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Carnival Vista Arrives in Galveston
by John David Suayan
Monday, September 24, 2018

Carnival VistaCarnival Cruise Lines and the Port of Galveston on Sunday celebrated the arrival of the Carnival Vista with a welcome program aboard the 133,500-ton vessel.

Carnival Brand Ambassador John Heald served as master of ceremonies for the hour-long event at the Vista’s Liquid Lounge. The immensely popular Heald charmed the crowd of passengers and dignitaries – which included Congressman Randy Weber, Galveston Mayor Pro Tem Dr. Craig Brown, Port Director Rodger Rees, and Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves Chairman E.L. “Ted” O’Rourke – with lighthearted humor and copious praise for the new home of the largest Carnival Cruise Line ship ever based in Texas.

“We didn’t port this ship in Florida or Cleveland, Ohio,” quipped Heald, drawing cheers from the entire room. Listen (13:04)

Addressing the passengers of the Vista’s inaugural voyage, Heald said, “You’re going to see so much that this ship has to offer… You’re going to be served by the best crew in the cruise industry.”

He then introduced Carnival President Christine Duffy. Duffy stated that “it was a big deal” for the Vista to come to Galveston Island.

“Texas and Galveston love Carnival and we love all of you so we’re very excited to be here,” said Duffy. Listen (7:40)

She added that she was thrilled to host Carnival Vista “godmother” Deshauna Barber, the first active member of the military to earn the title of Miss USA, as well as recognized service members and their families.

Duffy provided a rundown of the Vista. The ship boasts Carnival’s largest waterpark, a section dedicated to families with children, and the first-ever IMAX Theater at sea, she said.

Barber joined Duffy and Heald on stage. Fresh from an “amazing” Carnival cruise to Cuba, Barber encouraged the attendees to “go to another country and really feel humbled after you leave.”

The program also featured check presentations to the Houston SPCA and the Houston Food Bank and the presentation of the key to the city to Carnival.

Representing Galveston, Dr. Brown expressed the city’s excitement for hosting the Vista. Listen (3:35)

“What a wonderful vessel this is,” said the mayor pro tem.

Mihovil photo of Carnival Vista departing GalvestonBrown praised the port and the wharves board for being instrumental in shaping the city into an important cruise line port of call. He read a proclamation declaring September 23, 2018 as #ChoseFun Day in recognition of Carnival’s Homeport Advantage campaign to heighten awareness of the new ship and raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The event ended with a two-song preview of the America Rocks show and a special toast.

At a luncheon prior to the Vista setting sail, Rees presented Captain Andrea Catalani with a maritime plaque.

Photo by
Robert Mihovil of the Carnival Vista departing Galveston is courtesy of the Port of Galveston.

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