Carnival Mardi Gras Review and Specifications
Specifications of Carnival Mardi Gras
|Year built||2020 new ship|
|Builder||Meyer Werft (Turku, Finland)|
|Building cost||EUR 700 million (USD 950 million)|
|Owner||Carnival Corporation & PLC|
|Operator||Carnival Cruise Line|
|Speed||23 kn / 43 kph / 26 mph|
|Length (LOA)||344 m / 1129 ft|
|Beam (width)||42 m / 138 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||180800 gt|
|Passengers||5282 - 6338|
|Decks with cabins||11|
|Sister-ships||AIDAnova, AIDAcosma, AIDA 2023, P&O Iona, Costa Smeralda, Costa Toscana|
Review of Carnival Mardi Gras
With scheduled inauguration in November 2020, Carnival Mardi Gras cruise ship is Carnival fleet's newest, largest and most technologically advanced vessel ever constructed. As with all other Fun Ships, the shipowner is Carnival Corporation - world's largest passenger shipping company. Other Excellence-Class liners (Mardi Gras sisterships) are P&O Iona (2020), Costa Smeralda (2019), Costa Toscana (2021), AIDAnova (2018), AIDAcosma (2021), AIDAtbn (2023).
Carnival XL-Class ship design features a new (red-white-navy blue) hull and was created by the NYC-based naval architecture firm "Bluarch Architecture". Among world's largest passenger ships, the new liner has length 1130 ft (344 m), passenger capacity 5200 (lower berths) and will offer various fleet-first and industry-first innovations - yet to be revealed.
What is known so far is that the XL-Class is similar to design and facilities to Helios-Class ships produced for Carnival Corporation's brands Costa and AIDA by Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany. Of the same series is also the P&O UK ship Iona (also scheduled for delivery in 2020).
On December 14, 2018, Carnival announced that the new Mardi Gras will have the industry's first roller coaster at sea. The facility ("BOLT Ultimate Sea Coaster") will be built by Maurer Rides (Munich-based German company specializing in roller coaster manufacturing). The race track has length 244 m (800 ft), with twists, turns, drops and speeds up to 64 kph (40 mph). Individual speeds are posted after the race. Carnival's roller coaster is all-electric and allows 2 riders to race along in motorbike-like vehicles at height 57 m (187 ft) above the sea. The experience features breathtaking top-deck 360-degree views and ends with a high-speed turn around ship's funnel.
On January 25, 2019, was announced that the new Carnival XL-class vessel will have 6 themed zones (neighbourhoods) - Grand Central, French Quarter, Lido-Pool, La Piazza, Summer Landing, The Ultimate Playground.
Cruise staterooms are divided into 22 different cabin categories, also including duplex suites. All cabin bathrooms feature fleet's first glass-door showers and in-shower shaving bar. Over 70% of all staterooms are outside, 300 pairs are connecting/family cabins.
Cabin balconies are accessed via sliding floor-ceiling glass doors. The lounge area is furnished with new-type sofabeds (couch bed with footstools opening up for storage), under-bed storage (for suitcases), flexible reading lamps (bedside), mini-refrigerator with transparent glass door, plenty of power outlets, USB ports (on the vanity table and bedside), more shelving (for electronic devices), large wardrobe (with folding shelves, sliding shoe rack, 2 pull-out bins).
Like the Vista-class Carnival liners, Mardi Grass has Havana staterooms with a patio (indoor-outdoor space) with direct access to an exclusive sundeck area with loungers, Bar and swimming pool. Another Vista-class type of cabins are Family Harbor (clustered near Camp Ocean/kids club) and with direct access to the exclusive Family Harbor Lounge. Cloud 9 Spa staterooms traditionally offer exclusive amenities, including premium bathrobes and slippers and Elemis brand toiletries.
Mardi Gras offers over 180 suites in 11 categories, including company's new premium category "Carnival Excel" suites (32 staterooms in 4 categories) with new VIP amenities and exclusive access to Loft 19 (resort-style, open-air sundeck). All ship suites offer a VIP amenities package including priority boarding/debarkation, bottled water upon arrival, priority MDR (main dining room) seating, plush bathrobes. Passengers in "Carnival Excel" suites receive as additional amenities:
- Dedicated concierge phone line
- Unlimited access to Loft 19
- Guaranteed specialty dining times (except Bonsai Teppanyaki, and Chef's Table)
- Complimentary room service, laundry, and Bottomless Bubbles soda package
- Fresh fruit basket and sparkling wine upon arrival
- Upgraded bathroom amenities
Shipboard facilities and amenities
The vessel also features Carnival's largest Atrium and open-deck areas.
