Carnival Cruise Line christened Mardi Gras at Port Canaveral, Fla. recently at a “Universe of Fun” celebration befitting of the world’s most fun cruise ship, in the first ship naming ceremony held in the U.S. since the cruise industry’s restart this summer.
The cruise line’s Chief Fun Officer, Shaquille O’Neal attended the festivities and cut the ribbon of his first Big Chicken restaurant at sea that debuted on Mardi Gras when she began cruise operations on July 31.
Miss Universe, Dominican Republic, Kimberly Jimenez served as the ship’s Godmother and officially named the ship and was joined by Miss Universe, Andrea Meza and Miss USA, Asya Branch who sang the national anthem. The event featured a “World of Nations” flag procession to highlight the diversity of the 120 nationalities of Carnival crew members, and, of course, a Mardi Gras parade with a Second Line Band.
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 Lagasse, Fieri, O’Neal and Rudi Sodamin. Mardi Gras sails weekly from Port Canaveral on alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises.
Attendees included Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal; the ship’s Godmother Miss Universe, Dominican Republic, Kimberly Jimenez; Miss Universe, Andrea Meza; Miss USA, Asya Branch; Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald; and Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy.
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