Yesterday, Carnival Cruise Lines rolled out one of its most ambitious projects to date: Fun Ship 2.0. The program is designed to dramatically transform Carnival’s onboard guest experience through a variety of new partnerships, including comedian George Lopez; Food Network’s Guy Fieri and leading entertainment companies Hasbro and EA Sports.
This revolutionary program also includes the creation of enhanced dining choices, additional bars and lounges, and unique entertainment options. The first phase of the Fun Ship 2.0 enhancements will continue through the end of 2015 and represents a $500 million dollar investment across the line’s fleet of Fun Ships.
Carnival Liberty will be the first to receive the new dining and bar venues when it emerges from its scheduled refit later this month, and an additional 14 ships will follow over the next four years.
“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 Gerry Cahill, President and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines. “Through breakthrough partnerships with some of today’s biggest talents and most popular entertainment brands, plus our very own new branded experiences and on-board destinations, Carnival fans and those new to our cruises are destined for an incredible vacation experience.”
Comedian George Lopez will become Carnival’s “Curator of Comedy,” consulting on the vetting and hiring of comedic talent and advising on the décor, lighting and music in Carnival’s comedy clubs. A noteworthy new feature will be the Punchliner Comedy Brunch that will keep the laughs coming in the line’s main dining rooms.
Restaurateur Guy Fieri has partnered with Carnival to create Guy’s Burger Joint. Happily, the burgers served up at this fresh-off-the-grill venue are free of charge. Guests can choose from a pre-set menu designed by Fieri or create their own by adding a variety of mouth-watering toppings, and all burgers come with hand-cut fries. Located poolside, this seems destined to be one popular feature.
In partnership with Hasbro Inc., Carnival has created Hasbro, The Game Show. This new series of productions and activities are based upon the popular Family Game Night television show, airing on US network The Hub.
Placing guests smack in the middle of their favorite Hasbro games, cruisers can take part in “Sorry Sliders” and its giant shuffleboard court; “Simon Flash,” pitting two teams of four wearing light-up color boxes in a race to match and repeat a color sequence; “Yahtzee Bowling,” with its giant ball and larger-than-life bowling pins; “Operation,” where guests try to get balls into different slots on the “patient’s” body; and “Connect 4 Basketball,” which utilizes a basketball setup as opposed to checkers to play the game.
Carnival is also rolling out several new themed bars and lounges designed to give guests additional choices and to create a warm, social experience onboard. One such concept came about as a result of the line’s new partnership with EA Sports, culminating with the creation of the ultimate sports bar, where guests can play their favorite EA Sports video games, watch live sports on a wall adorned with 16, 46-inch displays, and keep up with scores at any time of the day via the live ticker. Daily trivia contests, EA Sports video game contests, and live sporting telecasts are just some of the activities on offer here.
Two new poolside watering holes are coming for guests as well. Based upon the RedFrog Pub introduced on Carnival Magic, the RedFrog Rum Bar will specialize in refreshing Caribbean-themed rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including Carnival’s own ThirstyFrog Red.
Across the pool deck, the BlueIguana Tequila Bar will provide a quick journey to Mexico by offering up tequila-based frozen drinks and authentic Mexican beers. Live music will be offered by both bars, and guests can indulge in freshly made burritos, tacos, and of course, chips and salsa.
But if all that sun is too much, you might want to head to the new Alchemy Bar, where one of Carnival’s mixologists can “prescribe” the perfect antidote. Guests themselves can even elect to create their own custom cocktail. A new Library Bar will also provide a quieter, more subdued venue for guests to relax and enjoy a good book and a glass of wine.
All of this comes along with significant enhancements to Carnival’s onboard entertainment options. Guests can expect to see new shows and production numbers designed to delight and engage them as never before. The first of these new shows will debut next summer aboard the brand-new Carnival Breeze, and other vessels will follow.
Curious to know more? Check out our Carnival Cruise Lines fleet overview and ship reviews.