Carnival Cruise Line christened Mardi Gras in Port Canaveral, Florida today. The ship was christened by Miss Universe, Dominican Republic, Kimberly Jiménez, in a fun-filled and star-studded event. She was joined by Miss Universe, Andrea Meza, and Miss USA, Asya Branch, who sang the national anthem.
Mardi Gras Is Christened
The christening of a new ship is a big event for every cruise line. And while the “Universe of Fun” celebration was a bit more subdued compared to previous events, the event marked the first in the industry since the restart of operations earlier this summer.
The event was attended by Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal who was joined by Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald and Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy.
A Sign of Optimism for the Cruise Line Industry
Today’s event marks the first ship naming ceremony held in the U.S. since the cruise industry’s restart this summer. The event is a positive sign for the cruise industry which has only recently restarted sailing operations after a long, covid related, absence.
“Today’s naming ceremony of our flagship Mardi Gras, the first in the industry since our restart of operations, signifies excitement and optimism as we look to bring our entire fleet back into guest service by spring 2022”Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line
During the ceremony, the godmother of the ship, Miss Universe Dominican Republic, Kimberly Jiménez, officially named Mardi Gras. Carnival Cruise Line chose Ms. Jiménez to be the godmother in May of this year.
Following remarks by Duffy and Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald, Carnival friends and partners Romero Britto, Emeril Lagasse, Kathie Lee Gifford, Vanna White, and Guy Fieri provided their congratulations on the ship’s naming.
“This ship has been amazing guests during her pre-inaugural season and the celebration today with our Chief Fun Officer Shaq, our Godmother Kimberly, and so many special guests, was extremely gratifying and emotional.”Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line
Mardis Gras Long-Awaited Debut
Mardi Gras debut marks the end of a dark period for Carnival Cruise Line, which saw the entire fleet grounded for more than 15 months over the past two years due to covid related restrictions.
On July 31, after nearly 7 months of delays, the vessel finally set sail on her first passenger cruise which treated guests to a seven-night voyage out of Port Canaveral.
Coming in at 180,000 gross tons with the capacity to carry 5282 passengers at double occupancy, Mardi Gras, is the largest cruise ship carnival has ever built. The highlight of the ship is BOLT – the first-ever onboard roller coaster.
Other highlights include seven themed zones, an adults-only Serenity Retreat sundeck, Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse | Brewhouse, and the two-story RedFrog Tiki Bar.