• TRAVEL NOTICE: Learn more about COVID-19
  • Newsletter
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • Cruise Tips
  • News
  • Deals
You may also like
Dismiss
Ultimate Abyss Slide on Royal Caribbean Cruises
Ultimate Abyss Slide on Royal Caribbean Cruises
BOLT Roller Coaster on Carnival Cruise Ships
The first roller coaster-style attraction at sea, Carnival's BOLT will debut on Carnival Mardi Gras in 2020 (Image: Carnival Cruise Line)

BOLT Roller Coaster on Carnival Cruise Ships

BOLT Roller Coaster on Carnival Cruise Ships
The first roller coaster-style attraction at sea, Carnival's BOLT will debut on Carnival Mardi Gras in 2020 (Image: Carnival Cruise Line)
Chris Gray Faust
Managing Editor
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter

Ready for a jolt of adrenaline on the high seas? Look no further than Bolt, the first roller coaster at sea. Created by a roller coaster designer in Munich, Bolt: The Ultimate Sea Coaster debuted in July 2021 on Mardi Gras, the first of Carnival's Excel-class ships.

What It Is

The first roller coaster at sea doesn't look like a typical one that you'd find at a theme park. Instead of sitting down inside of a cart, you are astride a two-person car, similar to a motorcycle. Don't worry, you're still strapped in very tightly with a metal seatbelt that is checked, double checked and triple checked before you take off.

The electric track starts on the top deck, near the back of the ship and winds its way around the funnel. You can go up to 37 mph -- some of which you can control yourself by pulling back on the right handlebar or by pushing a "boost" button on the left handlebar. There's a digital speedometer that you can watch, but you're likely going to be too busy screaming or checking out the sky-high sea views as you barrel your way around the track.

Featured Videos

Carnival Mardi Gras: Free Dining on the Lido Deck

Carnival Mardi Gras: Free Dining on the Lido Deck

Carnival Mardi Gras: RedFrog Tiki Bar & Summer Landing

Carnival Mardi Gras: RedFrog Tiki Bar & Summer Landing

Carnival Mardi Gras' Excel Suite and Loft 19

Carnival Mardi Gras' Excel Suite and Loft 19

Live From Carnival's Mardi Gras: The French Quarter

Live From Carnival's Mardi Gras: The French Quarter

BOLT: We Try Carnival Mardi Gras' Roller Coaster at Sea

BOLT: We Try Carnival Mardi Gras' Roller Coaster at Sea

Video Scenes From The Golden Girls Theme Cruise 2019

Video Scenes From The Golden Girls Theme Cruise 2019

Martini Bar Bartender Pours 15 Martinis at Once on Celebrity Cruises

Martini Bar Bartender Pours 15 Martinis at Once on Celebrity Cruises

How to Make a Towel Animals Swans, Dogs and Elephants

How to Make a Towel Animals Swans, Dogs and Elephants

Towel Animals with Carnival Cruise Line and Cruise Critic: How to Make Towel Swans

Towel Animals with Carnival Cruise Line and Cruise Critic: How to Make Towel Swans

Towel Animals with Carnival Cruise Line and Cruise Critic: How to Make a Towel Dog

Towel Animals with Carnival Cruise Line and Cruise Critic: How to Make a Towel Dog

Towel Animals with Carnival Cruise Line and Cruise Critic: How to Make a Towel Elephant

Towel Animals with Carnival Cruise Line and Cruise Critic: How to Make a Towel Elephant

Bolt - Top Deck Roller-Coaster at Sea on Carnival Mardi Gras

Bolt - Top Deck Roller-Coaster at Sea on Carnival Mardi Gras

Virgin Voyages Unveils Beach Club And Entertainment

Virgin Voyages Unveils Beach Club And Entertainment

Marella Cruises Cast Members Rehearse New Show Debut

Marella Cruises Cast Members Rehearse New Show Debut

Star Wars Day At Sea On Disney Cruise Line

Star Wars Day At Sea On Disney Cruise Line

How To Make Carnival Cruise Line's Famous Warm Chocolate Melting Cake - Video

How To Make Carnival Cruise Line's Famous Warm Chocolate Melting Cake - Video

Inside Look 2018 Ship-Hop: A Cruise Vacation For '90s Lovers

Inside Look 2018 Ship-Hop: A Cruise Vacation For '90s Lovers

Shaquille "Shaq" O'neal Named Chief Fun Officer Of Carnival Cruise Line

Shaquille "Shaq" O'neal Named Chief Fun Officer Of Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line's "Choose Fun" Commercial

Carnival Cruise Line's "Choose Fun" Commercial

Carnival Splendor Photo Tour

Carnival Splendor Photo Tour

Carnival Conquest Photo Tour

Carnival Conquest Photo Tour

Carnival Pride Photo Tour

Carnival Pride Photo Tour

Carnival Dream Photo Tour

Carnival Dream Photo Tour

5 Craziest Top-Deck Activities On Cruise Ships

5 Craziest Top-Deck Activities On Cruise Ships

Carnival Sunshine Photo Tour

Carnival Sunshine Photo Tour

Carnival Breeze Photo Tour

Carnival Breeze Photo Tour

Photo Tour of Carnival Liberty

Photo Tour of Carnival Liberty

5 Best Restaurants for Free Eats on Carnival Sunshine

5 Best Restaurants for Free Eats on Carnival Sunshine

Norwegian Escape's Ropes Course - Are You Brave Enough?

Norwegian Escape's Ropes Course - Are You Brave Enough?

