Carnival Cruise Line’s largest ship to date has a date for its first voyage.
The Mardi Gras will set sail on April 24, 2021, the cruise line announced Thursday. It had previously been scheduled to debut in February 2021.
The ship will be the first operating in the Americas to run on liquefied natural gas and it will include eye-popping amenities like a roller coaster, according to Carnival. The coaster, named BOLT, will be the first roller coaster at sea. It will encircle the upper decks and offer views from 187 feet above the water line.
ROYAL CARIBBEAN SAILING FIRST CRUISE SINCE COVID-19 SUSPENSION 9 MONTHS AGO
The name is a homage to Carnival’s original ship, the TSS Mardi Gras. But the new Mardi Gras is much, much bigger. The 180,000-ton ship is 1,130 feet long and consists of 21 decks. It has 2,641 guest staterooms and will offer a normal occupancy of 5,282 guests, and a crew of 1,745.
This ship will feature six distinct “zones,” or themed areas, centered around a grand atrium with three-deck-high windows. Each zone will offer different dining, entertainment and shopping options, including restaurants from Emeril Lagasse, Guy Fieri and Shaquille O’Neal. There are multiple pools and a waterpark with three large waterslides.
There’s even a Family Feud live show hosting four games on an authentic set. Teams of five will be able to sign up to audition, or join the audience.
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Carnival is set to take delivery of the ship from the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland later this month. It will then sail the ship to the U.S. in order to meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new health safety requirements set in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Mardi Gras’ home port will be Port Canaveral, Florida.
Carnival’s announcement of the sailing date came the same day it also announced that it was canceling trips scheduled to leave from Miami, Port Canaveral and Galveston through the end of February.
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“We apologize to our guests but we must continue to take a thoughtful, deliberate and measured approach as we map out our return to operations in 2021, Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said in a press release. “Our commitment to the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit is at the forefront of our decisions and operations.
Royal Caribbean and Norwegian also extended their suspensions through the end of February this week, Fox Business reported.
Cruise lines are working to meet the CDC’s requirements, which include holding trial voyages with volunteer passengers in order to demonstrate their COVID-19 safety protocols are sufficient.