Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras Sip and Sea Party is a tropical-themed onboard party. It will be held Thursday, February 22nd, 2019, at the Celebrity Solstice. The cruise line will host a music-filled night celebrating Mardi Gras and Carnival. The party will be held in the Celebrity Solstice at 11:00 PM.

Carnival is one of the world’s largest cruise companies, and like any large company, it follows trends. Since the island of New Orleans is an annual destination for many Mardi Gras parades, Carnival is planning a Mardi Gras parady on board its new ships. The inaugural Mardi Gras cruise will take passengers to New Orleans for a day-long excursion to the city, and will include a Mardi Gras-themed party. The cruise line is the first to do it, but Carnival isn’t alone in planning Mardi Gras parties on ships. Nor is Carnival the only cruise line that has parades and parties in its regular itineraries.

Carnival Cruise Line is celebrating Mardi Gras and Gulf Coast Mardi Gras Week by offering Mardi Gras themed parties aboard their fleet during this weeks sailing. The Caribbean and the Mediterranean will have Mardi Gras themed parties. Carnival will offer guests pre-set Mardi Gras themed cocktails, and will have Mardi Gras-related games and contests.

Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras is perhaps the most anticipated ship in the world. The business eventually rolled out the red carpet for approximately 800 visitors to tour Mardi Gras’ venues, taste the delicious delights she has to offer, check out those fancy suites, and, yes, ride the Bolt roller coaster, after a year of waiting (remember, her initial opening date was summer of 2020!).

A warm welcome awaits you!

So, first and foremost, let’s get this out of the way: Yes, Bolt is incredible. It’s almost incomprehensible… But I’ll get back to it in a minute.

mardi gras sip and sea invite

The day kicked off with Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy welcoming everyone aboard for what was dubbed a “Sip & Sea.” The event’s name, she explained, was derived from a southern tradition. “A sip-and-see is what a family hosts when they have a new baby that they want to show off to their friends and family,” she explained. “Well, Mardi Gras is our new baby, and we have been waiting a lot longer than nine months to deliver her!”

Duffy acknowledged that the industry has had a difficult 18 months, claiming that Carnival alone has had to cancel nearly 3 million voyages. “We’ve cancelled, we’ve rebooked, we’ve cancelled, we’ve rebooked, we’ve cancelled, we’ve rebooked, we’ve cancelled, we’ve rebooked, and finally,” she exclaimed to thunderous applause, “we’ve cancelled, we rebooked, and we’re sailing!”

Duffy addressed the proverbial elephant in the room… or should we say, atop the ship, after outlining several of the reasons Mardi Gras is a game-changer for Carnival. “In case you haven’t heard,” she said, “there’s a roller coaster aboard the ship… her name is Bolt, and yes, she is a female, as the ship is as well.”

“I’ve been waiting three years to ride Bolt!” Duffy confessed, just like us. While the formal ribbon-cutting took place today, the executive admitted that she and Carnival Corporation president Arnold Donald rode the coaster last month. She added, “I’m not going to be riding today,” claiming that it “seriously messed up my hair.”

When asked how much it would cost to ride the coaster, Brand Ambassador John Heald, who had just done so, said it would be $15 for two loops.

Mardi Gras launch Rudi grand opening

Among the events held during the Sip & Sea were the ribbon cutting for Rudi’s Seagrill.

Duffy was a whirlwind of activity, rushing from one onboard event (the Bolt ribbon cutting) to the next (the spectacular opening of Rudi’s Seagrill, Carnival Cruise Line’s first ever sit-down seafood restaurant). During the latter occasion, renowned chef Rudi Sodamin gave Duffy her very own chef’s jacket. “My husband will be envious,” she said, acknowledging that he is the family cook.

While I did not get a chef’s jacket, I did have the chance to speak briefly (and take a picture) with Sodamin, who has a lengthy history with Carnival Corporation and serves on the Holland America Culinary Council.

Mardi gras VIP sip sea

Mardi gras VIP sip sea

As one new location after another was dedicated, there was no lack of crimson ribbons ready to be cut. The Heroes Tribute bar was one of them, a relatively new idea intended to honor past and current soldiers, a group that Carnival proudly represents more than any other line.

Food was widely spoken about and could be found at every corner on a Carnival cruise, as one would expect. Isn’t this one of the most popular grab-and-go foods? Shaquille O’Neal’s Big Chicken sandwiches.

Big chicken mardi gras debut

Bolt, on the other hand, is a unique character.

Mardi gras VIP sip sea

Given how exciting this coaster is while the ship is moored, it’s difficult to fathom what the thrill ride would be like when the ship is in the middle of the ocean. (I’ll be able to tell you more about it later this week, since I’ll be among those who set sail on Mardi Gras’ first trip.)

The celebration is still going on onboard the ship as I write this, and I’ll keep you updated with additional information (and pictures) as the afternoon and evening go. So keep an eye out for updates…

Carnival Cruise Line is celebrating the last few days of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana with a Carnival Mardi Gras Sip and Sea Party. Guests will experience a New Orleans Mardi Gras-themed cocktail party aboard the Carnival Legend, from a Sip and Sea Bead reception, to a live Mardi Gras parade and kaleidoscope balloon drop, followed by a champagne toast. The Sip and Sea Bead reception will be held on Thursday, February 28, from 5:30pm – 7:30pm in the Carnival Legend’s Blue Lagoon Ballroom.. Read more about carnival mardi gras virtual tour and let us know what you think.

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