Building upon its distinction as the leader in West Coast cruising and celebrating the arrival of the new Long Beach-based Carnival Panorama later this year, Carnival Cruise Line kicked off 2019 in grand style with its first-ever float in the world-famous Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif.
Modeled after the new 133,500-ton Vista-class ship, the float cruised down the five-mile parade route this morning delighting the crowd of 700,000 who jammed along with the float riders to a Carnival nine-piece band playing “Uptown Funk” and “I’ve Got a Feeling” as well as the estimated 80 million television viewers watching at home.
Aptly named “Come Sail Away,” the colorful, highly detailed 55-foot-long ship-shaped float featured floral-inspired reproductions of signature Carnival features like the iconic red and blue funnel, a water park and fun-filled Lido Deck party, and the line’s newest attraction — the first-ever trampoline park at sea, in partnership with Sky Zone with jumpers on a working trampoline built into the front portion of the float.
The float also included a replica of the Carnival AirShip flying overhead, just like the blimp that will embark on a month-long tour of California to promote Carnival’s continued expansion in Long Beach, as well as new cruise itineraries from San Diego and San Francisco.
Decorated with flowers, seeds and plants from 100-plus countries representing the global array of nations that Carnival employees hail from, the floral masterpiece also featured a BlueIguana and RedFrog from their namesake watering holes, with scuba divers at the water line blowing actual bubbles as the float sailed down the parade route.
The “Come Sail Away” float was a favorite throughout the week of media coverage leading up to the parade. Dozens of broadcast segments featured the float’s trampoline, the unique cruise ship details, the Rose Parade Queen christening the ship in a maritime-themed naming ceremony, and former Miss USA Deshauna Barber, who served in the U.S. Army and was the featured guest on the float in a salute to members of the armed services.
Designed by Carnival’s in-house creative team and Fiesta Parade Floats, construction of the maritime marvel began in mid-November and encompassed 10 designers collectively working hundreds of hours right up until parade time. Dozens of volunteers, including Carnival travel agent partners, joined the designers to decorate the float.
“We’re the number one cruise line from the West Coast and what better way to celebrate this distinction and the arrival of Carnival Panorama than by our first-ever Rose Parade which truly captures the essence of what Choosing Fun on a Carnival cruise is all about,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
John Shallo is the founder and editor of Cruise Addicts. Since 1999 it has been a leading destination for cruise travelers and self professed Cruise Addicts looking for the latest news, ship reviews and travel tips.