MIAMI — When it sets sail for the first time in 2020, Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras will be a foodie paradise, featuring exciting new food and beverage concepts within two themed zones.
Located within the ship’s Lido and Summer Landing zones, these ‘only-on-Mardi Gras’ dining and bar spots, which were recently previewed in New York, join a long list of popular branded outlets onboard including a Big Chicken restaurant by Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal.
“Great food and beverage experiences are at the core of any vacation, especially at Carnival,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Our culinary and beverage teams continue to innovate, ensuring that we have an array of new and exciting options in addition to longtime Carnival favourites our guests love.”
Here’s what’s new in the Lido and Summer Landing Zones:
• Street Eats: This open-air eatery will bring street food to the seas with three themed kiosks offering fried, steamed and plancha (skillet) delicacies, all free of charge. A daily rotating menu will feature small plates like empanadas, falafel, bao buns, siu mai and kebabs.
• RedFrog Tiki Bar: This new two-level eater is a twist on Carnival’s popular poolside bar featuring rum-based cocktails in an island-inspired atmosphere.
• The Watering Hole: Modelled after a fun backyard gathering, this bar will boast a wide beer selection including Carnival’s own canned and draft brews.
Mardi Gras will also feature the second Big Chicken restaurant at sea created by O’Neal. Already winning over fans on land at its Las Vegas venue and also debuting on Carnival Radiance in 2020, Big Chicken will be located aft on Lido Deck. The all-inclusive breakfast, lunch and dinner menus provide a glimpse into O’Neal’s family traditions, as all menu items are based on his favourite receipts and taste-tested by the NBA Hall of Famer himself.
“Big Chicken is a labour of love featuring all of my favourite fried chicken recipes developed in tandem with my mom,” said O’Neal. “Carnival is a great partner and I am very excited to bring the largest Big Chicken at sea aboard the spectacular new Mardi Gras.”
Additional dining options aboard the Mardi Gras include the largest Guy’s Burger Joint by Food Network personality Guy Fieri, the New England-inspired Seafood Shack, the Mexican-themed BlueIguana Cantina, and the Lido Marketplace featuring an array of international favourites.
Currently under construction, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe on Aug. 31, 2020 before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages. It will then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round, seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in October 2020.