So we finally made it on the Mardi Gras. A bit about me and my family. I am a gold cruiser and actually went on the original Mardi Gras on a high school graduation trip back in 1993. We were originally scheduled to go on the Mardi Gras in 2020, but y’all know what happened that year. 2021 didn’t happen as we elected to get past the mask mandate. I’m not a regular poster. I did leave a review for our cruise on the Carnival Breeze in 2019 and tend to only check the boards in the weeks leading up to and after a cruise, so my apologies if I touch on topics that have been beaten like a dead horse. No surprise from my grade that the Mardi Gras was not our favorite cruise (me: 48, wife 43, 2 girls 15 and 8). Carnival Breeze remains our favorite cruise ever taken, so much so that we booked another one within days of getting off the Breeze before the aforementioned cancellation. That will not be the case this time as we are going to either take a break from cruising or try another line…not sure yet, too soon to determine. Anyway, it wasn’t all bad; in fact, there were some pleasant surprises.
The Mardi Gras itself: 4/5
Pros: It is a beautiful and exceptionally clean ship. My two biggest concerns going in were A: my elderly mother and her companion would have trouble getting around such a large boat (my mom is 76 and uses a cane) and B: They would be disappointed with the food (more on that to come). Suffice to say, the boat has a wonderful layout. Carnival did their due diligence as I never felt overcrowded or the walk was too much. Our rooms were near the Aft elevators and we (and by extension my mother) could make it anywhere on the boat within 10 minutes and our next activities were almost always nearby.
Secret River…best excursion ever. Big and tall may have significant issues. Not for anyone that has trouble navigating uneven terrain. It was taxing on me, but my 7-year old thrived. A bit spooky, but truly a unique experience.