The man or woman behind Carnival Cruise Line’s latest idea deserves a gold star for creativity. They came up with the ingenious idea of building a roller coaster on top of a cruise ship. What’s more heart-pounding than that?
Intended for people of all ages, the cruise line’s new Mardi Gras vessel will feature what it claims is “the first-ever roller coaster at sea” in 2020. The exciting attraction is being built by Munich-based Maurer Rides. Dubbed the BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster, it will take riders up to speeds of 40 mph while they twist, turn, and drop along the 800-feet of track. It certainly won’t be the world’s longest coaster, but it will offer 360-degree views you can’t experience anywhere else.
The electric coaster will allow two riders at a time to cruise the track in a motorcycle-like vehicle positioned 187 feet above sea level. Guests have the option of choosing their own speed as they travel through a hairpin turn around Carnival’s trademark funnel. The racers speeds are posted at the end of the ride.
“Mardi Gras will be our most innovative ship ever with some truly special features and attractions, highlighted by BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, in a release. “BOLT will continue the tradition of Carnival providing exciting new ways for our guests to ‘Choose Fun.’ We are so thrilled to introduce this one-of-a-kind, game-changing, exhilarating attraction – our guests are going to love it!”
Port Canaveral, Fla, will be home base for the Mardi Gras. More details about the ship’s itinerary and additional features will be revealed in the new year. Carnival Cruise Line will release a second XL-class ship in 2022 to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary.
While the Mardi Gras will have a roller coaster on board, it’s not the world’s biggest cruise ship or the only one that offers some unique amenities. Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas is the world’s largest and is also unique for its Bionic Bar, which uses a mechanical arm to deliver drinks.
The Oasis of the Seas has an innovative Aqua Theater and water slides to entertain guests. Princess Cruise’s Star Princess, Golden Princess and Caribbean Princess have Skywalkers Lounges at the stern, which look out to the ocean. They give passengers a unique perspective as they walk over a windowed bridge to access the lounge.
Also impressive is the Royal Princess’ glass-bottomed walkway, which projects over the side of the vessel. Two of Princess’ ships also feature The Fountain Pool on its decks.
Then there’s the Queen Mary 2 (QM2), which has the only planetarium at sea. The ship also has the world’s largest at-sea library. The Norwegian Breakaway has a ropes course and an ice bar.
Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas has an observation capsule, which lifts guests into the air above the ship. Other Royal Caribbean ships offer surfing via the Flowrider simulator and skydiving in another simulator. Or perhaps you’d prefer driving bumper cars at sea? That’s another option.
These days cruising is as much about fun on the ship as it is on the islands.