Jay Leno Named Carnival Venezia Godfather

Former “The Tonight Show” host and comedian Jay Leno will serve as Carnival Venezia’s first godfather. The ceremony honoring his title will be held on June 14, 2023, after the ship is christened and begins its service in New York City. Carnival Venezia is the first of Carnival Cruise Line’s fleet to incorporate, “Carnival Fun Italian Style,” implementing the company’s ethos into the ship’s Italian theming. In addition to his duties as Godfather, Leno will perform a comedy setup exclusively for ceremony guests, in partnership with Carnival World Mastercard.

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. “And when we thought of someone who would make a FUN godfather with Italian heritage, we knew Jay Leno would be the perfect godfather! And he’s already a member of the Carnival family – he entertained guests a few years ago as part of our Carnival LIVE entertainment series.”


About Jay Leno


  • Hailing from New Rochelle, New York, Leno is the grandson of immigrants from Flumeri, Campania, Italy. 
  • After beginning his career in standup comedy, he became the host of “The Tonight Show,” retiring in 2014. 
  • As host, his show was consistently top-ranked in the late-night entertainment category, earning him the status of “the hardest working man in show business.”
  • Leno is currently the producer of the CNBC series “Jay Leno’s Garage,” a show exploring both unique cars and the people behind the wheel. 
  • The series made its debut in October 2015 and became CNBC’s most-watched first season in network history. 
  • He continues to be involved in standup comedy and hosts the game show You Bet Your Life.

“I am truly honored to be named the godfather of Carnival Venezia. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse,” said Leno. “Carnival’s focus on FUN combined with the Italian theming of this ship is something that is truly unique. I’m also excited to have my very own cruise ship, although I think I’ll need a bigger garage!”

Celebrating the aesthetics of Venice, Italy, Carnival Venezia holds many locations on board about her namesake. As guests enter the ship, they arrive in Piazza San Marco, the ship’s atrium and the Italian theming continues at the restaurants Marco Polo, Canal Grande, and Il Viaggio. At the Teatro Rosso, Carnival Playlist Productions shows entertain travelers.

The typical Carnival Cruise Line venues of Guy Fieri’s Guy’s Burger Joint, Fahrenheit 555, Bonsai Sushi & Teppanyaki, and the Chef’s Table will also be found aboard. Carnival Venezia will arrive at her homeport of New York City and begin sailing on June 15, 2023. The ship will house more than 5,000 guests, offering 10 different cruise durations with 22 unique itineraries visiting 25 ports across 14 countries.

To see the live stream of Carnival Venezia’s christening, click here.

Will you be sailing on Carnival Venezia? Let us know in the comments!

By Ethan Leckie