Mardi Gras Trip Log Day 2: 7-Night Eastern Caribbean Carnival Cruise – At Sea

Trip log, day two. At Sea.
7-Night Eastern Caribbean Carnival Cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida 
March 12, 2023

CCL Mardi Gras Stateroom Map


The first full day onboard is underway sailing south-east passing The Bahamas as we make way for San Juan in a couple days. Emily started her typical gym-going routine, and then we all met for with breakfast. Isabelle and I got chicken biscuit sandwiches from Big Chicken’s breakfast menu and Emily and I had made-to-order omelet from the Lido Marketplace, the buffet located on Deck 16.

The omelet station became an instant favorite. There were multiple omelet stations with the cooks taking guests orders and doing one heck of a job moving the line while creating a quality breakfast item. So far, the food has been impressive, and it’s just the start of day 2.

CCL Mardi Gras Stateroom Breakfast

Over on the Lido Deck across from the pool, is a cute little doghouse with towel dogs. This spot is where you can exchange your pool towels or buy some additional items such a blanket. Unfortunately, the towel folding book was sold out during our sailing.

The Mardi Gras features “the fastest — and first! — rollercoaster at sea” on the top deck named Bolt: Ultimate Sea Coaster. Prior to this cruise, we experienced Tron Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom – fun ride, awesome overall design, but too short of an experience. Bolt, is also a motorcycle like ride vehicle what really makes this coaster unique is the speed is rider controllable. There is a throttle allowing you to control the speed as you race around the upper deck – there are built in limits and breaking, but for the most part you control the ride. While it is a short ride track, you are able to go around the track twice for the per ride price of $15/person. We had a blast, but this is defiantly one of those one and done experiences considering the per person fee. Reservations were required, but there was really no wait so I would imagine there was plenty of available time slots to select. I’d recommend booking a time early in the cruise in the event weather takes the attraction offline which wind was a factor for our friend who was unable to ride at their original, and even the first rescheduled time. They were finally able to ride on the 3rd attempt.

Plastic silverware and straws have vanquished from the ships in recent years for good environmental reasons, but straws are still desired by guests and Carnival using Sorbos Edible straws available in multiple flavors. We came across Lime, Chocolate, and Strawberry offered at various venues onboard. Carnival also does not use paper cups.

Over in La Piazza – the La Piazza on the Mardi Gras (not the La Piazza on the Disney Fantasy) there are a number of quick service options for pizza and paninis.

I knew I was going to like Pizzeria del Capitano when I saw they were using Caputo 00 pizzeria flour, the staple ingredient in my own pizza making process.

The line can build at this spot, but the Pizzaiolos are hard a work preparing and baking the pizzas to keep up with demand. More often than not, there was fresh pizza coming out of the ovens. For a quick service, this was some really good pizza. Made to order wasn’t really an option, but I am sure you could always ask for something.

CCL Mardi Gras Pizzeria Del Capitano Menu

In all, there are 5 standard pizzas on the menu, Margherita, Funghi, Pepperoni, Quattro Formaggi, and Prosciutto.

Next to the pizza area, was Piazza Panini with more than a dozen sandwich options pre-made, but heated or pressed when ordered if desired. There was also gluten free bread available. Given the slow speed of the line, I would have preferred a full made to order sandwich experience as the pre-made method didn’t seem to help move the line as they were limited to how many they could heat/press at any given time. I did enjoy my sandwich though.

Formal night on Carnival is called Cruise Elegant Night and we all dressed up, as did most of the other guests. I’m normally an outlier wearing a tuxedo on formal nights — not on this ship my friends. Passengers of all ages were dressed for the evening.

CCL Mardi Gras Stateroom Selfie

For dinner, we were back at our assigned table in the Palm Restaurant with our same serving team and a new menu.

Night 2 and still impressed with the food and the expanded menu options. The Grand Marnier Soufflé while not billowing over the ramekin, it was downright delicious.

Did a little post dinner walking around the ship since we really hadn’t spent all that much time exploring all of the venues. We walked over to the JavaBlue Café, and discovered an assortment of both included and additional cost items like this strawberry donut that looked appetizing (which I regret not getting!). This was a popular location for passengers with drink plans that included specialty coffees. I guess our room included the Bubbles Package for soda, but we do not drink soda, so we stuck with the included water, iced tea, and coffee. The coffee was actually quite good – the machines were a grind and brew on demand and I eventually found 1 machine that would make espresso.

CCL Mardi Gras JavaBlue Cafe Doughnuts

I normally travel with a Sudoku book in my bag, but I changed bags at the last minute before leaving the house. To my surprise, I discovered a daily puzzle sheet with pencils along with FUN TIMES on the counter at JavaBlue Café. Something so simple that I didn’t realize I needed became part of my morning routine.