- Grand Central (midship on Decks 6-8) is an expanded Atrium concept combining day-to-night entertainment complex with a bar lounge (overlooking ship's starboard side) with 3-decks high floor-ceiling windows. From the Atrium are accessible the restaurants Bonsai Sushi, Bonsai Teppanyaki and Punchliner Comedy Club, as well as the intimate Piano Bar 88 (themed venue for sing-a-longs).
- French Quarter (aft on Deck 6) is lined with new eateries and bars. This neighborhood is linked via 2-deck-high Promenade with a traditional New Orleans Jazz Club offering hand-crafted cocktails and live music.
- La Piazza (midship on Deck 8) is an Italy-themed area housing the 24-hour complimentary Pizzeria del Capitano and Cucina del Capitano (seafood restaurant). Classic Italian cocktails and live music nightly are offered at a new Bar Lounge.
- Summer Landing (aft on Deck 8) houses Guy's Pig and Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse (Carnival's complimentary smoked-on-board BBQ food by Guy Fieri), The Watering Hole (outdoor bar with wide selections of cocktails and beers) and ParchedPig (onboard- brewed craft beers). Also in this neighborhood are located a lunch counter (for the Smokehouse-Brewhouse), an expansive outdoor deck area with two whirlpools and an infinity pool, a stage for live music, a sports bar featuring indoor and outdoor TV screens, hang-out space with trivia, dance classes, arts and crafts.
- Lido (aft on Decks 16-17) houses Carnival's complimentary Pool Deck eateries Seafood Shack, BlueIguana Cantina, and Guy's Burger Joint, plus the new venues Street Eats, and Big Chicken (by Shaq).
- The Ultimate Playground (aft on Decks 18-20) is a large family-friendly outdoor playground area highlighted by fleet's largest Carnival WaterWorks (aquapark) and an expanded SportSquare (sports complex). Also here is the "BOLT - Ultimate Sea Coaster" (first at sea).
The new Mardi Gras ship also has Carnival's signature facilities Serenity (adults-only resort), Alchemy Bar, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse. Further innovations are yet to be announced.
Cruise itinerary program
Mardi Gras ship's itinerary program is based on roundtrips to the Caribbean from homeport Port Canaveral (Orlando, Florida USA) with preferential berthing at the new "Carnival Terminal 3" (CT3). The Caribbean 2020 program starts after the Transatlantic repositioning from Europe. Bookings opened on January 30, 2019.
The itinerary program offers a diverse schedule with 6-day to 15-day voyages in Europe and the Caribbean. The "inaugural cruise schedule" in 2020 includes:
- (repositioning) 9-day "maiden voyage" from Copenhagen to Southampton UK (August 31-September 9, 2020) visiting Kiel, Gothenburg, Oslo, Rotterdam, Zeebrugge and Le Havre (Paris).
- (repositioning) 14-day Transatlantic crossing from Southampton to NYC New York (September 9-23, 2020) visiting Canary Islands (Las Palmas, Tenerife), Funchal (Madeira Island) and Ponta Delgada (Azores).
- 6-day "inaugural Caribbean cruise" (September 24-30, 2020) roundtrip from NYC to Portland ME and Saint John NB
- (repositioning) 15-day "Carnival Journeys" itinerary one-way from NYC to Port Canaveral FL (September 30-October 15, 2020), visiting Amber Cove, San Juan (Puerto Rico), St Thomas (USVI), St Maarten, St Kitts, Aruba, Curacao, Grand Turk.
Following a special 8-day Caribbean cruise from Port Canaveral (October 16, 2020), the liner starts its 7-day Caribbean itinerary program (October 24, 2020) offering two different 3-port 7-day itineraries (alternating weekly) to the Eastern-Western Caribbean. The Eastern Caribbean itinerary visits San Juan (Puerto Rico), Amber Cove (Dominican Republic), Grand Turk Island. The Western Caribbean itinerary visits Mexico (Cozumel, Costa Maya) and Honduras (Roatan Island, Mahogany Bay).
Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks
Carnival Mardi Gras main dining rooms feature select items from the onboard steakhouse, available for an additional fee. Mardi Gras also has a Lido buffet. Seafood lovers are pampered with the Seafood Shack - New England-inspired casual eatery. It offers both indoor and outdoor seating and the menu includes steamed lobster, lobster rolls, fried shrimp, fried clams, crab cakes, and other seafood surprises. Seafood Shack serves lunch and dinner and is priced a la carte starting at $4.
The ship has a Japanese specialty restaurant (named Bonsai Teppanyaki) located within the Bonsai Sushi restaurant (on Promenade-Havana Deck). The restaurant offers authentic Far East dishes and a live cooking show performance (by the chefs) at custom-built cooking stations positioned at the center of an 8-seat dining table. Due to room's limited seating, reservations are required. Each meal at Bonsai Teppanyaki starts with a sampling of 5 appetizers (Miso Soup, Pork Belly Yakitori, Spicy Tuna on Rocks). Combo dinners are also offered. Each meal ends with the specialty desserts "Chocolate Bento Box" and "Green Tea Ice Cream". The restaurant is open for lunch (seadays only) and for dinner (every night of the voyage). Cover charge/price is per person and covers the entire meal.
Available on all Fun Ships is Chef's Table (VIP dining experience / 12-guest capacity) that includes multicourse dinner with ship's Master Chef, private cocktail reception and galley/kitchen tour. This dining option usually takes place in a non-traditional venue (a dedicated room in the galley) and can be booked onboard for USD 75 per person.
Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse has a specialty restaurant (located in the French Quarter of Deck 6 / portside). Lagasse is the chef and owner of 11 different restaurants, including 4 in New Orleans. He is a regular guest on Good Morning America (TV show) and has hosted 2000+ shows on Food Network (US pay-TV channel). Lagasse Restaurant offers New Orleans cuisine, including spicy creole specialties. Menu items include muffuletta sandwiches, oyster and cochon de lait po-boys, gumbo, jambalaya, 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. A-la-carte menu appetizers cost US$2 each, entrees are priced at US$12.
New (Mardi Gras only) drinking and dining venues are within the themed zones "Lido" (deck 16) and "Summer Landing" (Lanai/promenade deck 8 aft). These include RedFrog Tiki Bar, The Watering Hole, Street Eats, Big Chicken (by Shaq).
- RedFrog Tiki Bar is a South Pacific Island-themed, 2-level bar designed as a variation of Carnival's poolside RedFrog Bar. New is the island-inspired outdoor decoration with floral patterns, vibrant colors, tiki heads. Located close to Guy's Burger Joint, RedFrog Tiki Bar offers refreshing cocktails (like Red's Rum Runner Jumper, Jungle Bird, Polynesian Punch) presented in souvenir glasses and pineapples.
- The Watering Hole (located within The Patio at Summer Landing) is a backyard-like designed outdoor bar with wide selections of cocktails and beers (including Carnival's own brands / canned and draft brews).
- Street Eats is an open-air complimentary eatery located next to Seafood Shack. It offers ready-to-eat street food via 3 themed kiosks (steamed, fried, and plancha food). The new grab-and-go dining venue has a daily rotating menu. Small plates (including falafel or empanadas) are available at the fried food station, siu mai or bao buns - at the steamed food outlet, and satay and kebabs at the plancha food kiosk.
The new Mardi Gras liner has fleet's (and world's) second "Big Chicken" restaurant at sea (by Shaquille O'Neal). Debuting on Carnival Radiance in 2020, Big Chicken is located aft on Lido Deck. Many menu items are developed by the basketball player himself, the rest are based on the star's favorite food recipes.
Rudi's Seagrill is another fleet-first dining venue (seafood restaurant by Rudi Sodamin / Holland America Line's Master Chef). Rudi's Seagrill is a specialty restaurant (at surcharge / reservation fee) located on Deck 8 (between Summer Landing and La Piazza) with indoor (80 seats) and outdoor seating (al fresco dining on The Lanai). The Seagrill offers appetizers, entrees and desserts, with all menu items presented as food faces. Signature dishes include Bigeye Tuna, Lemon-Stuffed Grilled Branzino, Seared Scallops, Salt-Roasted Prawns, Broiled Lobster Tails, Crab Cake, Caramel Apple Cheesecake, Chocolate Truffle Cake. Non-seafood options are also on offer.
