Mardi Gras Spells Rebirth For Carnival and New Orleans

February 28, 2006

In New Orleans, the onset this week of the bacchanalian Mardi Gras is one sign that the Crescent City is roaring back to life. Another is that this week marks the end of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's charters of Carnival's Sensation and Ecstasy. Both ships, which have served as floating apartment houses to provide homes for emergency workers rebuilding and repairing the city, will say goodbye to New Orleans on Thursday, March 2.

Holiday, in Mobile, is finishing up this week with its post-Katrina assignment as well.

After departing, all three ships will receive fairly major refurbishments, with some getting additional features. For more details, check out Carnival to Renovate Ships Following FEMA Charters.

When Sensation returns for its first voyage on March 23, it will be based in Florida's Port Canaveral (the ship, previously homeported in New Orleans, won't resume its four- and five-night trips from there until October 26). Ecstasy, which will relaunch on April 8, will sail from Galveston on a year-round basis. And Holiday will head back to Mobile to resume its all-year sailings.