The Mardi Gras christened in Port Canaveral is the first cruise ship to be registered under U.S. jurisdiction, bringing an entirely new market for tourists and travelers

Carnival Cruise Line’s new ship Mardi Gras was christened today at Port Canaveral, Florida, as part of a “Universe of Fun” ceremony, according to Carnival.

Miss Universe Dominican Republic 2020 Kimberly Jiménez, the ship’s godmother, formally christened the ship at the Mardi Gras Theater aboard. Andrea Meza, Miss Universe, and Asya Branch, Miss USA, performed the national song with her. The ceremony included a “World of Nations” flag march to showcase the 120 countries represented among the crew members.

mardi gras christening ceremony

Following Duffy’s and Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald’s remarks, Carnival friends and partners Romero Britto, Emeril Lagasse, Kathie Lee Gifford, Vanna White, and Guy Fieri virtually congratulated the ship on its naming and assisted in the delivery of the champagne bottle to the ship.

“Today’s naming ceremony of our flagship Mardi Gras, the first in the industry since our resumption of operations, symbolizes enthusiasm and optimism as we work to put our complete fleet back into passenger service by spring 2022,” said Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy. “During her pre-inaugural season, this ship has been outstanding guests, and the celebration today with our Chief Fun Officer Shaq, our Godmother Kimberly, and so many special visitors was tremendously rewarding and emotional.”

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christine duffy carnival president mardi gras christening

Shaquille O’Neal, Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer and NBA great, was also on hand to cut the ribbon for the formal inauguration of his quick-service eating restaurant Big Chicken.

While Shaq has Big Chicken sites on land, Mardi Gras marks the first time he has done so at water. The venue will also be offered on the newly remodeled Carnival Radiance and the Carnival Celebration, Mardi Gras’ future sister ship.

READ: Carnival’s Mardi Gras Restaurants

The long-awaited debut of Mardi Gras was postponed many times owing to building issues and the pandemic, but it was finally delivered to Carnival Cruise Line in December 2020. The ship ultimately set sail on her inaugural passenger cruise, a seven-night trip from Port Canaveral, on July 31.

mardi gras in port canaveral florida

With a gross tonnage of over 182,000 gross tons and a capacity of 5,282 people at double occupancy, this is the biggest cruise ship Carnival has ever constructed. Grand Central, French Quarter, La Piazza, Summer Landing, Lido, and The Ultimate Playground are the ship’s six themed zones.

The BOLT roller coaster, the two-story RedFrog Tiki Bar, the adults-only Serenity Retreat sundeck, and Chibang! are all highlights of Mardi Gras. Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse | Brewhouse, Bonsai Sushi, and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse | Brewhouse are all Chinese and Mexican restaurants.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Carnival Mardi Gras Cancelled?

A: No, Carnival Mardi Gras is still scheduled to take place on February 17th.

What happened to the original Carnival Mardi Gras?

A: Unfortunately, it had to be removed due to copyright and trademark issues.

What port will Carnival Mardi Gras?

A: Carnival Mardi Gras will be on port 864.

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