Carnival Conquest, sailed in to New Orleans this week, fresh off a from a multi-million dollar dry dock loaded with new dining, bar and entertainment options. To mark the occasion, Carnival Cruise Lines made a substantial donation to the United Way of Southeast Louisiana where Carnival Conquest will sail from year-round. The contribution will specifically be used to help the people in affected parishes in rebuilding after Hurricane Isaac in August, through local organizations including Committee for Plaquemines Recovery and St. Bernard Project.
“United Way of Southeast Louisiana commends Carnival Cruise Lines for making a donation to help the people of St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes rebuild their lives and communities,” said Gary Ostroske, President and CEO United Way of Southeast Louisiana. “Because of Hurricanes Katrina and Isaac, August 29th is indelibly etched in our minds as a day of heartache and heroes. We thank Carnival for being a corporate hero. With Carnival’s support, United Way can help more people in more ways than any single charity.”
As New Orleans’ largest cruise operator, Carnival Cruise Lines has a long-standing relationship with city. In 2011, the line brought its capacity back to pre-Katrina levels with two year-round ships from the port. The newly refurbished Carnival Conquest operates seven-day Caribbean cruises and Carnival Elation offers four- and five-day cruises from New Orleans to Mexico.
“We are thrilled to welcome Carnival Conquest home to New Orleans with a wide variety of new Fun Ship 2.0 bar and dining venues and onboard entertainment options for our guests to enjoy,” said Gerry Cahill, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines. “We continue to invest in our New Orleans-based cruise program and recognize the major economic driver the cruise industry is for the region. As a long-time part of the community, we also are proud to provide support for local families along the coast through United Way of Southeast Louisiana.”
The refurbished ship now features a number of elements of Carnival’s $500 million “Fun Ship 2.0” fleetwide enhancement program including:
- RedFrog Rum Bar, an open-air Caribbean-themed watering hole offering refreshing rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including Carnival’s private label draft brew, ThirstyFrog Red, all enjoyed in a laid-back island-infused atmosphere.
- BlueIguana Tequila Bar, a friendly rival just across the deck from the RedFrog Rum Bar, this Mexican-themed poolside bar specializes in frozen cocktails and Mexican beers.
- Alchemy Bar, a vintage-themed cocktail “pharmacy” featuring interesting drink flavors, and ingredients, with expert mixologists who “prescribe” concoctions from different fun categories. Guests can also try their hand at creating their own custom cocktails.
- EA SPORTS Bar, the ultimate hangout for sports fanatics where patrons can view live sporting events on large-screen televisions, play popular EA SPORTS video games and keep up with the latest scores on a 24/7 sports ticker.
- Guy’s Burger Joint, created in partnership with Food Network personality and chef Guy Fieri, this complimentary poolside venue serves the best burgers at sea and hand-cut fries with innovative toppings and condiments.
- BlueIguana Cantina, a free-of-charge Mexican cantina offering a variety of fresh tacos and burritos that can be personalized by diners at an extensive salsa and toppings bar.
- The Punchliner Comedy Club & The Punchliner Comedy Brunch presented by George Lopez brings even more laughs with a lineup of comedic talent, curated by the popular comedian and TV personality, along with a humorous twist on brunch.
- Cherry on Top celebrates the joys of simple indulgences with bins of bulk candy, fun-and-fanciful gifts, just-because novelties, colorful custom apparel and more.
- Hasbro, The Game Show and Playlist Productions will also be added to Carnival Conquest by early December. Hasbro, The Game Show makes guests the stars of the show through larger-than-life adaptations of the company’s iconic board games, while Playlist Productions is a dramatic retooling of Carnival’s legendary revues that combines captivating live performances with high-tech LED staging and special effects that set a new standard in seagoing productions.
Next year, Carnival Destiny will get a $155 million makeover – Carnival’s most ambitious ship transformation ever. It will get all of the exciting Fun Ship 2.0 dining, bar and entertainment offerings and another 182 new cabins. The redesign will be so extensive that the ship will be renamed Carnival Sunshine following a 49-day dry dock. It will be based out of New Orleans starting next November.