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Steve Leland - December 6, 2021
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Carnival Cruise Line Christens Mardi Gras

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Carnival Cruise Line marked a huge milestone in the cruise comeback this weekend when they christened the brand new Mardi Gras at Port Canaveral! The event was the first ship naming ceremony held in the U.S. since the cruise industry’s restart this summer. 

Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal was on hand to celebrate and he even cut the ribbon for his Big Chicken restaurant at sea that debuted on Mardi Gras when the ship began cruise operations on July 31. 

Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald, Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy, Mardi Gras’ Godmother Miss Universe, Dominican Republic, Kimberly Jimenez, and Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal usher in the “Universe of Fun” at Mardi Gras christening.

Miss Universe, Dominican Republic, Kimberly Jimenez was named Godmother earlier this year and she officially named the ship along with Miss Universe, Andrea Meza and Miss USA, Asya Branch who sang the national anthem.

“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.”

The event was star-studded to say the least. Along with NBA legend Shaq, celebrities on hand to celebrate included artist Romero Britto, chef Emeril Lagasse, Kathie Lee Gifford, Vanna White and Guy Fieri.

Oh and who could forget Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine Founder and Editor-in-Chief Bill Panoff who was recognized by Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald for his years as the cruise director on the original Mardi Gras

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.  The 180,000-ton ship has six distinct themed zones with a TON of different food, beverage and entertainment options. 

Have you booked your cruise on Mardi Gras yet? Let us know in the comments! 

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