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Carnival Debuts First Shipboard Pub

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Somewhere between Venice and Dubrovnik, the brand new 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic ran out of ThirstyFrog Red draught beer.

This was significant not only because there was a whole lot of drinking going on from the very first night of the maiden cruise of Carnival’s latest “Fun Ship”—the 23rd vessel in the fleet—but also because Carnival clearly has a hit on its hands.


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The tasty red lager is served exclusively in the RedFrog Pub, a new indoor/outdoor venue created as a playful homage to the Caribbean—the décor is shipwreck, replete with fake palm trees, stuffed fish and various flotsam and jetsam. It’s Carnival’s first pub.

ThirstyFrog is available in glasses ($5.50) and tubes designed to share ($25 for 100 ounces). While the beverage menu also includes Presidente and other Caribbean beers and rum concoctions, it was the signature beer pub-goers on the 9-day Mediterranean cruise (Americans and a good number of Russians) clearly wanted to try.

After the first-night sell-out, gleeful cruise line officials arranged for more kegs to be airlifted to a subsequent port of call. And by the time the 130,000-ton Magic cruised past Sicily’s Stromboli volcano, the RedFrog’s friendly Caribbean bartenders were again pouring ThirstyFrog aplenty.

The pub’s taste of the Caribbean also includes such snacks as conch fritters ($3.33 per plate) and acoustic guitarists who can play Jimmy Buffett.

Sister ship Carnival Breeze, set to debut in June 2012, will have a RedFrog Pub too, and Carnival executives said they are looking at bringing the pub concept—and certainly ThirstyFrog beer—to the line’s other ships as well.

After an initial season in Europe, the Magic heads to Galveston, where it will cruise the Caribbean year-round beginning in November.


Guest blogger Fran Golden writes about Cruising and is a frequent contributor to TravelandLeisure.com.

Photos courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines

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