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Having conquered the big screen (“Mean Girls”), the small screen (“Hallmark Channel”) and Broadway (“Spamalot”), actor Jonathan Bennett is ready to take on his next big role: the godfather of Carnival Cruise Line’s new 135,000 gross ton ship featuring Carnival Fun Italian Style.

Carnival Cruise Line today named Bennett as the godfather for its next ship, Carnival Firenze, which is inspired by the city of Florence, Italy and is the second Carnival ship to sail with the Carnival Fun Italian Style theme. Carnival President Christine Duffy surprised Bennett with the news captured in the video below. To make it even easier for Bennett to sail, the ship will be homeported in his backyard in Long Beach, Calif., where it will be christened on April 24 and embark on its first sailing on April 25.

“Jonathan is a true brand ambassador for Carnival.  He cruises with us, honeymooned with us and tells his friends and family to vacation with Carnival.  He is friendly and welcoming to everyone and embodies the Carnival style of fun.  After he sailed on the first voyage of Carnival Firenze’s sister ship Carnival Venezia last May, he told me it would be his dream to be the godfather of one of our ships, so how could I turn down such a request for such a terrific friend to Carnival,” said Duffy.  “While he’s not Italian, he is proof positive that anyone can have Italian Style fun when you sail on our Italian-themed ships, and we are thrilled to have him help us welcome our newest addition to the Carnival fleet.”

Following his first professional acting role on the soap opera “All My Children,” Bennett appeared in a number of television series before his breakout role as Aaron Samuels in the hit movie “Mean Girls.”  He has gone on to star in multiple feature films, Hallmark Channel movies and hosted programs for the Food Network. He’s also the host for the New York Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration where Carnival has sponsored the ball drop for the past three years.  He is currently completing his first Broadway appearance in the hit revival of the musical, “Spamalot.”

“This is an amazing honor and I’m so proud to know that I’ll always be a part of the Carnival Firenze family,” said Bennett. “When I told Christine that I’d love to be a Carnival cruise ship godfather, I never thought she’d take my request seriously. I have so much respect for the Carnival team and how they’re dedicated to taking care of their guests, the ocean and each other. When I say Carnival is a great company and a great way to vacation, I mean it! I’m so excited to not only be the ship’s godfather, but to also get to cruise on Carnival Firenze as a guest now that Carnival fun Italian style is coming to the west coast.”

Bennett will join Duffy at the Carnival Firenze naming celebration on Wednesday, April 24 in Long Beach. The ceremony will be livestreamed on Carnival’s Facebook page.

Carnival Fun Italian Style combines Italian theming with Carnival’s signature fun. Built in 2020, Carnival Firenze accommodates more than 5,000 guests and will sail year-round from Long Beach, offering three- to seven-day Baja Mexico and Mexican Riviera cruises. To see all Carnival Firenze sailings currently open for sail, click here.

For additional information on Carnival Cruise Line and to book a cruise vacation, call 1-800-CARNIVAL, visit, or contact your favorite travel advisor or online travel site.