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Carnival’s XL class ship is named: Mardi Gras and here's everything we know about it!

12th December 2018

Carnival Cruise Line announced the name of their first XL class ship on their highly popular game show ‘Wheel of Fortune’. The name could come at a shock to some, due to Carnival’s first ever ship also called Mardi Gras. However, it was exactly this reason why Carnival decided the name, due to the history behind the name.

The original Mardi Gras was the Carnival first ship and sailed in 1972 the ship was seen as a historic ship due to the fun element that Carnival introduced to cruising. The original ship was 27,000 ton and a converted trans-Atlantic ocean liner. Mardi Gras will be six times bigger than its namesake at 180,000 tons with a capacity of 5,200 on its lower berth passengers and a maximum total capacity 6,500.

Excitingly Carnival is the first cruise line to introduce the world’s first ever rollercoaster onboard a cruise! The rollercoaster is called BOLT, a thrilling experience being at 800 feet, you’ll view some amazing ocean views. An electric rollercoaster which allows friends and family to race each other and control their speed. Mardi Gras creates history for cruising with the first rollercoaster, an exciting opportunity to explore something new. 



Mardi Gras is the first ship in North America to be powered by liquefied natural gas. Currently, in construction in Meyer Turku Finland, Mardi Gras will be on sale for passengers to in January 2019 and ready to sail in 2020. Keeping Carnival’s fun traditions, the ship is to introduce new technological innovations and features never before seen on a cruise ship. The new ship will be based in Port Canaveral Florida, featuring a new terminal. Carnival is a cruise line which provides for a range of people due to their countless activities for singles, couples, families, and seniors. The cruise line carried over 4.7 million in 2016, showing their popularity being the only individual cruise brand to do so. Carnival is starting construction in 2020 and welcoming a second XL class ship in 2022, the second class ship will mark the anniversary of the line’s founding.

25 free things to do on a Carnival cruise

10th May 2017


Updated June 2019


To describe Carnival Cruise Line in a nutshell, all we really need to say is that they are all about fun for all, all for fun. Whether onboard or offshore, Carnival ensure that the fun-loving holiday spirit keeps flowing...starting as soon as you step onboard for the Sail Away Party. Boasting some of the largest ships at sea, you'll never be caught short of something to do - what's more is that so much is included! We summarise some of the best free things to do below.*


Family fun onboard Carnival


sailaway party


Sail Away Party

Carnival know how to get the vacation going right, and by right we mean a Sail Away Party. These events are full of energy and if you aren’t in the holiday spirit before, you will be afterwards.

Water activities

Mid ship pools are a great place to relax and watch the big screen or on most Carnival ships, there’s a second pool catching the breeze at the aft of the ship. Waterworks, the onboard waterpark will have you and the kids showing nothing but exhilaration on your faces as you zoom, splish and splash the day away.


cruise waterpark


Dive-in movies

Settle in for a night at the cinema from the comfort of the poolside lounge chairs or even the pool. With movies of different themes such as action, comedy and date night and plenty of blankets and popcorn to go round, we wouldn’t recommend you pass up a starry evening under the stars.


Ever thought you could say that you went on a bike ride high above deck on a ship? This is only possible on Carnival Vista. Open to all of the family; why not compete against each other as you zip safely around the suspended course that’s equipped with an epic view.


carnival skyride



How are you with heights? The onboard ropes course is a fun way to take on a challenge you wouldn’t come across in everyday life. Of course you’ll be safely strapped in, so why not test your abilities and brave the SkyCourse.


Hasbro Game Show

Put your gaming skills to the test in an onstage competition against other cruisers. With games such as CONNECT 4 BASKETBALL, SIMON FLASH and OPERATION SAM DUNK, have fun teaming up with the family to win great prizes.


hasbro game show


CLUE: The Murder Mystery

Like the original but with a seafaring twist, the ship is your gameboard and the suspects have come alive. To play, just collect your free CLUE Case File and visit the scheduled events onboard to see the story unfold as you cruise. The captain is offering a unique reward to the all important answer, whodunit?

