Milestones throughout the first year of a new relationship is always worth celebrating, and Carnival Cruise Line and cruise enthusiasts are celebrating a great relationship milestone today – six months in love with Carnival’s new flagship, Mardi Gras. The first Excel-class ship set sail July 31, 2021, and so far has delighted more than 110,000 guests.
Mardi Gras Milestones
Her first six months have been remarkable, and Mardi Gras has made many milestones in just the few months she has been sailing.
The new ship first set sail from Port Canaveral on her maiden voyage on July 31, 2021, after long delays due to the industry-wide cruise operations shutdown. Mardi Gras‘ first milestones, however, were reached before she ever set sail.
- The ship is the largest in Carnival’s fleet, weighing in at 181,808 gross tons and measuring 1,130 feet long.
- Mardi Gras has the largest capacity of any Fun Ship, accommodating 5,282 guests at double occupancy and up to 6,500 guests when fully booked.
- She is the first cruise ship in the Americas powered by a liquefied natural gas (LNG), a cleaner fuel alternative.
- Mardi Gras is the first ship to feature a roller coaster, BOLT, which earned an engineering award from Popular Science magazine.
- The ship features the first Shaq’s Big Chicken restaurant, already proving immensely popular among guests.
Since she set sail, Mardi Gras has enjoyed recognition at many ports of call as she has made her initial visits, including Costa Maya, Cozumel, and Nassau. She was also the first cruise ship to return to San Juan, Puerto Rico on August 3, 2021, after the port had been closed to travelers for 17 months.
To celebrate her first six months of sailings, Carnival Cruise Line spoke with guests who have experienced the vessel firsthand.
Mardi Gras‘ recognition has also made headlines around the world. USA Today’s Reader’s Choice 10 Best Awards selected Mardi Gras as the Best New Cruise Ship of 2021, and Cruise Hive named it the Best Overall Cruise Ship of 2021 as well as Best New Cruise Ship of 2021.
Cruise Hive’s Annual Cruise Ship Awards also named BOLT as the Best Cruise Ship Feature of 2021. To date, BOLT has given more than 30,000 rides to thrill-seeking guests.
Mardi Gras is currently sailing 7-night cruises from Port Canaveral, alternating Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean itineraries.
More Excel-Class Ships to Come
With Mardi Gras‘ unprecedented popularity, the upcoming debuts of her sister ships, Carnival Celebration and Carnival Jubilee, are sure to be equally outstanding.
Carnival Celebration is scheduled to begin sailing from PortMiami in November, and her initial itineraries will include 6-, 7-, and 8-night Caribbean sailings. The ship’s construction is well underway, and she just received her iconic funnel earlier this month.
The third of the Excel-class ships, Carnival Jubilee, will begin operations from its homeport in Galveston in the fall of 2023. Not only will she mirror her sister ships, but she will also feature unique aspects all her own. Those unique features have not yet been announced, but are sure to generate further excitement for the ship’s debut.
Bookings for Carnival Jubilee just opened on January 25. The ship will offer 7-night Western Caribbean itineraries that call on Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico, with plenty of days at sea for guests to explore the new ship.
Carnival Jubilee is the last ship currently scheduled for the Excel-class, but Carnival Cruise Line is sure to have more fun planned for guests, no matter which ship they set sail aboard.