Carnival Welcomes Visitors and Shows Off New Mardi Gras

Rudi Sodamin and Christy Duffy

Carnival Cruise Line welcomed visitors on Mardi Gras for the first time today, with local officials, travel advisors and media enjoying an afternoon on the line’s newest ship.

The  Mardi Gras is scheduled to set sail on her maiden voyage on Saturday, July 31, which will also be the first cruise from Port Canaveral with guests since the industry-wide pause 16 months ago, according to a statement from Carnival. 

Aboard the Mardi Gras

“Today’s event was five years in the making and it was simply amazing watching everyone enjoy all that this game-changing ship has to offer – live and in-person!” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Tomorrow is going to be even more exciting as it will be our honor to welcome our first guests on this highly anticipated ship. Our crew is the best in the business, and they are more than ready to provide our guests with the vacation of a lifetime.”


Guests enjoyed samples from Mardi Gras’ vast array of restaurants and eateries, including first seagoing version of Big Chicken by Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal, Emeril’s Bistro 1396, the first shipboard restaurant created famed New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse, and a new international street food venue called Street Eats, along with libations from the new Polynesian-inspired RedFrog Tiki Bar, New Orleans-themed Brass Magnolia and others.

Ribbon-cutting ceremonies were held for the new Rudi’s Seagrill developed by celebrated chef Rudi Sodamin, the Heroes Tribute Bar with representatives from the military families support organization Operation Homefront that Carnival partners with, and a colorful new floral statue inspired by a young artist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the cruise line’s longtime charitable cause.

Cruise Industry News Email Alerts



Email Newsletter

Get the latest breaking cruise news. Sign up.

Cruise Ship Orderbook

75 Ships | 169,174 Berths | $49 Billion | View

New 2022 Annual Report

Cruise Industry News Annual Report


100% Overview

Capacity Data

Through 2027

Regional Data

Brand by Brand

Order Today

2022 Expedition Report

2022 Expedition Market Report Cover


Mkt. Overview

Supply Data

All Operators

190+ Pages

PDF Download

Order Today