By CBSLA Staff

LONG BEACH (CBSLA) – The Carnival Panorama took off from Long Beach Port Saturday afternoon marking the first cruise ship to sail from California in about a year and a half of the pandemic.

“We are from Sacramento, California and we are beyond excited,” said Joe Dango and Lisa Couch. “We left our three kids home with grandma.”

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Carnival Cruise Line officials said the Panorama is their first brand new ship to take off from the Long Beach Port in 20 years.

“This ship is brand spanking new,” said Christina Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “She even smells like a new ship.”

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The ship is heading to Mexico for a seven-day voyage with about 3,000 passengers. It is at 70% capacity due to COVID-19 safety measures.

All eligible passengers were required to show proof of vaccination and a recent negative COVID test. Masks are required indoors in certain areas of the ship.

“I’m kind of at the age where my mom and I are friends, not just mom and daughter,” said Tigana Runte. “So I’m really looking forward to day drinking with my mom.”

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City officials with Long Beach said they are expecting about four ships to take off from the port each week.