Give The Gift of Experiences This Year

Give The Gift of Experiences This Year
During the festive season, family members and loved ones can often be found frantically searching for the perfect gift for the holidays. This typically involves long hours spent browsing online or trekking from store to store trying to find that special something. Rather than buying more things this year, consider giving memorable experiences as presents instead.

New research from Longwoods International shows that three-quarters of Americans are now more focused on making memories with those they love rather than acquiring material goods. Longwood’s research also shows Americans have a strong desire to make up for time and memories lost during the last two years. Immersive travel experiences rank high on their lists. Nearly 70% of those surveyed last month said travel brings joy to their lives and experiencing new places makes them a better person.

With that in mind, give your loved ones a gift they’ll treasure most – the gift of travel. Cruises are one of the best ways to experience new places and make lasting memories with family and friends. Carnival Cruise Line makes giving holiday travel presents easy with their convenient gift card program. Carnival’s pre-paid gift cards are similar to gift certificates and can be used to give memorable cruise experiences to the special people in your life.

Carnival’s gift cards are easy to purchase and may be preloaded in varying amounts. They're perfect for any budget – whether you want to give $100 or up to $1000. These cards function like cash and can be used as payment towards an exciting Carnival cruise vacation or for distinctive experiences onboard, such as specialty dining and spa treatments. They can even be used to purchase Carnival shore excursions.

Carnival Cruise Line gift cards are available at over 9,000 retail outlets across the United States, including Safeway, Kroger, Lowes, Winn Dixie, Office Max, Albertsons and Publix. They can also be purchased on board Carnival Cruise Line ships or on the cruise line's website. On Carnival’s online site, orders can be placed for up to 5 gift cards ($2,000 maximum value) in a single payment transaction. Card purchases are not available by phone, but Carnival Cruise Line's experienced reservations team is available to provide holiday shoppers with cruise gift giving ideas.

Carnival Cruise Line’s ships are loaded with memorable experiences. For example, take a look at some of the exciting venues and attractions offered on Carnival’s brand new cruise ship, Mardi Gras. Carnival Mardi Gras is the cruise line’s largest ship and features six themed zones including the French Quarter and The Ultimate Playground, an area that's sure to delight thrill-seekers, sports lovers and families.

Some of Mardi Gras' special features include:

- More than 20 distinctive dining options. These include Emeril’s Bistro 1396 created by legendary New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse, Rudi’s Seagrill by renowned Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, Big Chicken restaurant launched by Carnival's Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O'Neal, celebrity chef and TV personality Guy Fieri’s ever-popular Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse l Brewhouse, Carnival’s superb Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse and Chibang!, a unique restaurant offering both Chinese and Mexican cuisines. Many dining venues on Carnival Mardi Gras are free of charge for guests.

- BOLT: The Ultimate Seacoaster. BOLT is the first roller coaster at sea and it’s certainly a memorable experience. With an elevated track spanning 800 feet, this electric powered roller coaster is situated on Mardi Gras’ upper decks. Riders can go as fast as 40 miles per hour while taking in 360-degree views of the water 187 feet below. Zipping around the track on BOLT’s motorcycle-inspired vehicles is an adrenaline rush to remember.

- A massive WaterWorks waterpark. Carnival Mardi Gras has the largest onboard waterpark in Carnival’s fleet. The area offers three water slides: the 312-foot Blue Lightning, the 229-foot Orange Thunder and the 265-foot spiraling Carnival Twister waterslide. WaterWorks also features a 150-gallon PowerDrencher tipping bucket and a fun splash zone for kids.

- Carnival SkyCourse. The free 600-foot ropes course on Mardi Gras is the longest in Carnival’s fleet and even includes an over water zip line experience. Two experience levels are offered – one for beginners and a more challenging one for more experienced guests.

- Nearly 20 bars and lounges for guests. Mardi Gras guests can find their favorite spots on Carnival Cruise Line's largest Fun Ship loaded with lots of new bars as well as popular favorites like the Alchemy Bar, Havana Bar and the two-story RedFrog Tiki Bar.

- Exciting shows and performances. There's always something going on throughout the day and night on Carnival Mardi Gras. The ship offers a wealth of exciting activities including elaborate production performances, live music, comedy club shows, themed trivia sessions and Family Feud Live, the high-energy game show experience you've seen on TV. Mardi Gras is currently the only cruise ship featuring this iconic brand-new show.

- Super-sized popular venues. These include a massive adults-only Serenity sundeck complete with a pool, a bigger than normal Cloud 9 Spa with an elaborate thermal suite, and Carnival's largest Camp Ocean kids' club at sea.

So during this year's holiday season, consider giving the gift of travel. It’s what loved ones want more than ever. After all, life is made up of great memories and special moments shared with family and friends. For more information on Carnival Cruise Line's gift cards, visit:

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