New Ship Guide: Mardi Gras

Carnival Mardi Gras - Photo by Carnival Cruise Line

When is Mardi Gras slated to make its inaugural voyage?

Mardi Gras will set out on its maiden voyage on July 31, 2021 from Port Canaveral. In the Summer and Fall of 2021, the ship will sail a number of 7-night Western and Eastern Caribbean itineraries throughout the end of the year. Eastern Caribbean port stops will include visits to San Juan, Puerto Playa, and Nassau. Western Caribbean port stops include Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Roatan.  

Carnival’s protocol for Mardi Gras states, “Guests, including children who are age-eligible for vaccines, will need to be vaccinated and show proof of vaccination in advance of boarding. According to current CDC guidelines, vaccinated guests will not be required to wear face masks or physical distance while on board. However, masks are required at the cruise terminal during embarkation. Vaccinated guests may participate in Carnival-sponsored tours or independent activities.” 

There is an exemption process from Carnival to accommodate a small number of guests who are unable or ineligible to be vaccinated (which includes children under 12 and other exceptions as required by federal law). To accommodate new vaccine requirements instituted by the Bahamas, effective with embarkations on or after August 28, all cruises from all U.S. Atlantic and Gulf homeports will only allow vaccine exemptions to children under 12, and those with a medical condition that does not allow them to be vaccinated. The guest’s birth certificate or passport (for children), or a letter from a medical provider stating that the individual cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, must be presented at check-in, along with an exemption approval letter from Carnival.

According to the line vaccine exemptions previously granted for upcoming sailings cannot be fulfilled due to these new limitations. If a guest has received an exemption approval for anyone in your party that does not meet the requirements of these two categories (under 12). 

Read More: Carnival Announces New Summer Sailings + First Cruise for Mardi Gras

Cruising on Mardi Gras? Here’s our guide to everything you need to know before you board. 

About the Ship: Mardi Gras is the largest-ever ship for Carnival, guaranteeing you will find no shortage of activities, entertainment, dining, and cabin options onboard. Sharing a name with Carnival’s first vessel launched back in 1972, Mardi Gras will continue the cruise line’s reputation for laidback fun with revolutionary new amenities, including BOLT, the first-ever roller coaster at sea. The extra-large ship can accommodate up to 6,338 passengers (when sailing at full capacity). There are 55 types of cabin categories available, with a total of 2,641 total rooms throughout the vessel.  

Explore All Mardi Gras Cabin Types

Activities + Entertainment: Mardi Gras offers passengers a host of revolutionary new activities, as well as signature Carnival favorites. The ship is divided into six themed zones, each offering passengers a unique onboard experience: Grand Central, French Quarter, Summer Landing, La Piazza, Lido, and the Ultimate Playground. 

Onboard highlights include: SportSquare (home to the SkyCourse ropes course, SkyFitness gym, miniature golf, sports courts, and a jogging track), BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster, numerous kid-friendly venues such as Camp Ocean and Dr. Seuss Bookville, the Serenity adults-only retreat, WaterWorld water park, Cloud 9 Spa, a casino, five swimming pools and five whirlpools. 

Adults looking for a ‘night out’ will find a number of bars, lounges, and entertainment venues. Passengers with traditional tastes can pour their own brew at the ship’s beer station or find the perfect vintage at Mardi Gras’ wine bar, while cruisers looking to try something new can visit Alchemy Bar for a martini tasting. Looking to take in a show? Visit the Punchliner Comedy Club for a chuckle and a cocktail, or enjoy a themed musical from Playlist Productions. 

Explore Activities on Mardi Gras 

Dining: Cruisers will find a mouthwatering blend of exciting new dining options and Carnival eatery staples on Mardi Gras. Dining options include: Big Chicken by Shaq, BlueIguana Cantina, Bonsai Sushi, Bonsai Teppanyaki, Cucina del Capitano, Fahrenheit 555, Guy’s Burger Joint, Guy’s Pig & Anchor BBQ, JavaBlue Cafe, Ji Ji Asian Kitchen, Lido Marketplace, Pizzeria del Capitano, Rudi’s Seagrill, Street Eats and The Chef’s Table. Specialty restaurants include: Emeril’s Bistro 1396 and the Seafood Shack. 

Explore All Mardi Gras Dining

Pricing: Sailings are filling up quickly for the inaugural season for Mardi Gras. With a high demand from travelers to sail on a new highly-anticipated ship, we recommend booking NOW if you are considering cruising as prices are only going up. 

Right now you can expect to pay about $80 per person per night for entry-level accommodations. Considering a balcony cabin? This class of rooms currently starts at around 

$130 per person per night and go up from there based on location and category. 

Find a Deal on a Mardi Gras Sailing

What to Expect at Embarkation & Onboard Procedures

Every guest cruising with Carnival will undergo enhanced pre-embarkation health screenings. The line will refer anyone with signs and symptoms of COVID-19, or who are identified at-risk, for additional medical screening before allowing them to board. 

Secondary screenings (and health checks throughout the cruise) will be performed when necessary. Contact tracing is planned for every cruise. Protocols are evolving and Carnival will be continually sharing information up until the time of sailing. 

Carnival Cruise Line will require passengers on all voyages to produce a negative viral COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within 3 days of their embarkation date. Effective August 7, Carnival has instituted an onboard mask policy that includes the following: 

  • The line strongly encourages all guests to wear face masks when indoors, particularly guests who are unvaccinated including children under the age of 12 who should wear masks in public areas, except when eating or drinking.
  • All guests age 2 and older will be required to wear face masks in elevators and in designated indoor entertainment areas, all retail shops, and in the casino, except when eating or drinking.
  • Guests will be required to wear face masks prior to being seated in our main dining rooms and in the Lido Buffet area and occasionally in other designated areas where larger number of guests may congregate.  
  • Masks are required during embarkation and debarkation in the terminal, and masks should also be worn during the debarkation process on board.

Shore Excursions

With so much to see and do in the ports which Mardi Gras will visit, be sure to book shore excursions as early as possible. Spend your day in port exploring, at the beach, on an adventure, or doing a city tour. Save money, and be guaranteed to return to the ship on time when you book with Shore Excursion Group. 

Explore and book shore excursions

Want to Cruise on Mardi Gras? Explore All Sailings

Booked on Mardi Gras? Sign up for a Roll Call

Related Articles: 

Mardi Gras to Feature Brand New Celebrity Chef Restaurant

Carnival Shares Details for Mardi Gras Atrium

Mardi Gras to Include ‘Ship within a Ship’ Concept

Carnival Fleet Gets New Hull Design

Latest Update: December 1, 2021

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