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Find the best carnival cruise, why should i book a carnival cruise.

If you're looking for an unforgettable vacation, Carnival cruises are a perfect choice. Carnival is one of the best cruise lines in the industry, with a successful history of providing excellent service and luxurious experiences. The Carnival cruise vacations take you to some of the world's most beautiful and fascinating destinations. They’re sure to have features to please everyone in your group.

How to find the best Carnival cruise deals?

There are many different Carnival cruise deals to choose from depending on your destination and the experiences you would most like to enjoy. These deals let you include additional features for a lower price to make your vacation even more comfortable. You can find the best deals by searching for your destinations, and filtering by your desired cruise lines. This way only the companies you wish to travel with will appear. You can also sort your results by price and length of time.

How to choose your cruise with Carnival?

If you want to book aCarnival cruise there are plenty of amazing Carnival cruise deals available. Add your destination, cruise vacation, and number of travelers. Then you can sort your results by price, duration, and departure date. You can also filter by cruise line, cruise ship and cabin type. You’ll find different amenities to suit your vacation needs on each Carnival cruise. For example, youth programs, fitness facilities, and spa facilities.

What do I need to look out for when booking a Carnival cruise?

When booking your 2025 Carnival cruise it’s important to consider a few practical tips. Check what the cost covers, and what you may need to budget for or need insurance for. Think about any amenities or onboard service you’ll require, depending on the length of the Carnival cruise. For example, youth programs, entertainment, fitness facilities, spa facilities, and room service. Secondly, research the weather conditions for your journey and destination. In some locations, summer and winter weather can vary a lot. Another tip is to go over the ship layout to see where you’d like to pick a cabin. Don’t forget to check visa requirements and any flight logistics.

When is the best time to book a Carnival cruise?

You can book a Carnival cruise as early as you like depending on availability. There’s a higher chance of finding cheaper Carnival cruise prices by booking between 6 months to 12 months in advance. But there are also lots of last-minute cruise deals closer to your preferred departure date, but this will depend on your flexibility.

Are last minute deals available with Carnival?

Yes, you can find last-minute Carnival cruises on Expedia. Add your travel dates to the cruise finder and sort your results to find the best price available. Cruise deal discounts are indicated by a green box above the Carnival cruise price.

How do I book a cruise with Carnival?

To book a Carnival cruise on Expedia select your Carnival destination and filter by cruise line. You can also browse our extensive selection of pre-selected cruise deals and find the perfect cruise for you. Once you have found the one you want, choose your dates and the port of departure. You can also refine your search by cabin experiences, or cruise ship. Each ship will have amenities to suit your needs including room service, spa facilities, and fitness facilities.

Is Carnival great value for money?

Carnival cruises are excellent value for money if you're looking for an enjoyable and relaxing cruise vacations. A Carnival cruise offers a high standard of service, a great selection of dining, modern amenities, friendly staff, and exciting activities. The exceptional quality of the experience is worth the price.

Can I cancel a Carnival cruise booking?

Yes, you can cancel your Carnival cruise. We all have unfortunate circumstances where we need to cancel a booking, so Expedia makes it easy to do so. All you have to do is head to your My Trips page on Expedia and click on the cancellation button. Another option is to contact customer service, where you’ll receive help with cancelling. Do make sure that you’re aware of the refund policy that applied to your booking, to see if you’re entitled to a full refund.

Carnival Cruise Guide

Since Carnival entered the cruise scene in 1972, they have founded dozens of new ships dedicated to providing millions of passengers with memorable vacations ashore! Prepare to have the time of your life on Carnival’s innovative cruise ships equipped with high tech entertainment facilities and features, like live stage shows, casinos, spas, waterslides, deck parties and more! Carnival’s "Fun Ships" are floating playgrounds for those looking for an adventurous escape. Allow yourself to relax and experience the sheer bliss of traveling with Carnival. With great onboard amenities, and an extensive choice of activities and dining options you're sure to meet new friends, create lasting memories, and have more fun than you ever thought possible. With sailings to the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Canada, Alaska, Europe and more, Carnival will make sure you have an enjoyable time every step of the way.

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5 REASONS CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE MAY BE RIGHT FOR YOU

Heather McManus - Oct 21, 2019

Discover what makes Carnival Cruise Line unique and determine if it’s the right fit for your travel style!

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carnival cruise lines 5 day cruises

CRUISING 101: BEST CRUISE LINES FOR FIRST TIME CRUISERS

Heather Mcmanus - Sept 13, 2019

Cruise line branding will give you a lot of clues about what kind of travelers they’re targeting, but if I had to completely stereotype some of the major cruise lines and their typical guests, here’s how I’d do it. Consider this your cheat sheet on the best cruise lines for first time cruisers.

Carnival Ships

  • Carnival Horizon
  • Carnival Panorama
  • Carnival Sunrise
  • Carnival Spirit
  • Carnival Vista
  • Carnival Radiance
  • Carnival Mardi Gras
  • Carnival Freedom
  • Carnival Liberty
  • Carnival Dream
  • Carnival Breeze
  • Carnival Magic
  • Carnival Sunshine
  • Carnival Imagination
  • Carnival Ecstasy
  • Carnival Victory
  • Carnival Elation
  • Carnival Inspiration
  • Carnival Sensation
  • Carnival Fascination
  • Carnival Fantasy
  • Carnival Paradise
  • Carnival Pride
  • Carnival Conquest
  • Carnival Legend
  • Carnival Glory
  • Carnival Miracle
  • Carnival Valor

More Cruise Lines to Explore

  • AmaWaterways
  • Avalon Waterways
  • Azamara Club Cruises
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Costa Cruise Lines
  • Crystal Cruises
  • Cunard Cruises
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Holland America Line
  • MSC Cruises
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Oceania Cruises
  • Princess Cruises
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  • Seabourn Cruise Line
  • Uniworld River Cruises
  • Viking Ocean Cruises
  • Viking River Cruises

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Tampa Cruise Guide

5-Day Cruises from Tampa

5-day cruises out of Tampa Florida are available all year. Sailings are offered on Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean. See the full list of departures below.

5-night itineraries go to Cozumel , the Cayman Islands or Key West . Cozumel is very much a party destination, although active sports such as snorkeling are popular and excursions to Mayan ruins are too. Grand Cayman island is known for diving and a relaxed pace. Key West is the southernmost point in the United States.

There are also 3-day cruises and 4-day cruises leaving from Tampa.

5-day cruises on Carnival Cruise Line . Round-trip from Tampa to Cozumel (Mexico) and Grand Cayman (Cayman Islands). • 2024 departures: January 8, 22; February 5, 19; March 4, 18; April 1, 29; June 24; July 22; September 16; October 14; November 25; December 23.

