There’s a wide range of Carnival's Mardi Gras rooms, and many come with special perks such as access into reserved areas. At double occupancy, the Carnival Mardi Gras capacity is 5,282 passengers. The ship's designers put a lot of thought into cabins at all levels; there is a noticeable improvement from other Carnival ships in terms of design and storage.
All cabins come with two twin beds that can be made up into a queen, a vanity desk with a big mirror and instead of a coffee table, a new leather ottoman, which not only opens up for more storage, the top turns into a tray for room service breakfast. (Tip: We used the inside of this ottoman to store dirty laundry).
Some Carnival Mardi Gras interior rooms, and every category of cabin from oceanview on up, has a sofa bed. On the balcony cabins, the placement of the sofa can either be by the window or in the middle of the room, allowing the beds to have the best view.
A few other strategic improvements: There are USB ports next to the bed, but no plugs by the side of the bed – those are on the vanity. Modern storage in the wardrobes includes shelves that can flip up and move out of the way, and a shelf just for shoes. Additional amenities include hairdryers, safes, flat-screen TVs and mini-fridges. There's no self-serve laundry onboard, but you can send out.
One of the more noticeable improvements on Mardi Gras is the shower door: It's glass, instead of the previously clingy curtains. There’s also a shaving bar for your legs, as well as dispensers for shampoo and body lotion (bring your own conditioner). It genuinely feels more spacious, but makes the rest of the bathroom feel small.
One thing to note before you choose a balcony cabin is the ship's tiered design. Instead of the cabins being evenly placed on top of each other, there is a portion of the ship where the cabins are stacked, almost pyramid style. So if your cabin is below deck 11 toward the mid-front of the ship, the people above you will be able to look down and see you on your balcony.
Tip: If you like to go out on your balcony in just a robe (or less), make sure you look up -- you might not have as much privacy as you think!*
A great aspect of Carnival Mardi Gras interior rooms is that some themed inside cabins give you amenities outside your room. A Havana interior allows you to take advantage of the Havana outdoor bar and sundeck, as well as a (very small) pool. A Cloud 9 Spa interior gives you a pass to the thermal lounge. The Family Harbor interior gives you access to a private lounge that's stocked with games and snacks specifically for kids. Or if you just want more room, a Premium interior is 205 square feet, as opposed to 158, and it has a sofabed.
The Havana Cabanas are set aside in their own area of the ship. Unlike a typical balcony room, these rooms do not directly overlook the sea -- there's a walkway in front. But your patio area is gated off and besides having loungers, there's a hammock. Passengers booked in the Havana area also have access to their own outdoor bar and sundeck, as well as a (very small) pool. Havana guests must be 12 or older.
There are 180 suites on Carnival Mardi Gras. The new Excel suites have separate bedrooms and living rooms with dining rooms. But what really sets these Excel suites apart, particularly the Excel Aft and Presidential suites, are the large wraparound balconies. These have space for a large family to all hang out, plus a private hot tub.
Suites also have access to Loft 19, a special sundeck at the top front of the ship. There's an infinity hot tub up here, and cushy loungers. We spent an afternoon up here with a pass, however, and we have to say -- unless you've decided to shell out for a cabana that gives you personal service -- Loft 19 is not all that special. You have to go downstairs to the Serenity sundeck for your drinks, and the loungers are not protected from the wind in the same way that the chairs are down there. Buy a suite for the extra space it gives you, not for Loft 19.