The Roller-coaster That Will Get You Sea Sick:

Written By BlabberBuzz | Wednesday, 18 August 2021 16:45
2 debators
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Carnival rides are taken to the high seas.

Carnival Cruise Line’s newest and largest-ever vessel launched out of Florida’s Port Canaveral on July 31, growing the first-ever cruise ship to set sail with an onboard roller coaster, Bolt.

The landmark cruise creation highlights an 800-foot-long track marked with twists, dips, and a hairpin that turns around the ship’s tunnel, industry news site Cruise Critic reported. The attraction is placed roughly 20 feet above the ship’s 18th deck — specifically, above a miniature golf course and jogging track — and 187 feet above sea level, according to Attractions Magazine. The speed can be changed by the riders, who can make it go up to 40 miles per hour.

Due to its uncommon location on top of a cruise ship, engineers had to get imaginative in making the attraction practical. It does not use gravity like most roller coasters, though instead, electricity. The motorcycle-like cars (only two people can ride Bolt at a time) allow riders to go faster by turning the right handlebar back, like a throttle, or pushing a button by the left handlebar for extra speed.

For riders who decide to go as fast as possible, the Points Guy explained the experience only lasts roughly 20 seconds. The experience costs $15, a separate fee from the cruise’s ticket price which, the Points Guy said is worth it for thrill-seekers, though certainly not everyone.

“It was certainly more exciting than I expected, but because you (or your driver) can decide how heavily to use the throttle, it’s also a great experience for people who aren’t afraid of heights but prefer a slower-paced ride,” the reviewer wrote of his time aboard Bolt. “So, is it worth the $15 price tag? It’s not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer. I likely wouldn’t pay it, but if you’re someone who likes the bragging rights that come with exclusive experiences or if you’ve got thrill-seeking kids, it might be money well spent.”

Although the Bolt Ultimate Sea Coaster was announced years ago as part of Carnival Cruise Line’s latest and greatest ship: the Carnival Mardi Gras, the attraction was only formally launched a little over a week ago.

The Mardi Gras was supposed to welcome guests on its first official sailing the week of November 14, 2020, after the Meyer Turku shipyard declared delays that meant the cruise line wouldn’t take delivery of the new ship until October of 2020, months after it was initially expected to set sail, asking Carnival to cancel bookings.

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Additional delays meant the Mardi Gras wasn’t actually delivered until late December of last year, though it arrived almost nine months after cruise lines around the world were forced to pause service and cancel thousands of trips as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, indicating the massive ship that can accommodate over 5,200 guests in nearly 2,800 rooms continued to sit vacantly.

Although many feel it might be too early to return cruises given the ships have often been the source of other outbreaks like gastrointestinal illnesses like noroviruses, the Mardi Gras was officially set to start operating cruises from Port Canaveral in Florida on July 31, with the Bolt coaster officially making its debut several days prior.

Cruise lines are struggling to make up for a year of lost revenues, though, charging passengers to use one of the most prominently advanced features of a new cruise ship doesn’t seem like the best way to return to profitability.

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