CCL Mardi Gras Daily Sudoku Crossword Puzzle

Our group settled in a booth across from the Fortune Teller bar for after dinner drinks. This bar has a menu with a number of Instagramable cocktails as some were served with the bartender shining a light on them to bring out characteristics such as glitter or color changing effects. While the bar is well themed, it was a bit too loud to have a conversation as the enjoyable live musicians were amplified via the venue speakers to the point it was a nuisance. The highlight of the Fortune Teller lounge was the Venus Rising cocktail with a hibiscus ice cube that we are working to replicate at home.

We ventured over to The Brass Magnolia lounge for a Sazerac night cap as one does when they are in New Orleans, or on a ship with a New Orleans motif. The live band, Washboard Joe, was really enjoyable during their Beatles set, but just like the previous venue, it was nearly impossible to hold a conversation. Our party preferred the drinks here over the Fortune Teller drink menu.

It was time to call it a night to prepare for our second consecutive day at sea.

CCL Mardi Gras Stateroom Towel Animal

Complete Trip Log Index

11 Replies to “Mardi Gras Trip Log Day 2: 7-Night Eastern Caribbean Carnival Cruise – At Sea”

    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      I fixed the menu. I see where I made the mistake, the PDF menu names from Carnival were not necessarily used on the specific day of the cruise. I originally included a MDR menu which was named QR-D2-Feb-2023.

  1. mypftcommentingaccount

    Thanks for sharing!

    We had been regularly cruising Disney for a number of years (Gold status and well on our way to Platinum) before the pandemic. Given the way Disney has continued to increase proces while reducing services we really are not tempted to head back. The way they continued the vaccine requirement for far longer than they had to really left a bad taste in our mouths.
    Our last experience staying at a Resort and visiting the theme parks only reinforced this as we felt nickeled and dimed at every turn. Last year we took a break from Disney and stayed in a concierge suite at the Royal Pacific resort at Universal and had an amazing time. Unlike Disney where you could practically feel Chapek reaching into your pockets every five minutes for another handful of dollars we felt Universal really provided a much better overall experience and much better value for the money.
    I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts from throughout the trip on how the experience compares and the value you received for your money. The difference in stateroom cost from day 1 was pretty astounding.

    1. TimE

      We’re going back on the Fantasy this fall after years of the unnecessary requirements that we refused to spend money on. I can’t wait to see how many people are still going to be voluntarily wearing masks that do not work. To this day I still see these morons driving themselves around town with a non-working mask on.
      If at any time I get a vibe that things aren’t completely back to normal, this will be the last DCL cruise for us.
      Plus, it looks like Disneyland is pulling a Bud Light and having pride night soon which is not surprising for Cali. Glad we’re on the east coast and at least have access to Disney World in Florida where most aren’t going to put up with that.

  2. Thomas Joseph Opperman

    Hello, do you find the restaurants have decent Gluten free options? Disney has done a pretty good job during our past few cruises. Thanks, enjoy your trip.

    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      Hi Thomas, we were not traveling with anyone during this cruise who asked for a Gluten free menu. We did notice a few gluten free options here and there, but it was not on my radar. Our server did ask at dinner if anyone at the table had food allergies.

      I did find the following information on Carnival’s Special Dietary Needs information page.

      Carnival can provide our guests with meals suited to the following special dietary needs: vegetarian, low-cholesterol, low-fat, low-carbohydrate, low-sugar, and gluten-free. Our chefs will make every effort to fulfill your requests, and will gladly prepare freshly-made options that meet your dietary needs. Once on board, we ask you speak with the headwaiter or dining room host in advance, so they can assist in planning your daily meals in the dining room. This will allow us the necessary time to prepare foods, as requested, in a timely manner.

      Gluten-free pizza dough, pasta, bread for deli sandwiches, and hamburgers buns, as well as cake are available upon request. Plus, our frozen desserts and yogurt are gluten-free. All items are freshly prepared and may take a little longer than regular menu items. Gluten-free beer, Estrella Daura, is available for your enjoyment on our U.S.-based ships.

  3. Alex

    Scott, this is interesting as we a DCL only family. I would never, ever have considered a carnival sail but you made me think twice. How about doing a Royal Caribbean next so we can compare!

  4. Dave

    Very interesting. Maybe its the new ship, but with Carnival’s reputation as the “party cruises” I am very surprised the formal night participation was higher than Disney’s.

    It probably doesn’t help that all my recent Disney cruises have been “optional dress up”. I don’t even prepare that much of an outfit for it at this point.

    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      I suspect, at least for now, the Excel class (Mardi Gras, Celebration, and Jubilee) by design is set up to move away from a party focused demographic. The starting fare difference over other ships in the Carnival fleet sailing from Florida ports right off the top helps deter the demographic looking for a low cost booze cruise.


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