5-day cruises on Carnival Cruise Line . Round-trip from Tampa to Mahogany Bay (Honduras) and Cozumel (Mexico). • 2024 departures: January 27; February 24; March 23; April 20; June 1, 29; August 24; September 21; November 16; December 14.

5-day cruises on Carnival Cruise Line . Round-trip from Tampa to Bimini (Bahamas) and Nassau (Bahamas). • 2024 departures: January 13; February 10; March 9, April 6, 15; May 4, 27; July 27; August 19; October 19; November 11; December 28.

5-day cruise on Celebrity Cruises . Round-trip from Tampa to Costa Maya (Mexico) and Cozumel (Mexico). • 2024 departure: February 5.

5-day cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line . Round-trip from Tampa to Nassau (Bahamas) and Great Stirrup Cay (Bahamas). • 2024 departure: January 7.

5-night cruises on Royal Caribbean . Round-trip from Tampa to Costa Maya (Mexico) and Cozumel (Mexico). • 2024 departures: January 6, January 15, January 20, January 29, February 3, February 12, February 17, February 26, March 2, March 11, March 25.

5-night cruises on Royal Caribbean . Round-trip from Tampa to Progreso (Mexico) and Cozumel (Mexico). • 2024 departures: July 1, July 15, July 29, August 12.

5-night cruises on Royal Caribbean . Round-trip from Tampa to Nassau (Bahamas) and CocoCay (Bahamas). • 2024 departures: May 13; June 3, 8, 17.

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5-Day Western Caribbean Cruise

Fun with a capital F is what you can expect on a Carnival Cruise. With the largest fleet at sea Carnival offers sailings perfect for the whole family.

Cruise to the Caribbean for tropical weather and splendid beach-side excursions.

In Miami, you’ll enjoy a small taste of the tropical weather many of you will experience during your cruise, and you’ll see why Miami is one of the most popular places to live in America.

  • Carnival Sunrise - Passenger Capacity: 2,984 (double occupancy) Year Built: 1999 Last Refurbished: 2019

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*** All itineraries are subject to change without notice. Please confirm your itinerary on the Review page before purchasing your cruise.

Carnival reserves the right to re-instate the fuel supplement for all guests at up to $9 per person per day if the NYMEX oil price exceeds $70 per barrel. Rates & offers are subject to select dates & categories, cruise only, per person, based on double occupancy, in US Dollars, & include NCCF. Government taxes & fees are additional. All rates & offers are capacity controlled, are subject to availability & confirmation, & may change without notice. Additional restrictions may apply. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed -- please confirm details at time of booking. Stateroom photos are for sample purposes only -- actual design and layout may vary.

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Carnival Cruise Line fleet

Carnival jubilee, carnival celebration, carnival mardi gras, carnival firenze, carnival venezia, carnival panorama, carnival horizon, carnival vista, carnival breeze, carnival magic, carnival luminosa, carnival dream, carnival splendor, carnival freedom, carnival liberty, review of carnival cruise line.

CCL-Carnival Cruise Lines (carnival.com) is an American passenger shipping company based in Doral, Florida ( Miami suburb). The company was originally private (independent), founded in 1972 by Ted Arison (1924-1999). The initial public offering of 20% common stock in 1987 provided capital for fleet expansion.

Today, CCL is one of the 10 brands owned by Carnival Corporation - currently the world's largest passenger shipping company (followed by RCG-Royal Caribbean Group ). In 2018, Carnival Corporation controlled ~39% of the global ship cruising market (revenue) and ~48% of the passengers (39% in 2020), with full ownership of 9 brands (CCL, AIDA , Costa , Cunard , HAL-Holland America , P&O UK & Australia , Princess , Seabourn ).

CCL currently has 40,000+ employees from 120 nationalities.

For 50 years - between March 11th, 1972 (CCL's maiden voyage with TSS Mardi Gras out of PortMiami) and March 11th, 2022, the company served 90+ million passengers.

CCL has the largest fleet in the Corporation's group of companies and accounts for over 1/5 of the Group's worldwide market share. CCL's executive control is provided by Corporation's North American division. CCL pioneered the concept of less expensive, short-break itineraries. In 1996, the 101,000-GT Carnival Destiny (now Sunshine) became the world's biggest passenger ship and the first to weigh over 100,000 tons.

Most CCL ships are Panama- flagged .

Company changes 2024

(starting January 1st) Available fleetwide are:

  • The enhanced "Chef’s Table 2.0" version (VIP dining hosted by the ship's Executive Chef) features a new menu (with cocktails), hors d’oeuvres, a galley tour, and a multi-course gourmet dinner.
  • "Behind The Fun" (ship tour/behind-the-scenes experience) are now available for pre-cruise/online booking (previously bookable only onboard).
  • HUB App's Streamlined Debarkation simplifies the process with a new feature indicating individual time preferences and the number of bags for tag delivery to the stateroom. The option is available on select ships. VIFP members and Suite passengers receive priority debarkation tags.

Company changes 2023

In September CCL announced that the libraries on older ships would be removed (during their next scheduled drydocks) while the newer (EXCEL-class) ships lack such facilities by the original design. The former library spaces (used for reading or board game playing) will be repurposed/redesigned as bars, cafes, live music setups, or existing venue-adjacent seating areas.

Since April 1st, CCL again offers the popular "Behind the Scenes" ship tour fleetwide. It costs extra ($55-$95 per person), lasts ~2-3,5 hours and visits the Wheelhouse/Navigation Bridge, the Engine Control Room, Main Dining Room's Galley/kitchen, crew areas (cabins, mess hall, dining room, bar lounge), laundry, among others.

On March 16th CCL became the world's first cruise company to have served 100 million passengers. The unique milestone was celebrated on Carnival Sunrise (in PortMiami) and attended by Christine Duffy (President). CCL's 100-millionth guests were the Clifford family (Debi and David) from Ohio.

On August 28th was announced the name of the new (CCL-exclusive) Grand Bahama Port - Celebration Key , scheduled for opening/inauguration in July 2025.

As of 2023, 9 out of CCL's 14 American homeports (Miami, Port Canaveral, Tampa, Jacksonville, New York City, Baltimore, Mobile, Galveston, Long Beach/Los Angeles) utilize Facial Biometric Technology (public-private partnership with CBP/US Customs and Border Protection Agency), resulting in ~30% reduction in debarkation time. Americans and certain foreign nationals who prefer not to use facial biometrics can request a manual document check from a CBP Officer, adhering to existing admission requirements into the USA.

Company changes 2022

In late-December CCL employed the renowned chef and restauranteur Emeril John Lagasse (1959-born American celebrity chef, restaurateur, author, TV personality) as the company's Chief Culinary Officer. The announcement mentioned that chef Lagasse's "Emeril's Bistro" (restaurant introduced on Mardi Gras) will be utilized fleetwide.

In October CCL imposed fleetwide a US$500 fine plus expenses/detention costs (local police services and emergency docking fees) for passengers found guilty of unruly shipboard behavior.

