New Orleans-based Carnival Conquest is latest to go for Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades

Alchemy Bar - one of many enhancements coming to Carnival Conquest Alchemy Bar - one of many enhancements coming to Carnival Conquest Andy Newman/Carnival

The rollout of Carnival Cruise Lines’ $500m Fun Ship 2.0 fleetwide enhancement program continues with New Orleans’ largest year-round cruise ship, Carnival Conquest, departing for a two-week drydock at Grand Bahama Shipyard.

The vessel will undergo a major multimillion-dollar refurbishment to receive upgrades in dining, bars and entertainment. Among the highlights are Guy’s Burger Joint, developed in tandem with Food Network personality Guy Fieri, an EA SPORTS Bar and the RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar.

‘The refurbishment of Carnival Conquest is the latest example of our continued investment in our New Orleans-based cruise program,’ said Carnival president and ceo Gerry Cahill. Carnival is New Orleans’ largest cruise operator with two year-round ships carrying nearly 340,000 passengers annually.

In addition to Carnival Conquest’s week-long cruises, Carnival Elation offers four- and five-day sailings to Mexico.

In tandem with the changes, Carnival is hosting a sweepstakes at www.carnival.com that will award one winner a free Carnival Conquest cruise for two to the Caribbean. Participants complete an on-line registration form by Oct. 28 to be automatically entered into a random drawing for the cruise.

On its site, Carnival will also post a series of videos documenting Carnival Conquest’s refurbishment progress throughout the two-week period.

When the ship returns to service at the Port of New Orleans Oct. 28, it will have the poolside RedFrog Rum Bar with drinks including Carnival’s private label draft brew, ThirstyFrog Red, and the BlueIguana Tequila Bar, a Mexican-themed spot specializing in frozen cocktails and Mexican beers.

In the same area will be Guy’s Burger Joint, grilling burgers with innovative self-serve toppings and condiments and hand-cut fries, and BlueIguana Cantina, for fresh tacos and burritos that diners can personalize at a salsa and toppings bar. There’s no charge for either spot.

At the indoors Alchemy Bar, a vintage-themed cocktail ‘pharmacy’ features unusual drink flavors and ingredients, with expert mixologists who ‘prescribe’ concoctions from different categories. Or patrons can create their own custom cocktails.

The EA SPORTS Bar will air live sporting events on large-screen televisions, offer EA SPORTS video games and present the latest scores on a 24/7 sports ticker.

Further additions are The Punchliner Comedy Club & The Punchliner Comedy Brunch presented by George Lopez, the Cherry on Top shop with bins of bulk candy and novelties, and new entertainment including Hasbro, The Game Show and Playlist Productions.

Posted 16 October 2012

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review