Carnival Cruise Line has announced new details on the roller coaster and open-air recreation area on Mardi Gras, the line’s newest cruise ship, which is set to debut in August 2020. The announcement was made at the annual International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Conference in Orlando by Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy, who was joined by the line’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal. Carnival partnered with Munich-based Maurer Rides to showcase the roller coaster, which is named BOLT, at the event.
Duffy announced that BOLT’s all-electric, motorcycle-inspired vehicles will have a metallic red- and blue-striped design with a yellow lightning bolt, as well as a digital speedometer display and speakers with new sound effects.
Cameras will be located along the 800-foot-long track, as well as within the vehicle itself, providing riders with photo keepsakes as they take in 360-degree views and race 187 feet above the sea with drops, dips and hairpin turns achieving speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Guests will be able to choose their own speed.
BOLT will be the centerpiece of the Mardi Gras’ open-air recreation area. Called Ultimate Playground, the area is one of six themed zones on the new ship, spanning Decks 18 – 20 and home to the largest WaterWorks aqua park in the Carnival fleet. WaterWorks will be home to three slides: Blue Lightning, offering 312 feet of high-speed twists and turns; Orange Thunder, a drop-down slide into a splash zone; and the cruise line’s 265-foot-long signature Twister slide. Other features will include a splash zone for kids with a 150-gallon tipping bucket and numerous water toys.
The ship’s expanded SportSquare recreation complex will have a 600-foot-long suspended ropes course – the longest in the fleet – a nine-hole miniature golf course, a jogging track and outdoor fitness equipment and a basketball court.
Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe August 31, 2020, before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages and then shifting to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in October 2020. In addition to the Ultimate Playground, the new ship will sail with new, premium Carnival Excel suites; a restaurant developed in partnership with celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse; and a new Family Feud Live experience. Carnival said to expect further details in the coming months.