The announcement was made yesterday at the St. Jude campus in Memphis, Tennessee, during Carnival’s seventh annual Day of Play where patient families enjoyed a variety of fun activities hosted by the line’s team members. The Day of Play was held in conjunction with the cruise line’s hotel directors conference, where the leaders responsible for the guest operations on Carnival’s 26 cruise ships traveled to St. Jude for business meetings and a tour of the hospital.
At the event, Carnival Cruise Line announced an additional $15 million pledge to the hospital over the next five years after achieving its initial fundraising goal early. Since the partnership began in 2010, Carnival has raised more than $18 million in support of the lifesaving mission of St. Jude: Finding cures. Saving children.
As the Official Celebration Partner of St. Jude, Carnival Cruise Line hosts events at the hospital and raises money through a variety of fundraising initiatives, both on board and ashore, including the Groove for St. Jude dance party and Build-A-Bear Workshop at Sea where kids can create their own St. Jude-themed keepsake bear.
Carnival Horizon also boasts a stunning three-deck-high “Dreamscape” LED atrium sculpture that displays artwork from St. Jude patients while guests on Carnival Vista can satisfy their sweet tooth with a Brownie Buoy, a delicious ice cream concoction designed by the children of St. Jude with all profits donated to the hospital.
Carnival Cruise Line’s President Christine Duffy also announced that Carnival’s new ship arriving next year, Mardi Gras, will feature a sculpture and other artwork designed by St. Jude patients.
Mardi Gras is a highly anticipated ship that will boast a number of groundbreaking features and experiences, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, the first seagoing restaurant from famed New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse, and six themed zones offering a variety of food, beverage and entertainment choices.
Mardi Gras will also be the first ship in North America powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), part of Carnival Corporation’s “green cruising” platform.
Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe on August 31, 2020, before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in October 2020.