Lip sync battle

Carnival will provide the choreographers, music, lighting, probs as well as back up dancers to help you defeat the competition as you channel your inner idols. Think you have what it takes?


lip sync battle



A great day activity for mini-golfers, big or small; mini-golf courses are available on all Carnival ships.

Ball games

Nothing like the sea breeze as you take part in a game of basketball, volleyball or dodgeball!


ball games

Stage productions and comedy shows

Designed to razzle and dazzle, the crowd-thrilling stage shows feature a host of talented performers including singers, musicians and dancers. Enjoy performances such as Latin Nights, Divas and the arena-shaking Epic Rock. Also on offer is The Punchliner Comedy Club, with stand-up acts from the pros who know how to instill a little laughter to the evening. Come along with the family for a more PG performance or adults can enjoy some not so PG performances later into the night. 


Always a popular event, trivia is fun for all the family.

Activities for kids & teens

Camp Ocean

Designed for 2 -11 year olds, Camp Ocean has enough to keep even the most restless of children occupied for the duration of the cruise. Placed into supervised age-appropriate groups, campers can enjoy activities ranging from Musical Icebergs to Pirate Game Night and Marine Life Trivia.


camp ocean

Seuss at Sea

Exclusive to Carnival, the fantastical world of Dr. Seuss comes to life onboard select ships. Seuss-A-Palooza Story Time, Seuss-A-Palooza Parade and Dr. Seuss Bookville are all included for everyone’s enjoyment. Join the characters you love in a spirited procession as you stream down the deck and let the kids spend the afternoon at Dr. Seuss Bookville for story time or quiet time – the shelves are filled brim for hours of fun reading!

Kids’ party time

As soon as you set onboard it’s party time on Carnival, and this doesn’t have to be any different for the kids. Carnival arrange for the kids to get to know each other straight away with a Welcome Aboard Party. They’ll also get a send-off to remember with a Farewell Party.


kids party

Teens’ party time

For many teens, part of the fun of a holiday is meeting new friends to hang out with. Carnival makes sure that there are plenty of parties in the social calendar including the Red Carpet Party, Mexican Fiesta and Dress to Impress Party.

Club O2

On top of the dedicated teen parties, 15 – 17 year olds actually have their own club to hang out in. Watching movies, listening to music, joining karaoke sessions and more can be enjoyed here.


kids club

Teen & kids digital play

Just like a great holiday, gaming allows players to briefly escape real life, but it’s not the antisocial kind of activity it can be thought to be. The separate teen & kids’ digital play areas allow them to play, cooperate, compete and most importantly have fun together.


Activities or the adults

Adult-only retreat

You don’t have to sacrifice blissful adult retreats in order to make sure you book a cruise with exceptional kids' facilities onboard. Well-appointed with hammocks, day beds and more, the adult-only retreat is the perfect place to reconnect with your partner, read your holiday picks or simply do absolutely nothing at all.

Cooking demonstration

If you love the food onboard then why not learn from the chefs themselves as they perform an hour long presentation (taste tests included). Make sure to get there early as this event fills up fast!


cooking demonstration

Art exhibitions, seminars and games

Take the Art 101 lecture series to increase your spectrum of knowledge of the vibrant world. From enlightening seminars to art games, you'll be sure to leave more enriched about art than ever before.


Mixologist competition 

Do you have your own signature concoction or just see yourself as the queen or king of cocktails? Why not test the competition; winning cocktails will be available to enjoy at selected bars throughout the ship!


cocktail class

Fitness centre & sky fitness

For anyone not wanting to leave their fitness routine on land, the well-equipped centre is a great place to let out some steam while you have all of this extra time on your hands. And on selected Carnival ships, there’s Sky Fitness outside on the top of the ship, where you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more perfect backdrop for a workout…


Carnival’s resident DJ’s will be playing the latest hits as well as the golden oldies guaranteed to have you out of your seat. When the bars close, you can be sure the nightclub stays open till the early hours. Make sure to come along on a themed night!


night club

Dance classes

If you’re going to be partying in the nightclub till the early hours, you might want to take advantage of the complimentary dance classes to smooth out those rusty moves and put you in the dancing mood.

