|Gerry Cahill, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines|
Carnival Cruises is all about fun, and according to Gerry Cahill, president and CEO, there just has not been enough of it.
Travel Agent attended a press conference and luncheon where Carnival Cruise Lines officially announced its plans for the brand new Fun Ship 2.0. With a host of new offerings centered around dining, entertainment and bars & lounges (complete with some celebrity partnerships), the next few years are scheduled to be Carnival's most fun yet.
"Fun Ship 2.0 will build on the success of the redesigned Carnival Magic," says Cahill. Carnival Magic unveiled five new spaces including a new restaurant, candy store, pub and water park, all of which have been welcomed with rousing support. "We will be partnering with experts and brands to create new spaces and new experiences for our guests." The first phase of this new plan will involve a $500 million investment, and it will be fleet-wide.
|Food Network star, Guy Fieri|
Some of these big name partnerships include deals with Guy Fieri of the Food Network and comedian George Lopez. Fieri will be overseeing Guy's Burger Joint, a "straightforward, real deal, quality burger," according to Fieri. The burger joint is modeled after roadside joints and all burgers are designed by Fieri.
The other new dining experience includes the BlueIguana Cantina, which will be located at the midship pool and will serve up Mexican tacos and burritos.
George Lopez will be taking over Carnival's signature The Punchliner Comedy Club as the new "curator of comedy." The 32-year veteran of comedy has high hopes for the new edge he will bring to the club concept, which was launched in 2010.
Other entertainment options will include The Hasbro Game Show, a live-interactive half-hour show where guests compete playing popular titles form their childhood, such as Connect4.
|Comedian George Lopez|
In terms of a bar scene, Carnival is rolling out a whole slew of new concepts with new themes and new things to try. The Red Frog Rum Bar will be a poolside Caribbean hangout with live music and games. The BlueIguana Tequila Bar will be adjacent to the cantina and will serve a variety of Mexican tequilas and local beers.
Sports enthusiasts will love the EA Sports Bar, which offers live sports and video games along with draft and bottle beers and bar snacks. The Alchemy Bar, located on the promenade, will serve up handcrafted cocktails in a vintage setting. Patrons will have prescription pads to let the resident mixologist know whatever is ailing them. Get ready for potions to be prescribed from anything from Mood Enhancers to Energizing Elixirs. Finally, The Library Bar is a quiet place to play a board game and read a book while enjoying a cocktail or a glass of wine from one of the automatic wine dispensers.
The first phase of development will begin at the end of this year when Carnival Liberty emerges from drydock on October 22. In 2012 the developments will be implemented on Carnival Breeze, Carnival Conquest and Carnival Glory. 2013 will see changes on Carnival Destiny, Carnival Legend, Carnival Pride and Carnival Victory. In 2014, guests can expect to see improvements on Carnival Elation, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Triumph and Carnival Valor. Finally, in 2015, Carnival Magic and Carnival Paradise will receive upgrades.
The ships will not have every single one of these enhancements, but all ships will have most of them. Cahill stresses that this fleet-wide project is meant to just "build on the concept of fun. We are not changing who we are."
Guy Fieri sums it up best. "I' into people who want to blow peoples' minds." And that seems to be exactly what Carnival is doing.