Ship's 2-deck-high Lido zone houses fleet's biggest "Guy's Burger Joint" (by Guy Fieri), the Mexican food bar BlueIguana Cantina, the New England-inspired Seafood Shack, and Lido Marketplace (ship's buffet restaurant). Other signature facilities in the area are Beach Pool (midship) and the infinity swimming pool Tides Pool (aft) with a bar, great stern views and ample seating. Lido-Pool Deck also houses deck parties and Dive-in Movies (at Carnival Seaside Theater/outdoor cinema).
Follows the complete list of Carnival Mardi Gras restaurants and food bars.
- Palm Restaurant
- Emeril Lagasse Restaurant (ex Flamingo)
- Bonsai Sushi restaurant (including Bonsai Teppanyaki) serves Japanese cuisine specialties and drinks (a la carte priced menu).
- Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse (indoor/outdoor seating, open between 6 - 9:30 pm) is a premium steakhouse-seafood restaurant at a surcharge (reservations recommended).
- The Chef's Table (private dining room) is a small room dedicated to the multi-course Chef's Table VIP dinner package (surcharged at $75 per person).
- Ji Ji Asian Kitchen restaurant is complimentary for lunch (stir-fry favorites) and at a surcharge for dinner ($15 adults, $5 kids 11 and under /reservations recommended).
- La Piazza is an Italy-themed area housing the 24-hour complimentary Pizzeria del Capitano (24-hour pizzeria restaurant) and Cucina del Capitano (seafood restaurant).
- Summer Landing houses Guy's Pig and Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse (Carnival's complimentary smoked-on-board BBQ food by Guy Fieri) and ParchedPig (onboard-brewed craft beers).
- Lido houses Carnival's complimentary Pool Deck eateries Seafood Shack, BlueIguana Cantina (Mexican fast food bar), and Guy's Burger Joint
- BlueIguana Cantina is a complimentary poolside (self-serve) fast-food bar with Mexican cuisine serving the Beach Pool area.
- Lido Marketplace (self-service buffet restaurant)
- Big Chicken (specialty restaurant by Shaquille O'Neal)
- Rudi's Seagrill (specialty restaurant by Rudi Sodamin)
- RedFrog Tiki Bar
- The Watering Hole
- Street Eats
In mid-January 2018, Carnival announced 4 new craft beers that will be brewed onboard the Carnival Horizon (and the new Mardi Gras) ship. The brews were developed by brewmaster Colin Presby. They are offered at Guy's Pig and Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse (Brewhouse), The names of the new draft beers are inspired by the BBQ offerings at the Smokehouse/Brewhouse.
- "ParchedPig Farmhouse Ale" is lightly hopped dry finish beer.
- "ParchedPig Smoked Porter" is brewed with in-house smoked malt, hickory smoke, and molasses.
- "ParchedPig Toasted Amber Ale" has rich amber color and notes of toasted caramel and biscuit.
- "ParchedPig West Coast IPA" is a traditional West Coast India Pale Ale loaded with bitterness and distinctive aroma of pine and citrus.
Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport
The outdoor activity complex on the Mardi Gras ship is named The Ultimate Playground (2-deck high) with SkyRide, SkyCourse, SportSquare, Carnival WaterWorks (fleet's largest aquapark) and "BOLT - Ultimate Sea Coaster" (world's first rollercoaster at sea).
SkyRide is an open-air, pedal-powered aerial ride attraction where passengers climb a hanging bike and "cycle" around the 800 ft (244 m) suspended track, 150 ft (46 m) above sea level. Another signature outdoor fun facility is the ropes course SkyCourse (length 600 ft / 183 m). Both SkyCourse and SkyRide are part of the SportSquare (sports complex) with an indoor hangout, mini-bowling, mini-golf course, The Clubhouse, Ping-Pong area with tables, jogging track, interactive sports gaming, arcade basketball.
