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Who sailed the Carnival Mardi Gras?


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My very first cruise was on the Mardi Gras, in my teens, in the summer of 1976, 7-day to Nassau, San Juan, St. Thomas. Fond memories of her, but also that's how I realized I was prone to motion sickness. Spent/wasted the first two days in my bunk, my dad finally carried me to the infirmary, got a shot and all was good. I'm still prone to motion sickness -- its Bonine for me every trip, large ship or small.

 

A previous poster hit it spot on -- the Mardis Gras was so classy.

 

I also sailed the Carnivale in 1984 -- more fond memories.

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We did her in November 1985 she was the best ship. If I remember right Happy Cole was the comedian on the ship and I think he is still preforming on Carnival today.Did Jamica,Grand Caymen & Cozumel and it was fantastic

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This was my first cruise. My mother & I went I belive 1988. It was a wonderful ship.I remember we had a small port hole in our cabin. (now I always book a balcony) I still have a bunch of pics. At that time they throw confetti. We sailed to Freeport & Nassua. I remember my mother really enjoyed it & we both agreed that we would cruise again!!

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I cruised on her my very first cruise in 1990 and I do remember going down the hall to dry my hair. I also remember the water sloshing out of the water glasses in the dining room due to rough seas, no stabilizers back then. I was able to get that one added to my cruise history and I now sail Platinum!! Woo hoo !!!

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Went on Mardi Gras for my high school graduation. That was back in the day...two 18 year olds and we could travel by ourselves. We were in the least expensive cabin; I remember a bunk and the bathroom was a nightmare. I can't believe we did not blow every fuse when everyone was down in the 'primping' room. We went to Paradise Island and it was the most beautiful place that I had ever been. I just took my daughter on her Senior Cruise (Carnival Pride) and we went to Paradise Island....life has a funny way of coming full circle.

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Here' some pics from 'back in the day'. Wish I had taken more of the inside of the ship, but...

 

 

 

 

What fantastic pictures! The CARNIVALE was the ship that got me hooked on ships and cruises. My parents sailed on the CARNIVALE in 1976 I believe. They brought back deck plans, pictures, souvenirs, menus, etc. and I studied them endlessly. Finally a couple years later I got to sail on my own first cruise, on the LEONARDO DA VINCI. I was 11 at the time and I was hooked for life.

 

MARDI GRAS and CARNIVALE were actually considered very large ships at the time. They were the largest out of Miami until FESTIVALE came along, and then finally SS NORWAY trumped them all. Remember at the time, in the 70's, the competition for Carnival was the same as it is today ... Royal Caribbean and NCL. The difference was that Carnival converted ocean liners into "Fun Ships" so they were fairly large. Royal Caribbean and NCL were building new ships, basically modeled after European ferries and they were fairly small (15,000-20,000 gt). You may remember NCL's "White Ships"? The SOUTHWARD, SKYWARD, SUNWARD II, and STARWARD. Royal Caribbean had SONG OF NORWAY, SUN VIKING, and NORDIC PRINCE. All fairly small ships compared to MARDI GRAS and CARNIVALE.

 

As it turns out, I attended University of Miami and worked for Carnival part time as an embarkation rep. I was assigned to the MARDI GRAS in Ft. Lauderdale and worked Thursdays and Sundays. This was the mid-80's. I loved it because I had the opportunity to explore every inch of the MARDI GRAS. Such a fantastic old ocean liner that started an empire. Do you know how we checked you in back then? We crossed your name off a manifest! Your boarding pass was a piece of paper. Very high tech! There was no security except one person checking your boarding pass as you entered the ship. You could bring on as much liquor as you wanted. LOL.

 

Cruising back then was really an event and something special. Cruising was in it's infancy and most people never even considered taking a cruise. While I still love cruises today and take them often, they don't hold that same excitement that they used to. I loved Carnival before it became so "corporate". Carnival was the underdog but they sure knew how to throw a party. So many of the activities they used to offer would not be "politically correct" or "family friendly" today. Remember the beer drinking contest, or jousting over the pool, or the infamous ping pong ball contest. A bag of ping pong balls were thrown into the pool and they had to be stuffed into your bathing suit. Of course the cruise staff was always smart to pick the girls with the smallest and tightest bikinis. It was a blast! LOL.

 

Ernie

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Eroller, I remember a cruise back in the 90's where they did the ping-pong ball contest with a bunch of whole fruits.......there was a statuesque blonde lady in a one piece bathing suit who had several whole pineapples, probably a dozen oranges, SEVERAL bananas, and many other items in her suit!!! She just KEPT PULLING that fruit out of that suit!!! I'm still not sure where she put all that stuff! :D

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Eroller, I remember a cruise back in the 90's where they did the ping-pong ball contest with a bunch of whole fruits.......there was a statuesque blonde lady in a one piece bathing suit who had several whole pineapples, probably a dozen oranges, SEVERAL bananas, and many other items in her suit!!! She just KEPT PULLING that fruit out of that suit!!! I'm still not sure where she put all that stuff! :D

 

 

LOL! I'm not sure I ever saw that contest done with fruit. I bet it was hilarious!

 

They truly were "The Fun Ships".

 

Ernie

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We did in 1992, our honeymoon and first cruise. Sorry but I was not impressed with the ship which turned me off from cruising for years.

Gave cruising another try with DH, DD and DS in 2007 on the Sensation. Had a wonderful time and now we're hooked! Can't wait till next year......

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I know I'm dating myself, but are they any cruisers out there that ever sailed on the Mardi Gras? We sailed back in 1986 and that seems like centuries ago.

 

Welcome me to your club-- 3rd cruise was on Mardi Gras in Spring 1982--son was 13 months old - had a great time. Put full size crib in between our twin bunks. Inside cabin-- I was expecting 2nd son. That was when passengers dressed up in costumes - Western itinery as I went to Tulum while my DH took our little guy down town Cozumel & we went to Ohio Rios. Can not remember 3rd port.

 

First cruise was 1978 on the newly refurbished Festival. Now that is dating me. :p

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I know I'm dating myself, but are they any cruisers out there that ever sailed on the Mardi Gras? We sailed back in 1986 and that seems like centuries ago.

 

It was 1978,a porthole cabin ,Itinerary was 7 night Miami to Bahamas,St. Thomas,and San Juan.I was on main deck and remember going down the hall to a small room that had all 4 walls lined with $1slot machines.Met a couple on deck with a bottle of southern comfort and sat sipping it with them into the wee hours.It was definitely a simpler time for cruising

Edited by Cobbler1
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  • 1 month later...

I sailed the Mardi Gras (early 80's) with my parents and first husband. Had to go down to a common room to dry hair and during formal night it was crazy. Stablizers were not what they are now and had a rocky trip back thru the straits. Went to Cozumel,Grand Cayman and Jamaica. I remember the send off party was like the Love boat confetti and drinks!!

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