Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines kicked off its 25th anniversary celebration Sunday evening, March 9, 1997, with a fireworks display over the line's newest ship, the Carnival Destiny.
The pyrotechnic display took place as the world's largest cruise ship ever constructed departed the Port of Miami on a seven-day western Caribbean cruise.
Carnival Cruise Lines actual birthday date was Tuesday, March 11. Twenty five years ago on that day, the line's first ship -- a former trans-Atlantic vessel, the Mardi Gras -- departed on its first voyage. During that time period, Carnival employed about 35 shoreside people and about 500 ship personnel. Today, 1,500 people work in the company's office and about 10,000 employees are based on 11 ships making Carnival the largest cruise line in the world.
"There is tremendous symbolism with the birthday departure of the Carnival Destiny, which has garnered far more accolades than any ship in modern cruise history, versus the Mardi Gras voyage of 25 years ago almost to the day." said Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Corporation, the line's parent company.
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