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Carnival To Add Third Year-Round Ship In Galveston; Carnival Freedom Joins Carnival's Texas Fleet In February 2015

Stocks in this article: CCL CUK

MIAMI, April 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Carnival Cruise Lines – Texas' number one cruise line – will add a third year-round ship in Galveston when Carnival Freedom launches a seven-day cruise schedule in February 2015, marking the first time that a cruise line has deployed three year-round ships in Texas.

Carnival's repositioning of Carnival Freedom represents a 38 percent capacity increase for the line in Galveston, carrying more than 600,000 guests a year from that port – the most of any cruise operator. 

Prior to its arrival in Galveston, Carnival Freedom will undergo a previously announced makeover that will add an array of innovative new features that are part of the line's fleetwide Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement initiative.

With the addition of Carnival Freedom, Carnival will offer three highly innovative and exceptional ships sailing year-round from Galveston that offer a huge variety of exciting features. Carnival Freedom will join Carnival Magic, which offers seven-day Caribbean cruises, and Carnival Triumph sailing four- and five-day departures to Mexico. Together, these three ships will operate nearly 200 four- to seven-day voyages annually from Galveston, providing consumers with an array of cruise lengths, departure days and itineraries for "Fun Ship" cruising from Texas. 

" Galveston is already one of our most popular embarkation ports and with Carnival Freedom we're not only dramatically expanding capacity in the market but also providing consumers with yet another exciting opportunity to experience our spectacular Fun Ship 2.0 innovations on a Texas-based ship," said Gerry Cahill Carnival president and CEO.  "In partnership with the Port of Galveston and the local community we have been able to increase our passenger counts five-fold since we first launched service from Galveston in 2000.  Additionally, we are extremely grateful for the support of our travel agent partners who have played a key role in the growth of our Texas cruise program," he added.

"We are thrilled to have an additional member of the Carnival Cruise Lines fleet, Carnival Freedom, call the Port of Galveston its new home," said Galveston Port Director Michael Mierzwa. "For the past 14 years, the Port and Carnival Cruise Lines have enjoyed a wonderful partnership. Not only does home-porting these three ships represent the largest-ever capacity commitment by a cruise line to Texas but it also reinforces the partnership that we have fostered with Carnival through the years."

Attractive Caribbean Itineraries from Galveston Carnival Freedom will kick off its new schedule from Galveston with a special six-day Caribbean voyage to Costa Maya, Mexico; Belize; and Cozumel departing Feb. 15, 2015.

Following the six-day voyage, Carnival Freedom will launch year-round seven-day departures from Galveston Feb. 21, 2015, encompassing three different itinerary choices that visit beautiful ports throughout Mexico, the Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida.

Carnival Freedom's week-long itineraries from Galveston include: 

  • Exotic western Caribbean voyages departing Saturdays to Cozumel; Belize; and Mahogany Bay, Roatan
  • Western Caribbean voyages departing Saturdays with stops at Montego Bay, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel
  • Eastern Caribbean sailings departing Saturdays visiting Key West, Fla.; and Freeport and Nassau, The Bahamas

Value-Packed Short Cruise Options from Galveston Carnival Freedom will also offer a series of four- and five-day cruises from Oct. 24 through Nov. 21, 2015; and Jan. 16, 2016 through Feb. 13, 2016.  Four-day cruises visit Cozumel, while five-day cruises call at Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico. 

Special Voyage from Fort Lauderdale to Galveston In preparation for its Galveston arrival, Carnival Freedom will offer a unique 12-day cruise departing Fort Lauderdale Feb. 2 and arriving in Galveston on Feb. 14, 2015. The one-time voyage will feature port calls at five magnificent Caribbean island destinations – St. Kitts, St. Lucia; Curacao; Aruba; and Grand Cayman, each of which boasts gorgeous white-sand beaches, a variety of watersports opportunities and an array of shopping, dining and sightseeing experiences. 

Carnival Conquest, currently based in Miami, will assume Carnival Freedom's year-round six- and eight-day Caribbean schedule from Fort Lauderdale, beginning Jan. 18, 2015.            

Exciting Fun Ship 2.0 Innovations A wide range of popular Fun Ship 2.0 features will be added to Carnival Freedom this spring.  Here's a look at the many new offerings:

  • Guy's Burger Joint, a free-of-charge poolside venue developed in partnership with Food Network personality Guy Fieri serving hand-crafted burgers and fresh hand-cut fries in an atmosphere that celebrates the chef's California roots and love of car culture
  • BlueIguana Cantina, a complimentary poolside Mexican eatery where guests can enjoy authentic, freshly made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas that can be personalized with a variety of salsas and toppings
  • EA SPORTS Bar, a sports and video game lovers' paradise where guests can catch live sporting events, check out scores on the real-time 24/7 sports ticker, and play the latest EA SPORTS games on a 16-screen video wall
  • BlueIguana Tequila Bar, a fun and festive outdoor watering hole offering a laid-back Mexican-themed atmosphere and tequila-based frozen drinks and beers, perfect for chillin' by the pool
  • Alchemy Bar, a vintage-themed cocktail "pharmacy" that's the go-to spot for guests seeking a unique experience with mixologists who "prescribe" concoctions from different elixirs and ingredients or guests' own custom-created cocktails
  • RedFrog Rum Bar, a poolside adaptation of the RedFrog Pub offering the quintessential Caribbean vacation vibe with refreshing Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including ThirstyFrog Red
  • Hasbro, The Game Show , where guests are part of the show through a series of larger-than-life productions and entertainment activities based on the company's iconic and popular games
  • Playlist Productions, which builds upon Carnival's reputation for high quality entertainment by combining captivating live performances and spectacular staging and special effects to create enthralling music revues produced by the top directors and choreographers in the industry
  • Cherry on Top - which celebrates the joys of simple indulgences with bins of bulk candy, fun fanciful gifts and novelties, custom apparel and more
  • RedFrog Pub where guests can enjoy the Caribbean's best rums and beers – along with Carnival's own ThirstyFrog Red private label draft brew – while soaking up the distinct British-West-Indies-meets- Key-West ambiance (scheduled to be completed by the departure of May 18)
  • Camp Ocean – a new marine-themed children's program that will immerse kids ages 2-11 in the wonders of the ocean through fun, educational experiences with more than 200 new activities, all hosted in engaging custom-created spaces inspired by the sea (scheduled to be completed by the departure of May 24)
  • Dr. Seuss Bookvillepart of Carnival's recently announced Seuss at Sea program, this unique play space will feature iconic decor, colors, shapes and funky furniture inspired by the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss (scheduled to be completed by the departure of May 24)
  • The Warehouse, a family-friendly entertainment center where the young – and the young at heart – can play a wide variety of video and arcade games and win tickets that can be redeemed for fun prizes (scheduled to be completed by the departure of June 14)

Reservations are currently being accepted for Carnival Freedom's new Galveston-based program.  Carnival Conquest's new sailings from Fort Lauderdale will be open for reservations on Tuesday, April 29.

For additional information and reservations contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com.

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