Yesterday, Carnival Cruise Line christened its newest ship, Mardi Gras, at Port Canaveral, FL, in 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 and 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.
“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,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “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.”
Following remarks by Duffy and Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald, Carnival friends and partners, including Romero Britto, Emeril Lagasse, Kathie Lee Gifford, Vanna White and Guy Fieri, provided their congratulations on the ship’s naming and helped bring the champagne bottle to the ship.
The 180,000-ton ship boasts six distinct themed zones, plus an onboard roller coaster (a first for a cruise ship!), with a variety of food, beverage and entertainment options, including dining venues from Lagasse, Fieri, O’Neal and Rudi Sodamin.
Mardi Gras sails weekly from Port Canaveral on alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises. It is the first cruise ship in the Americas to be powered by eco-friendly Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
For more information, visit carnivalcruises.com.
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