Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras, made her U.S. debut last week, docking for the first time at Port Canaveral’s Cruise Terminal 3, built specifically for this vessel, which is the first in the Americas powered by eco-friendly Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and features the first roller coaster at sea.
Port Canaveral-based Carnival Freedom and Carnival Liberty joined Mardi Gras as she made her way down the cruise channel.
More than 1,500 fans lined Jetty Park, located adjacent to the terminal, to welcome Mardi Gras to the Space Coast, while Carnival president Christine Duffy, Carnival Corp. Chairman Micky Arison, Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald, Carnival Corporation COO Josh Weinstein, and Canaveral Port Authority CEO Captain John Murray, along with 300 travel advisors, partners, dignitaries and guests, participated in a welcome reception highlighting the excitement for Mardi Gras’ arrival and its impact on the local economy.
“Mardi Gras has been five years in the making and today’s arrival is a historic milestone for our company not to mention a truly emotional moment for everyone here at Carnival Cruise Line,” said Duffy, in a press statement. “This ship offers so many innovations and ways for our guests to choose fun that we are certain that she will quickly become a guest favorite. And as we look forward to our restart in guest operations, Mardi Gras’ arrival is symbolic of the excitement and anticipation we have about the future at Carnival Cruise Line.”
“For nearly four years we have been working hard to prepare for Mardi Gras,” said Capt. Murray, in a press statement. “As we welcome home this magnificent ship to Port Canaveral, we are filled with pride to see her at berth at our beautiful Cruise Terminal 3.”
The company will now begin the process of ramping up Mardi Gras’ crew to a full contingent of 1,750 ready to create vacations for guests who will enjoy the widest array of entertainment at sea, including the first shipboard version of the TV show Family Feud, and dine in more than two dozen restaurants with venues from Guy Fieri, Emeril Lagasse, Rudi Sodiman and the line’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal.
Guests can enjoy an array of culinary, bar and entertainment experiences throughout 19 decks and six distinct themed zones, as well as a wide range of outdoor attractions, including the longest ropes course and largest water park in the fleet.
Mardi Gras will sail year-round from Port Canaveral, offering 7-day itineraries to the eastern and western Caribbean.
A video highlighting the journey of Mardi Gras from construction to today’s arrival in Port Canaveral can be viewed here.
For more information, visit carnival.com.