In September CCL extended its onboard retail shop partnership with Starboard Cruise Services (premier cruiseship retailer, subsidiary company and brand of LVMH /1987-founded) through 2027. The deal covers 10 ships (Celebration, Dream, Freedom, Horizon, Legend, Magic, Miracle, Pride, Sunrise, Sunshine). Starboard is working with CCL since 1992.

On June 22nd, CCL and Costa Cruises announced the "COSTA by CARNIVAL" cruise program targeting CCL's North American source market. The program is based on two newbuild Costa ships - Venezia (starting in April 2023 with homeporting in NYC New York USA ) and Firenze (starting in 2024 with homeporting in Long Beach/Los Angeles California USA ). Both Costa liners are CCL-managed (while operating out of the USA) and were scheduled for drydock refurbishments prior to the Carnival service.

On June 15th was announced that Costa Luminosa will be transferred from Costa to CCL in September and renamed "Carnival Luminosa".

On February 3rd was announced that in 2022 CCL's fleet leave Ecstasy (1991-built/31-year-old) and Sensation (1993-built/29-year-old). The decision triggered the following deployment changes:

  • In Jacksonville, Ecstasy was replaced by Carnival Spirit, starting April 23rd. Ecstasy was repositioned to/homeported in Mobile AL for the period March 5 thru October 10.
  • Carnival Sensation's Mobile Alabama schedule (Oct 15, 2022, thru Sept 30, 2023) was canceled.
  • In Australia, Carnival Splendor's schedule (June 10 thru Sept 26, 2022) and Carnival Spirit's schedule (June 5, 2022, thru October 5, 2023) were canceled.
  • Carnival Sensation will not restart operations. Ecstasy's last voyage for CCL departed on October 10, 2022, from Mobile.

CCL's 50th Anniversary (2022)

In March 2022, for CCL's "50th Anniversary" were scheduled various onboard festivities (on a total of 17x so-called "Sailabrations" cruises) as well as fleet meetups.

  • On March 5th, off Ensenada Mexico rendezvoused 2 ships (Miracle, Radiance).
  • On March 7th, off Cozumel Mexico rendezvoused 7 ships (Breeze, Ecstasy, Glory, Pride, Sunrise, Vista, Mardi Gras).
  • On March 9th, off Eleuthera Bahamas rendezvoused 6 ships (Conquest, Freedom, Legend, Liberty, Spirit, Sunshine).
  • On March 11th, off Ensenada rendezvoused 2 ships (Miracle, Panorama).

On each liner during the meetups was hosted its own Lido Deck party complete with live music and entertainment, including the biggest "Ship-Tok at Sea" (posted on tiktok.com/@carnival). Onboard activities also included themed puzzles, fun-fact trivia games, Build-A-Bear Birthday Party (with a special-edition cuddle bear toy), Rollin' In Riches (gaming event), specially designed fashion collections and retail collectibles, Main Dining Room specials (themed food and beverage menus, original MDR show. Baked Alaska Farewell Parade).

CCL officially marked its 50th Birthday on March 11, 2022, onboard Carnival Conquest's 3-day voyage from Miami to Nassau (March 11-14). The onboard activities were attended by Christine Duffy (CCL's President), Micky Arison (Carnival Corp's Chairman), Arnold Donald (Carnival Corp's CEO), Congresswoman Frederica Smith Wilson (Florida), Congressman Vern Gale Buchanan (Florida), Daniella Levine Cava (Miami-Dade County's Mayor), Juan Carlos Bermudez (Doral City's Mayor), various VIP guests from Miami and CCL's leadership.

Commemorating the 50th birthday, John Heald (CCL's Brand Ambassador) hosted "Between Two Banners" - a series of interviews with the following guests:

  • (March 21) Terry Thornton (former Senior VP Nautical and Port Operations)
  • (March 23) Vicky Rey (VP Guest Care and Communications, Stakeholder Engagement, Deputy Ethics and Compliance Officer)
  • (March 25) Stefan Christoffersson (VP Housekeeping, Laundry and VSP)
  • (March 28) Gerald/Gerry Cahill (CCL's President & CEO between 2007-14)
  • (March 30) Shahnaz Kashanipour (Director Guest Operations)
  • (April 1st, 4th, and 6th) Micky Arison (Corporation's Chairman), 3-part interview

Company changes 2021

On June 23, 2021, CCL announced the addition of two ships to its fleet by 2023 - an EXCEL-class (2023-built Carnival Jubilee ) and Costa Magica (2004-built). The Costa boat (later changed with Luminosa) was to be drydock refitted and refurbished , Carnival-named, and to join CCL in 2022-H1.

In June, CCL signed a limited-time partnership deal with Guy Fieri's Flavortown Kitchen (delivery-only restaurant) for the signature "Straight Up Burger" (US$12). The offer was with app-food ordering (Uber Eats, Grubhub, Bite Squad, Waitr, Postmates, DoorDash) and with free delivery. Guy's Burger Joint (poolside food bar) was introduced in the CCL fleet in 2011 and by 2021 available fleetwide (on 24 liners). On each ship are daily served ~1000 burgers, or ~8 million annually - per boat!

In mid-April, CCL introduced "Carnival Edition Family Feud" (priced at US$25). The cruise-themed version of the board game includes 150 questions related to CCL and cruise travel in general.

On February 16, 2021, CCL officially launched "Carnival Monopoly" available for online purchase for USD 40. The limited-edition board game is cruise-themed (Carnival ship properties, port taxes, Cruise Director announcements).

Company changes 2020

Since January 2020, via partnership with PepsiCo Carnival's North American fleet serves various Pepsi-branded beverages, including sparkling water, energy drinks, iced teas, sodas, juices (also no-sugar and low-calorie variations), Starbucks coffee.

The list of Carnival's PepsiCo beverages includes Bubly (water), Gatorade (sports drink), Naked Juice, MTN Dew (carbonated), Pepsi, Pepsi Zero, Pure Leaf (iced teas), Sierra Mist (lemon-lime flavored), Sierra Mist Zero.

Company changes 2019

In August, CCL signed a deal with The Bahamas to build a new cruise port on Grand Bahama Island. The project (~USD 100 million) will create ~1000 jobs.

In November, CCL partnered with Uplift (travel now and pay over time platform). Instead of paying in full upon booking, Uplift Pay Monthly allows CCL's customers to pay for their cruise over time - by making monthly payments for up to 2 years (24 months). The new option allows securing the ship, stateroom and itinerary with a predetermined payment plan and monthly amounts. The new cruise payment option is available for US and Canadian residents only, for all CCL cruise destinations and through any travel agent, via Carnival.com and the company's call centers. In late-November 2019 was launched shop.carnival.com (online retail store) selling Carnival-logoed merchandise.

In May, CCL partnered with Harlem Globetrotters (exhibition basketball team) to serve as team's official cruise line sponsor, with Carnival-inspired activations taking place at 150+ shows per year. In July 2019, CCL signed a partnership with "Clean the World" - hospitality recycling organization that recycles hotel soap and amenities. CCL fleet's discarded remnants from staterooms are taken to a recycling center ashore where are sanitized, melted down and reprocessed. The newly-formed bars are not reused onboard, but distributed to vulnerable communities worldwide. As of 2019, Clean the World recycles and distributes recycled hygiene products to 127+ countries.

In April, CCL expanded the shipboard youth programming (fleetwide) via exclusive partnership with Zumbini. The company specializes in 45-min high-energy classes and activities (for kids 0-4 years-old) that combine playing, singing and dancing. Zumbini classes (created by Zumba and BabyFirst) feature group sing-alongs, using musical instruments and learning activities. CCL's Zumbini program is free of charge, led by ship's youth staff and with 2 classes (30-min each) held at Camp Ocean and other venues. The program targets Carnival Penguins (2-to-5 years old) and is available on itineraries 6-day or longer.

In March, CCL signed an exclusive partnership with Lakeland Brewing Company (Florida) to can and keg CCL own private label beers crafted by a professional brewery team on the new liners Vista and Horizon (at sea). The 3 new craft beers (ThirstyFrog Caribbean Wheat, ParchedPig West Coast IPA, ParchedPig Toasted Amber Ale) are based on unique recipes and currently available (on tap and in 16-oz cans) fleetwide and also at CCL's private port destinations. In October were added ParchedPig Pumpkin Ale and ParchedPig Beach Lager. In mid-March 2019 started construction works on the exclusive "Carnival Terminal 3"/CT3 in Port Canaveral (opened in June 2021).

In February, CCL added X-ray security 3D scanning at 9 of its North American homeports. For the project (installing a total of 91 units) was contracted "VOTI Detection" (Montreal-based company). The 3D scanners feature advanced imaging and remote diagnosis capabilities. They save the image files which (if needed) can be later re-analyzed.

Company changes 2018

In October 2018, the word "tender" (large boat used for ship-to-shore passenger transportation in ports without berthing facilities) was replaced with "water shuttle". Since Dec 1, 2018, violators of the company's shipboard smoking policy are disembarked at the next call port. Previously, they were fined USD 500 cleaning fee.

With the 3x Vista-class liners (Vista/2016, Horizon/2018, Panorama/2019) were introduced the fleet-firsts "IMAX Theater at Sea" (87-seats cinema/part of "Carnival Multiplex"), "SkyRide" (outdoor/aerial bicycle ride/suspended 2-track bike course), Havana Staterooms (cabin complex with a swimming pool, sundeck, lounge, lanai balconies).

NEW Carnival-XL ship

On November 15, 2018, was the steel-cutting ceremony for CCL's first XL-Class (largest) cruise liner. The 183900 GT-ton newbuild also features a new livery and is LNG-powered .

The shipbuilder is Meyer Werft (Turku Shipyard, Finland). The first vessel ( Carnival Mardi Gras ) is scheduled for delivery in 2021 and homeported in Port Canaveral Florida . The second liner/sistership Carnival Celebration is homeported in Miami starting in November 2022 (the year when CCL celebrated its 50th Anniversary/on March 11th).

The XL-Class design features a new (red-white-navy blue) hull and was created by the NYC -based naval architecture firm "Bluarch Architecture". The new liners have length 1130 ft (344 m) and passenger capacity 5200 (lower berths). Among the various fleet-first and industry-first innovations is The Ultimate Playground (aft on decks 18-19) - a large family-friendly outdoor play area highlighted by fleet's largest WaterWorks (aquapark) and an expanded SportSquare (sports complex with a basketball court, ropes course, jogging track, mini-golf). Also new is the "BOLT Ultimate Sea Coaster" (first at sea). The aft-located (Deck 19) BOLT was designed and built by Maurer Rides ( Munich Germany -based company) specializing in roller coaster manufacturing. The race track has length 244 m (800 ft), with twists, turns, drops and speeds up to 64 kph/40 mph. Individual speeds are posted after the race. Carnival's roller coaster is all-electric and allows 2 riders to race along in motorbike-like vehicles at height 57 m (187 ft) above the sea. The experience features breathtaking top-deck 360-degree seaviews and ends with a high-speed turn around the ship's funnel (smokestack/chimney).

XL-class cruise ship Carnival Waterworks aqua park with waterslides

(NEW) Carnival China cruise brand

In February 2015, Carnival Corporation signed an MoU with China Merchants Group for 2 joint ventures. The MoU outlined an eventual partnership that could result in a new cruise brand (joint shipowner company), as well as joint development plans for Chinese seaports and destinations.

  • MoU's joint venture port plans included the development of transit and turnaround/homeports within China. China Merchants Group (founded 1872) is a state-owned company focusing on infrastructure and transportation, also real estate development and financial services. Currently, Carnival Corporation serves the Chinese market through the brands Princess and Costa.
  • In October 2015, Carnival Corp signed an agreement with the Chinese companies SWS (Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co Ltd, a subsidiary of CSSC / China State Shipbuilding Corporation) and China Investment Corp. The USD 3,88 billion deal established the Hong Kong-based joint venture company Adora Cruises/CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping to place ship orders with SWS. The company plans to build up to 5 new vessels per year for the next 15-20 years. All ships will be China-homeported and with technical support and design plans provided by Fincantieri. SWS builds some of the world's largest container ships (capacity up to 21000 TEUs) for CSCL.

In February 2017, Carnival Corp and CSSC announced an agreement to build 2 new ships for "CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Ltd". The deal was officially signed on November 6, 2018.

  • The shipbuilding project had total value ~USD 1,5 billion, not including the options for 4 more liners. Additionally, Carnival China purchased 2 existing liners from Costa Group ( Atlantica and Mediterranea ).
  • The shipbuilder is SWS. Another joint venture - "CSSC Cruise Technology Development Co Ltd" (SWS plus Fincantieri) granted shipbuilding technology licenses and provided technical services to SWS, including supply chain and project management, components and fundamental marine systems. The new liner's design (based on Fincantieri's CCL VISTA platform) was specifically tailored for Chinese tourists.
  • First ship's delivery was scheduled for 2023, a second follows in 2024. Ship design is based on Vista-Class, with GT 85,000 tons and passenger capacity around 2800.

Carnival Cruise Line ships

CCL is best-known for implementing top-notch marine technologies, innovative vessel construction methods and ship designs. Its customers are mostly Americans, 30% of which under 35 yo, 40% - between 35-55, 30% over 55.

