Carnival Reveals More Dining & Beverage News For Mardi Gras

June 19, 2019.

It’s a big week for news about Carnival’s newest ship Mardi Gras, no under construction in Finland.

The new, only-on-Mardi Gras dining and bar spots in the two themed zones include Street Eats, RedFrog Tiki Bar and The Watering Hole, among many other popular branded outlets and a Big Chicken restaurant by Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal.

These venues – which were previewed at an event yesterday in New York featuring an appearance by O’Neal – can be viewed in a new virtual tour here: https://youtu.be/8g8P5kBMqSs

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 Carnival’s 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 Carnival’s own canned and draft brews, as well as refreshing summer-inspired sips like the Watermelon Cooler and Tequila Sunset.

Big Chicken Restaurant by Shaquille O’Neal

Mardi Gras will also feature the second Big Chicken restaurant at sea created by Carnival Chief Fun Officer and NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal. Already winning over fans on land at its Las Vegas venue and debuting on Carnival Radiance in 2020, Big Chicken will be located aft on Lido Deck.  The all-inclusive breakfast, lunch and dinner menus will also give guests a glimpse into O’Neal’s family traditions as all menu items will be developed and taste-tested by the star himself and based on his favorite recipes.

Additional Dining, Entertainment, Recreation and Relaxation Options

Mardi Gras takes Carnival’s 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 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 Carnival’s 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.

Further details on other Mardi Gras features and themed zones will be announced in the coming months.

Mardi Gras’ Inaugural Schedule

Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe Aug. 31, 2020, before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in Oct. 2020.

Carnival Names Cruise & Entertainment Directors For Mardi Gras

June 18, 2019.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 18: Matt Mitcham and Hugo Hidalgo attend Carnival Cruise Line’s NYC Cruise Into Summer Event To Celebrate The Arrival Of Mardi Gras In 2020 at Pier 59 on June 18, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Carnival Cruise Line)

Fun is a huge part of Carnival Cruise Line’s DNA, and with the line’s new ship Mardi Gras offering an unparalleled array of entertainment choices, the company has selected fan favorites Matt Mitcham as cruise director and Hugo Hidalgo as entertainment director to help guests maximize their fun.

The dynamic duo will lead a 125-member team who will amp up the excitement and raise the bar for next-level entertainment when Mardi Gras sets sail in summer 2020.

Entertainment will be at the heart of Mardi Gras’ onboard experience with never-before-seen offerings including a first-in-fleet partnership with Family Feud, new high-tech Playlist Productions shows, a dedicated Punchliner Comedy Club, and new live music and entertainment options to be announced shortly, providing guests with even more ways to Choose Fun.

A native of Birmingham, England, and a 10-year Carnival veteran, Mitcham joined the company as an entertainment host and quickly moved through the ranks becoming a cruise director in 2012. One of the most popular cruise directors in the industry, Mitcham is loved for his engaging personality, friendly demeanor and incredible passion and energy, and chronicles his adventures for his fans on his popular Instagram and Facebook pages which have a combined 100,000 followers.

After working at resorts in his native Mexico, Hidalgo joined Carnival in 2012 as a Fun Squad member and has since held many entertainment positions allowing him to gain a thorough understanding of what it takes to “wow” guests. Known for his hands-on leadership approach and attention to detail, Hidalgo has earned a number of accolades, including Entertainment Director Rookie of the Year and Team Leader of the Month, as well as recognition for his team’s efforts in raising funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Keel-Laying Ceremony Held for Carnival’s New Ship ‘Mardi Gras’

June 18, 2019.

In keeping with maritime tradition, a keel-laying ceremony was held today at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, for Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras, which is scheduled to enter service in August 2020.

The ceremony, which dates back hundreds of years, was highlighted by the placement of coins placed on top of a 750-ton keel block called 3C signifying good luck for the ship and the official start of construction.

Carnival’s Senior Vice President of Newbuilds Ben Clement and Mardi Gras Captain Giuseppe Giusa, Chief Engineer Ferdinando Ruocco and Hotel Director Pierre Camilleri joined Meyer Turku CEO Jan Meyer at the festivities.

Mardi Gras will offer a variety of groundbreaking innovations, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea; the first seagoing restaurant by legendary chef Emeril Lagasse; and six themed zones with a wide range of culinary, beverage and activity choices.   Mardi Gras will also be the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), part of Carnival Corporation’s “green cruising” platform.

Mardi Gras is set to debut in Europe Aug. 31, 2020, then reposition to New York for a series of voyages before shifting to Port Canaveral, Fla., for year-round Caribbean departures.