At a press conference in New York held earlier this week, Carnival Cruise Lines announced it is working with EA SPORTS™, the global leader in sports video games, to create cruising’s first-ever EA SPORTS Bar.
Taking the sports bar concept to an exciting new level, this unique interactive venue will feature game consoles for playing EA SPORTS video games, televisions for watching sports, daily tournaments and contests for guests.
Carnival Liberty will be the first ship to feature the new EA SPORTS Bar when it returns from a scheduled refurbishment later this month. Several more ships in the fleet will receive EA SPORTS Bars over the next few years as part of the line’s Fun Ship 2.0 fleet enhancement initiative.
The centerpiece of EA SPORTS Bar, which will have an authentic sports-themed interior, is a massive video wall comprised of 16 individual 46-inch flat-screen televisions, which immerse guests into the sports watching/video game experience. The screens are programmable and can be configured in a variety of ways to simultaneously display live sports broadcasts and video game competition. There are also two separate wall-mounted screens specifically for video games that allow for more private play.
“Carnival’s guests love fun, social experiences and we carry many sports fans who look forward to watching their favorite teams while on vacation and channeling their favorite athletes through electronic video game play,” said Mark Tamis, Carnival’s senior vice president of guest operations. “Combining the fun and excitement of our sports bars with EA SPORTS is a perfect partnership.”
The EA SPORTS Bar will also offer a comprehensive menu of more than two dozen different draft and bottled domestic and imported beers — including Carnival’s own ThirstyFrog Red, available in a souvenir glass — as well as specialty beer cocktails, “double play” drinks and exclusive cocktails. Draft beers will be available in three-foot-tall, 101-ounce tubes that are meant to be shared and popular sports bar snacks such as soft pretzels and peanuts in the shell will be available for a nominal charge.
Beer-based drinks include such concoctions as “The Rookie” — Bass Ale, sweet vermouth and Amaretto — and a “Michelada,” spiced-up beer in a salt-rimmed glass. “Double-play” libations are simple two-shot drinks with a basic mixer. Featured cocktails include Lynchburg Lemonade, with Jack Daniel’s, Cointreau, and lemonade, and “The MVP,” made with Crown Royal, peach schnapps and cranberry juice. Drink specials will be offered throughout the day and evening and tied to different sporting and video game events.
The interiors of the bar will boast a massive bar, providing the prime viewing spot of the oversized video wall, along with rich, comfortable bar stools in brown with red sports-inspired stitching, high-top tables, and, in keeping with the sports theme, semi-circular “box seats.” Authentic souvenir jerseys will be displayed in custom-designed box frames. Along the top of the wall opposite the bar is a foot-high Web-based sports ticker that runs 24 hours a day and displays a continuous feed of up-to-the-minute sports scores and news.
Outside the entrance to the bar will feature a digital event schedule highlighting the week’s sporting events and video game tournaments while a large video screen will show live broadcasts or EA SPORTS games in progress to both entice guests into the room and provide spectator entertainment along the promenade.
The EA SPORTS Bar is part of Fun Ship 2.0, a multi-year initiative valued at more than $500 million that will completely transform the Carnival guest experience and is the largest and most ambitious project the company has ever undertaken. Many of the new Fun Ship 2.0 features will first debut on Carnival Liberty in October 2011 with additional ships to receive the enhancements over the next few years.
Additional information on the Fun Ship 2.0 initiative is available at www.carnival.com/funship2.