Carnival Mardi Gras makes a successful maiden voyage



Carnival Cruise Line’s new ship, the Mardi Gras, successfully completed her maiden voyage from Port Canaveral. Its scheduled debut in 2020 had been postponed due to the cruise break resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Mardi Gras’ The first guest cruise took off on Saturday July 31 from Port Canaveral’s new Cruise Terminal 3, which had been custom-built for the ship. The navigation included visits to San Juan, Nassau and Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic.

New features on Mardi Gras

Carnival’s new flagship has been in the works for five years and offers some wonderful new features. With 180,000 gross tonnage, the Mardi Gras has six thematic districts. It is the first ship to have a side atrium – yes, it faces the ocean. At night, the atrium turns into a theater.

On the Mardi Gras, the atrium faces the sea. (All photos courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

In addition to bringing revolutionary features and innovations, the Mardi Gras is the first ship in North America to run on environmentally friendly liquefied natural gas (LNG), Carnival Corporation’s “green cruise” platform.

The Mardi Gras Also claims the first roller coasters at sea. Called BOLT, the ride offers breathtaking 360-degree views from an 800-foot-long track rising 187 feet above sea level. choose their own speed, so each journey is unique. Their speeds are displayed at the end of the race. BOLT requires advance reservations, and there is a charge. The coaster is located in the Ultimate Playground district, which also has a mini zipline.

Mardi Gras is the first cruise ship with roller coasters

The Mardi Gras is the first cruise ship with roller coasters.

The Lido area has two swimming pools and an outdoor cinema screen. Several dining options are available.

Catering and entertainment

Mardi Gras customers can choose from a wide range of restaurants. One is the new Rudi’s Seagrill, developed by celebrity chef Rudi Sodamin. This paying restaurant serves seafood in a refined atmosphere. Sodamin restaurants can also be found on the ships of Holland America Line, one of Carnival’s sister brands.

Another novelty is Emeril’s Bistro 1396, the first restaurant at sea from famous chef Emeril Lagasse. Customers can walk to the counter, place an order, and then have their food delivered to one of the many bistro-style tables. The emphasis is on reasonably priced seafood, with small plates starting at $ 5.

In the Summer Landing area, guests can enjoy Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewery. Located on the aft portion of Deck 8, this Guy Fieri restaurant offers a phenomenal barbecue.

In the La Piazza area, free pizzas are available 24/7 at Pizzeria del Capitano, and free paninis are served at Piazza Panini. Italian food at Cucina del Capitano is also free.

A new dining option is Big Chicken, which was developed in a special partnership with former basketball star Shaquille O’Neal, who is Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer.

Next to the Flamingo restaurant, the Brass Magnolia has a New Orleans jazz club vibe. The bar is a wonderful place to relax with a drink and live music.

As for the main free dining options on the Mardi Gras, there is the Flamingo and the Palm. Both offer fixed meal times or the “Your Time Dining” (YTD) option where customers can dine at any time during fixed times.

Hub mobile app

With the Hub mobile app, Carnival customers can make and track their reservations while monitoring wait times and spending on board. It also allows guests to keep track of their daily schedule, from spa appointments to shore excursions. Another feature of the app is e-mustering: on boarding day, guests can go to their muster station as they please for a special life jacket demonstration.

Latest health and safety updates

During its first navigation, the Mardi Gras implemented all health and safety protocols that Carnival Cruise Line has created in the past 16 months during the cruise break.

Carnival Corp. brands, including Carnival Cruise Line, have just introduced new requirements for customers. As of August 7, all guests are required to wear face masks in interior areas, whether or not they have been vaccinated.

And as of August 14, all fully immunized guests must not only bring proof of receipt of their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before boarding, but now they need another. document. Fully vaccinated passengers must show negative results from a COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) performed within 72 hours of boarding.

Carnival Cruise Line will continue to allow unvaccinated passengers on board its ships (which is typically around 5%), and these include children under 12, who are not eligible for a vaccine. But unvaccinated clients must adhere to specific protocols and requirements. These include pre-cruise PCR testing as well as pre-embarkation testing at the terminal, as well as testing within 24 hours of disembarkation for cruises of five days or more. A charge of $ 150 per person will be taken from the guest’s onboard Sail and Sign account to cover the cost of health and safety tests, reports and reviews. Children under the age of 2 are exempt from these testing requirements.

Additionally, unvaccinated passengers on cruises departing from Florida or Texas will need to provide proof of travel insurance.

Carnival Cruise Line has a special website where its “Have fun.” The “Be Safe” protocols and procedures can be found:

Carnival moves on

The Mardi Gras is the fifth Carnival Cruise Line ship to return to service. Fifteen of its ships, or more than half of the fleet, will be sailing by October 15.

New Mardi Gras is definitely something to consider when planning the next cruise for your group.

By Cindy Bertram

Cindy bertram has over 15 years of expertise in the cruise industry in marketing, content creation, sales and training as well as in social media. His MBA from Loyola University in Chicago complements his great creativity and Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree. She can be reached at



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