Carnival Cruise Line teamed up with Atlanta culinary artist and baker Karen Portaleo and created a massive 23-foot-long gingerbread replica of Carnival’s new Mardi Gras, set to debut next year.
Weighing 1,500 pounds, the ship-shaped confection is “docked” at Atlanta’s Lenox Square Mall and was officially named by Portaleo who served as godmother this past Saturday. In keeping with maritime tradition, the Food Network star smashed a ceremonial bottle across the vessel’s bow. Carnival also made a $10,000 donation to the Immune Deficiency Foundation, Portaleo’s charity of choice which is dedicated to improving the diagnosis, treatment and quality of life of those with primary immunodeficiencies.
“I’ve created hundreds of cakes during my career but a 1,500-pound gingerbread cruise ship is certainly a first for me,” said Portaleo. “As a baker, I’m always looking for a challenge and creating a gingerbread replica of Mardi Gras was an amazing experience as it serves as a fun conversation piece for thousands of holiday shoppers. I can’t wait to see the real Mardi Gras when it debuts next year.”
“Carnival is all about bringing fun and memorable vacations to more than five million guests who sail with us every year,” said Hugo Castillo, Carnival’s creative director. “And what better way to ring in the season and bring fun to holiday shoppers than with the world’s largest gingerbread ship! If they like this version of Mardi Gras, they’ll be blown away when the real deal arrives next year.”
Comprised of 130 pounds of flour, 10 pounds of cinnamon, and 50 gallons of icing, the gingerbread Mardi Gras is an creative representation of Carnival’s most innovative ship complete with a water park and even a working replica of BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea.
The real Mardi Gras is set to debut in Europe in August 2020 and, after several sailings in New York, will reposition to Port Canaveral for year-round Caribbean departures beginning in October 2020.
The gingerbread cruise ship will be on display at the Lenox Square Mall through Dec. 24, providing a unique and memorable attraction for shoppers during the holidays.
Shoppers can also interact with the ship through a fun custom Snapchat geofilter, special Snapchat AR lenses that provide a peek into Mardi Gras’ many on board innovations, and a GIF booth for shoppers to capture how they’re Choosing Fun with Carnival.
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