More about Carnival | Cruises with Carnival


*Some activities are only available on select Carnival ships, if there are any activities of particular interest, please check with the sales agent before booking.

Find your American Dream with a Cruise and Stay

27th October 2016


Updated October 2017

When it comes to bucket list holiday destinations, North America often ranks quite highly, and with a collection of cities and states offering a wide range of experiences, it’s easy to see why. The stunning east coast, the deep south, and beautiful northeastern region of New England, there is something special and unique about every place. You can find different foods, dialects, traditions, and even climate in this vast country. Find your American dream with a cruise and stay in one of North America’s captivating cities, here’s our top 5 for starters!

Orlando – For Fun


Home to world-renowned theme parks such as Walt Disney World®, Universal Studios Orlando®, SeaWorld® and more, Orlando is an epicentre of fun. A destination bursting at the seams with activities and things to do, Orlando is ideal for families, couples, singles, and just about anyone looking for a good time. Full days and even overnight stays can be enjoyed in the theme parks, whilst outside these magical walls there are also opportunities for wildlife encounters, sporting events, thrilling adventures with zip lines, Broadway style musicals, and not forgetting the famous International Drive for shopping.

Miami – For Sun


Miami sits on Florida’s southeastern tip, and dazzles in the light of America’s sunshine state. Good vibes and laid back lifestyles are unavoidable here, with plenty of beaches and reasons to be outside. Cuban influences add some Caribbean soul and the achingly cool Art Deco district sets an iconic scene for great holiday snaps. South Beach is a real buzz of activity with entertainers, skaters and rollerblades, and when the sun sets the neon nightlife wakes up for those inviting Miami nights.

New York – For Shopping

new york

Everything seems grander in New York City, and the same can definitely be said for the shopping. Whether it’s the glowing luxury designer boutiques on Fifth Avenue, huge department stores like Macy’s, or the thrift shops and flea markets of Brooklyn, you’ll want to set some spending money aside for your time here. Find fashion, art, technology and more, and fuel your days with delicious dishes from the famous New York delis.

Las Vegas - For Nightlife

las vegas

Las Vegas stays awake for all-night party fun, and provides a fantasy land for hedonistic escapism. Sin City sits in the Nevada desert calling all night owls for endless entertainment and after dark amusement. The extensive hotels and brightly lit casinos are buzzing day and night with attractions, live shows, and things to do. Whilst the nightclubs come in all shapes and sizes -  from stunning rooftop locations, to poolside parties.

Memphis – For Music


A stay in Memphis is a must for any music fans passing through the deep south of North America. Known as the home of blues music, and the birthplace for rock’n roll, Memphis has amazing history, and to this day is still a major music centre. Fans of Elvis will love a trip to Graceland or a visit to Sun Records, the main source of inspiration for the popular West End production - Million Dollar Quartet.

The Best Bits of a Cruise on Carnival Vista

27th October 2016

As soon as a Carnival Cruise Line ship sets sail its fun for all and all for fun. The World’s Most Popular Cruise Line® certainly knows how to keep spirits high at sea with amazing itineraries and outstanding onboard entertainment.

carnival vista ship


Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, Carnival Vista, launched in May this year and brings with her an enhanced 2.0 version of Carnival style fun. The new Carnival Cruise Line flagship hosts up to 4,000 passengers, and as the fleets largest ship, boasts an impressive fifteen decks of fun.

Life onboard is entertaining, dining onboard is amazing and the Carnival crew go above and beyond to make sure everyone has the most memorable cruising experience. With that in mind, we’re taking a further look at the extraordinary highlights of a Carnival Vista Cruise. Read on to find out more.


