Construction officially began on Carnival Cruise Line’s largest ship ever, Mardi Gras. The 180,000 gross ton vessel will debut in 2020 and will be the first cruise ship ever to have a roller coaster.
The coin ceremony and keel laying for Mardi Gras took place at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland earlier today. The keel laying of a cruise ship marks the official start of construction of a new vessel as it signifies the beginning of the ship’s physical construction. Newly minted coins were placed under the keel, which then stays in place until the end of construction. According to maritime tradition, the coins are said to bring luck to the ship during its construction and then to its Captain and crew when she is at sea.
Carnival’s Mardi Gras will feature six distinct zones of guest pleasing experiences on the vessel’s 20 decks, including the first roller coaster on a cruise ship.
The accommodations on Mardi Gras will include more than 20 different stateroom categories and multiple levels of spacious and luxurious suites. Mardi Gras will also include the most expansive open decks on any Carnival ship, and a spectacular atrium that will serve as the hub of the ship as well as a stunning focal point where guests will be welcomed on board.
The cruise ship will feature an innovative new stateroom design when the vessel debuts next year that include:
- Floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors on nearly all verandahs for easier balcony access;
- New sofas that “flip” into a bed and foot stools that open up for storage;
- Clear glass doors on the in-room mini-refrigerators to see what’s inside;
- More 110V power outlets and USB connections both on the vanity and by the bed as well as more shelf space to accommodate electronic devices;
- Flexible bedside reading lamps that allow guests to read without disturbing others;
- A larger, customizable wardrobe with two pull-out bins, a sliding shoe rack, folding shelves and storage under the bed for luggage.
- Spacious bathrooms with glass shower doors, a first for the line, along with an in-shower shaving bar.
Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe August 31, 2020. After repositioning to New York for a series of cruises, the cruise ship will then head to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in October 2020.