(9:00 a.m. EDT) -- When Carnival's largest-ever ship, Mardi Gras, debuts in 2020, it will feature several new-to-the-line dining and beverage concepts, including a street food-inspired dining venue and a tiki bar, as well as the second-in-fleet Big Chicken by Shaq restaurant. All, along with several Carnival favorites, will be found in either the ship's Lido or Summer Landing zone.
"Great food and beverage experiences are at the core of any vacation, especially at Carnival," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "We always strive to provide our guests with the most diverse options possible, but the sheer variety of food and beverage venues on board Mardi Gras is unlike anything we've ever offered before."
Street Eats (complimentary): An open-air eatery, Street Eats will comprise three themed kiosks offering fried, steamed and plancha (skillet) options representing a variety of global cuisines. The grab-and-go venue will have a daily rotating menu of small-plate items, such as empanadas or falafel at the fried station; bao buns or shumai at the steam outlet; and kebabs or satay at the plancha kiosk.
Big Chicken Restaurant (complimentary): Created by Carnival's Chief Fun Officer and NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal, Big Chicken Restaurant will make its at-sea debut on Carnival Radiance in April 2020. (It's currently only found in Las Vegas.) On Mardi Gras, the venue will be located on the Lido Deck, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner with items Shaq himself developed -- in partnership with his mom.
Guy's Burger Joint (complimentary): No Carnival ship would be complete without a Guy's Burger Joint, and the one on Mardi Gras will be the largest in the fleet.
Seafood Shack (a la carte): Open for lunch and dinner, this grab-and-go New England-inspired venue offers a variety of fried and steamed seafood options.
BlueIguana Cantina (complimentary): This is the spot to grab a breakfast burrito in the morning and design your own tacos and burritos for lunch.
RedFrog Tiki Bar: This two-level South Pacific-themed bar offers a twist on Carnival's traditional poolside watering hole, with rum-based cocktails in an island-inspired atmosphere that's decked out with tiki heads and vibrant colors. Drink options will include such rum-soaked choices at Polynesian Punch, Red's Rum Runner Jumper and Jungle Bird -- all presented in pineapples, souvenir tiki glasses or Mai Tai glasses. RedFrog Tiki Bar replaces the line's popular RedFrog Rum Bar.
The Watering Hole: Located within The Patio at Summer Landing, The Watering Hole was designed to invoke summer days in your backyard. The bar will offer a wide beer selection, including Carnival's owned canned and draft beers, as well as summer-inspired cocktails like the Watermelon Cooler and Tequila Sunset.
Guy's Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse: Carnival's third brewery at sea, this spot will offer smoked-on-board favorites and an assortment of the line's ParchedPig craft beers brewed on site. It will also feature a stage for live music.
Bar Pools: Bars at the midship Beach Pool and infinity-style Aft Tides Pool will serve thirsty pool-goers.
Sports Bar: Located in Summer Landing, this bar will feature both indoor and outdoor TV screens.
The 5,200-passenger Mardi Gras will be the first cruise ship in the world with a roller coaster onboard. It will also be the first in the Carnival fleet to feature themed zones, an exclusive suites-only complex and Emeril Lagasse's first restaurant at sea. Popular cruise director Matt Mitcham will lead entertainment onboard.
Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is scheduled to enter service August 31, 2020 in Europe, before repositioning to New York for a series of sailings and then on to Port Canaveral for year-round, weeklong Caribbean cruises beginning October 2020. The line celebrated its keel laying June 18 at a shipyard ceremony, which saw the placement of coins on top of a 750-ton keel block. The ceremony signifies good luck for the ship and the official start of construction
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