Life onboard is Entertaining


carnival vista imax


Book your cruise on Carnival Vista and let Carnival Vista take care of the rest. There are an abundance of fun facilities onboard and ample opportunities for things to do at sea. Families and social cruisers will enjoy the Carnival community and those looking for an active cruise will like the high energy pace onboard.

For sunny sea days top deck is the place to be. Carnival WaterWorks on deck 12 has an expanded SplashZone, giant bucket and classic spiralled waterslides, including the new high tech Kaleid-O-Slide with lights and colours. SportSquare is a large indoor and outdoor fun area with mini golf, mini-bowling, volleyball, ping-pong, basketball and more. Those wanting to admire stunning sea views can do so from the SkyCourse ropes course or suspended cycle SkyRide.

For indoor fun, the Carnival Multiplex presents the first ever IMAX Theatre at sea showing a selection of Hollywood blockbusters and film fan favourites. Next door the 3D Thrill Theatre brings screenings to life for a real animated atmosphere.

Dr.Seuss Bookville and Camp Ocean keep kids happy and entertained with plentiful books and age appropriate activities, whilst parents can chill out in the adult-only Serenity Retreat on deck 15.

Infectious LOL’s can be heard when Carnival Live is onboard. Vista guests can enjoy top of the range live performances from featured musicians or comedians. Other after dark entertainment can be experienced in the Liquid Lounge, RedFrog Pub or Havana Club.

Dining Onboard is Amazing


carnival vista food

From green eggs and ham ala Dr, Seuss to beer that has been brewed in the ship’s very own onboard brewery, Carnival Vista offers a fantastic range of food and drink options for all to enjoy.  Top food recommendations from the Iglu Cruise team include:

  • Get a breakfast burrito from BlueIguana Cantina, you won’t regret it!
  • You have to try the Carnival Chocolate Melting Cake, nothing else even compares.
  • Grab a burger from Guy’s Burger Joint for a real American style snack.
  • Choose your own Asian stir fry melody with customisable options from Mongolian Wok.

  • Other great dining options include Horizons Restaurant for a sit down meal with new surprising dishes to try each night or seafood with 360 degree ocean views in Seafood Shack. Succulent steak and lobster in the Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse and Italian inspired family favourites at Cucina del Capitano. For an extra special dining occasion, The Chef’s Table, with delicious dishes and even a behind the scenes galley tour is a great option.

    The Carnival Crew go above and beyond

    During our time onboard Carnival Vista the crew were extremely welcoming and friendly, eager to make sure that we had a fun and memorable cruise. Our Cruise Director – Matt Mitcham was fantastic and made an extra special effort to speak to everyone onboard. Matt was at times a comedian and an entertainer creating a fun environment for all to enjoy. Dancing and games at the pool area are a much loved Carnival custom.

    Get ready for your fun cruise and see our latest Carnival Vista cruise deals

    Pirates, Masks And Calypso - Caribbean Festivals

    24th June 2014

    The Caribbean is the world’s top cruising destination, and once you’ve been there you’ll have no confusion as to why. Endless blue water which sparkles aquamarine and sapphire until a blazing sun, welcoming people with fascinating cultures, and islands which are the definition of tropical paradise: there’s nowhere better in the world. However, if you visit during the right time of year, you’ll understand that the Caribbean has even more to offer than it might appear at first glance. Exciting festivals, alive with music and laughter, open their arms to everyone - young and old, local or just visiting, you’ll find plenty to explore and experience here. Festivals can be found in almost every area of the Caribbean, but some of the most famous and most fascinating are the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, Pirates Week, and the New Year’s celebration that is Junkanoo. Wherever you come from, you’ll be delighted by the diversity and history on display during these festivals.

