Review of Carnival Mardi Gras deck 6 (Lobby-Shops-Lounge-French Quarter)
Mardi Gras Theater (lower level 1 of 2) is the ship's main show lounge for grand style show productions featuring live performances (tribute acts - singing and dancing) combined with sound and lighting special effects. The evening shows are 30 minutes. The music is backed by high-definition graphics (photos and videos) projected on large-size LED screens. The evening entertainment program also offers popular family game shows (like "Love and Marriage") and guest performers (stand-up comedy acts, magicians, musicians). The ship's theater lounge also hosts the "Playlist Productions" (live stage musical revues) and "Hasbro The Game Show" (interactive board games). The daily program includes seminars, expert lectures, multimedia presentations, workshops and classes, bingo sessions.
Carnival Mardi Gras ship offers an exclusive program with 3 production shows (at 7 pm, 8:45 pm, 10:30 pm) followed by after-show parties allowing guests to interact with the performers. The three Mardi Gras ship-exclusive production shows are named "Amor Cubano - A Caribbean Dance Romance" (7-piece band mixing contemporary and classic Latin songs), "America Rocks" (rock music-themed tribute show) and "Flick - The Power of Motion Pictures" (movie songs-themed). The theater is designed as a multi-purpose venue, so instead of traditional stadium seating (bench-style), all chairs are individual allowing different configurations. The theater lounge also hosts pre-scheduled daily events - port talks, Carnival shore excursions meetings, land tours-related media presentations, etc.
Hasbro Game Shows are based on the TV series "Family Game Night" (board games and EA Games). These family fun shows are giant versions of popular trademarked board games (like Connect 4, Yahtzee, Sorry! Sliders, Operation Sam Dunk, Simon Flash, Monopoly, 10-pin Bowling) in which guests can team up to win prizes (Hasbro board games).
Playlist Productions are music revues combining live performances (singing, dancing, acting) with LED staging and special effects. Among the offered live musical shows are 88 KEYS (Rock n' Roll Piano Show with singalong hits), 80s POP TO THE MAX (1980s), GETAWAY ISLAND (beach movies of the 1960s with 3D effects), HEART OF SOUL (R&B and soul), EPIC ROCK (hits from 1970s-1980s), STUDIO VIP (1970s), THE BRITS (UK singers tributes), MOTOR CITY (R&B /1960s-1970s), LATIN NIGHTS (Latin singers tributes), DIVAS (one-name female singers tributes).
The Fitness Center/Gymnasium (complimentary, floor-ceiling windows) is equipped with free weights /TROY dumbbells, weight machines, treadmills, steppers, ellipticals, recumbent exercise cycles, Concept 2/indoor rowing machines, Kinesis wall). There is also a Fitness Studio (for classes), Flywheel (cycling studio),
Some fitness classes are complimentary (aerobics, stretching, abs, body conditioning, Tai Chi) and some are at fee pp (Yoga, Pilates, spinning, boot camp, indoor cycling, personal training sessions). Follows the list of offered on Carnival cruises fitness classes (led by professional trainers). In brackets are shown duration in minutes and cost (prices in USD pp) - Personal Training (60 min $85 / 3 courses $210), Nutritional Consultation (60 min $85), Metabolism Test (30 min $35), Boot Camp (4-day body sculpturing $120). Priced at $12 pp are Tour de Cycle (indoor cycling, 45 min), Pathway to Yoga (45 min) and Pathway to Pilates (45 min).
The Fun Shops is named the ship's duty-free shopping complex of stores (lower level 1 of 3, open between 8 am - 12 midnight) selling Carnival Cruise Lines logo merchandise (ship models, fun wear-apparel), Special Occasions (gifts, souvenirs, packages), name-brand boutique merchandise (luxury jewelry-watches, designer bags-hats-shoes-fashion-accessories-sunglasses, perfumes-cosmetics-beauty products), also liquor-tobaccos and conveniences.
Punchliner Comedy Club/brunch (Karaoke, art auctions, nightly shows)
Piano Bar 88 (cocktail bar) offers themed music nights, a grand piano for live performances by a resident pianist, singalongs, trivia quizzes. The bar is among the best places for pre-dinner drinks and singing.
JavaBlue Cafe (open between 7-10 am, and between 4 pm-12:30 midnight) is a specialty patisserie/coffee bar. The a la carte priced menu includes coffees ($3 - cappuccino, latte, mochaccino espresso ($2), Java blue Drip ($1), chai tea latte ($3), hot chocolate ($2), spiked coffees ($6 - Caribbean, Mexican, Irish, Chocolate Lovers), iced coffees ($3,50), milkshakes ($4), specialty teas, bottled water, Perrier, San Pellegrino (1 L). JavaBlue Cafe menu also has desserts - Blue Velvet Cake ($2), cheesecakes ($2), cookies ($1 each), chocolate-covered strawberries ($0,75 each), flavored syrups /$0,50), ice cream scoops.
