August 5, 2021. To celebrate Carnival Cruise Line’s maiden voyage of its newest and most innovative ship, Mardi Gras, Carnival President Christine Duffy and Mardi Gras Captain Giuseppe Giusa led a “Back to Fun” ribbon-cutting ceremony officially welcoming guests on board.

Mardi Gras is the first cruise ship to set sail with guests from Port Canaveral since the industry-wide pause in operations 16 months ago.

As the line’s newest flagship, 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 Emeril Lagasse, Guy Fieri, Rudi Sodamin and its Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal.

“Mardi Gras has been five years in the making so to finally welcome guests on board to experience this one-of-a-kind ship is something that we’ve been looking forward to for a very long time,” Duffy said.  “Not only is Mardi Gras providing a truly unique vacation experience to our guests, it’s so gratifying to be able to play a role helping the local community by providing much-needed jobs and a boost to the economy.”

Added Giusa, “Today was a truly emotional moment for our entire Mardi Gras team. Having the distinction as the flagship of Carnival Cruise Line is a great honor and our entire team is ready to provide our guests with the vacation they have been so patiently waiting for. We are ready to get back to fun!”