Posts Tagged ‘Carnival cruise line’

Carnival Mardi Gras Returns!

December 6, 2018

(Images courtesy of Carnival)

Carnival Cruise Line has announced that it will name its new XL-class ship, Mardi Gras, bringing back the name of the first Carnival Cruise Line ship that entered service in 1972.

The new livery was also revealed. It is an 180,000-ton XL vessel  will be powered by LNG, and homeport at Port Canaveral. With a max of 6,600 passengers she’s the largest Carnival cruise ship ever constructed, to be delivered in 2020.

The construction of a second XL ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Carnival Cruise Line’s founding.

“This new ship promises to be truly special, from its ground-breaking technology and one-of-a-kind features to its distinctive livery and hull design that is both timeless and forward-thinking while paying tribute to our nearly 50-year history of making wonderful vacation memories for our guests,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

“We are extremely pleased to work together with Carnival on this large and highly innovative ship. We are also very proud to build the first-ever LNG powered cruise ship for North American market, making this state-of-the-art green technology a reality,” commented Jan Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku.

(Carnival)

The Original Mardi Gras

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Carnival Cruise Line was founded in 1972 by Ted Arison. Until 1975, the line consisted of only one ship, the Mardi Gras. The ship was built in 1961 as the ‘Empress of Canada’. She was 27,284 gross tonnes and could accommodate 1,048 passengers.

Malcolm says: I though this new class was called ‘Helios’ rather than ‘XL’. This is the same basic design of ship that Costa and Aida will be getting. It will also be P&O’s ‘Iona’. Maybe the class name changes with the cruise line?

Within 43 years ships have changed beyond all recognition. The original Mardi Gras, purchased second-hand and Carnival’s newbuild, are words apart in terms of size and facilities. For example, the new ship is over 6.5 times bigger!  

Impressively (or shockingly) the new ship design is NOT the world’s biggest, but will be capable of carrying a world record number of passengers, at up to 6,600. 

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Carnival’s LNG Ships Compared

August 24, 2018

Although the four Carnival cruise brands (Carnival, AIDA, COSTA and P&O) will get the same basic design of ship, they will be adapted a little for each brand. For example, the bows are different. Carnival and P&O appear to have similar bows to each other (below: top two images ), as  Costa and Aida’s versions are similar to each other (below: bottom two images). 

Image1Another example is that the P&O and Costa’s  sterns are different. The Carnival stern looks similar to the P&O one, the Costa similar to the AIDA one.

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Top left, clockwise: Carnival (Unnamed), P&O’s Iona, AIDAnova, Costa Smeralda

We do not have the full deck plans or details of the public room yet, for this class of ship, so here are my speculations:

It appears from the renderings that the Carnival and Costa versions will NOT have  a ‘SkyDome’* as the P&O version will. The Costa version has a large open-air glass canopy behind the funnel. The AIDA appears to have a glass-house at the stern, for want of an official name.

SkyDome, Iona (Courtesy P&O)

These differences are because the Carnival and Costa versions of the ship are designed to operate in the warmer Mediterranean climates.  Ships designated for cruises from the U.K. (P&O) and Germany (AIDA) will need a large space protected by a roof (the Dome or ‘glass-house’) for inclement weather that that part of Europe can experience.

It appears from the renderings that the Carnival and Costa versions will NOT have  a ‘SkyDome’* as the P&O version will. The Costa version has a large open-air glass canopy behind the funnel. The AIDA appears to have a glass-house at the stern, for want of an official name.

Early deck plans show that the Costa and AIDA designs have a circular space amidships spanning a number decks 6, 7 and 8, reminiscent of AIDA’s ‘Theatrium’  – a combined atrium and entertainment space featured on their previous ships.  On-board Costa Smeralda it is called ‘Closseo’.

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Above: Costa Smeralda (Courtesy Costa)

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Above: Theatrium (Courtesy AIDA)

Early deck plans show that the Costa and AIDA designs have a circular space amidships spanning a number decks 6, 7 and 8, reminiscent of AIDA’s ‘Theatrium’  – a combined atrium and entertainment space featured on their previous ships.  On-board Costa Smeralda it is called ‘Closseo’.

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Above: Iona’s Grand Atrium (Courtesy of P&O)

P&O’s Grand Atrim and ‘SkyDome’ sounds like a variation of AIDA’s Theatrium and Costa’s Closseo (all being circular) with a dome on top.

Above: Iona, with her ‘SkyDome’ (Courtesy P&O)

The Costa and AIDA sterns features a low extended deck area, reminiscent of MSC’s ‘Seaside’ ships. Seven decks rise from the stern offering prime real-estate: many aft facing balcony cabins. The two rows of windows below the stern deck (5 and 6) are to restaurants sitting on top of each other. There is also a third restaurant sitting on the stern promenade deck (7).

The P&O design  (and maybe the Carnival) appear to have have their stern-promenade located a deck higher. P&O have said that there are four main dining restaurants: Pearl, Coral, Aqua and Opal.  Maybe three are stacked on top of each other below the stern promenade and one is located o the stern promenade. (just a guess!)

Looking at the Costa renderings: Leading from the aft deck area, are some steps to a raised promenade deck which runs along 80% of the side of the ship. This prom deck is above the lifeboats and obviously solely for public use and not for lifeboat boarding. It does not appear to wrap around the bow, unless it has an internal tunnel. The rendering is not specific, but this could feature some bars and restaurants like NCL’s ‘Waterfront’. (“A much wider, half-mile promenade deck allowing for al-fresco dining.” was recently reported by P&O) 

The P&O model and Carnival renderings do NOT appear to show ‘steps’ on the promenade. They show an uninterrupted one level prom. P&O call it the ‘Lanai’ deck.

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Costa Smeralda Above: (Courtesy of Costa – click to enlarge)

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P&O Model

This ship design of these ships is NOT the biggest in the world, that is RCI’s ‘Oasis’ class at around 35-40,000 gt bigger, but they will have the biggest passenger capacity in the world at an all-berth figure of 6,600.

Malcolm

*(A brand new entertainment done will be the SkyDome and guests can expect it to be one of Iona’s star attractions.  The roof will be one of the most impressive features along with a pool with a retractable stage, offering a unique space whatever the weather and the time of day.  During the day, SkyDome is the ideal place for relaxation and informal dining with a swimming pool, Jacuzzi and poolside features, and shaded seating areas.  But by night, it comes alive with aerial performances, immersive shows and deck parties and above it all, it is a glazed dome roof designed by award-winning British engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan, the team behind glass masterpieces such as Bulgari’s flagship New York boutique.) P&O

P&O’s Iona: Stateroom renderings: HERE

What is LNG? See: HERE