New Carnival Cruise Line ship Mardi Gras has been christened by a Miss Universe contestant in front of the line’s crew at Port Canaveral, Florida.
The 180,000-ton vessel has six themed zones with a mix of food and beverage options and a rollercoaster.
The new Big Chicken restaurant was opened by Carnival’s chief fun officer and a former NBA star, Shaquille O’Neal.
Miss Universe contestant Kimberly Jimenez, from the Dominican Republic, is the ship’s godmother and officially named Mardi Gras.
She blessed the ship in English and Spanish and smashed a Champagne bottle on the side of the ship.
Jimenez was joined by fellow Miss Universe contestants Andrea Meza and Asya Branch, who sang the US national anthem.
The 5,282-passenger ship is the first cruise vessel in the Americas to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy said: “Today’s naming ceremony of our flagship Mardi Gras signifies excitement and optimism as we look to bring our entire fleet back into guest service by spring 2022.
“This ship has been amazing guests during her pre-inaugural season and the celebration today with our chief fun officer Shaq, our godmother Kimberly, and so many special guests, was extremely gratifying and emotional.”
This year the ship will operate a mix of eastern and western Caribbean cruises out of Port Canaveral.