All CCL liners names have the prefix "Carnival", and are also trademarked "The Fun Ships". Also trademarked is the ship's funnel - colored in red-white-blue, and shaped like a whale tail. Company's vessels offer spacious public spaces and staterooms that are one of the largest at sea with a huge variety of stateroom types in several categories. Between the high-quality amenities are Carnival's terry robes and "Comfort Bed" sleep system with deluxe mattresses, linens, duvets, and pillows - Suite guests can even choose from a "pillow menu".

Carnival cruise ship top deck (Breeze, Dream, Magic)

Carnival is famous for its great cuisine and multiple dining options. The long list of dining venues includes the Main Dining Rooms (with 5-course meals), Chef's Table (ship tour and gourmet cuisine), Supper Club with steakhouse favorites (reservations-only), BlueIguana Cantina (Mexican), Sushi Bar, European-style Patisseries and Cafes, Poolside Bars, themed Kids Dining, Midnight Buffets, 24-hour Pizza and Room Service.

CCL ships provide a variety of onboard activities - from napkin-folding classes, Vegas-style revues, and gourmet and galley-kitchen tours to cool deck parties, belly-flop pool competitions, and waterslide races. Signature shipboard facilities are Seaside Theatre (outdoors), Thrill Theatre (3D Cinema), Disco Nightclub, Casino (gambling, tournaments), Stage Shows, Playlist Productions, Hasbro Game Show, Carnival Waterworks (aqua park with slides).

For those who love sports, Carnival has done a great job by creating the SportSquare with ropes SkyCourse, SkyRide and Basketball Court, also used also for Soccer and Volleyball. Since October 2016, Carnival Cruise Line ships offer bocce court activities, due to an inflatable court developed by the company Packaworld (New Zealand). The new activity was added following successful test trials (on Carnival Glory and Carnival Pride) run by American Bocce Company (USA).

Bocce (aka bocci) is a nodules sport similar to lawn bowls. However, the traditional courts are usually made of wood and sized 60x12 ft (1830x365 cm, which is a lot of space to install bocce on cruise ships. To overcome the problem, the NZ company Packaworld developed inflatable "Packabocce", making it easier to bring the game to new locations. The portable courts are sized 30x8 ft / 914x244 cm (recreation) and 22x6 ft / 670x180 cm (mini court) and can be set up in just minutes.

The portable bocce courts are also available in some of the ship's indoor public spaces (including bars). The new onboard activity is offered fleetwide, including on the Australia-based ships, where are also available giant board games (like Trivial Pursuit, Guess Who, Cranium).

SkyRide is an outdoor/aerial bicycle ride (suspended 2-track bike course) on the newest Vista-class Carnival ships. This is industry's first pedal-powered open-air bike ride in hanging bikes encircling around an 800-ft / 245-m long suspended track on the ship's top deck, allowing 360-degree panoramic views 150 ft / 46 m above sea level.

Foosball and Ping-Pong tables are available, as well as a Walking/Jogging track and Fitness Center with a separate room for Yoga, Aerobics and Pilates classes. There is also a Mini-Golf course and golf cruise packages created for keen golfers.

Carnival cruise ship mini-golf course

CCL caters for families with amazing kids programs. Kids club activities by "Camp Ocean" (children's facilities and programming) feature "Seuss at Sea" entertainment (including the "Green Eggs and Ham” Breakfast served in the MDRs once per voyage) via an exclusive partnership with Dr Seuss Enterprises LP. At the same time moms and dads are able to unwind in the many relaxation lounges and complexes: Carnival Cloud 9 Spa, Serenity Adult Retreat, themed Bars (RedFrog, BlueIguana, Alchemy, Havana, Sports), big-size Swimming Pools and Whirlpools.

Carnival cruise ship Serenity Retreat (adults-only deck)

Carnival has been spending a lot on fleetwide refurbishments and upgrades since 2007. The initiative "Evolutions of Fun" cost USD 350 million (8x Fantasy-class vessels) and included new open-deck spaces, kids- and family-themed facilities and activities, Carnival WaterWorks (aquapark with slides).

On Oct 6, 2022, was announced a new kids program via partnership with Cape Canaveral's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The new programming (Space Cruisers, hosted at Camp Ocean) is NASA-supported and debuted on Carnival Celebration in November. Space Cruisers' activities are grouped into the following programs - "Optimal Orbit" (2-8 yo) and "Design Your Own Mission Patch" and "Space Cruisers Rocket Workshop" (6-11 yo), as well as the family-friendly "Mars Base Connect" and "ASTRO!". Carnival's Space Cruisers program was implemented fleetwide by 2023-Q2.

The "Fun Ship 2.0" program (2011-launched) cost USD 500 million and added fleetwide new dining venues, redesigned staterooms, themed bars, lounges, clubs. The biggest project was the Carnival Destiny-Carnival Sunshine transformation in 2013 (USD 155 million, 49-day drydock refit).

This official YouTube video reviews DREAM-class vessels (Breeze, Dream, Magic) as facilities and amenities.

Next link is to CruiseMapper's Carnival cruise secrets, tips, and tricks . At the following link, you can compare Carnival's major rival - Royal Caribbean (fleet and review of RCI's cruising experience).

ATM (cash) machines are available onboard all Carnival ships since 2009. The service is exclusively provided by Cardtronics and available to both passengers and crew. In 2016, ATMs were also installed in ships' crew sections. Each Carnival ship has all 4 ATMs - 2 located in high-traffic passenger areas and 2 are exclusively for the crew.

Since August 2018, CCL doesn't require passengers to complete health-related questionnaires during check-in. Instead, they are asked to self-report illnesses, without answering questions on paper. At port terminals upon departure were installed health signage to remind practicing hand hygiene and reporting any illness to staff crew.

(NEW) Carnival cruise gratuities (2023)

Since 2023 (April 1st), CCL's daily gratuities per person (pp) are as follows:

  • USD 16 pp (standard staterooms - interior, oceanview, balcony, both adults and kids) - being increased from US$14,50 pp
  • USD 18 (suites) - being increased from US$16,50 pp. Suite perks (in addition to priority embarkation/debarkation in all ports, confirmed main dining room preference) also receive priority tender service, free in-cabin bottled water, 1 complimentary bag of laundry (per cruise), enhanced turndown service.
  • Cruise gratuities for children - tips don't apply to kids less than two years of age.
  • Gratuities can be prepaid. Daily gratuity is an automatic service charge added to the passenger's onboard account each day. The amount of gratuities is split between the onboard staff (dining, housekeeping, cabin stewards).

On Carnival ships departing from Australian ports tipping is not compulsory. Room Service staff tipping is also not compulsory.

On Cruises To Nowhere , the daily amount of gratuities is USD 14 pp.

Carnival Barbados deals (any itinerary visiting Bridgetown Barbados ), all gratuities are prepaid and added upon booking.

For drinks purchases, an automatic 18% gratuity is added to the bill. Charges are applied directly to the onboard account. An automatic 15% gratuity is added to "Chef's Table" (dining package) cover charge and applied directly to the onboard account.

