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Carnival Cruise Line Christens Cruise Ship ‘Mardi Gras’ at ‘Universe of Fun’ Celebration

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Carnival Cruise Line has christened its ship ‘Mardi Gras’ at Port Canaveral, Florida on 24 October, at a “Universe of Fun” celebration, in the first ship naming ceremony held in the U.S. since the cruise industry’s restart this summer.

The festivities were attended by Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal with a ribbon-cutting of his first Big Chicken restaurant at sea that debuted on Mardi Gras when she began cruise operations on July 31. 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.

“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.

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 and helped bring the champagne bottle to the ship.

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 boasts six distinct themed zones 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.

For more information, please visit Carnival.com.