Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras To Feature Six Themed Zones

January 25, 2019.

Carnival Cruise Line today revealed the first look at design details for the highly anticipated Mardi Gras, the line’s most innovative ship set to debut in 2020 and the first cruise ship in North America powered by Liquid Natural Gas (LNG).  Mardi Gras will offer an extensive array of Carnival guest favorites along with new experiences highlighted by six themed zones.

The accommodations on Mardi Gras will include over 20 different stateroom categories and multiple levels of suites.  Mardi Gras will also include the most expansive open decks on any Carnival ship, and an atrium that will serve as the hub of the ship as well as a focal point where guests will be welcomed on board. 

Six Distinctive Zones

The six areas will be themed around Grand Central, French Quarter, La Piazza, Summer Landing, Lido and The Ultimate Playground and highlights include:

  • Grand Central (Decks 6-8, mid-ship):  Grand Central takes the traditional atrium concept to new heights, combining a day-to-night entertainment complex with three-deck-high floor-to-ceiling windows and a bar overlooking the starboard side of the ship.  Nearby are Bonsai Sushi and Bonsai Teppanyaki which will be expanded from designs on existing ships to reflect their popularity with guests.  There’s also the first-ever dedicated Punchliner Comedy Club and the always popular Piano Bar 88.
  • French Quarter (Deck 6, aft): In a nod to the New Orleans’ culture that combines lively entertainment with an unparalleled food scene, French Quarter will be lined with new bars, music and eateries that perfectly capture the spirit of the Big Easy.  And since the spirit of New Orleans is so closely tied to the jazz scene, this neighborhood is linked via a two-deck-high promenade leading to a traditional New Orleans jazz club with live entertainment and hand-crafted libations. More details on these new dining and entertainment choices and the introduction of a new Carnival celebrity partnership will be revealed this spring.
  • La Piazza (Deck 8, mid-ship):  La Piazza features Italian cuisine from the casual family-style Cucina del Capitano and 24/7 Pizzeria del Capitano to a new Mediterranean-themed seafood restaurant. There’s also a bar where guests can have cappuccino by day or classic Italian cocktails at night, while roaming musicians keep everyone entertained.
  • Summer Landing (Deck 8, aft): Summer Landing will be home to an expanded Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse with smoked-on-board barbecue favorites created by longtime Carnival partner Guy Fieri, along with the line’s exclusive ParchedPig craft beers brewed right on board.  There will be a pool and whirlpools, a new bar, the lunch counter for the Smokehouse Brewhouse along with ample lounging spaces and hang outs.
  • Lido (Deck 16-17, aft): Carnival is already known for its varied casual poolside restaurants and Mardi Gras’ expanded Lido will take this to a whole new level with existing Carnival favorites like Guy’s Burger Joint, the New England-inspired Seafood Shack, and BlueIguana Cantina Mexican eatery, along with some new concepts to be announced at a later date that are sure to inspire foodie fans.
  • The Ultimate Playground (Decks 18-20, aft): The Ultimate Playground will span Decks 18-20 and offer guests sea vistas highlighted by the largest and most elaborate Carnival WaterWorks aqua park in the fleet, along with an expanded SportSquare. The Ultimate Playground is also where guests will find the much-anticipated BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster, the first rollercoaster at sea announced in December 2018, where riders race along an 800-foot-long track achieving speeds of nearly 40 miles per hour.

Mardi Gras will also incorporate all of the line’s most popular signature features from its nearly completed $2 billion fleet enhancement program that has brought a consistent level of experiences to the more than five million passengers who annually sail on Carnival, such as Alchemy Bar, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, and the Serenity adult-only retreat, among others – many of which will offer an exciting twist, along with a variety of new innovations exclusive to this vessel.

Additional information on Mardi Gras, along with specifics on each of the six themed areas will be revealed in the coming months.

Reservations for Mardi Gras will be open for sale on Jan. 30, 2019.  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 up until Jan. 27, 2019 to get a “first to know” alert and special promotional offer when reservations open.

Carnival Returns To It’s Roots: New Ship To Be Named ‘Carnival Mardi Gras’

December 5, 2018.

In a nod to Carnival Cruise Line’s rich history, the line announced today that it will name its new XL-class ship 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 Puzzle board 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 new 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.

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.

Holland America’s Nieuw Statendam Completes Sea Trials

August 28, 2018.

Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam, the second Pinnacle Class ship in the fleet has successfully completed two sets of sea trials.