Follows the breakdown of the gratuities on Carnival cruises (in USD, per day, per person):

  • Housekeeping staff: USD 4,05 (standard cabins) USD 5,05 (suites)
  • Dining/wait staff: USD 6,40
  • Alternative Services (kitchen, entertainment, passenger services, other hotel staff members): USD 2,50.

Carnival shipboard Wi-Fi plans

In 2017, CCL updated the cruise ship Wi-Fi service fleetwide, introducing the option to pre-purchase Internet packages online.

Starting April 19, 2017, the company offers pre-purchasing internet plans (first introduced on Carnival Fascination and Carnival Vista). The option is available via "Manage My Booking" (Carnival.com) where customers can select a package for the duration of the cruise.

Carnival's Wi-Fi plans can be purchased (at discounted rates) for either the entire voyage or for a day (24-hour period).

  • "Social Package" (costs USD 12,75 per day) offers access most popular applications and websites, including Facebook (and Facebook Messenger), Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, WhatsApp, plus the most popular airline websites. The Social plan doesn't include Snapchat, Facetime, iMessage, in-app calling or access to any other apps or websites.
  • "Value Package" (costs USD 17 per day) offers access to all websites and apps, including e-mail, news, banking, sports, weather, all social media. The Value plan doesn't support music and video streaming or Skype calls.
  • "Premium Package" (costs USD 18,70 per day) offers the fastest possible Internet connection. Depending on coverage, speeds can be up to 3 times faster compared to the "Value Package". The Premium plan includes all apps and websites, plus streaming services and Skype video calling.

Since May 2017, CCL offers a new, convenient option for fully booked passengers to select and pre-purchase Wi-Fi packages through carnival.com ("My Cruise Manager" tab). However, when purchasing W-Fi online, passengers must also pre-purchase an Internet package covering the whole voyage.

Daily Internet packages are available onboard.

  • WiFi package costs USD 12 per day, with discount price $10,25 if pre-purchased (prior deprture), 24-hour / daily rate $16.
  • Premium WiFi package costs USD 17,70 per day ($14,88 if pre-purchased), , 24-hour / daily rate $25.

Booked Carnival cruise ship passengers can upgrade from one plan to another and are also allowed to use multiple devices per plan (including the ship's onboard computers), but only on one device at a time. All the new Carnival WiFi plans do not include video streaming (Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime) and don't support WiFi Calling (voice calls via the ship's Wi-Fi network) and Facetime (Apple's videotelephony) services. Printing services on the ship are provided at no charge.

Carnival "Future Cruise" booking

In May 2017, Carnival Cruise Line started offering new incentives to customers on current voyages if they book next cruise while on the ship.

  • Cruisers are able to book a future Carnival cruise either while on the ship or within 2 weeks after the current cruise. Booking ashore can be done through travel agent or the Carnival HUB app. Onboard booking is through Loyalty and Cruise Rep. Before May 2017, passengers could only book a future cruise through onboard reps.
  • At the time of booking, passengers are entitled to the following perks: reduced deposit, 2-category cabin upgrade, 20% off "Early Saver" rates with price protection.
  • Passengers who opt to change the cruise date lose their onboard credit. That credit is forfeited in case the price drops and customers opt to rebook. Before May 2017, the amount of onboard credit offered was varying depending on itinerary's length, Now it is a flat rate of USD 25 per person (up to USD 50 per cabin) excepting suite staterooms, which receive USD 50 per person in onboard credit (up to USD 100 per cabin).
  • Travel agents are able to book their customers into a group booking with the offer.
  • Carnival's "Friends and Family" vouchers are not offered anymore. They used to allow passengers who may like to sail with you to get the same discount deal.

Carnival is the only cruise company allowing its customers to take advantage of a "Future Cruise Vacation" promo up to 2 weeks after the end of the voyage (debarkation).

In late-December 2018 was signed a contract with Speedcast (world's largest global satellite comm provider) to improve fleet's connectivity at sea. By this contract, Carnival increased fleet's bandwidth in order to provide highest-quality Internet at sea. Utilizing a total of 40 mini-satellites, Carnival now has the world's largest maritime satellite network. Specifically for Carnival, Speedcast developed the TrueBeam system, which constantly looks for weaknesses which would impact the satellite signal and instantly reroutes it to avoid interruptions. Such interruptions could be weather ("rain fade"), overcrowded networks and line-of-sight blockage.

Carnival fly-cruise deals Fly2Fun

Since 2015, Carnival offers a "flight and cruise" program (branded Fly2Fun) providing the company's potential customers with choice, convenience, and value when making flight arrangements in connection with the cruise.

Fly2Fun deals allow customizing flight reservations with different options, including the specifying preferred departure ports, flight schedules, airline/carrier, type of accommodation. Confirmations are received after making the reservation. Flights can be customized to allow pre- or post-cruise hotel stays.

  • The Fly2Fun program is operated with Carnival's "Flight Protection". It guarantees that in case of missing the cruise departure (due to aircraft mechanical or weather-related issues) Carnival will fully cover the airfare, plus all the expenses related to transportation, meals, and hotels for the booked passengers to meet the ship in the next call port of the cruise itinerary.
  • Within Carnival's flight cruise program there are 2 options available - "Restricted Air" and "Flexible Air".
  • With Flexible Air, potential Carnival customers (or travel agents) can book cruise up to 4 days prior to departure with the "Book Now-Pay Later" feature. With this option, flights payment is collected together with the cruise's final payment. There are no fees if air changes are made outside of 60 days prior to departure.
  • With "Restricted Air", flight tickets are non-refundable and due paid in full upon booking. Change fees are based on the airline's policy, once air tickets are issued.

Fly2Fun (Carnival fly-cruise deals) are bookable only via phone. After the cruise reservation is made, customers can call "1-800-CARNIVAL" to make a flight reservation.

In November 2018, Carnival partnered with American Airlines for a new exclusive fly-cruise offer.

  • Members of the airline's loyalty program (AAdvantage) can earn up to 10,000 miles on voyages. AAdvantage cardholders can earn up to 20,000 miles.
  • The deal includes Citi AAdvantage Platinum Card and Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard.
  • AAdvantage members earn 1 mile per dollar spent on Carnival cruises. AAdvantage cardholders earn 2 miles per dollar spent.
  • Miles are awarded per stateroom, but only 1 passenger per booking can earn rewards. AAdvantage cardholders must book the cruise through "American Airlines Cruises" using their card to get an additional mile per dollar spent.
  • The exclusive deal was offered on Carnival voyages November 1, 2018, through August 31, 2021.

In late-February 2020, was introduced a new Fly2Fun option - upon online booking customers now can secure the flight arrangements (Flexible Air or Restricted Air) right after completing the voyage booking. The upgraded Fly2Fun allows booked customers to select flight dates and preferred airline and receive (online) immediate confirmation.

