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Mardi Gras: Family Fun at Sea

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Last week we attended a preview of Carnival’s new ship the Mardi Gras the day before it set sail on its first cruise. This is the first time I have been on a Carnival ship in about 15 years. I have to say that the ships are much bigger and better than I remembered. There is so much stuff to do on board for the entire family.mardi gras cruise ship

What is there to do on the Mardi Gras?

I was only on board the ship for one day so I didn’t get to see and do everything, but I was able to take in a significant amount.carnival mardi gras

Similar to other ships this size, the Mardi Gras has multiple pools, a splash park, water slides and a sports deck. For those in your family that are a little more daring, they also have a ropes course and of course Bolt, the first rollercoaster at sea.  I did ride the rollercoaster and it was so much fun. I highly recommend going on a ride. I would definitely ride it again if I could.

If you love to cook, or just want to learn how, you are able to take cooking classes on board the Mardi Gras. They offer a cooking school that offers multiple different classes throughout your cruise. The majority of classes cost $30 per person.

The ship also has a kids club(Camp Ocean), Tween Club (Circle C) and Teen Club (Club O2) where you can drop the kids off and they can make new friends and enjoy activities developed just for them.  While the kids are otherwise occupied, adults can enjoy the spa, thermal suite, salon and fitness room.

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What restaurants are on board the Mardi Gras?

The Mardi Gras has a lot of different restaurant options to choose from. While on board we did a mini food tour of many of the options.free restaurants on carnival mardi grasIncluded Restaurants
There are a few different restaurants that are included in the cruise fare on the Mardi Gras. They include the following:

Guy’s Burger Joint which has become a recent favorite on Carnival ships.

Shaq’s Big Chicken serving up chicken favorites including chicken sandwiches, chicken strips and fried chicken with sides such as cole slaw and potato salad. They even serve breakfast so they are a good alternative to the buffet or main dining room.

Street Eats featuring three food stalls serving different kinds of loaded fries, steamed buns and dumplings and satay and kebabs.

The Blue Iguana Cantina serves up Mexican favorites and is a perfect option for an at sea day lounging by the pool.

If you love pizza, Pizzeria del Capitano serves up freshly made pies 24 hours a day.

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Surcharge Restaurants
The Mardi Gras has a lot of different surcharge restaurants serving a variety of cuisine for you to choose from. The options include:

Guy’s Pig and Anchor Smokehouse/Brewhouse serving up delicious barbeque and Carnival’s own Parched Pig craft brews with live music.

Emeril’s Bistro 1396 serving New Orleans favorites such as gumbo, jambalaya, fried oysters, muffaletta and more all day long.

Fahrenheit 55 Steakhouse serving premium cuts of steak and seafood.

Chibang! which is a Chinese Mexican fusion restaurant serving up favorites from both countries. They encourage you to mix and match across the menu.

There is also Teppinyaki, Sushi, Italian, an upscale seafood restaurant and a seafood shack. The Mardi Gras also offers a Chef’s Table.

If you want to get your coffee fix in, we highly recommend stopping by JavaBlue which offers cappuccinos, lattes, iced coffees and frozen drinks. They also offer delicious pastries. Take your goodies over into the atrium during the day and enjoy floor to ceiling sea views.

Going on a trip? You will definitely want to check out Viator for all of your activity needs. You can book food tours, water activities, walking tours and more.

What entertainment is there on the Mardi Gras?

If you are a music lover, like I am, you will be ecstatic at the wealth of music choices on board the Mardi Gras. There is a piano bar with a great piano player. I don’t know if he knows all your favorite songs, but he did great versions of Bad Bad Leroy Brown and Sweet Home Alabama for me. Since the ship is New Orleans themed, they have a jazz band on board, and of course they played When the Saints Go Marchin In; all that was missing was the Second Line.shows on carnival mardi gras

They also have a string trio, who in addition to classical favorites, play versions of popular music set to strings. The last band that I saw was the cover band in Guy’s Pig and Anchor Smokehouse/Brewhouse, and I have to say that they are extremely talented. They asked what song I wanted to hear and I told them Life is a Highway (Rascal Flatts version). They told me that they didn’t know it, but they were willing to give it a shot. They sounded amazing. If they hadn’t told me they hadn’t played it before, I would never have known.

The Main Theater features different musical productions and the Punchliner Comedy Club is also on board the ship.

Go or No Go

From our limited time onboard the Mardi Gras it seems like it would be a fun vacation for the entire family with something for everyone to enjoy.

I was invited to the Media preview of the Mardi Gras to facilitate this review.



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