MIAMI, Dec. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- In a nod to Carnival Cruise Line's rich history as America's Cruise Line, the line announced today that it will name its new XL-class ship to be delivered in 2020 Mardi Gras™, bringing back to the fleet the name of the first Carnival Cruise Line® ship that entered service in 1972 and started the wave of cruise vacation popularity in the United States.
In keeping with its tradition of fun, Carnival revealed the name to a nationwide television audience on the popular game show Wheel of Fortune on its signature Puzzleboard at the conclusion of the broadcast.
Mardi Gras will be the largest Carnival Cruise Line ship ever constructed and the first in North America to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), part of Carnival Corporation's green cruising platform. At 180,000 tons, the new Mardi Gras will be more than six times the size of its namesake.
Currently under construction at Meyer Turku in Finland, the 5,200-plus lower berth vessel will offer a variety of never-before-seen innovations and attractions.
Itineraries for Mardi Gras will be announced in January and go on sale later that same month. Carnival Cruise Line fans who want to be the first to book on Mardi Gras can get a head start by clicking here where they can register to get a "first to know" alert and special promotional offer when itineraries are opened for sale.
The original 27,000-ton TSS Mardi Gras, a converted trans-Atlantic ocean liner purchased by entrepreneur and Carnival founder Ted Arison, ushered in the modern-day cruise industry when it set sail on its inaugural voyage in 1972, helping to transform cruising from an experience once reserved for the elite into a mainstream vacation accessible and affordable to everyone.
"Our first ship Mardi Gras was a historic vessel, introducing a brand new style of cruising to the vacationing public. What better way to pay tribute to our company's nearly 50-year history of creating wonderful vacation memories than by naming this groundbreaking vessel after our original and beloved 'Fun Ship,'" said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "The new Mardi Gras will follow the trailblazing lead of her predecessor, introducing features and technological innovations that have never been seen before on a cruise ship while setting a new standard for seagoing vacations."
Carnival previously announced that the ship will be based in Port Canaveral, Fla., which will feature a new state-of-the-art terminal. A second XL ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Carnival Cruise Line's founding.
To learn more about Carnival Cruise Line, visit Carnival.com. For reservations, contact Gino's Travel Agency or call 1-800-CARNIVAL. Carnival can also be found on: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
Christine and Shaq Reveal More Mardi Gras' Culinary and Beverage Venues
Christine and Shaq celebrate with a Mardi Gras commemorative coin.
Take a look inside Mardi Gras’ Summer Landing and Lido and get ready for your mouth to water. At our "Cruise Into Summer" in NYC, Christine Duffy and Shaquille O’Neal unveiled several exciting food concepts aboard Mardi Gras, including the second Big Chicken (Shaq's) restaurant at sea.
Take a look inside Mardi Gras’ Summer Landing and Lido and get ready for your mouth to water. At our "Cruise Into Summer" event yesterday in New York City, Christine Duffy and Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal unveiled several exciting food and beverage concepts aboard Mardi Gras, including the second Big Chicken restaurant at sea.
The new, only-on-Mardi Gras dining and bar spots featured on the ship’s Lido and Summer Landing zones include Street Eats, RedFrog Tiki Bar and The Watering Hole, along with Big Chicken restaurant created by our Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal.
“Great food and beverage experiences are at the core of any vacation, especially at Carnival. We always strive to provide our guests with the most diverse options possible, but the sheer variety of food and beverage venues on board Mardi Gras is unlike anything we’ve ever offered before,” said Christine Duffy. “Our culinary and beverage teams continue to innovate, ensuring that we have an array of new and exciting options in addition to longtime Carnival favorites our guests love.”
New Food and Beverage Concepts in Lido and Summer Landing Zones:
- Street Eats – This open-air eatery will bring the ready-to-eat nature of street food to the seas with three themed kiosks offering fried, steamed and plancha (skillet) delicacies. Representing a variety of global cuisines and located next to Seafood Shack, the quick, grab-and-go venue will offer a daily rotating menu. Small plates like empanadas or falafel will be available at the fried station; bao buns or siu mai at the steam outlet; and kebabs or satay at the plancha venue. And the best part – Street Eats’ ever-changing options are free of charge.
- RedFrog Tiki Bar – Designed to transport guests to a South Pacific paradise, the new two-level RedFrog Tiki Bar is a twist on our popular poolside bar with playful, rum-based cocktails in an island-inspired atmosphere decked out with tiki heads, floral patterns and vibrant colors. Steps away from Guy’s Burger Joint, guests can wash down hand-crafted burgers with refreshing cocktails – such as the Polynesian Punch, Red’s Rum Runner Jumper and Jungle Bird – creatively presented in pineapples, souvenir tiki glasses and Mai Tai glasses with elaborate garnishes.
- The Watering Hole – Situated within The Patio at Summer Landing, The Watering Hole is modeled after a fun backyard gathering spot and is the perfect space for guests to unwind, grab a cocktail and enjoy sweeping sea views. The bar will boast a wide beer selection including our own canned and draft brews, as well as refreshing summer-inspired sips like the Watermelon Cooler and Tequila Sunset.
Mardi Gras will also house the second Big Chicken restaurant at sea, which will be located aft on the Lido Deck.
“Big Chicken is a labor of love featuring all of my favorite fried chicken recipes developed in tandem with my mom,” said O’Neal. “Carnival is a great partner, and I am very excited to bring the largest Big Chicken at sea aboard the spectacular new Mardi Gras.”
Additional Dining, Entertainment, Recreation and Relaxation Options
Mardi Gras takes our two-deck-high Lido zone to new levels with:
- The largest Guy’s Burger Joint in the fleet developed by Food Network personality Guy Fieri, New England-inspired Seafood Shack, Mexican-themed eatery BlueIguana Cantina, and the Lido Marketplace with an extensive array of international favorites;
- Mid-ship Beach Pool and an infinity Aft Tides Pool with a bar, ample seating and sweeping ocean views;
- Exciting entertainment such as legendary deck parties and Dive-in Movies at the Carnival Seaside Theater.
Designed as the ultimate chill spot for fun in the sun, Summer Landing will be home to:
- An expansive outdoor deck area with an infinity pool and two whirlpools;
- A sports bar featuring both indoor and outdoor television screens;
- Hang-out space with cornhole, trivia, arts and crafts, dance classes and more;
- Expanded Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse offering smoked-on-board favorites and an assortment of our ParchedPig craft beers brewed on site and developed by the line’s in-house beverage team, as well as a large stage for live music