We were up before 7:30 this morning, heading out deck six at 7:45. By the time we got on the ship, it was already getting crowded. The air was thick with the smell of body odor and bad perfume. The water was smooth and white—perfect for my morning exercise.

We had an incredible time on our trip to New Orleans. I was so excited to explore the city and learn more about the culture, but I am even more excited to share my adventures with you! My first post is a report from my trip on Carnival’s Sensation.

The day after Carnival, we woke up with a hangover, and we all felt like we were at the club until midnight. Then, we felt better. Now, we didn’t feel like it was a day off. Just before coming back to work, we stopped at the local fair on the way. It was packed, and the food smelled great.. Read more about carnival mardi gras updates and let us know what you think.

It’s never boring to wake up at water. I’m fairly confident I could easily be one of those individuals you hear about who retire and live on cruise ships for the rest of their life.

As I walked out onto the balcony of my Ocean Suite cabin on the Mardi Gras, which, as you may know, is presently on her first voyage, that was my first thought.

This would be a sea day, allowing me another more opportunity to explore. Which is excellent, since she’s a large ship with a lot of things I haven’t seen yet. Heck, I’m still figuring things out.

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Trip Report, Day 2: Sea Day

Because I knew that sea days were going to be eating days, I made sure to go to the gym early. Because the Mardi Gras, like other ships, is now operating at a reduced capacity, it’s difficult to predict how effectively she’ll manage people until she’s completely filled.

The gym, on the other hand, is a large area with a lot of equipment and machines. It also features a wall of windows, much like the finest cruise ship gyms, so the room feels light and spacious, plus you get a view while doing out.

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Trip Report, Day 2: Sea Day

Because the lifeboats are immediately above the gym, it would have to be listed as a “partially obscured ocean view” if it were a cabin. But it’s still a lot nicer than most gyms’ views, so I’m not complaining.

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Trip Report, Day 2: Sea Day

It’s a good thing I went to the gym since today was going to be a day with two breakfasts. We started at Cucina del Capitano.

Many people are unaware that during Mardi Gras, you may go to this restaurant — which is usually an Italian bistro, as the name suggests — and have breakfast from the same menu as the main dining room.

It’s a fantastic method to spread out the people searching for breakfast. Plus, since many people aren’t aware of this, if the main dining room is full, you may go to Cucina del Capitano, which is likely to be empty.

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Trip Report, Day 2: Sea Day

There’s plenty of signs throughout the ship that will tell you which venues are available for certain meals (and how long you’ll have to wait), and you can also check the Hub App for this information.

Yes, they have a sea day brunch, and I’m sure some of you are surprised that I didn’t mention it since it’s one of my favorites. But for breakfast, I had something different in mind. Second breakfast, if you will.

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Trip Report, Day 2: Sea Day

On Mardi Gras, Guy’s Burger Joint offers breakfast, and although I’m not sure I need another reason to eat at this specific calorie-burning establishment, I had to give it a go.

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Trip Report, Day 2: Sea Day

The All American, which consists of a beef patty, two fried eggs, “SMC” (super-melty cheese), a hashbrown patty, bacon, tomato, and maple donkey sauce on a bun, was my choice.

And yes, it is as wonderful, satisfying, and unquestionably unhealthy as it sounds. Everything is served with a side of home fries, which I believe are the same potatoes served with the burgers later in the day.

But, given how delicious those fries are, there’s no need to complain.

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Trip Report, Day 2: Sea Day

One of the great things about doing the inaugural voyage of a ship is that there are almost always Q&A sessions with people who played key roles in the design or delivery of the ship. Today, Glen Aprile (Director of New Builds and Product Development) and Petu Kummula (Senior Director of Design and Development) gave the kind of presentation that every cruise lover dreams of attending.

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Trip Report, Day 2: Sea Day

They not only explained every step of the design process to us, from the concept behind the different zones to the small details that would be included, but they also revealed a few Mardi Gras secrets. (Yes, I’ll tell you about them in a future article… so keep an eye out for updates!)

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Trip Report, Day 2: Sea Day

We went to Emeril’s Bistro 1936 since it had been at least a couple of hours since my previous meal.

As you may know, this is Carnival Cruise Line’s first collaboration with famous chef Emeril Lagasse, and it’s set to take place in the French Quarter.

We tried a few of the items, which were all priced individually. The Crab Louie salad is shown above, while the New Orleans style grilled shrimp (one of the chef’s specialities) is shown below. And, sure, the shrimp are accompanied with tiny biscuits!

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Trip Report, Day 2: Sea Day

We had to order the red beans and rice since we couldn’t go to a New Orleans-themed restaurant without tasting two southern specialities…

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Trip Report, Day 2: Sea Day

… as well as Emeril’s Jambalaya Signature. Everything is extremely cheaply priced, and you order the items at the counter and they are delivered to your table.

