Carnival Cruise Line Builds Massive Gingerbread Mardi Gras Ship

Carnival Cruise Line is getting into the holiday spirit by commissioning the creation of a 23-foot-long gingerbread replica of the company’s new ship, the Mardi Gras.

The cruise line partnered with Atlanta culinary artist Karen Portaleo to create the gingerbread replica at the city’s Lenox Square Mall.

The tasty vessel weighed in at 1,500 pounds and was christened Saturday by Portaleo, who served as godmother.

As part of the ceremony, Carnival donated $10,000 Immune Deficiency Foundation, Portaleo’s charity of choice, which is dedicated to improving the diagnosis, treatment and quality of life of those with primary immunodeficiencies.

“I’ve created hundreds of cakes during my career but a 1,500-pound gingerbread cruise ship is certainly a first for me,” Portaleo said in a statement. “As a baker, I’m always looking for a challenge and creating a gingerbread replica of Mardi Gras was an amazing experience as it serves as a fun conversation piece for thousands of holiday shoppers. I can’t wait to see the real Mardi Gras when it debuts next year.”

The massive gingerbread ship was built using 130 pounds of flour, 10 pounds of cinnamon and 50 gallons of icing and is complete with a water park and even a working replica of BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea.

While the edible Mardi Gras will be on display at the Lenox Square Mall through December 24, the actual ship is set to debut in Europe in August 2020 before eventually repositioning to Port Canaveral for year-round Caribbean departures beginning in October 2020.

“Carnival is all about bringing fun and memorable vacations to more than five million guests who sail with us every year,” Carnival creative director Hugo Castillo said. “And what better way to ring in the season and bring fun to holiday shoppers than with the world’s largest gingerbread ship! If they like this version of Mardi Gras, they’ll be blown away when the real deal arrives next year.”

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