Carnival Debuts First Look At Mardi Gras's Grand Central Atrium

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Concept rendering of the Grand Central atrium on Mardi Gras.

Carnival Cruise Line has unveiled the Grand Central atrium that will debut on its newest ship, Mardi Gras, when it launches in FEB 2021.

The Grand Central atrium spans three decks -- 6, 7 and 8 -- with 3,000-square-foot glass panels built into the starboard side of the ship.  

According to Glenn Aprile, Carnival’s director of new build product development and part of the atrium's design team, the idea was to create a space that was as functional as it was eye-catching, while providing guests with a “take your breath away” moment when they first board the vessel.  

“Building an atrium into the side of a cruise ship is no easy task and it was a total team effort between our new build management team, engineers, designers, and hotel and entertainment teams to create a space that is as beautiful as it is functional,” Aprile said. 

During the day, Grand Central serves as a spot for guests to enjoy a drink or light fare, listen to live music, or partake in trivia contests. 

At night, it transforms into an immersive venue with a rotation of soon-to-be-revealed experiences created just for Mardi Gras. Talented performers will interact with 16 LED screens displaying video and special effects, as well as lasers and aerial feats. 

“With a ship as innovative as Mardi Gras, we wanted to create a multi-functional dining and entertainment space that guests can enjoy day and night, while at the same time providing an intuitive way to get around the ship and creating  a dramatic centrepiece that is worthy of our most innovative ship. Grand Central provides all that and more," Aprile said.

"With its transformation from daytime relaxation to nighttime entertainment, Grand Central is unlike anything that’s ever been done on a cruise ship before and our guests are going to love it.”

Overlooking Grand Central is the multi-level Grand View Bar, featuring floor-to-ceiling sea views and design touches like a virtual waterfall on translucent panels. There’s also the Center Stage Bar on the main level. Both venues will serve specialty cocktails inspired by the theme of that evening’s entertainment. 

Steps away are Java Blue, serving coffee beverages and light fare throughout the day, and The Cherry on Top sweets shop, as well as retail shops and casino. 

Mardi Gras, which Carnival touts as being the first North American cruise ship powered by Liquefied Natural Gas, is set to debut from Port Canaveral, Florida on 06FEB, 2021, operating week-long itineraries from the Space Coast.

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.

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