Cherry on Top (open between 4-10:30 pm) is a Carnival signature shop selling bulk candies by the oz (mix and match, sugar-free, assortments), confections (lollipops, sweet apples, truffles, chocolate deep cheesecakes and pretzels, cupcakes, fudge, cookies /and sugar-free). Cherry on Top also sells ladies and kids apparel (bathrobes, hoodies, lounge pants, tank tops), balloons, flowers, Carnival Greeting Cards, shower/spa items. The shop also provides formalwear rentals available only for pre-cruise ordering (not on board). The candy shop additionally features indoor/outdoor seating and premium ice creams.
Special Occasions shop sells Bon Voyage wines/champagnes/liquor, Carnival cruise packages, specialty items, and gifts. The list of packages includes "Bottomless Bubbles" (unlimited soda package), CHEERS (unlimited drinks package/alcohol included), "Cruise the Vineyard" (3-bottle and 5-bottle wine packages /saving up to 25%), "Cruise Cash" cards (bar/photo credit accounts similar to the old paper coupons), beer (4-pack), juices (6-pack), soda (6-pack), bottled water (12-pack). The list of specialty items and gifts includes plush toys, fresh-baked cookies, occasion cakes, packed chocolates/snacks, fresh flowers, gift sets, fruit baskets, Stateroom Decorations (themed cabin decoration sets - Birthday, Anniversary, Honeymoon, Congrats, Bon Voyage), canapes/party trays (assorted pastries, sushi, fruit, cheese, vegetable, finger sandwiches, desserts-petit fours), "Towel Creations Book". Dr. Seuss brand merchandise is also available for purchase - "The Cat in the Hat Book", themed cabin decorations, toys, Seuss At Sea gifts and packages (water bottle, lunchbox, backpack, splash pack, towel).
French Quarter is lined with eateries and bars. This neighborhood is linked via 2-deck-high Promenade with "The Brass Magnolia" (a traditional New Orleans jazz club lounge) offering hand-crafted cocktails and live music.
"Emeril’s Bistro 1396" is the first-at-sea restaurant by chef Emeril Lagasse (celebrity chef and owner of 11 different restaurants in the USA). The restaurant was named after the Mardi Gras ship's hull/Turku shipyard number (1396).
- A-la-carte menu appetizers cost US$2 each, entrees are priced at US$12.
- Emeril’s Bistro offers New Orleans cuisine, including spicy creole specialties. Menu items include muffuletta sandwiches, side dishes (Creole potato salad with diced scallions, red beans, jazz-man rice), desserts (Bananas Foster, lemon icebox pie). For Breakfast are also offered Shrimp & Grits, and Shrimp Creole Omelet.
- Signature dishes include chef's favorites Slow-Cooked Cochon de Lait Po'Boy (Boston butt pork roast), BBQ-Grilled Shrimp (large shrimp/peeled-deveined, tails attached), Emeril's Classic Seafood Gumbo (shrimp, fish, oysters), Cajun Jambalaya (boneless-skinless chicken thighs).
Flamingo Restaurant is a complimentary dining room (dinner-only) with sit-down waiter service. Flamingo is part of the French Quarter neighborhood and features floor-ceiling windows and plenty of large-capacity tables (up to 12 seats per table).
Palm Restaurant (Dining Room / lower level 1 of 2)
Service boats (lifeboats, tender boats, liferafts)
Grand Central Atrium
Grand Central (low-level 1 of 3) is a large open-floor-designed Atrium space (midship on decks 6-7-8) that combines an entertainment complex with a bar lounge overlooking the ship's starboard side) with 3-decks high floor-ceiling windows.
Grand Central features 3000-ft2 (280-m2) glass panels (built into the vessel's superstructure) to provide passengers with unobstructed views as they relax in comfortable seating. From the Atrium are accessible 3 dining venues (Bonsai Sushi, Bonsai Teppanyaki, Punchliner Comedy Club) as well as Piano Bar 88 (themed venue for sing-a-longs), Mardi Gras Casino (gaming lounge), The Fun Shops (retail shops).
During the day, Grand Central Atrium serves as a relaxing space for enjoying beverages, light food, live music performances or participate in trivia contests and leisurely pursuits. At night, the Atrium transforms into an intimate venue with live performances (stand-up comedy acts, dancing, acrobatics) and quality media as guests can interact with 16 individually controlled LED screens (sized 6x14 ft / 1,8x4,3 m each) displaying video and special effects, along with aerial feats and lasers.
On Atrium's top-level (deck 8) is the Grand View Bar which offers floor-ceiling views and custom-made cocktails amidst new design features - such as a virtual waterfall displayed on translucent panels. The Atrium's mid-level (deck 7) is served by the Center Stage Bar. Both Atrium bar lounges offer specialty cocktails inspired by the evening's themed entertainment.
On Atrium's low-level (deck 6) are JavaBlue Cafe (a coffee bar serving lattes, coffees, cappuccinos, fresh bakery items, salads and light food throughout the day) and Cherry on Top (sweets shop).