Set your eyes on Carnival Cruise Line’s 1,500-pound gingerbread cruise ship

MIAMI — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, if the giant cruise ship made of gingerbread wasn’t obvious enough for you.

Weighing in at an astounding 1,500 pounds and spanning 23 feet across, the edible replica of Carnival Cruise Line’s new Mardi Gras “docked” at Atlanta’s Lenox Square Mall over the weekend where it was officially named by the creative genius behind it – local baker Karen Portaleo.


In keeping with maritime tradition, Portaleo smashed a ceremonial bottle across the vessel’s bow, counting down the days until the real Mardi Gras’ debut in August 2020.

“I’ve created hundreds of cakes during my career but a 1,500-pound gingerbread cruise ship is certainly a first for me,” said Portaleo. “As a baker, I’m always looking for a challenge and creating a gingerbread replica of Mardi Gras was an amazing experience as it serves as a fun conversation piece for thousands of holiday shoppers. I can’t wait to see the real Mardi Gras when it debuts next year.”


Portaleo used 130 pounds of flour, 10 pounds of cinnamon and 50 gallons of icing to create her masterpiece. It will be on display at the Lenox Square Mall through Dec. 24.

To commemorate the holiday concoction, Carnival made a US$10,000 donation to the Immune Deficiency Foundation, Portaleo’s charity of choice, which is dedicated to improving the diagnosis, treatment and quality of life of those with primary immunodeficiencies.

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