Nieuw Statendam left Marghera, Italy, August 10 and performed the first set of sea trials over two days before going into dry dock at Fincantieri’s Trieste shipyard, where the trial’s data was reviewed and standard hull maintenance was performed. The ship sailed its second sea trials Aug. 18, making its way back to Marghera Aug. 22 where the finishing touches will be completed.

During the sea trials, Nieuw Statendam underwent a series of performance tests on the ship’s systems, machinery and engines. The shipyard’s team of nautical officers, naval architects and builders tested the ship’s maneuvering characteristics and safety systems.

Due for delivery Dec. 1, 2018, Nieuw Statendam will cruise the Caribbean in winter and then move to northern Europe, Iceland and the Mediterranean in summer during its inaugural year. The 2,666-guest, 99,500-ton ship will be similar to sister Koningsdam but will have exclusive public spaces and its own style created by leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany and designer and architect Bjørn Storbraaten.

Holland America Line’s first ship to be called Statendam sailed in 1898, and this will be the sixth ship in the company’s history to carry the name. In combining the Dutch word for “new” with the classic “Statendam,” Holland America Line celebrates the company’s past, present and future.

Carnival Panorama To Have First Ever Female Cruise Director/Entertainment Director Duo

August 28, 2018.

Carnival Cruise Line has announced that for the first time ever, a female cruise director and entertainment director tandem will bring out a new ship – Carnival Panorama, set to debut in December 2019.  British-born Emma Nixon will serve as cruise director and Canadian native Brittany Boyd entertainment director when the 133,500-ton cruise ship sets sail next year from Long Beach, Calif., becoming Carnival’s first new ship homeported on the West Coast in more than 20 years.

Emma Nixon

The dynamic duo will lead all of the ship’s entertainment offerings, everything from deck parties to Hasbro, The Game Show; Lip Sync Battle; performances at the Punchliner Comedy Club,  and new Playlist Productions shows created especially for Carnival Panorama.

A six-year Carnival veteran, Nixon joined as a member of the Fun Squad and quickly moved up the ranks within the entertainment department serving as comedy club manager and assistant cruise director before being named cruise director of Carnival Spirit in 2015.  Known for her positive nature and infectious laugh, Emma’s role as cruise director is to create the fun, spirited environment on board and make sure that guests go home with a lifetime of wonderful vacation memories.

Brittany Boyd

Boyd joined Carnival in 2011 as a Fun Squad Host and was named entertainment director in 2014.   As Carnival Panorama’s entertainment director, Boyd will oversee all of the ship’s entertainment and will put her incredible organizational skills and keen attention to detail, planning, organizing and scheduling the literally hundreds of activity and entertainment choices that will be featured during its week-long cruises.

Nixon and Boyd will join the nearly 1,400 team members who will travel to Italy to prepare the ship for its Dec. 11, 2019, maiden voyage from the renovated Long Beach Cruise Terminal, home to three year-round Carnival Cruise Line ships and hosting upwards of 600,000 guests a year.

Following its inaugural three-day voyage departing Dec. 11, 2019, Carnival Panorama will launch year-round seven-day cruises Dec. 14, 2019 departing every Saturday to stunning seaside destinations along the Mexican Riviera, including Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta.

Carnival Panorama sailings are currently open for reservations.

Princess Cruises Reveals Name of Fifth Royal-Class Ship As Fleet Expansion Continues

August 20, 2018.

As Princess Cruises fleet expansion continues, the cruise line reveals the name of the ship it will launch in 2020 – Enchanted Princess.

Enchanted Princess is scheduled to debut on June 15, 2020 sailing on a series of European voyages. Bookings for her maiden season, summer 2020, will open on November 8, 2018.

“The name Enchanted Princess is captivating and conveys the elegance and grace of our new ship which will introduce more travellers to the pleasures and value of cruising,” said Jan Swartz president of Princess Cruises. “We are certain Enchanted Princess will exceed the expectations of our guests, ensuring they have the most memorable cruise vacation.”

The arrival of Enchanted Princess will be followed by the debut of the sixth Royal-Class vessel for Princess Cruises in 2021. The cruise line also has two new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) powered ships on order, bringing its new ship order to five ships in six years.

Construction of the 143,700-ton, 3,660-passenger Enchanted Princess will take place in the  Fincantieri Monfalcone shipyard with the ship set to feature an evolution of the design platform used for the cruise line’s previous Royal-Class ships.

For more Enchanted Princess updates visit www.princess.com/enchantedprincess

Oprah Winfrey Named Godmother of Holland America’s Nieuw Statendam; Hosting 3-Day Girl’s Getaway Cruise

June 13, 2018.

