Carnival Cruise Line announced plans to upgrade the on-board entertainment and dining options on several of its ships, in a new program the cruise line is calling “Funship 2.0.” The new changes are expected to run through 2015, and are expected to first be seen on the Carnival Liberty which will re-enter service this month.
Guy’s Burger Joint – a custom burger place that will offer pool-side service, hand-cut fries, and burgers created by Food Network’s Guy Fieri.
Blue Iguana Cantina – offering guests freshly-made tacos and burritos built to their liking. Homemade tortillas, chips, and salsa will also be available.
George Lopez – Carnval has named Lopez the ‘curator of comedy’ – which means he’ll oversee which comedians getting hired and will also star in videos shown to introduce the commedians and welcome guests to the comedy club. We only hope George has read our article on the comedy clubs, since it doesn’t matter how great the comedian is if passengers can’t see the show because the venue is too small.
Hasbro The Game Show We’re assuming this will take the place of the ‘newlywed game’ and ‘minute to win it’ or whatever the lawyers make Carnival call it these days (the marriage game/60 seconds to win).
Playlist Productions This really sounds like a new name on an old standard in Carnival cruising. These are the productions that involve singers and dancers in the largest lounge. They’ve been doing musical reviews for years, and now they’ll be doing them with themes like Latin Nights, Motor City, The Brits, and Divas. Unfortunately, the stage shows will will pale in comparison to other lines that have Blue Man Group (Norwegian Cruise Line) or Broadway shows like Chicago/Hairspray (Royal Caribbean).
Carnival has clearly stepped up their comedy game, which was already very strong, and faltered failed to bring any sort of competition to the big-stage productions. PREDICTION: Carnival will realize that its Comedy shows are so successful, that they will start bringing those shows into the biggest lounges, replacing or moving musical review programs to a lounge more more consistent with the turnout. The biggest question is how long this will take.
DJ Irie I had no idea that the Miami Heat had an official DJ other than the guy clicking the play on the jock-jams CD at games, but now he’s the official DJ of Carnival Cruise Lines as well. He will oversee play lists in the clubs.
EA Sports Bar If you don’t know EA Sports, your kids probably do – they’re behind some of the most popular sports video games ever like Madden and NCAA Football. They will help in creating the design of the new sports bars – which – may or may not be able to pipe in your game from anywhere in the world (i.e. good luck watching the NFL if you’re on a Euro cruise).
BlueIguana Tequila Bar These are your basic pool bars re-branded with some cool signs and an influx of frozen tequila drinks and Mexican beers. I’m guessing they will still have daily drink specials served in ridiculous vessels like a giant blow fish that my wife will insist on buying. Yours will too.
RedFrog Rum Bar Carnival saw with its ThirstyFrog Red beer that it’s great to not only be the server of the drink, but also the manufacturer of the drink too – especially if it tastes good and people buy it. Now they’ll be expanding that branding and ale-availability poolside. This is a welcome change, since on our last cruise, the ThirstyFrog Red was only available in the Sports Bar which never seemed to be open, so I never got to try it.
Alchemy Bar This looks like a classy place to grab a drink, not unlike the bars in the specialty restaurants on-board. Carnival may have taken it a little too far for me though when they said the bartenders will be wearing lab-coats in the ‘vintage-themed pharmacy.’
Library Bar The Library bar sounds like my kind of place. Self-serve wine dispensers or bartenders for a mixed drink all wrapped up in a quiet & relaxed atmosphere.
None of the above changes is drastic, but put them all together and it’s a solid revamp for a cruise line that (save from a few new ships) seems to be stuck in entertainment and style of 10 years ago. Instead of having a pool bar, you’ll have the Cantina or Rum Bar, which is basically the same thing with some branding behind it.
The upgraded entertainment is a nice touch, though it still seems to fall short in execution and when compared to other cruise lines.
We’re excited about the new changes Carnival put forth, but to tout them for anything more than re-branding and re-modeling of what they already have would be irresponsible.