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Who sailed the Carnival Mardi Gras?


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It was my first cruise. We were 19 and Carnival didn't enforce the 21 drinking law then. We went over spring break and had a blast. I remember the room had two cots and no TV. I wish I could count her towards my going platnium, but my home burnt down and I have no proof that I sailed on her. Just the memories in my mind.

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Here's one!!!!

 

I sailed that little gem on it's SECOND cruise' date=' just missing the first one that got hung up on a sandbar returning to Miami.

 

Over the years, Mardi Gras and I saw a lot of each other. I loved that little ship..as well as the Carnivale and Festivale when they were added.

 

LOVED all the inlaid woods, real brass, teakwood decks..and all the fun. The ship rocked 24 hours a day.

 

Micky Arison used to make unannounced appearances on those first ships, boarding in Miami "incognito", sailing for a day or two and getting off along the way. He was hands-on that his ships were doing what he wanted and that the folks were having a great time. He also did cabin inspections and ate at every meal..... At least one evening when he was onboard, there was an open bar - all on him - and we partied til dawn.

 

I owned a little travel agency during those years and we had at least one group a month on Mardi Gras, encouraged by Carnival's very young sales reps who gave us all the assistance needed to attract groups and sail on their ships.

 

Bob Dickinson (yep, Uncle Bob) was Sales Manager for the tri-state area at that time and he had a Cracker-Jack team of Reps. At that time, Carnival was sold exclusively through travel agencies...and they worked with us on getting best prices, etc., to fill their ship.

 

All the stodgey old cruise lines laughed at the upstart Carnival and predicted their quick demise. Interesting that Carnival now OWNS them....HA....

 

EmpOfCanada04MGras.jpg

 

And remember how the uppers were supported by woven straw? They bulged like there

were bodies in them even up against the wall. And the sailaway buffet was shriveled hot

dogs and hockey puck hamburgers.

But there were beautiful Waterford panels around the ship.....a touch of class.

That was before the Joe Farcus days.

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Oh does that bring back memories. I sailed the Mardi Gras twice in the 80's. People who complain about modern ships cabins/bathrooms should have cruised back then. But did she ever get me hooked on cruising. I am now milestone with Carnival.

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Oh does that bring back memories. I sailed the Mardi Gras twice in the 80's. People who complain about modern ships cabins/bathrooms should have cruised back then. But did she ever get me hooked on cruising. I am now milestone with Carnival.

 

So true! Our sink was in the cabin while the toilet and shower were in really small adjoining room. It was a very tiny cabin, but we had a fantastic time.

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To the person who started this post - thanks for bringing back such great memories!

 

gail811 - thanks for the pictures!!!

 

My DH and I sailed her in 1988 for our honeymoon cruise and I think another company bought her and turned her into a floating casino in Texas and we sailed her again for one night!!! What a wonderful time we had for our honeymoon and the floating casino! We love cruising. It was a long time after this before we were able to cruise again. Love cruising and Carnival! :D

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  • 4 weeks later...

My wife and I sailed on the Marti Gras in Feb 1975. St Thomas and Nassau. Great fun. This before cruises became popular. It was Carnival's only ship at the time. $700 each from Boston including air !!!!

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I'll never forget this cruise. My BFF and I went thinking it would be a good vacation for singles. Turned out the 10 people seated with us in the dining room were the total single people on the entire ship. The room stewards tried to get us to party with them on one of the ports. Obviously before the stringent standards of today's Carnival employees.

 

I still have and use the souvenier I bought in the gift shop -- a blue corkscrew with Mardi Gras imprinted on it.

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And remember how the uppers were supported by woven straw? They bulged like there

were bodies in them even up against the wall. And the sailaway buffet was shriveled hot

dogs and hockey puck hamburgers.

But there were beautiful Waterford panels around the ship.....a touch of class.

That was before the Joe Farcus days.

 

For sure. You could also walk all the around on at least 2 decks, and had access to the bow of the ship.

 

As for Farcus? Well, he came onboard right after the Mardi Gras sailed. He did the Carnivale, Festivale and all others to this point.

 

Farcus is surely an acquired taste...but I love his designs. Truly. They are dazzling with a surprise in every nook and cranny.

 

The new Pride is simply lovely....and the Miracle, Liberty, Glory....how I enjoy the vision of the Carnival ships.

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So true! Our sink was in the cabin while the toilet and shower were in really small adjoining room. It was a very tiny cabin, but we had a fantastic time.

 

...and....in most cabins, when you showered, the entire "closet" got wet!!!

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We did it was our first cruise in 1990. She was a grand gal and glad we booked our cruise on her instead of the brand new Fantasy. Experiencing cruising on an old ship was the nicest thing ever. All the newer ships just don't have that old charm personality.

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I cruised on the Mardi Gras in 1981. It was my Senior High School class trip. Wow, so many years ago, but did we have a crazy good time on that ship? absolutely. Great memories !

 

1978 Pacific Princess

1981 Carnival Mardi Gras

1987 Costa Riviera

2001 Disney Magic

2004 Carnival Conquest

2006 Norwegion Sun

2009 Carnival Fantasy

2010 Carnival Triumph

2011 Carnival Dream

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We sailed in Sep 88. This was our first cruise. We booked last minute and our outside cabin with porthole was down on the bottom deck. The only thing that I had left was a picture with me in my life jacket with the cabin number on it and we were given credit for that cruise.

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After college graduation my roommate and I sailed on the MG in 1975 ( my first cruise).Being both single we were hooked up with two other single women in a room with a port hole. The round trip air from NYC to Fort Lauderdale and the 7 day cruise was a total of $500!! We embarked at Fort Lauderdale and visited Nassau, St Thomas and Puerto Rico - the four of us had a ball the entire week. The one event I remember was the costume party contest. We knew about it before we left and planned accordingly. We were both upside down men and did win a prize!! - can't remember what it was but it was not a Ship on a Stick!!!

Being an avid cruiser - when it came close to my 10th (years ago) I did send Carnival copies of pictures to show them I was there - especially the one with the Captain (can't question that one!!)and also the postcard of the MG. To this day I still have the Playing Cards we received.

Now my family and I love the balconies but especially the aft balconies - a bit of a step above from my first port hole room!!.

Edited by fourtunas
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In June, 1975, my wife and I, and two other (then) young couples got sitters for our kids, and flew to Miami from NJ for a 7-day cruise on the Mardi Gras to Nassau, San Juan and St. Thomas. It was the first cruise for each of us, and we had a great time.

 

Some of the things I most clearly remember -

 

Playing hide and seek in some restricted areas of the ship

 

Wearing polyester "leisure suits" to formal night dinners

 

Drink-of-the-day was $1.00, and pina coladas were our favorites

 

I won a costume contest - I made some get-up with ship-supplied stuff that I called "King of the Sea"

 

Spending most of an afternoon at the Don Q rum factory drinking and watching a video, while our friends sweated it out going up to the fort in Old San Juan

 

Watching a movie on-board

 

Singing waiters serving all us guys double entrees almost every night

 

My wife and I have been on several other cruises in the past several years, and, even though the Mardi Gras was primitive compared to today's ships, I have great and very positive memories of our first cruise.

 

Car-Stan

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  • 1 month later...

I also sailed on the Mardi Gras in the summer of 1986. I was 17 years old, and my aunt and uncle took me on my first cruise. I have not been on a cruise since then. I am cruising again on the 17th of May to Alaska.

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