No Kidding: Jay Leno Named ‘Godfather’ to Carnival’s Newest Ship

For the first time in the cruise line’s history, Carnival will name a godfather — instead of a godmother — for one of its ships.

That honor goes to none-other than famous comedian Jay Leno, most well-known for being the host of The Tonight Show for roughly 20 years. He will serve as godfather to Carnival Venezia.

Jay Leno headshot
Jay Leno has been named the godfather of Carnival Venezia, marking the first godfather in the cruise line’s history. Image courtesy of Carnival.

The ship originally joined Carnival Cruise Lines’ European sister brand Costa, but was transferred over to Carnival recently. Venezia will be the first to have the cruise line’s “Carnival Fun Italian Style,” which is a mix of both classic Carnival themes and Italian flair.

This includes Italian-inspired styling, specialty Italian restaurants, and even a theater designed with a nod to Italian opera houses. You can read more about Carnival’s new theme for Venezia here.

And because the ship was part of the Costa fleet before transitioning to Carnival, it already has a godmother. Instead, Leno was tapped to fill the new godfather role.

“Carnival Venezia originally entered service for our Italian sister brand Costa Cruises and was christened in 2019, so she already has a godmother. With Carnival Venezia joining the fleet and sailing from New York, we wanted to ensure a proper welcome for the ship and decided having a godfather would be both fun and appropriate,” said Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy.

Carnival Venezia is the first ship with the cruise line’s “Fun Italian Style” theme and will begin sailing from New York. Image courtesy of Carnival.

Leno, who is from New York, is actually the grandson of Italian immigrants. He also has ties to Carnival, participating in its “LIVE” entertainment series years ago.

“I am truly honored to be named the godfather of Carnival Venezia. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse,” said Leno.

The new ship begins sailing from New York on June 15. There will be a ship blessing and event the night before where Leno will perform an exclusive show for the event guests.

Once sailing, Venezia will offer up a range of itineraries from New York, ranging from short 4-day cruises to Canada to 15-day Caribbean cruises with ports like Aruba and St. Lucia. Most trips will be 7-10 day cruises to the Eastern Caribbean.

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