Sneak Peek: "Beauty And The Beast" On Disney Dream -- Behind The Scenes Video

Sneak Peek: "Beauty And The Beast" On Disney Dream -- Behind The Scenes Video

The Himalayan Bridge On MSC Meraviglia - Ropes Course POV Video

The Himalayan Bridge On MSC Meraviglia - Ropes Course POV Video

SkyRide On Carnival Vista: Cruise Critic Tries It

SkyRide On Carnival Vista: Cruise Critic Tries It

Carnival Vista Top Deck Attractions

Carnival Vista Top Deck Attractions

Behind the Scenes at CSMART - Carnival's Arison Maritime Training Center

Behind the Scenes at CSMART - Carnival's Arison Maritime Training Center

Cruise Pier Runners In Cozumel -- Carnival Liberty

Cruise Pier Runners In Cozumel -- Carnival Liberty

Harmony Of The Seas Pool And Sports Zone

Harmony Of The Seas Pool And Sports Zone

Harmony Of The Seas Boardwalk

Harmony Of The Seas Boardwalk

Harmony Of The Seas Royal Promenade

Harmony Of The Seas Royal Promenade

Harmony Of The Seas Entertainment Place

Harmony Of The Seas Entertainment Place

Perfect Storm Water Slides On Harmony Of The Seas

Perfect Storm Water Slides On Harmony Of The Seas

Greased Lightnin': Royal Caribbean Brings Another Broadway Hit

Greased Lightnin': Royal Caribbean Brings Another Broadway Hit

Plunging Into Adventure On The Tallest Slide At Sea: Royal Caribbean Reveals 10-Story Ultimate Abyss

Plunging Into Adventure On The Tallest Slide At Sea: Royal Caribbean Reveals 10-Story Ultimate Abyss

Crystal Cruises' Submarine -- Cruise Critic Tries It Out On Esprit

Crystal Cruises' Submarine -- Cruise Critic Tries It Out On Esprit

Cruise Critic Flowrider On Royal Caribbean's Freedom Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Flowrider On Royal Caribbean's Freedom Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Quick Chat With Carnival CEO Arnold Donald

Cruise Critic Quick Chat With Carnival CEO Arnold Donald

Oasis Of The Seas Flowrider - Cruise Critic Goes Surfing

Oasis Of The Seas Flowrider - Cruise Critic Goes Surfing

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Jazz On 4 Performance

Oasis Of The Seas Jazz On 4 Performance

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade Parade (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade Parade (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Carousel In Action (2009)

Oasis Of The Seas Carousel In Action (2009)

Our Experience

Cruise Critic's Chris Gray Faust on BOLT

Am I a thrill-seeker? Generally, yes -- but I still had a burst of apprehension when I saw the first Bolt car careening around the track.

More than that, it was the screams coming from the participants. I hadn't expected a roller coaster on a cruise ship to offer real adrenaline, but then I got into line and saw the cars take off.

Each started up with a fast jolt, provoking screams from the riders that continued as they went into the first dip. "Hmm, maybe this isn't just for kids," I thought, watching. (There's no minimum age for Bolt, but you can't be shorter than 4-foot-4, taller than 6-foot-5 and weigh more than 300 pounds.)

You're allowed to ride Bolt either by yourself or as a twosome. I went solo on my first ride, which was good because I didn't want to have to fight anyone for control over the speed. I intended to jack up the car as fast as it could go.

My resolution faltered a bit after I was strapped in; the seatbelts are intimidating, and so is the track when you're staring ahead at it. I was a bit blind, however, as I had to relinquish my prescription sunglasses before getting on the car. (There is a handy cubby hole near the operators where your purses, glasses and other items are stored).

But my sense of disorientation stopped when the operator started my car, and off I went. I yanked back on the handlebars while simultaneously pushing the boost button, going for maximum speed. I'm not sure if these two moves canceled anything out, but I was flying, fast, around the turns.

I honestly don’t remember much about that first ride, it went so quickly. The track is stable, and when you're in the driver seat, you are apt to concentrate on what's directly in front of you. There is a bit of a hairpin turn when you come around the funnel, where the cart tilts a bit. But don't worry, you'll never feel like you're going to fall off.

I got off of the ride a bit shaky and full of adrenaline (as you can see in the Bolt video we filmed). It took a while for the excitement to wear off. Real theme park thrills on a cruise ship? We're sold.

I took a second ride on Bolt later in the cruise, this time as a passenger. It wasn't quite as scary in the back seat, mainly because you have more of a chance to check out the views, as opposed to focusing on the track in front of you (or maybe it's because my friend wasn't pushing the car to 11). I recommend doing it twice to have both experiences.

A few house-keeping rules: You'll want to make sure that you're dressed appropriately for Bolt. You must wear shorts or capris -- no sundresses allowed -- and have closed-toe shoes. (We saw several people in sandals being turned away.)

Also be aware that the ship is expressly forbidding GoPros, phones or other cameras being worn when you ride. Don't try to get around it -- if something were to drop from the track, it could not only damage the roller coaster but seriously hurt another cruiser.

The staff are not allowed to take photos of you, and while the line said that they are thinking of installing a camera that snaps action shots, nothing was operational when we were there. Have a friend come and take a photo with your phone, or ask an obliging stranger. (We found people were eager to help.)

BOLT on Carnival Mardi Gras (Photo: Chris Gray Faust)

Price

The price for Bolt is $15 for two laps around the track.

Ships

For now, Bolt will only be on Carnival Mardi Gras.

Updated August 10, 2021

How was this article?

Featured News

1
Silversea Cruises Debuts Full-Ship Spa Program Otium: Exclusive First Look
5
Viking to Launch New Oceangoing Cruise Ship, Viking Saturn, In 2023
Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.