    Trinidad & Tobago Carnival

    Carnival events can be found throughout the world; from London to Miami, people come together on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday in order to celebrate. Originally a Catholic religious festival, Carnival - with its masks and masquerades, parades and feasting - has now been adopted by people from all walks of life, regardless of their religious background. In Trinidad and Tobago, Carnival is the most important celebrations of the cultural year, and has been the birthplace and proving ground of some of the islands’ most important musical styles and cultural contributions. Calypso music, for example, was developed at the Trinidad and Tobago Carnivals of the 17th century, while steelpan and - more recently - soca music have also made appearances at the festivities.

    Carnival-related events stretch out long before Carnival itself, with must-see tickets like Panorama (testing the skill of steelbands) and the Kings and Queens Costume Competition (with bandleaders in extravagant costumes which can weigh up to 200 pounds) drawing crowds in the thousands. However, Carnival itself begins with the eerie and beautiful J'Ouvert party: at 4am on Monday morning, revellers cover themselves in mud, oil, chocolate, and paint, then dance through the streets to the sound of soca music.

    What most people consider “Carnival” starts with Carnival Monday’s riot of colorful costumes and high-decibel soca music, the streets filling with dancers, “Pretty Mas” bands, and food vendors. The next day, things are at a fever pitch, with extravagantly costumed bands waiting to be judged, hyped-up masqueraders in beautiful masks and costumes, and endless parties and events to attend. The dazzling sight of revellers at the Trinidad & Tobago Carnival is one of the world’s greatest treasures, and it makes for a trip you won’t ever forget.

    Pirates Week

    If you’re looking for a family-friendly festival which will delight both the young and old, Pirates Week in the Cayman Islands is a must-see event. Held for eleven days in November, the festivities here are diverse and fascinating, with a strong basis in history and sense of fun and celebration which takes over the islands for as long as the festival lasts.

    Founded in 1977 to liven up the sometimes dreary month of November, the festival celebrates the history of the Cayman Islands through music, dancing, sports events, costume contests, and much more. Whole streets are shut down for parades and parties, stupendous firework displays make the skies over the islands light up in brilliant peacock colors, and there are parties, games, and delicious food everywhere you turn. Things start off with a “pirate landing” at George Town Harbor, where pirate ships provide the backdrop to pageants, live music, and dancing competitions. From then on, it’s a free-for-all, with events popping up in all corners. Many districts are awarded their own “heritage day” to celebrate the unique history of the area, while food festivals, marathons, and child-friendly events like treasure hunts and model boat races ensure that nobody ever has a moment to spare.

    At the end of the festivities, the pirates are ceremonially sentenced, which is followed by street dancing, an absolute feast of excellent food, and a fireworks display which will remain in your thoughts for years to come. Pirates Week may not be as well-known as some of the other Caribbean festivals, but there’s no question that it’s one of the most fun.


    Imagine spending your Christmas and New Years holidays cruising the Bahamas: palm trees, clear waters, and a sense of peace and joy which befits the holiday season. Yet if you venture into the towns on Boxing Day or New Year’s Day, you’ll be astonished by the sight of costumed parades snaking through the streets, which are filled with revellers and dancers. There are Junkanoo events and parades throughout the Bahamas, but the best place to experience this 400 year old tradition is in Nassau, where dance groups of up to 1,000 people perform in colourful masquerade costumes to the delight of the celebrating crowds.

    The best of the Junkanoo dancers are up for prizes and coveted recognition, so the best and brightest of the islands are all in top form and ready to show off their skills in front of the adoring audiences. Performers practice for months for this moment, while costume creation can take just as long, but there are events for everyone to strut their stuff, including a “children’s rush” for the little ones. With both excited locals and visitors from across the world scrambling to find their spot to watch from, there’s a constant atmosphere of delight and surprise which is pulled along by the sound of drumming and laughter.

    If you’ve ever thought about spending your winter holidays somewhere tropical, the Bahamas can’t be beat - and if you go, it would be a crime to miss the Junkanoo festivities. Let your hair down, let the rhythm of the drumming get into your bones, and get ready to have the time of your life here in the Caribbean.

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