To kick off the first year-round cruise schedule from Charleston aboard the Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Cruise Lines hosted a truly unique and fun event – water slide races pitting representatives from the line against Charleston-area community and business leaders.

The races took place at Carnival Fantasy’s expansive WaterWorks aqua park, which is among the largest and most elaborate in cruising.  With a capacity crowd cheering them on, the sliders ventured down the 82-foot-long dual racing slides culminating in a thrilling finish and a giant splash.

Races included Rob Huffman, Carnival’s VP of sales - southeast region vs. Sam Stamps, owner of The Cruise Corner, a Simpsonville, S.C. -based travel agency; Kathleen Wilson, city of Charleston councilwoman vs. Gregg Hoffman, co-founder of the King Street Marketing Association; Evan Kelly, a news anchor with Charleston ABC affiliate WCIV-TV vs. Irina Paslaru, a Carnival Fantasy dancer; and the “Battle of the Jims” - Jim Berra, Carnival SVP and chief marketing officer vs. Jim Newsome, South Carolina State Ports Authority president & CEO.

The races were part of a day-long celebration that included a traditional maritime plaque exchange ceremony and multi-course luncheon aboard the Carnival Fantasy followed by a sailaway party at Gilligan’s, a popular watering hole near Charleston’s Passenger Terminal.

Charleston’s first year-round cruise program encompasses five-, six- and seven-day cruises to the Bahamas and Key West, Fla.  The ship will also offer six six-day Bermuda cruises from Charleston next year.  Carnival Fantasy is expected to carry 140,000 passengers annually from Charleston.