciting news that will change that for guests in the New York and Virginia regions.
New York is getting the Carnival Venezia
Back in June, Carnival announced that it’d be borrowing two of its sister company’s ships; the Costa Venezia and Costa Firenze. They call the program “Costa by Carnival,” which tries to combine the look and feel of the Costa ship with the Carnival staples attractions and features.
Yesterday, Carnival announced the sailings for the Venezia. It will homeport in New York City starting on June 15, 2023 and will offer 22 different itineraries. It will also sail year-round from New York, giving those in the area a lot of choices of when to cruise.
During the summer, the Venezia will alternate between 4, 5, 6, and 8-day sailings visiting popular ports in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and Canada. Then in September 2023, it will switch to 8 and 12-day cruises to the Eastern Caribbean and Southern Caribbean with stops like St. Thomas, San Juan, and Aruba.
This news is exciting because the Venezia is a newer ship. It’s technically a Vista-class ship, so it’s generally similar to the Vista, Horizon, and Panorama. The North East never really got to enjoy these ships, so now it introduces a whole new class of ship to the region.
That being said, we haven’t yet seen what “Costa by Carnival” really means. Current deck plans don’t show staples like the Alchemy Bar, Guy’s Burgers, or Blue Iguana Cantina. They may be added in the future, as the deck plans are not yet finalized, but it’s hard to book a cruise not knowing what you’re in for.
If you want to see the sailings, visit Carnival’s website.
Norfolk gets the Carnival Magic for half the year
While Carnival has been sailing from Norfolk since 2002, it was typically the older and smaller ships in the fleet. Then, back in May, Carnival brought in the Carnival Magic to become the largest ship to embark guests from that port.
The Magic would sail during the spring and summer but split that time between New York and Norfolk, limiting the number of sailings. Since the Venezia will be homeporting in New York, Carnival decided to move the Magic down to Norfolk for a full six months a year.
The Magic will sail four- to ten-day itineraries to the Eastern Caribbean, Bermuda, Canada, and New England.
While the Magic isn’t the newest or largest in the Carnival fleet, it’s part of the Dream-class that is a favorite of many. Its large but not imposing size and variety of restaurants and attractions make it a solid option for cruisers.
Carnival has proposed a full-year cruise program for Norfolk starting in 2025. As part of that initiative, they discussed with local leaders the optimizations and improvements they’d need at the Half Moone Cruise Center to accommodate this extra traffic.
Learn more about the Carnival Magic sailings out of Norfolk on the Carnival website.
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