Carnival Cruise Lines Fun Ship 2.0 Project Comes to NOLA

Since starting this blog, I have had the good fortune of crossing a few things off my bucket list.  Attending a Broadway show, meeting celebrities and even sleeping in Cinderella’s Castle have been once in a lifetime opportunities.  But, a few things remain undone including boarding a cruise ship for a family vacation.

Living in New Orleans, home to one of the busiest ports in the United States, cruising is actually quite accessible.  But having small children, I thought a family cruise was best left for later years.  Earlier this month, I was excited to be invited to board the 2,052 passenger Carnival Elation docked at the Port of New Orleans for a private lunchtime event for the media.  We had the opportunity to sample Carnival’s specialty cocktails over a delicious meal and learn about the latest happenings within the company.

Carnival Cruise Lines has been sailing from the Port of New Orleans for nearly 20 years and now carries over 340,000 passengers annually making it New Orleans’ largest cruise operator.  Carnival deploys it’s newer and larger ships from the Port of New Orleans and now offers convenient four- and five-day departures while expanding its variety of seven-day itineraries.

This was my first time on a cruise ship, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Open boarding, I was awestruck by the grandeur of the lobby…this was no ordinary ship.  We proceeded to the Lounge and were treated to a plethora of cocktails and appetizers.  My favorite?  The Cucumber Sunrise and fajita bar!

After the tasting event, Carnival shared what’s next for the brand.  I was surprised to learn about the amenities that make the cruise line so family friendly! The Carnival Elation hosts a large pool and water slide area attached to a cute mini golf course.  But Carnival Cruise Lines is most excited about it’s new Fun Ship 2.0 program!  The Carnival Destiny will undergo an extensive $155 million renovation to implement the Fun Ship 2.0 concept.  After a 49-day dry dock, the ship will be renamed the Carnival Sunshine and docked at the Port of New Orleans.

One of the features I am most excited about is the addition of  Hasbro, The Game Show which will feature activities based on the Family Game Night TV series. Carnival has also partnered with EA SPORTS to design the ultimate hangout for sports fanatics!  Between playing video games and watching live sports events, guests can order from a full drink menu and popular sports bar snacks.  And for those guests who crave a good cocktail, the new themed bars and lounges will provide unique experiences and world class cocktails from expert mixologists.  We had the opportunity to meet the mixologist from Carnival’s Alchemy Bar who created the delicious Cucumber Sunrise!  The Alchemy Bar is a vintage-themed cocktail “pharmacy,” where guests will have a unique experience with interesting drink flavors and ingredients. The expert mixologists will “prescribe” concoctions from different fun categories or guests can also try their hand at creating their own custom cocktails.

I had an absolute blast hanging out with Renee from What Mommies Need and Trisha from NOLA Mommy.  With the new improvements, I absolutely cannot wait to take my family on a fun filled cruise one day soon.  I am thinking that the Carnival Sunshine may be the ship that completes my bucket list!  To keep up with the happenings of Carnival Cruise Lines, follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

This post is the opinion of the Experimental Mommy.  I was invited to the press event and received a gift bag for my time and effort.  All opinions are 100% mine.


  1. Thanks for the input! We’re looking at a family cruise for next summer!!!

  2. My husband and I went on a cruise for our honeymoon and we can’t wait to go back! We had planned one for our 10th anniversary this year but then our third baby *surprise* arrived and changed our plans. Hopefully we’ll be able to do it again soon.

    Certain cruise ships make it very easy to bring your kids. Others are more adult friendly. Just make sure you do some research before you go and you can definitely bring your whole family now!

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

  3. We went on a carnival cruise as a family a couple years ago and it was awesome. We loved the children’s programs. The Fun Ship 2.0 project sounds perfect for families!

  4. I’ve always wanted to go on a cruise, this one looks fabulous!

  5. The new Fun Ship 2.0 sound like a cruise I would attempt with my kids!

  6. This sounds like a real getaway for both parents and kids!

  7. Looks like you ladies had lots of fun!


  1. […] a year ago, I boarded my first cruise ship, the Carnival Elation, and took a tour of the new Fun Ship 2.0 Improvements.  Even though the cruise didn’t leave the port, I was hooked.  A few months later, I was […]

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