Carnival's "Great Vacation Guarantee"

Since 2013, Carnival is the company providing industry's biggest and strongest vacation guarantee ever - "Great Vacation Guarantee". Starting with the Victory ship cruise from Miami (September 12, 2013), this new brand-building initiative allows CCL passengers to end their cruise vacation early if they aren't happy with the experience - and to receive a 110% refund in OBC. And this is not all!

  • Unhappy customers also get a free air transportation home.
  • Plus free ground transportation from the next call port.
  • Plus free hotel stays (if necessary).
  • Plus USD 100 onboard credit for a future Carnival cruise booking.
  • Booking shore excursions through Carnival is the best deal in terms of money, quality of service and guaranteed ship departure/arrival times.

The only requirement is passengers must claim their unhappiness on the ship and within the first 24 hours after boarding.

Carnival HUB app

HUB app is a free download mobile app allowing onboard chatting between Carnival passengers. The app also provides access to ship-related information. A fee of USD 5 per device per cruise is required to activate the chat feature. The other functions are at no cost.

The HUB app was last updated in June 2017 and now offers the хew features weather forecast (for each day of the itinerary), dining menus, tips info (dress code, shipboard events schedules, deck plans, ports info). App's design was also updated.

Hub app also allows checking the Sail & Sign onboard account, viewing maps, scheduled events, dining and drinking options, add favorites. On select ships via Hub app can also be purchased tours/shore excursions. The app is available for Apple and Android mobile devices.

Carnival EasyPay

"Carnival EasyPay" was introduced in June 2017. This is Carnival Cruise Line's pay-over-time program allowing customers to book a cruise and pay for it in 3 monthly installments.

  • The program (cruise ship industry's first) is designed as a hassle-free cruise payment option. It allows booked passengers' to deduct cruise payments automatically (from the credit card on file). Then the payments are applied to the current balance over a 3-month period - interest-free.
  • The customer makes the initial deposit, then the balance of the cruise is charged in 3 equal payments - taken out automatically (on the designated day) for 3 consecutive months.
  • Booked cruise passengers can either register for "Carnival EasyPay" (at carnival.com) or call.
  • Travel agents can sign up in order to process payments on behalf of their clients.

Since 2017, Carnival Cruise Line accept PayPal as digital payment method available from any device. Via PayPal, customers can securely choose their payment methods for purchases - credit card, debit card, bank account or PayPal balance.

PayPal can be used by cruise ship tourists upon making their initial deposits on the voyage or any balance due. In addition to PayPal, Carnival also accepts all major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diner's Club, MasterPass.

PayPal allows CCL customers to make online purchases more quickly and securely. PayPal can be used as a payment option for any of Carnival cruise itineraries with durations 3- to 15-days, visiting ports both USA and international ports and destinations.

(NEW) Carnival cruise passengers debarkation policy

In August 2018 the company changed its passengers' debarkation policy.

  • Only customers who exceeded duty-free allowance must complete one US Customs Declaration Form per household, including family members traveling with them and residing at the same address.
  • On the day prior debarkation, new Zone-numbered luggage tags are offered in a shipboard designated area (listed in Carnival's Debarkation Flyer). This doesn't apply to passengers who choose self-assist debarkation.
  • Passengers may pick up luggage tags with desired debarkation time (subject to availability). Each tag has to be filled out and attached to luggage. It's recommended not to disembark until your zone has been called as your luggage will not be available for pick-up.
  • Passengers who use the new luggage tag system must leave luggage outside the stateroom (in the hallway) the night before debarkation (collection between 10 pm and midnight).
  • To avoid confusion, luggage tags used during boarding must be removed, leaving just the zone-numbered tags.
  • Passengers with confiscated stuff can reclaim them starting at 6:30 am (debarkation morning) in the designated area.
  • Upon debarkation, each passenger must present Sign & Sail card for scanning by ship's security (to know when the entire cruise liner has been cleared of travelers).

Carnival ship lifeguards

In April 2017, at the Clia Cruise 360 conference in Fort Lauderdale Florida , Carnival Cruise Line's president Christine Duffy reaffirmed that the company wouldn't add onboard lifeguards to the Fun Ships soon. Mrs. Duffy stated that "the responsibility for pool safety must be with the parents onboard and our employees".

On each of the Carnival ships, there are three full-time attendants (at the waterworks facility/ aqua park with slides), which are swimming pool safety, CPR and first aid trained. Still, the safest system remains "vigilance and awareness".

  • For comparison, NCL Norwegian Cruise Line started employing certified lifeguards (on its largest vessels only) in summer 2017. NCL's lifeguards were employed fleetwide by 2018. The announcement made NCL the 3rd major cruise company with lifeguards onboard its ships - following Disney and Royal Caribbean . The onboard NCL lifeguards are stationed only at the family pools during scheduled swimming pool hours. This staff is "American Red Cross" trained and certified. NCL also offers complimentary swim vests for both adults and kids. Parents can obtain safety vests at the Lido Deck's towel station during daytime hours.
  • NCL started testing monitoring through CCTV cameras at family pools (on fleet's largest ships only) since 2015. So adding full-time lifeguards was a decision for more safety on pool decks. However, it should be known that lifeguards don't replace parental supervision and that parents (legal guardians) remain the best form for preventing onboard accidents.
  • RCI Royal Caribbean employs cruise ship lifeguards since February 2017 (by the line's "water safety program"). RCI's onboard lifeguards are dressed in special uniforms (bright red and white) and stationed at every onboard swimming pool, including at the Solarium (adults-only retreat) during the complex' opening hours.
  • Disney Cruise Line employs certified lifeguards since 2013.

In mid-October 2019, Carnival issued the following safety briefing video that outlines all the fleet's main shipboard safety regulations .

"Fun Ship Freddy" is Carnival's mascot in the shape of the company's distinctive funnel.

Former Carnival liners

All vessel names have the prefix "Carnival", and are also referred to as "Carnival Fun Ships". The first Carnival liner (second-hand vessel) was "MS Mardi Gras".

Carnival Mardi Gras cruise ship

Next, are listed Carnival ships no longer part of the company's fleet. In brackets are shown the years the vessels served CCL.

