Mardi Gras Docks at Port Canaveral for the First Time

After many months of waiting, the newest ship from Carnival Cruise Line docked in America for the first time on Friday. Mardi Gras arrived at Canaveral’s Cruise Terminal 3 Friday morning in front of an audience of more than 1,500 people which included Carnival President Christine Duffy, Carnival Corp. Chairman Micky Arison, Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald, Carnival Corporation COO Josh Weinstein, and Canaveral Port Authority CEO Captain John Murray. 

Mardi Gras has been five years in the making and today’s arrival is a historic milestone for our company not to mention a truly emotional moment for everyone here at Carnival Cruise Line,” said Duffy.  “This ship offers so many innovations and ways for our guests to choose fun that we are certain that she will quickly become a guest favorite.  And as we look forward to our restart in guest operations, Mardi Gras’ arrival is symbolic of the excitement and anticipation we have about the future at Carnival Cruise Line.”

Mardi Gras is the first ship in Carnival Cruise Line’s fleet to feature LNG fuel technology and that required special planning for the port and the new terminal. 

“For nearly four years we have been working hard to prepare for Mardi Gras,” said Capt. Murray. “As we welcome home this magnificent ship to Port Canaveral, we are filled with pride to see her at berth at our beautiful Cruise Terminal 3.”

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras | Photo: Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line’s Restart 

Now that the ship is in Florida, the process of getting ready to sail begins. The ship is scheduled to start sometime in August, so the cruise line has plenty of time to get the crew of 1,750 ready to cruise with guests on board.

The cruise line plans to sail from Port of Galveston on July 3 on board Carnival Vista, followed by the return of operations on Carnival Breeze on July 15. However, these cruises are only available for guests who have received their final dose of a CDC-approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination, in accordance with current guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“We appreciate the progress and support for our U.S. restart from the CDC and other key federal agencies; however, the current CDC requirements for cruising with a guest base that is unvaccinated will make it very difficult to deliver the experience our guests expect, especially given the large number of families with younger children who sail with us.  As a result, our alternative is to operate our ships from the U.S. during the month of July with vaccinated guests,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.