This morning, Carnival Cruise Line christened its newest ship, Mardi Gras, here in Florida at Port Canaveral. It was the first ship naming ceremony held in the U.S. since the cruise industry’s restart this summer.
Miss Universe, Dominican Republic, Kimberly Jimenez served as the ship’s Godmother and officially named the ship. She was joined by Miss Universe, Andrea Meza, and Miss USA, Asya Branch, who sang the national anthem.
The event featured a “World of Nations” flag procession to highlight the diversity of the 120 nationalities of Carnival crew members, and, of course, a Mardi Gras parade with a Second Line Band.
Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal also attended the festivities and cut the ribbon of his first Big Chicken restaurant at sea.
The 180,000-ton ship boasts six distinct themed zones with a variety of food, beverage and entertainment options, including dining venues from O’Neal, Emeril Lagasse, Guy Fieri, and Rudi Sodamin.
Mardi Gras is the first cruise ship in the Americas to be powered by eco-friendly Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), and the first to feature a roller coaster.
A few years at IAAPA in Orlando, I got a peek at the coaster vehicle, with Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, and O’Neal demonstrating it:
Mardi Gras sails weekly from Port Canaveral on alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises, making it perfect for a quick getaway from Orlando.
For more information, visit CarnivalCruises.com.
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