Carnival Cruise Line continues to celebrate the launch of its newest ship, Mardi Gras, while, at the same time, also raising money for a good cause.
Carnival raised $21,600 for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a longtime partner for the cruise line, with its onboard fundraiser called the Grove for St. Jude on Mardi Gras held during the inaugural festivities this week.
The ship’s Godmother Kimberly Jiménez, along with Miss Universe Andrea Meza and other Miss Universe titleholders, joined Cruise Director Mike Pack and Carnival president Christine Duffy for the ceremony, with donations coming from guests onboard.
The total broke Carnival’s record for donations to the charity.
“Along with welcoming our guests back on board, our restart allows us to get back to meeting our goal of raising $30 million by 2025 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” said Duff. “We are proud to support such a worthy cause and even more proud of guests for opening their hearts and raising close to $22,000 for St. Jude in one day.“
The ship is five years in the making for Carnival, with a name that calls back to the heyday of the cruise line.
It features the firsts ever roller coaster at sea, BOLT, and Carnival’s first Family Feud Live, as well as WaterWorks aqua park and the longest suspended ropes course at sea as part of its Ultimate Playground. It will be the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered ship in the Americas.
Guest can enjoy more restaurants than any other Carnival ship—15 eateries not including the main dining rooms or buffet, eight of which are complimentary. That includes some celebrity-helmed restaurants including Shaq’s Big Chicken restaurant along with one from Emeril Lagasse and another from Guy Fieri.