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Carnival's 17-deck cruise ship with a roller coaster arrives in Port Canaveral

While certainly an exciting spectacle, the Mardi Gras' arrival doesn't mean a return to sailing quite yet.
Credit: AP
Fans line up at Jetty Park to see the Carnival Cruise Line ship Mardi Gras arrive at Port Canaveral, Fla., early Friday morning, June 4, 2021. The brand new ship has a capacity of 6,500 passengers and 20 decks, making it the eighth largest cruise ship in the world. The Mardi Gras is also the first ship in North America powered entirely by liquefied natural gas. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Carnival is preparing for a return to the seas with its newest and largest ship ever. The Carnival Mardi Gras arrived at Port Canaveral Friday to a crowd of hundreds of excited spectators, Florida Today reported.

The 1,130-foot long ship has a capacity of 6,465 passengers and 17 decks. And, oh yeah, the first-ever rollercoaster at sea.

BOLT, the first roller coaster on a cruise ship, is a "motorcycle-style speed machine" that zooms through an open-air course with 360-degree ocean views, according to Carnival.

The Mardi Gras is also the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by liquefied natural gas, in what Carnival calls a move toward eco-friendly cruising.

While certainly an exciting spectacle, the Mardi Gras' arrival doesn't mean a return to sailing quite yet.

A week ago, the CDC cleared Carnival to resume cruising operations from three ports across the country, which it plans to set sail from in July.

Several cruise lines are set to conduct test cruises with volunteer passengers this summer in an effort to get federal clearance to sail with paying passengers.

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