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Trip Report, Day 2: Sea Day

Despite the fact that I wanted to take a sleep at this time, I realized I needed to get some work done. These travel reports don’t write themselves, believe it or not!

On my approach to Loft 19, I strolled by the Lido Deck, checking out the activity at the Tiki Bar and around the pool.

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Trip Report, Day 2: Sea Day

Loft 19 is a brand-new idea for Carnival, and it’s a stunning place. Guests sleeping in Excel Suites get automatic access to Loft 19 for the length of their voyage, however they do not have access to the cabanas. These may be rented (current price: $2,000 per week or $500 per day), with suite guests receiving first priority.

READ MORE ABOUT LOFT 19: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Trip Report, Day 2: Sea Day

You’re probably thinking to yourself right now, “Wait, you’re in an Ocean Suite… do those qualify for admission to Loft 19?” The answer is that they don’t. But I’ve been given permission, and I’m not one to turn down a free ride.

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Trip Report, Day 2: Sea Day

Unlike the Serenity area (one deck below), children are permitted to visit Loft 19, but only under the supervision of an adult.

Everyone who enters Loft 19 is required to wear a wristband proving their right to be there… and yes, this is strictly enforced. At least two individuals were informed politely but forcefully that the area was off-limits. The remainder of the day was spent at Loft 19, where I did a lot of work (and a little sleeping).

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Trip Report, Day 2: Sea Day

I’m pleased to say that I saw this gentleman on my way back to my hotel before supper. Ducks did, in fact, make the first journey of Mardi Gras. This one I left where he was.

I’ve brought ducks on ships before and had a good time concealing them, but I didn’t bring any this time.

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Trip Report, Day 2: Sea Day

I’m also pleased to announce that I’ve discovered three distinct self-serve FroYo stations so far: One is located right outside the Heroes Tribute Bar, another is located at the buffet, and a third is located near Guy’s Burger Joint.

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Trip Report, Day 2: Sea Day

We went for a drink at Brass Magnolia, a jazz club in the French Quarter, before dinner. Everything in the French Quarter is a victory in my eyes, from the Fortune Teller’s Bar to Emeril’s Bistro to Brass Magnolia.

This has already become one of my favorite hangout spots on the ship.

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Trip Report, Day 2: Sea Day

We eventually grabbed our beverages and made our way to Grand Central (aka the atrium) for the Captain’s Celebration, where Carnival Cruise Line’s president, Christine Duffy, spoke.

Duffy has been very available during the trip, and I don’t just mean to the journalists that are on board. She’s gone all over the place, taking in the sights, meeting new people, and taking a well-deserved victory lap.

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Trip Report, Day 2: Sea Day

We had supper at Cucina Del Capitano afterward. There were a number of things worth noting here. While this is a fee-based venue on other ships (I think it is $15 per person, but don’t quote me on that), it is free during Mardi Gras.

You may also order from either Cucina’s menu or the Main Dining Room’s menu. This, like breakfast, is Carnival’s method of reducing crowds (and wait times) in the two dining rooms, The Palms and the Flamingo.

It’s also wise because if you have someone who like the Italian food Cucina specializes in and someone who doesn’t, everyone will be satisfied.

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Trip Report, Day 2: Sea Day

It was back to Brass Magnolia after supper. We listened to a jazz trio here last night, then the electric violins today. We stayed an hour and a half since the atmosphere was so nice (including the very tasty, very strong Hurricanes, which a friend tells me is basically the signature drink of New Orleans).

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Trip Report, Day 2: Sea Day

Finally, we ended the night by making our way over to Summer Landing and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse to listen to a great rock band do their thing. How good was the entertainment tonight? So good that the guy who you know often crashes right after dinner was out until midnight. That’s gotta tell you something.

Our first port of call, Puerto Rico, is tomorrow. I’d say this is Mardi Gras’ first visit to this specific port, but I suppose that’s true of every place we visit, isn’t it? Return tomorrow to learn more about the ship and all she has to offer!

Mardi Gras is an American celebration of Fat Tuesday, the final day of the Carnival season. Mardi Gras is a time to party and wear costumes, and Carnival Cruise Lines wants you to party too. As part of their Celebrate the Fun Carnival campaign, Carnival Cruise Lines offers discounts on their cruises to people who attend Mardi Gras parades. The parades that Carnival Cruise Lines sends their cruisers to that are at the destination port are typically three day events, so Carnival Cruises has a lot of work to do to keep their passengers happy. Each Carnival ship is deployed to a different Mardi Gras event, with the dates and times of these events changing from year to year, and from port to port. To. Read more about carnival mardi gras news and let us know what you think.

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