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Carnival Is Putting a Roller Coaster on a Cruise Ship

Carnival Is Putting a Roller Coaster on a Cruise Ship
Scott Dylan

Carnival Cruise Line is putting a roller coaster on a ship. The cruise line plans to put a top-deck coaster on the highly anticipated Mardi Gras ship that will be hitting the seas in 2020. It’s an idea that has been years in the making. Will you be taking your turn on BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster? Find out what’s behind this very unconventional new attraction.

There’s actually a very good reason why a roller coaster has never been added to a cruise ship before. The task is extremely difficult and it requires a great deal of planning. What’s more, you can’t add a coaster to a ship that already exists. It is something that must be planned very early on in the process of designing a ship. Carnival is bringing in teams of engineers to assist with the design and construction of BOLT. Considerations like safety, noise, vibrations and more must all be taken into account when designing a coaster to sit on top of a cruise ship’s deck. Placing something as heavy as a roller coaster on a ship’s deck requires shipbuilders to optimize the layout and structural aspects of a ship to be able to accommodate a massive amount of weight. Of course, the coaster that is being added to Mardi Gras is just one feature of the ship. That means that designers are also being tasked with the responsibility of making sure there is ample room for all of the other features that are standard on ship decks. Carnival is also adding a French Quarter deck and a traditional New Orleans jazz club to its highly anticipated Mardi Gras ship.

BOLT isn’t like other coasters you’ve been on. The coaster is being built using state-of-the-art technology that is just now making its way into the amusement industry. What makes Bolt so different is that it is powered by electricity. Most traditional coasters at amusement parks around the world rely on gravity to take over after the initial launch. A small number of electric-powered roller coasters do exist already. Riders who have experienced it claim that the acceleration is far more intense on these coasters.

You might be wondering how exactly travelers are expected to sit and relax on the roof of a cruise ship while a noisy coaster is standing just a few feet away from them. A feature like a roller coaster could actually prevent some people from wanting to book a cabin on Mardi Gras under normal circumstances. However, BOLT isn’t your typical coaster. It is actually being designed to be exceptionally quiet. The word from Carnival is that guests will barely be able to hear the coaster. Curious cruise passengers will have to wait until Mardi Gras sets sail for the first time in 2020 to find out if that’s true.

Mardi Gras is currently under construction in Finland. It will launch into service with an eight-day Caribbean cruise from Port Canaveral on Oct. 16 of next year. The ship will then offer seven-day trips from Florida’s Space Coast beginning on Oct. 24.

[Source: Carnival Cruise Lines]

View Comments (3)

3 Comments

  1. strickerj

    February 27, 2019 at 7:40 am

    This seems like a gimmick that won’t be worth what it costs.

  2. luv2vacay

    February 27, 2019 at 10:39 am

    It’ll be about as worthless as the Skyride they have on the Vista, Horizon, and Panorama. If there’s “high winds” (ie: Any time the ship is moving) it’s closed. If there’s any chance of rain: closed. On our last 7 day cruise, Skyride was only open 2 days (3 port days, but for some reason they claimed “high winds” in Jamaica).

  3. mvoight

    October 31, 2019 at 9:45 am

    I had no problem with Skyride being open all of the days for my 6 day trip on Vista from Galveston.
    I guess I will wait and see if Bolt manages to make it for the inaugural cruise I am on from Copenhagen to Southhampton Aug 31-Sept 9, 2020 and the back to back to New York Sept 9-23

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