In the largest initiative ever undertaken by Carnival Cruise Lines, their fun ships will receive what the line is dubbing the 2.0 treatment with fourteen ships scheduled to receive special refurbishments through to the end of 2015.
Costing USD $500 million and involving partnerships with celebrities including George Lopez and DJ Irie along with companies including EA Sports and Hasbro, Carnival is set to dramatically transform their onboard guest experience.
Punchliner Comedy Clubs Presented by George Lopez
Comedian and TV personality, George Lopez, is Carnival’s new ‘curator of comedy’ and will be acting as a consultant to vet and hire the talent seen fleetwide in Carnival’s comedy clubs.
Passengers will be able to view George Lopez at his stand-up best in-cabin via their televisions, experience the ‘Punchliner Comedy Brunch’ which will be offered on sea days and take part in a comedy-themed consumer contest, slated for 2012.
“Carnival’s ships offer a huge audience that truly appreciates comedic performances and the onboard clubs are fantastic,” said George.
“I intend to help build and nurture an understanding among up-and-coming comedic talent that these ships represent a phenomenal environment to work and gain experience.”
The changes to the comedy clubs on board will roll out over the next year with George Lopez set to sail on a yet to be named Carnival ship in December.
Hasbro, The Game Show
Passengers will be placed in the middle of their favourite Hasbro games including ‘Sorry Sliders’, ‘Simon Flash’, ‘Yahtzee Bowling’, ‘Operation’ and ‘Connect 4 Basketball’.
These music-driven revues will incorporate a wide array of genres including ‘Motor City’, the R&B Motown sounds of the 1960s and 1970s, ‘Divas’ showcasing the iconic female entertainers, ‘Latin Nights, a fusion of latin culture, music and choreography and ‘The Brits’ offering music from the UK’s best.
The thirty minute productions will feature high-tech LED staging and special effects.
Award-winning DJ Irie has been named the ‘Official DJ’ of Carnival Cruise Lines as part of the 2.0 initiative.
Creating and leading ‘DJ Irie’s Spin-iversity’ he will train and develop the musical skills and personalities of the onboard DJ talent.
DINING AND BARS
Guy’s Burger Joint
Celebrity chef and star of the ‘Food Network’, Guy Fieri, is taking his hand-crafted burgers, fresh-cut fries and exclusive recipes created specifically for Carnival to the high seas.
The free dining venue is set to debut onboard Carnival Liberty post refurbishments later this month before being rolled out to several other fun ships.
Five different burgers will be on offer along with a wide array of condiments including chipotle mayonnaise, a special barbeque sauce, garlic aioli and three hot sauces at two self-serve stations.
A variety of toppings including grilled onions, crumbled blue cheese and sautéed mushrooms will also be on offer in the car-themed venue taking inspiration from Guy’s California roots.
Themed with life-size surfboards, car bumpers, grilles and car hoods, staff will wear mechanic uniforms adorned with personalised nicknames.
“I’m stoked to be partnering with the team from Carnival. They understand what it takes to make a top notch burger – quality ingredients and a great attitude,” said Guy who appeared on stage in New York City this week to announce the partnership.
“It’s great to see a cruise line adding additional food venues they aren’t at an extra cost to the passenger,” said creator of Cruise Radio, Doug Parker to e-Travel Blackboard live from the announcement in New York City.
This free poolside dining venue will offer passengers the opportunity to make their own freshly made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas complete with an array of salsas and toppings.
EA SPORTS Bar
Passengers will be able to play EA SPORTS video games, watch live sports on a video wall featuring 16 46-inch big screens and keep up to date with real-time sports results 24/7.
Daily trivia games and EA SPORTS video game tournaments will be on offer along with drinks and bar snacks.
RedFrog Rum Bar
Taking inspiration from one of Carnival’s most popular destinations, the Caribbean, casual attire is welcomed at this themed poolside version of ‘RedFrog Pub’ which debuted on Carnival Magic earlier this year.
The bar will offer rum-based cocktails and an array of beers, including Carnival’s signature draught, ‘ThirstyFrog Red’.
BlueIguana Tequila Bar
Located poolside across from ‘RedFrog Rum Bar’, ‘BlueIguana Tequila Bar’ will be Mexican themed and will specialise in tequila-based cocktails and Mexican beers.
Live entertainment will be positioned between both bars to entertain patrons.
The vintage-themed cocktail ‘pharmacy’ will offer a unique experience for guests with ‘mixologists’ prescribing blends of interesting flavours from a variety of categories along with the opportunity to create custom cocktails.
The Library Bar
An intimate cocktails lounge featuring automatic wine dispensers and a quiet, relaxed atmosphere.
The news just kept on coming via John Heald’s Facebook page today in relation to the 2.0 initiatives and, I have to say…I’m impressed!
My fave part? Probably having George Lopez as the ‘curator of comedy’. I’m interested to see the talent that will be pumped through the Punchliner Comedy Club with the great contacts that George has…
I concur with Doug from Cruise Radio when he expressed his approval of the offering of another free dining venue on board. It’s nice to see a cruise line not make changes based on direct revenue building and I think that it will serve them really well moving forward.
What is your favourite aspect of the 2.0 initiatives?