Carnival’s first Rose Parade float will star its upcoming Long Beach-based ship

Most ships are christened while they’re in the water. But the good ship Come Sail Away was resting solidly on concrete when a christening bottle slammed against its bow Friday, exploding into a colorful cloud of confetti.

Actually, Come Sail Away will never enter the water. The highlight of its short life will be a 5 1/2-mile journey through Pasadena as a Rose Parade float Tuesday morning.

The ship-wannabe is Carnival Cruise Line‘s first Rose Parade entry and is modeled after a new vessel, the Carnival Panorama, which is currently being built.

The Panorama will be based in California when completed in December 2019, making weeklong cruises from the Port of Long Beach to the Mexican Riviera (rates from $499 per person, double occupancy).


Because real ships are christened, Carnival held a mock ceremony to give Come Sail Away a name and some cred. Rose Queen Louise Deser Siskel of San Marino did the honors, reciting a blessing for “smooth sailing and good tidings,” just before smashing a bottle against the make-believe ship.

After the event, guests and volunteers had the opportunity to help decorate the float. It will hold thousands of blue irises, white roses and red carnations by the time it makes its way down the parade route in Pasadena, according to Hugo Castillo, Carnival’s creative director.

“We thought the float was an iconic way to kick off a year-round celebration of our new ship,” he said.

Come Sail Away is a detailed replica of the cruise line’s first new ship on the West Coast in 20 years and showcases several of the line’s design features, including the iconic red tail funnel, water park and Lido Deck.

The float also includes a new feature debuting on Panorama: Sky Zone, the first trampoline park at sea.

Parade viewers will see a working trampoline and jumpers in the front of the float.

Additionally, the float will salute members of the armed forces with an appearance by former Miss USA Deshauna Barber.

The Carnival Panorama is scheduled to debut Dec. 11 with a special three-day cruise from Long Beach, followed by the launch of year-round Mexican Riviera sailings beginning Dec. 14.

Twitter: @latimestravel