Three-Day Girls’ Getaway Cruise Jan. 30, 2019, with Oprah Winfrey Aboard Nieuw Statendam
Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine announced today a three-day Girls’ Getaway cruise on Holland America Line’s newest ship, Nieuw Statendam, Jan. 30, 2019. Oprah Winfrey will embark on the cruise, joined by O, The Oprah Magazine Editor-at-Large Gayle King and other members of the magazine’s editorial staff, who will host special presentations and events on board the ship, currently under construction at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy. Winfrey will serve as godmother of Nieuw Statendam, with an official dedication by Winfrey to take place in a private ceremony at a later date to be announced.

The Girls’ Getaway cruise sails roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and spends a day at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s private island in the Bahamas. The Girls’ Getaway cruise celebrates the power of friendship and will feature exclusive onboard experiences that honor and pay tribute to the special bond between women.

As a highlight, guests will have the opportunity to attend one of three live “Conversations with Oprah.”  Additionally, editorial staff from O, The Oprah Magazine will be on board hosting special events, including Editor-in-Chief Lucy Kaylin, Creative Director Adam Glassman, Beauty Director Brian Underwood and Books Editor Leigh Haber.

Activities and Events on the Girls’ Getaway Cruise
A Conversation with Oprah: Winfrey will share highlights of her career, inspirational stories of the amazing women she has met over the years, and the desire for this cruise to be the start of something meaningful for those on board. King will join Winfrey on stage for a candid and entertaining chat that shows the deep bond between these two best friends.

Love That! Style Session with Adam Glassman: Glassman will host a style presentation revealing his tips, tricks and secrets for essential pieces that everyone needs in their wardrobe. Following his talk, Glassman will join guests in the onboard dedicated O Shop to offer shopping advice.

O’s Reading Room with Leigh Haber: Guests will have the opportunity to read the latest onboard book club selection (to be announced) and then join Haber for an intriguing discussion with the author. O’s Reading Room was introduced on Holland America Line ships in 2017, and due to its overwhelming popularity, is now available on all ships in the fleet.

Just Breathe: Led by a guest instructor to be announced, participants set their intentions for the day and are encouraged to become present with themselves and those around them through meditation and movement. On the at-sea day, Just Breathe will be held around the serene Lido Pool area, and the experience moves to the beach during the call at private island Half Moon Cay.

Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine Partnership
Building on the success of the exclusive partnership started in 2017, Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine have extended their agreement through 2019 to unite the soul-stirring power of travel with O‘s deep commitment to connection and personal growth. Two remaining Adventure of Your Life Cruises with Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine also will feature members of the magazine’s editorial team, along with special guest speakers: Aug. 11, 2018, on a seven-day Alaska itinerary and Oct. 28, 2018, on a seven-day Caribbean sailing.

Carnival Horizon Officially Joins The Fleet

March 28, 2018.

Line’s Newest Ship to Sail on Inaugural Voyage from Barcelona April 2

In a traditional maritime handover ceremony held earlier today at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, Carnival Cruise Line officially took delivery of the new 133,500-ton Carnival Horizon, the 26th ship in its fleet.

The 3,954-passenger ship will reposition to Barcelona, Spain, where it will depart April 2 on an inaugural 13-day voyage – the first of four sailings from the European port.  The ship will then operate a trans-Atlantic crossing before arriving in New York May 23, 2018, for a pier side overnight gala and naming ceremony featuring the ship’s godmother, Grammy award-winning musical artist and acclaimed actress Queen Latifah.

Following a summer schedule of four-day Bermuda and eight-day Caribbean sailings from New York, Carnival Horizon will shift to Miami for a year-round schedule of six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises beginning Sept. 22, 2018.

Carnival Horizon offers several unique and exciting features, including a new Dr. Seuss-themed WaterWorks aqua park, part of the line’s exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Bonsai Teppanyaki, the line’s first teppanyaki venue, and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse|Brewhouse serving up “real deal” barbecue favorites created by Food Network star Guy Fieri, as well as four new craft beers brewed on board.

The second in the line’s highly successful Vista-class, Carnival Horizon also offers fun innovations like the bike-ride-in-the-sky aerial attraction SkyRide, an IMAX Theatre, the Havana section with tropics-inspired staterooms and its own pool, and Family Harbor featuring extra-roomy accommodations and the Family Harbor Lounge.    Like its name implies, Carnival Horizon also includes food and beverage outlets offering amazing views with both indoor and al fresco seating options at venues such as Bonsai Sushi, Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse and Library Bar.