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Bolt, the Carnival cruise curler coaster: Is it the most effective top-deck attraction at sea?

Is Carnival’s Bolt curler coaster really the most effective top-deck, heart-thumping attraction on a ship? I am aboard the second voyage of Carnival Celebration, the second ship within the Carnival fleet (and all the cruise business) to boast a curler coaster trip, and I made it my mission to search out out. I roped in my husband and 8- and 11-year-old children to get a wide range of views.

Here is all the things it’s essential learn about driving Carnival’s Bolt curler coaster and my scorching tackle whether or not the quick trip is value what’s a really excessive price ticket.

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Bolt, the Carnival cruise curler coaster

Carnival’s curler coaster is just not precisely what you anticipate if you consider amusement park curler coasters. You will not discover a practice of automobiles linked collectively that race alongside a observe. Neither is it a passive trip the place you maintain onto a deal with and scream.

As an alternative, the Bolt curler coaster has two two-person Jet Ski-style automobiles that journey across the observe independently. The “driver” (ie, the rider in entrance) can really management the velocity of the curler coaster, each by turning a handlebar throttle and by urgent a button for a lift of velocity. The rider within the again, nevertheless, merely enjoys the trip (and the screaming) with no tasks.

The 800-meter observe circles above Deck 18, beginning out by the water park, persevering with with a spiral part proper above the mini-golf course then racing across the funnel and the ropes course. If you happen to’re taking part in putt-putt, it feels just like the curler coaster automobiles may blow the hat proper off your head. You’ll be able to hear the zooming on all of the higher aft decks.

Bolt is at the moment discovered on Carnival cruise ships Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration. When Carnival Jubilee debuts in 2023, it’ll even have a curler coaster on its prime deck.

Value to trip the Bolt curler coaster

Curler coaster automotive on Carnival Celebration. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

In contrast to the waterslides and ropes course that share the highest deck with Bolt, Carnival’s curler coaster is just not free to trip. Every trip prices $15 per particular person for 2 laps of the observe, no matter whether or not you are driving solo or with one other passenger.

As every trip is roughly 20 seconds, your price to trip is about 75 cents per second. For our household, that meant we had been all going to trip as soon as after which be content material with watching others velocity above our heads.

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Weight restrict and top requirement, plus different guidelines

Sadly, not each Carnival cruiser is allowed to trip Bolt. An indication by the doorway states that the curler coaster weight restrict is 300 kilos. The minimal top requirement is 52 inches (4 ft, 4 inches) and the utmost is 77 inches (6 ft, 5 inches). Stand on the dimensions subsequent to the stairway as much as the trip, and a inexperienced gentle will go on should you’re an appropriate weight. Measure your top in opposition to the thick line on the peak chart.

To place that in perspective, my 8-year-old daughter is simply barely above common in top and she or he barely cleared the peak requirement.

As well as, riders have to be carrying closed-toe footwear, and swim apparel is just not permitted. Clothes and skirts aren’t allowed except you possibly can tie them between your legs into makeshift shorts. If you happen to put on glasses, take away them or fasten them to your head with a strap. My son did not have a strap however the trip attendees had a couple of readily available that he might borrow.

Empty your pockets earlier than you go or retailer your belongings within the offered cubbies so you do not lose your cruise card or pockets as you trip. Sadly, you are not allowed to take GoPros or cellphones, so you possibly can’t get any first-person movies of the trip. Ask a pal to video you from under; A great spot to movie is on the jogging observe between the mini-golf course and the water park.

How to join Bolt


If you wish to trip a curler coaster on a cruise ship, you may have two choices for snagging a spot. You’ll be able to stroll as much as the attendee manning the trip and ask if there are slots out there. We selected to trip on embarkation day, when the climate was grey, and waltzed proper on with no wait in any respect.

You can even make a reservation on Carnival’s Hub app for a selected time – really useful if you wish to trip throughout a well-liked time, equivalent to on a sea day. The reservation choice was not engaged on my app on the primary day of our Carnival Celebration cruise, however we met individuals who efficiently made reservations on theirs.

When does Carnival’s curler coaster run?

Bolt runs on sea days and port days alike. Typical hours is likely to be 9 am to six pm on sea days and 1 to six pm on port days. It will not run at midnight, so might have longer hours in summer time. (I am cruising in late November, so sundown comes early.)

We additionally realized on this crusing that Bolt will not run within the rain or excessive winds. On embarkation morning, it was pouring rain in Miami, and all of Carnival’s out of doors points of interest had been shut down. The curler coaster solely opened later within the afternoon, when the rain stopped and the solar kind of got here out.

