Fun is a huge part of Carnival Cruise Line’s DNA, and with the line’s new ship Mardi Gras offering an unparalleled array of entertainment choices, the company has selected fan favorites Matt Mitcham as cruise director and Hugo Hidalgo as entertainment director to help guests maximize their fun.
The dynamic duo will lead a 125-member team who will amp up the excitement and raise the bar for next-level entertainment when Mardi Gras sets sail in summer 2020.
Entertainment will be at the heart of Mardi Gras’ onboard experience with never-before-seen offerings including a first-in-fleet partnership with Family Feud, new high-tech Playlist Productions shows, a dedicated Punchliner Comedy Club, and new live music and entertainment options to be announced shortly, providing guests with even more ways to Choose Fun.
“Mardi Gras will take our entertainment offerings to the next level and Matt and Hugo are the perfect team to lead this effort and help our guests create a lifetime of wonderful vacation memories,” said Chris Nelson, Carnival’s vice president of entertainment.
A native of Birmingham, England, and a 10-year Carnival veteran, Mitcham joined the company as an entertainment host and quickly moved through the ranks becoming a cruise director in 2012. One of the most popular cruise directors in the industry, Mitcham is loved for his engaging personality, friendly demeanor and incredible passion and energy, and chronicles his adventures for his fans on his popular Instagram and Facebook pages which have a combined 100,000 followers.
After working at resorts in his native Mexico, Hidalgo joined Carnival in 2012 as a Fun Squad member and has since held many entertainment positions allowing him to gain a thorough understanding of what it takes to "wow" guests. Known for his hands-on leadership approach and attention to detail, Hidalgo has earned a number of accolades, including Entertainment Director Rookie of the Year and Team Leader of the Month, as well as recognition for his team's efforts in raising funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Mardi Gras will boast a number of groundbreaking features and experiences, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, a new restaurant from famed New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse, and six themed zones offering a variety of food, beverage and entertainment choices. Mardi Gras will also be the first ship in North America powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), part of Carnival Corporation’s “green cruising” platform.
Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe on Aug. 31, 2020, before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in October 2020.