Unfortunately Jackie ate something that didn’t agree with her stomach last night. So she spent the day relaxing in the room. So I’m talking over the daily report. I had a busy day at sea.
After a grab-and-go breakfast in the Lido Marketplace, I headed to a media event in the engine room. We had a very cool tour (video coming later) of the engine control room and the engine room itself, led by Richard Pruitt, Carnival’s vice president of environmental operations. He explained how the ships engines run on Liquified Natural Gas, which is cleaner and therefore better for the environment. Mardi Gras the first cruise ship in the Americas to do so. The ships engineers liked it too, saying they wouldn’t be happy if they had to go back to a regular fuel ship.
I say the tour was cool, but it was actually hot and loud down in the engines. They gave us earplugs. I feel sorry for the guys in jumpsuits who have to work down there for any length of time. Richard also gave us some examples of how they are reducing waste. One is by putting sugar in large jars instead of individual packets. He also talked about the “iron stomachs” they have onboard which dissolve the food waste down to just liquid. His talk was very interesting. Give it a watch when you have time.
We then headed to the piano bar for a media Q&A with Carnival President Christine Duffy. She talked a lot about the changing Covid-19 precautions. For our cruise, vaccinated guests do not need to wear masks or be tested for Covid-19, but starting with the next cruise, all guests will have to wear masks indoors, and starting with the cruise after that, all guests, even vaccinated, will have to take a Covid-19 test before sailing.
Our cruise is 70% full and 95% of the guests are vaccinated. I asked her if they are planning on doing any cruises where more than 5% can be unvaccinated, and she said no. This is the standard for Carnival now. She mentioned how each cruise line has to decide what’s best for their guests. For instance, Disney Cruise Line, which has a lot of children who can’t yet get the vaccine, is allowing as many unvaccinated guests as want to come, but they have to be tested twice at their expense and pay for trip insurance.
For lunch I tried a couple of new places. The turkey sandwich on a pretzel roll at Piazza Panini was great. I then went up to the Lido Marketplace to the Shawarma stand. It was messy, but good.
I also walked all around the ship filming a VR180 3D video tour (coming soon) and some general photos. I also booked another ride on Bolt, the roller coaster onboard. It must have been a busy day for it because I had to wait a couple of hours before I could ride. For this ride, I didn’t turn the throttle or use the boost button at all, just to see how slow it would go. It was about the same speed as when using it, just without any boosts except the start.
From my talk with Christine earlier in the day, I learned that after this cruise, it should be two laps for $15 instead of the one lap guests are getting on this cruise. I also got some tips about the boost button from the manufacturer after having the ride operators on the ship tell me three different ways it works. You can read all my tips on our sister site at AttractionsMagazine.com.
For dinner, I tried another place I hadn’t yet. (There are so many choices on the Mardi Gras.) Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse and Brewhouse is on the back of the ship on Deck 8. I was seated in the very back with a view of the pool and ocean beyond. It was a great view, and it was fun to watch the swimmers swim right up to the glass edge of the ship, and the rocking boat causing the waves to go back and forth in the pool.
I ordered The Pig & Anchor Melt with some sides and it was delicious. I’ve heard a few passengers raving about the BBQ here and they are right.
I ended the night by seeing the musical production in the main theater. It was a series of different Broadway tunes, from “In the Heights” to the classics. The performers were great, but I would have liked to have seen some costume changes and more variety from the set. But Christine did mention it’s been hard to get the entertainment all back on the ship since they come from all over the world and are considered non-essential.
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