Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
PORT CANAVERAL, FL — Outer space met the deep blue sea at a groundbreaking ceremony for Port Canaveral’s new Cruise Terminal 3 complex, slated to be the home of the new Mardi Gras ship beginning in 2020.
Port Authority Commissions and Carnival Cruise Line executives gathered at the new terminal – dubbed the Launch Pad – for a ceremonial groundbreaking complete with a space theme and a ‘pre-launch mission’ news conference.
The ‘Go for Launch’ event theme was a nod to the Port’s key role with the U.S. space program and the terminal’s futuristic design, which was inspired by nearby Kennedy Space Centre. The US$163 million terminal – the largest in the Port’s 65-year history – is scheduled for completion in May 2020 and will be ready for the arrival to Mardi Gras in October 2020.
“We began our operations from Port Canaveral nearly 30 years ago, coincidentally with our original ship of the same name,” said Carnival President Christine Duffy. “We’ve had a great relationship with Port Canaveral during that time and we’re proud, honoured and excited that our newest and most innovative ship, Mardi Gras, will sail from the new Terminal 3. We are pleased to be the port’s number one cruise line and Mardi Gras promises to be a spectacular addition to the Space Coast.”
Upon completion, the terminal will feature a high-tech baggage processing facility and a state-of-the-art check-in and security area on the second floor, as well as kiosks and seating for 1,700 guests. The six-storey, 692,000 square-foot parking garage will accommodate 1,800 vehicles.
Mari Gras, the cruise line’s newest and most innovative ship, will be the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). It will feature a wealth of amenities and services, including the first roller coaster at sea, 20 passenger decks, six theme zones of fun, the first restaurant at sea created by famed chef Emeril Lagasse and the Ultimate Playground.
After a special eight-day cruise to the Caribbean on Oct. 16, 2020, Mardi Gras will commence year-round, seven-day cruises on Oct. 4, 2020, alternating weekly to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Eastern voyages will take Mardi Gras to San Juan, Amber Cove and Grand Turk, while Western sailings will travel to Cozumel, Costa Maya and Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan).