Cruising has long been a favorite form of travel for many vacationers, allowing them to sample a variety of destinations, all on the same trip. But in recent years, for many, cruising has become more about the ships themselves than the ports of call. In fact, many of the most popular mega cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and even Disney, have upped the ante on onboard entertainment options, offering everything from thrilling waterslides to innovative, exhibition-style dining experiences. Now, Carnival Cruise Lines is the latest to jump on board with this trend. Earlier this month, the popular cruise line unveiled its new Fun Ship 2.0 initiative, which, according to the company, will dramatically transform its onboard guest experience. The multi-year effort—valued at over $500 million—will feature new dining choices, more bars and lounges, as well as an expanded list of entertainment options. “Fun Ship 2.0 is the largest and most ambitious initiative that our company has ever undertaken and it will serve to significantly transform the Carnival vacation experience for our guests,” says Carnival’s president and CEO, Gerry Cahill. “Through breakthrough partnerships with some of today’s biggest talents and most popular entertainment brands,” he explains, “Carnival fans and those new to our cruises are destined for an incredible vacation experience.”
Among the cruise line’s new celebrity collaborations includes a partnership with comedian and TV personality, George Lopez. Lopez—who has been dubbed Carnival’s official “Curator of Comedy”—will serve as the creative director for the new fleet-wide Punchliner Comedy Clubs Presented by George Lopez, playing an active role in scouting and hiring onboard comedic talent.
In addition to new onboard comedy acts, Carnival ships will feature a Lopez comedy routine, which will play on in-cabin TVs, as well as a new Punchliner Comedy Brunch offered on days at sea.
“By partnering with George Lopez, an exceptionally talented, respected and popular comedian” Cahill says, “Carnival’s comedy offerings will be taken to the next level.”
On the dining front, Carnival has partnered with “Food Network” celebrity chef Guy Fieri, to offer a new shipboard venue called Guy’s Burger Joint. Here, guests can munch on a wide selection of hand-crafted hamburgers and cheeseburgers, with each recipe created by Fieri. There will also be a condiment station with everything from chipotle mayonnaise and a special barbeque sauce, to hot sauce and garlic aioli. Other toppings like blue cheese crumbles, sauteed mushrooms and hot chili will also be offered. Each station also features a suggestion menu developed by Fieri to show guests which toppings they can use to build their own specialty burger.
Meanwhile, Carnival’s new themed bars and lounges offer guests distinctive environment and signature drink menus. At the new EA SPORTS Bar—designed with the ultimate sports fanatic in mind—guests can play their favorite EA SPORTS videogames, watch live sports on a massive video wall comprised of 16 different 46-inch big-screen displays, and keep up with real-time sports scores 24/7 live on the ticker.
Over at the Alchemy Bar—a vintage-themed cocktail “pharmacy”—Carnival’s expert mixologists will “prescribe” concoctions from different fun categories or guests can also try their hand at creating their own custom cocktails. Passengers can also grab a drink at The Library Bar, a new intimate cocktail lounge featuring bar service and automatic wine dispensers, ideal for guests seeking a more relaxed and quiet venue.
To learn more about Carnival’s Fun Ship 2.0 initiative, visit carnival.com/funship2.