Located on ship's top-deck (deck 19), Loft 19 is a new VIP leisure concept (secluded retreat for adults) designed as a premium resort complex. Here are offered full bar service, swimming pool, sunbathing area with cabanas, deckchairs and sun loungers available for rent. The cabanas are fully-stocked with beverages, chilled towels, plush bathrobes and provide dedicated concierge service with lunch delivery and fresh fruits. Carnival Excel Suite passengers enjoy priority cabana reservations.
Follows the complete list of Carnival Mardi Gras lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens, and adults.
- Family Harbor Lounge (a dedicated to families space with 24-hour complimentary dining, concierge and babysitting service, movies, video games, board games by Hasbro).
- Mardi Gras Theatre 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.
- Grand Central (midship on Decks 6-8) is an expanded Atrium concept combining day-to-night entertainment complex with a bar lounge (overlooking ship's starboard side) with 3-decks high floor-ceiling windows.
- French Quarter is lined with new eateries and bars. This neighborhood is linked via 2-deck-high Promenade with a traditional New Orleans Jazz Club offering hand-crafted cocktails and live music.
- 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.
- JavaBlue Cafe (open between 7-10 am, and between 4 pm-12:30 midnight) is a specialty patisserie/coffee bar.
- Havana Bar is an authentic Cuban cafe (cocktail/coffee bar) with live Latin music in the evenings. After midnight, the bar transforms into Latin disco/nightclub.
- 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).
- The Fun Shops is named the shipboard duty-free shopping complex of retail stores (open between 8 am - 12 midnight).
- Special Occasions shop sells Bon Voyage wines/champagnes/liquor, Carnival cruise packages, specialty items, and gifts.
- Mardi Gras Casino is a Vegas-style gambling casino equipped with various slot machines (Coinless Fun Slot Machines) and gaming tables (Craps, Roulette, Black Jack 21, Caribbean Stud Poker, dealer-free poker tables).
- Limelight Lounge offers live evening entertainment by vocalists, musicians, comedians, karaoke.
- Lanai promenade (with outdoor seats, served by Lanai Bar-BQ Bar).
- Alchemy Bar is a vintage-themed cocktail bar (drink pharmacy) where professional mixologists (dressed in lab coats) serve handcrafted cocktails and made-to-order drinks from unique ingredients.
- Dreams Studio (photo sessions studio)
- Pixels Photo Gallery and Shop (professional photo-video services, duty-free equipment, and accessories, photos on display available for purchasing)
- Havana Outside is the Havana complex' pool area (1 swimming pool /Havana Pool, live palm trees).
- Tides Pool (aft) has 1 swimming pool flanked by 2 Whirlpools and a large sunbathing area served with drinks by the Tides Bar.
- Circle C (kids club lounge), Club O2 (teens club lounge)
- Warehouse (Video Arcade)
- Camp Ocean (formerly known as "Camp Carnival" - youth activities program)
- Creative Cove (a dedicated room for kids arts-crafts and workshops)
- Dr Seuss Bookville is a family-themed indoor playground (kids room/library) fitted with all Dr Seuss books (available for reading), fun games, themed decorations and activities (Dr Seuss characters, memorable phrases from the books, character meet-and greets). Other themed events held on the ship include Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast (at Main Dining Rooms), Story Time (at Camp Carnival), Seuss-A-Palooza Parade (Promenade Deck show).
- Carnival Cloud 9 Spa (wellness complex)
- The Fitness Center/Gymnasium (complimentary)
- Serenity Retreat (adults relaxation area served by Serenity Bar, with 2 cantilevered Whirlpools and sunbathing area)
- Loft 19 Retreat offers full bar service and a swimming pool surrounded by cabanas.
- The Ultimate Playground is a large (2-decks high) family-friendly outdoor playground with fleet's largest Carnival WaterWorks (aquapark), expanded SportSquare (sports complex with a basketball court, ropes course, jogging track, mini golf) and "BOLT - Ultimate Sea Coaster" (world's first rollercoaster at sea).
Carnival Cruise Line's entertainment team partnered with celebrity directors from Los Angeles (Broadway) and London (West End) to create 3 new signature shows - part of the onboard "Playlist Productions" revues. The new shows (named "Celestial Strings", "Soulbound", "Vintage Pop") use the full capacity of the interactive LED screens. A 4th show ("Amor Cubano - A Caribbean Dance Romance") is also available on the Horizon ship. It was introduced in 2017 on Carnival Vista.
