Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras cruise ship has been voted as Best New Cruise Ship of 2021 in Cruise Hive’s annual Cruise Ship Awards. It’s the first category results to be announced, with more results coming before the end of 2021.
Mardi Gras is Best New Cruise Ship
Carnival’s flagship has already been one of the hottest new topics since arriving in the US to begin service in the summer, and now, the vessel has come out on top for Best New Cruise Ship of 2021. Mardi Gras was up against 11 other new cruise ships that entered service this year, including Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas, Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Apex, and Princess Cruises’ Enchanted Princess.
The Mardi Gras is the newest ship in the fleet and was originally scheduled to debut at the end of August 2020. Due to the global pandemic and the industry-wide pause, the Carnival cruise ship was eventually delivered in December 2020. It then arrived in the US to begin guest operations in July 2021.
The ship is the first Excel-class for Carnival Cruise Line, and the largest ever ship in the fleet. She is fully powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and brings new features to the cruise line. Mardi Gras features the first roller coaster at sea named BOLT, also in the Best Cruise Ship Feature category in this year’s awards.
Also found on board is the first Big Chicken restaurant at sea brought by Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer, Shaquille O’Neil. There are six different themed zones on Mardi Gras offering fun-filled vacations from Port Canaveral in Florida. The ship debuted on July 31, 2021, and is currently offering seven-day eastern and western Caribbean itineraries.
Mardi Gras is 180,800 gross tons with a guest capacity of 5,282 at double occupancy and 1,735 international crew members. The vessel was constructed at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, and the godmother is Kimberly Jimenes, Miss Dominican Republic.
Which New Ships Came Second and Third?
The Cruise Ship Awards have been open since mid-September 2021, and Cruise Hive readers have been able to cast a vote in seven different categories, including Best New Cruise Ship of 2021. Mardi Gras received more votes than any other cruise ship. Readers have only been allowed to vote once, and any repeat or suspicious votes were not counted.
Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas, the second Quantum-Ultra class vessel by Royal Caribbean, came in second place. The ship is 167,704 gross tons with a guest capacity of 4,198 at double occupancy and departed on her maiden voyage from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on July 31, 2021. Like Mardi Gras, Odyssey of the Seas was also delayed due to the pandemic.
In third place came the new Celebrity Apex, the second Edge-class vessel from Celebrity Cruises. The ship is 129,500 gross tons and has a passenger capacity of 2,910 at double occupancy. Due to the industry suspension, the new ship was also delayed but finally departed on her maiden voyage from Athens, Greece, in June 2021.
Still to be announced in the 2021 Cruise Ship Awards are the results of six more categories, so do keep checking Cruise Hive for those.