As I write this, within the late morning on our first sea day, the trip is as soon as once more closed. I requested the attendant about it, and he mentioned that when winds attain 45 mph, they’ve to shut the curler coaster. The choice comes from the bridge; Officers will radio the Bolt staffers to alert them once they should shut and once they can reopen the trip. (The identical coverage applies to the ropes course, in case you had been questioning.)

If you happen to’ve pre-booked on the app, your shipboard account might be credited in case your trip is canceled as a consequence of climate or mechanical points.

My household’s impressions of Carnival’s Bolt curler coaster

Bolt curler coaster on Carnival Celebration. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

My 11-year-old son and I made a decision to strive the curler coaster first. As there was no line, and we had been solely going to pay to trip as soon as, we determined to go solo in our personal automobiles. The 2 automobiles race alongside the observe on the identical time, with the second beginning after a delay, so we might trip on the identical time.

The attendant buckled me in with a heavy-duty seat belt that locks into place. He confirmed me the best way to use the hand throttle on the precise handlebar to rev the engine and the button on the left to push for velocity boosts. Then we had been off.

I noticed no motive to not go for broke so I gunned the engine as quickly as my automotive leaped into movement. That may have been a mistake as a result of that preliminary burst of velocity turned my abdomen a bit, and I wasn’t certain how the trip would go. However as soon as I adjusted to the velocity, it was simply quick sufficient to be enjoyable however not sickening and I saved the automotive at full throttle even by way of the twisty-turny elements. I saved jamming the increase button, nevertheless it wasn’t clear when or how typically it will give me additional bursts of velocity.

I used to be so centered on going quick that I wasn’t trying round, so I made a degree to attempt to take within the Miami views on the second lap. The scariest a part of the trip got here at virtually the very finish, after I was careening uphill by way of a banked part and instantly my velocity plummeted. My automotive was creeping alongside at a sideways angle, and I used to be a bit involved about not making it over the hill. However I made it slowly across the bend, and realized the trip attendants needed to minimize my velocity so I would not crash into my son, who was slowing down as he neared the top of the trip. But when that is the case, it is a design flaw to have that last part banked.

My son was raving about Carnival’s curler coaster after I caught up with him after the trip, however he mentioned he did not use his increase as a result of he thought the common velocity was scary sufficient and he did not must go quicker.

My husband and daughter went subsequent, and she or he selected to drive. They had been within the second of the 2 automobiles; whereas the primary couple sped off, it was clear that my daughter was not utilizing the throttle or increase and merely driving on the automotive’s base velocity. I might inform they had been touring extra slowly and the primary automotive gave the impression to be near lapping my household. I puzzled if the attendants slowed down the primary automotive in order that it would not catch as much as my slow-going household.

Nonetheless, my daughter mentioned the trip was superb, and that is what counts. My son mentioned he’d think about using the restricted amount of cash I placed on his cruise card to trip the curler coaster once more – forgoing video video games within the arcade or memento purchasing for one other two laps. That is a rave overview proper there. My husband’s take was that the views, velocity and tilty observe had been all good, however that the trip was too quick. I agree. For $15, maybe 4 laps can be higher.

Is Bolt the most effective top-deck attraction at sea?

After two days on board, my son and I’ve examined out all of the waterslides and the ropes course on Carnival Celebration, in addition to the curler coaster. The ropes course has the benefit in that when you are strapped in, you possibly can go round numerous occasions with out ready in line. Nevertheless, my 8-year-old bailed three obstacles in, and I needed to discuss a crying, frightened baby again throughout these obstacles to the primary platform. I attempted once more later, and the latter half of it’s a bit difficult and positively pushes your belief in a harness over your base worry of falling to the boundaries.

The water park is enjoyable however the slide strains are lengthy. The Blue Lightning mat slide is clearly the most effective, however the yellow Tornado slide is simply too sluggish and the sudden drop to start out the Orange Thunder slide is a no-go for a lot of. (I did it as soon as, and actually do not want to try this once more.)

Bolt can be my favourite, however the excessive price ticket for such a brief trip means most individuals will solely take pleasure in it a couple of times. It is going to be fascinating to see if Carnival ever points a vast rides cross and what it may cost a little.

Cruise followers have been dreaming of a cruise ship curler coaster for years, and it positively will get excessive marks for novelty and thrills which can be extra enjoyable than scary. If it is not the most effective top-deck attraction at sea, it is actually among the many prime contenders.

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