- "Celestial Strings" show is themed on classical music mixed with modern pop.
- "Soulbound" is a gothic-inspired, New Orleans-themed show featuring R&B music favorites.
- "Vintage Pop" show is themed on "Gatsby's Cotton Club", featuring modern songs recomposed into classic jazz interpretations performed live by a 6-piece jazz band.
- "Amor Cubano - A Caribbean Dance Romance" show is themed on classic Latin songs mixed with modern music hits. It is held at the Havana Bar and highlighted by a 7-piece Cuban music band.
Carnival Mardi Gras - user reviews and comments
Photos of Carnival Mardi GrasAdd Photo
Carnival Mardi Gras ship related cruise news
- Cruise Industry
The float-out ceremony of the coming flagship of Carnival Cruise Line, Mardi Gras, was celebrated on Friday, January 24, at Meyer Turku shipyard...January 25, 2020
- Cruise Industry
Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras ship will be the company’s largest-ever at 180,000 GT when she debuts later in 2020. Vessel's launch...January 19, 2020
- Cruise Industry
Carnival Corporation announced it will launch 4 newbuild passenger liners in 2020 across 4 of its global brands. The vessels are as follows...January 9, 2020
- Cruise Industry
Six new cruise ships are scheduled to be homeported in Florida in 2020. The largest cruise ship ever built for Carnival will have her debut at Port...December 31, 2019
- Cruise Industry
After 652 piles and a total of 1216 pieces of pre-cast panels, the parking garage structure at Cruise Terminal 3 in Port Canaveral is nearing...December 25, 2019
- Cruise Industry
On December 20, 2019, Carnival Cruise Line officially announced that Mardi Gras ship's delivery in 2020 will be delayed by Meyer Werft (shipbuilder...December 20, 2019
- Cruise Industry
Carnival Cruise Line expanded its Fun Ambassadors programme for next year after receiving strong applications from travel agents. The company...December 2, 2019
- Cruise Industry
Carnival Cruise Line announced that a new seafood restaurant designed by popular culinary artist Rudi Sodamin will be one of the varied dining...November 24, 2019
- Cruise Industry
The first roller coaster at sea will boast motorcycle-inspired vehicles along with the option for riders to choose their speed. Carnival Cruise Line...November 22, 2019
- Cruise Industry
A crane lifted the first wall section of Port Canaveral’s Cruise Terminal 3 (CT3) parking garage on July 30 and carried the 52,000-pound...August 2, 2019
- show more news
Other Carnival Cruise Line cruise ships
Carnival Mardi Gras Wiki
Like most large-sized newbuilds, the Carnival ship Mardi Gras is LNG-powered, with 4x Caterpillar Marine LNG engines (model MaK 16M-46DF) generating combined output 57,2 MW. The propulsion system is based on two Azimuting thrusters with combined power output 37 MW. The ship has 3x LNG tanks (cryogenic steel) with total capacity ~3200 m3. Two of the tanks are larger (length 35 m / 115 ft, diameter 8 m / 26 ft, gas capacity 1525 m3), while the 3rd tank has length 28 m (92 ft), diameter 5 m (16 ft) and gas capacity 520 m3.
On November 15, 2018, was held the steel-cutting ceremony, which officially started the vessel's construction by the shipbuilder Meyer Werft (Turku Shipyard, Finland). The keel-laying ceremony was on June 18, 2019. The ship was launched (floated-out from drydock) on January 24, 2020, with scheduled delivery in October 2020. The launch ceremony was attended by Ben Clement (Carnival Cruise Line's Senior VP of newbuilds) and Jan Meyer (Meyer Turku's CEO).
The name for the newbuild (Meyer Turku yard number 1396) was officially revealed on December 6, 2018, at the Puzzleboard of the US TV game show "Wheel of Fortune" - at the very end of the broadcast. Newbuild's name honours Carnival Cruise Line's first-ever "Fun Ship" - MARDI GRAS. The traditional ocean liner was launched in 1961 (under the name "Empress of Canada"). The vessel (last named Apollon) was scrapped in 2003.
