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

Is Carnival’s Bolt curler coaster really the perfect top-deck, heart-thumping attraction on a ship? I’m aboard the second voyage of Carnival Celebration, the second ship within the Carnival fleet (and the complete cruise trade) to boast a curler coaster experience, and I made it my mission to seek out out. I roped in my husband and 8- and 11-year-old youngsters to get a wide range of views.

Right here’s all the things you must find out about driving Carnival’s Bolt curler coaster and my scorching tackle whether or not the brief experience is price what’s a really excessive price ticket.

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Bolt, the Carnival cruise curler coaster

Carnival’s curler coaster isn’t precisely what you count on whenever you consider amusement park curler coasters. You gained’t discover a prepare of automobiles linked collectively that race alongside a observe. Neither is it a passive experience the place you maintain onto a deal with and scream.

As a substitute, the Bolt curler coaster has two two-person Jet Ski-style autos that journey across the observe independently. The “driver” (i.e., the rider in entrance) can really management the pace of the curler coaster, each by turning a handlebar throttle and by urgent a button for a lift of pace. The rider within the again, nonetheless, merely enjoys the experience (and the screaming) with no duties.

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. For those who’re enjoying putt-putt, it feels just like the curler coaster automobiles would possibly blow the hat proper off your head. You’ll be able to hear the zooming on all of the higher aft decks.

Bolt is presently discovered on Carnival cruise ships Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration. When Carnival Jubilee debuts in 2023, it is going to even have a curler coaster on its prime deck.

Value to experience 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 isn’t free to experience. Every experience prices $15 per particular person for 2 laps of the observe, no matter whether or not you’re driving solo or with one other passenger.

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

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Weight restrict and peak requirement, plus different guidelines

Sadly, not each Carnival cruiser is allowed to experience Bolt. An indication by the doorway states that the curler coaster weight restrict is 300 kilos. The minimal peak requirement is 52 inches (4 toes, 4 inches) and the utmost is 77 inches (6 toes, 5 inches). Stand on the size subsequent to the stairway as much as the experience, and a inexperienced mild will go on should you’re a suitable weight. Measure your peak towards the thick line on the peak chart.

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

As well as, riders should be sporting closed-toe footwear, and swim apparel isn’t permitted. Attire and skirts usually are not allowed until you possibly can tie them between your legs into makeshift shorts. For those who put on glasses, take away them or fasten them to your head with a strap. My son didn’t have a strap however the experience attendees had just a few available that he may borrow.

Empty your pockets earlier than you go or retailer your belongings within the supplied cubbies so that you don’t lose your cruise card or pockets as you experience. Sadly, you’re not allowed to take GoPros or cellphones, so you possibly can’t get any first-person movies of the experience. Ask a good friend to video you from beneath; a great place to movie is on the jogging observe between the mini-golf course and the water park.

How to enroll in Bolt


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

You may also make a reservation on Carnival’s Hub app for a particular time – really useful if you wish to experience throughout a well-liked time, comparable to on a sea day. The reservation possibility 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 may be 9 a.m. to six p.m. on sea days and 1 to six p.m. on port days. It gained’t run at nighttime, so might have longer hours in summer time. (I’m cruising in late November, so sundown comes early.)

We additionally discovered on this crusing that Bolt gained’t run within the rain or excessive winds. On embarkation morning, it was pouring rain in Miami, and all of Carnival’s outside sights have been shut down. The curler coaster solely opened later within the afternoon, when the rain stopped and the solar form of got here out.

As I write this, within the late morning on our first sea day, the experience is as soon as once more closed. I requested the attendant about it, and he stated 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 experience. (The identical coverage applies to the ropes course, in case you have been questioning.)

For those who’ve pre-booked on the app, your shipboard account shall be credited in case your experience is canceled as a result 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 attempt the curler coaster first. As there was no line, and we have been solely going to pay to experience 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 may experience on the identical time.

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

I noticed no purpose to not go for broke so I gunned the engine as quickly as my automotive leaped into movement. Which may have been a mistake as a result of that preliminary burst of pace turned my abdomen a bit, and I wasn’t positive how the experience would go. However as soon as I adjusted to the pace, it was simply quick sufficient to be enjoyable however not sickening and I stored the automotive at full throttle even by means of the twisty-turny components. I stored jamming the enhance button, nevertheless it wasn’t clear when or how typically it will give me further bursts of pace.

I used to be so centered on going quick that I wasn’t wanting round, so I made a degree to try to take within the Miami views on the second lap. The scariest a part of the experience got here at nearly the very finish, after I was careening uphill by means of a banked part and immediately my pace plummeted. My automotive was creeping alongside at a sideways angle, and I used to be bit involved about not making it over the hill. However I made it slowly across the bend, and realized the experience attendants needed to lower my pace so I wouldn’t crash into my son, who was slowing down as he neared the top of the experience. But when that’s the case, it’s a design flaw to have that remaining part banked.

My son was raving about Carnival’s curler coaster after I caught up with him after the experience, however he stated he didn’t use his enhance as a result of he thought the common pace was scary sufficient and he didn’t must go quicker.

My husband and daughter went subsequent, and she or he selected to drive. They have 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 enhance and merely driving on the automotive’s base pace. I may inform they have been touring extra slowly and the primary automotive seemed to be near lapping my household. I questioned if the attendants slowed down the primary automotive in order that it wouldn’t catch as much as my slow-going household.

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

Is Bolt the perfect 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 after you’re strapped in, you possibly can go round numerous occasions with out ready in line. Nonetheless, my 8-year-old bailed three obstacles in, and I needed to speak 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 concern of falling to the bounds.

The water park is enjoyable however the slide strains are lengthy. The Blue Lightning mat slide is clearly the perfect, however the yellow Tornado slide is simply too gradual 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 don’t want to try this once more.)

Bolt can be my favourite, however the excessive price ticket for such a brief experience means most individuals will solely take pleasure in it a few times. It is going to be attention-grabbing to see if Carnival ever points a vast rides go 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’s not the perfect top-deck attraction at sea, it’s definitely among the many prime contenders.

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