In mid-June 2019 were announced ship's senior officers - Giuseppe Giusa (Captain, 31-year of maritime service, former Italian Navy sergeant, with Carnival since 1993, ex-Master of Ecstasy and Breeze), Ferdinando Ruocco (Chief Engineer, former tanker ship officer, with Carnival since 1997, ex-Chief Engineer of Triumph and Valor) and Pierre Camilleri (Hotel Director, with Carnival since 2004, ex-Hotel Director of BreezeVista and Horizon).
Vessel's keel-laying (aka "coin ceremony") ceremony was held on June 18, 2019, with which officially started ship's construction at Meyer Werft's Turku Shipyard in Finland. During the special event, newly-minted unique coins were placed under ship's first hull/keel block in the drydock. The coins are traditionally placed to bring luck to the vessel during construction and later at sea.
Inaugural cruise 2020 itineraries
Due to delayed delivery, ship's first 8 cruises were cancelled. These voyages included the Inaugural Cruise in Europe (Copenhagen to Southampton), the Transatlantic crossing (Southampton to NYC), two NYC departures and four Port Canaveral roundtrips. You can see their itineraries at the ship's CruiseMinus (accidents) page.
Next tables show ship's revised program with the maiden voyages (inaugural itineraries by destination) as call ports (arrival/departure times) and lowest prices per person in USD (Inside cabin fares based on double occupancy).
7-day Inaugural Western Caribbean cruise - from US$ 659 pp
|Date / Time||Port|
|14 Nov 16:00||Departing from Port Canaveral, Florida|
|16 Nov 10:00 - 19:00||Cozumel, Mexico|
|17 Nov 07:00 - 17:00||Costa Maya, Mexico|
|18 Nov 07:00 - 17:00||Roatan Island, Coxen Hole, Honduras|
|21 Nov 07:00||Arriving in Port Canaveral, Florida|
7-day inaugural Eastern Caribbean cruise - from US$ 799 pp
|Date / Time||Port|
|21 Nov 16:00||Departing from Port Canaveral, Florida|
|24 Nov 07:00 - 16:00||San Juan, Puerto Rico|
|25 Nov 09:00 - 18:00||Amber Cove, Dominican Republic|
|26 Nov 07:00 - 16:00||Grand Turk Island|
|28 Nov 07:00||Arriving in Port Canaveral, Florida|
Godspeed to the new ship!
The old Mardi Gras ship
TSS Mardi Gras vessel had IMO number 5103936, LOA length 198 m (650 ft), width 26 m (87 ft), draft 9 m (29 ft) and GT tonnage 27,300 tons (originally 18261 GT tons). Liner's capacity was 1240 passengers (originally 1048) plus 470 crew. During its service history, the vessel was named Empress of Canada (1961-1972), TSS Mardi Gras (1972-1993), Olympic (1993), Star of Texas (1994), Lucky Star (1994-1995) and Apollon (1995-2003).
The ocean liner was built at Vickers-Armstrongs shipyard in Newcastle England UK. The yard was located in the city's Walker suburb. Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd (1927-1977) was an engineering-design and shipbuilding company formed in 1927 as a merger of two British companies - Vickers Ltd (engineering) and Armstrong Whitworth (manufacturing - armaments, ships, locomotives, automobiles, planes). In the 1960-1970s, most of Vickers-Armstrongs was nationalized, with the remainder of the company's private assets divested in 1977 as Vickers plc. In 1999, Vickers plc became defunct and was purchased by Rolls-Royce plc. In 2004, the Vickers brand became defunct.
Vessel's launch (float-out from drydock) was on May 10, 1960. It was delivered to Canadian Pacific in March 1961. The inaugural cruise departed on April 24, 1961, from Liverpool to Montreal. The shipowner Canadian Pacific Steamships Ltd was founded as"Canadian Pacific Steamship Company" in 1887 in Vancouver BC. In 2005, the company (aka CP Ships) was purchased by TUI AG and became part of TUI's subsidiary Hapag-Lloyd Cruises (acquired in 1998).
Empress of Canada offered regularly scheduled Transatlantic crossings between the UK and Quebec Canada (Liverpool - Montreal). Like all CP liners, Empress of Canada was UK-flagged. After 121 Transatlantic crossings (RepositionCruises.com) and 82 Canadian cruises, Empress of Canada arrived in Liverpool on November 23, 1971, with which the regular Liverpool-Canada service was terminated. On December 17 (1971) the liner was laid up in Port Tilbury-London.
In January 1972, the vessel was sold to Carnival Cruise Lines and started operations as "TSS Mardi Gras" under flag-state (registry) Panama. The first "Fun Ship" started its maiden voyage on February 26, 1972, leaving from London to Miami. Mardi Gras sailed for Carnival until 1993, when was sold to Epirotiki Line (Greek shipping company founded in 1850).
In 1995 was created Royal Olympic Cruise Lines as a merger of Epirotiki Line and Sun Line. In 2000, all scheduled voyages were canceled and the vessel was laid up in Piraeus (Athens, Greece). In 2001, the ship (named Apollon) re-entered service for short-breaks (3- and 4-day cruises) roundtrip from homeport Piraeus. In 2003, the 42-year-old liner was laid up again, and soon sold for scrap.
Carnival Mardi Gras Itineraries
The below listed Carnival Mardi Gras cruise prices on itineraries are only indicative and Per Person (in US dollars, based on double occupancy). These are the cheapest Carnival Cruise Line fares on the ship’s lowest category cabins available for booking. Cruise fares typically change with departure dates approaching, last minute deals, discounts, promotions, independent travel agency offers.
|Date||Cruise Name||Departure Port||Price from|
|2020 Nov 14||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral|
|2020 Nov 28||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral|
|2020 Dec 05||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral|
|2020 Dec 12||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$829|
|2020 Dec 19||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$1119|
|2020 Dec 26||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$1279|
|2021 Jan 02||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$739|
|2021 Jan 09||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$669|
|2021 Jan 16||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$669|
|2021 Jan 23||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$649|
|2021 Jan 30||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$659|
|2021 Feb 06||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$679|
|2021 Feb 13||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$729|
|2021 Feb 20||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$669|
|2021 Feb 27||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$699|
|2021 Mar 06||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$729|
|2021 Mar 13||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$759|
|2021 Mar 20||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$759|
|2021 Mar 27||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$809|
|2021 Apr 03||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$789|
|2021 Apr 10||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$689|
|2021 Apr 17||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$679|
|2021 Apr 24||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$679|
|2021 May 01||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$629|
|2021 May 08||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$649|
|2021 May 15||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$659|
|2021 May 22||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$699|
|2021 May 29||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$809|
|2021 Jun 05||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$889|
|2021 Jun 12||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$899|
|2021 Jun 19||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$929|
|2021 Jun 26||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$899|
|2021 Jul 03||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$939|
|2021 Jul 10||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$899|
|2021 Jul 17||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$929|
|2021 Jul 24||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$899|
|2021 Jul 31||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$859|
|2021 Aug 07||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$799|
|2021 Aug 14||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$729|
|2021 Aug 21||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$599|
|2021 Aug 28||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$609|
|2021 Sep 04||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$579|
|2021 Sep 11||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$569|
|2021 Sep 18||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$559|
|2021 Sep 25||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$569|
|2021 Oct 02||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$559|
|2021 Oct 09||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$569|
|2021 Oct 16||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$559|
|2021 Oct 23||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$569|
|2021 Oct 30||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$559|
|2021 Nov 06||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$569|
|2021 Nov 13||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$559|
|2021 Nov 20||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$699|
|2021 Nov 27||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$539|
|2021 Dec 04||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$549|
|2021 Dec 11||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$579|
|2021 Dec 18||8 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$999|
|2021 Dec 26||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$949|
|2022 Jan 02||6 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$589|
|2022 Jan 08||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$599|
|2022 Jan 15||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$619|
|2022 Jan 22||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$599|
|2022 Jan 29||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$609|
|2022 Feb 05||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$619|
|2022 Feb 12||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$629|
|2022 Feb 19||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$639|
|2022 Feb 26||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$659|
|2022 Mar 05||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$704|
|2022 Mar 12||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$729|
|2022 Mar 19||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$729|
|2022 Mar 26||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$729|
|2022 Apr 02||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$729|
|2022 Apr 09||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$769|
|2022 Apr 16||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$729|
|2022 Apr 23||7 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$649|
|2022 Apr 30||7 days, round-trip Western Caribbean||Port Canaveral||$649|