  • MS MARDI GRAS (1972-1993), the first-ever Carnival cruise ship/1961-built ocean liner ("Empress of Canada"), scrapped 2003, weight 27300 GT, passengers 1240, former names Olympic, Star of Texas, Lucky Star, Apollo, Apollon.
  • MS CARNIVALE (1975-1994), an ocean liner built in 1956 as "Empress of Britain", scrapped in 2008, weight 25500 GT, passengers 1124, former names Queen Anna Maria, Fiesta Marina, The Topaz.
  • MS FESTIVALE (1977-1996), an ocean liner built in 1961 as "RMS Transvaal Castle", scrapped 2003, weight 32700 GT, passengers 726, former names SA Vaal, Island Breeze, Big Red Boat III.
  • MS TROPICALE (1982-2001), built 1982, tonnage 36700 GT, the first newbuild Carnival liner, named after the CCL service as Costa Tropicale, Pacific Star, Ocean Dream (2008-2020/scrapped).
  • MS JUBILEE (1986-2004), 47300 GT, passengers 1490-1900 (max), sold to P&O Australia in 2004, renamed Pacific Sun, sold in 2012 to a Chinese company (serves as the gambling ship MS Henna (scrapped in 2017).
  • MS CELEBRATION (1987-2008), now Grand Celebration , Sweden-built, weight 47300 GT, passengers 1490 (max 1900), transferred to iberoCruceros, currently operated by Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line .
  • MS HOLIDAY (1985-2009, scrapped in 2021 as CMV Magellan ), Denmark-built, weight 46000 GT, passengers 1450 (max 1800), transferred to iberoCruceros, later chartered by CMV (Cruise and Maritime Voyages) .

On May 10, 2018, in Miami was officially opened Carnival's "Fleet Operations Center". The 35,000 ft2 facility allows simultaneous real-time monitoring of all ships in the fleet. The main feature is its 74 ft (22,5 m) long video wall composed of 57x LED screens. The data processed here includes itinerary information, current position, weather conditions, logistics, environmental status, guest operations. The interactive world map shows also current locations of all Carnival Corporation ships (all brands). The center is staffed 24 / 7. The Corporation also owns similar monitoring centers in Seattle and Hamburg .

(Coronavirus crisis) passenger shipping pause 2020-2021

Due to the COVID pandemic, CCL-Carnival suspended its fleet's passenger shipping operations by canceling all voyages with pre-scheduled departures in the period March 13, 2020, through July 2021.

Next are listed CCL-Carnival's first departure dates by ship/homeport - BREEZE (July 15, 2021/Galveston Texas), CELEBRATION (Nov 6, 2022/ Maiden Voyage /Transatlantic Southampton-Miami), CONQUEST (Dec 13, 2021/Miami), DREAM (Sept 19, 2021/Galveston TX), ECSTASY (March 7, 2022/Jacksonville FL), ELATION (Oct 11, 2021/Port Canaveral), FREEDOM (Oct 9, 2021/Miami), GLORY (Sept 19, 2021/NOLA New Orleans), HORIZON (July 4, 2021/Miami), LEGEND (Nov 14, 2021/Baltimore to Bermuda), LIBERTY (January 3, 2022/Port Canaveral), MAGIC (Aug 7, 2021/Port Canaveral), MARDI GRAS (July 31, 2021/Port Canaveral/ Maiden Voyage ), MIRACLE (July 27, 2021/Alaska from Seattle), PANORAMA (Aug 21, 2021/Long Beach LA), PARADISE (March 12, 2022/Tampa), PRIDE (Sept 12, 2021/Baltimore to Bahamas), RADIANCE (Dec 13, 2021/Long Beach LA), SPIRIT (March 7, 2022/Jacksonville FL/Brisbane Australia 2022-24 schedule was canceled), SPLENDOR (May 2, 2022/Alaska from Seattle/Sydney Australia 2022-24 schedule was canceled), SUNRISE (Aug 14, 2021/Miami), SUNSHINE (January 13, 2022/Charleston SC), VALOR (Nov 1, 2021/NOLA New Orleans), VISTA (July 3, 2021/Galveston Texas), JUBILEE (October 30, 2023/ Maiden Voyage /Transatlantic from Southampton to Galveston).

  • The 2020-built Mardi Gras ship's inaugural sailing (Caribbean from Port Canaveral) was rescheduled from April 24 to May 29, June 5, July 3, Oct 2.
  • Carnival Radiance (fka Carnival Victory) restarted from Long Beach (3-4-night Catalina Island and Ensenada) on December 23 (rescheduled from Nov 5th due to revised drydock plans).
  • Carnival Legend's Europe 2021 program (May 17 - October 31/Mediterranean from Barcelona) was canceled and the ship restarted on Nov 14, out of Baltimore to Bermuda.
  • Carnival Australia ships were planned to restart in 2022 on April 16 (SPLENDOR from Sydney NSW) and April 17 (SPIRIT from Brisbane QLD), but in February 2022, both programs were canceled and the ships redeployed.
  • CCL's newest boat (Carnival Celebration's Maiden Voyage) was scheduled for Nov 6, 2022 (Transatlantic from Southampton to Miami).

All affected bookings received full monetary refunds (100%), including on prepurchased through CCL packages and services. With rebooking (made by May 31, 2021), refunds were in FCC (future cruise credit) transferred to the new booking. Cruises 5-day or shorter received a full monetary refund or a 100% refund in FCC plus USD 300 in OBC (onboard credit) per stateroom. Cruises 6-day and longer received a full monetary refund or a 100% FCC plus USD 600 in OBC per stateroom. Booking cancelations prior to the final payment were penalty-free - unless the booking was on a specific promo offer with a non-refundable deposit and/or cruise fare.

IMPORTANT : In mid-June 2020, Carnival Corporation (CCL's parent company) announced that intends to sell 13 ships in FY2020 - instead of the previously expected fleet optimization planned over the next 3-5 years.

  • The list of sold for scrapping liners includes Carnival Inspiration (1996-built, age 24) and Carnival Fantasy (1990 / 30-yo). On July 23, CCL announced that Fantasy and Inspiration are sold but not to be scrapped. The same statement mentioned that the ships Fascination and Imagination move to a cold lay-up (long term no-sail) status.
  • Carnival Fascination's schedule 2020-2021 based on homeporting in San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Bridgetown (Barbados) was canceled. The ship's new homeport (Mobile AL) and itineraries in 2022 were also canceled. On September 16 was announced that Carnival Fascination is sold (to an undisclosed buyer, hopefully not for scrap).

Itinerary of Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Luminosa (former Costa ship) started an inaugural season in Australia in November 2022, based on homeporting in Brisbane Queensland .

In 2023 starts the "COSTA by CARNIVAL" cruise program (CCL and Costa Cruises) that targets CCL's North American customers. The program is based on two newbuild Costa ships - Venezia (starting in June 2023 with homeporting in NYC New York USA ) followed by Firenze (starting in May 2024 with homeporting in Long Beach/Los Angeles California USA ). Both Costa liners are CCL-managed (while operating out of the USA).

Former CCL vessels (scrapped in 2020-2022)

Carnival Fantasy (1990-built/30-year-old) and Carnival Inspiration (1996-built/24-year-old) were sold for scrap in July 2020/ Carnival Imagination (1995-built/25-year-old) was sold in August/ and later dismantled at Aliaga Turkey .

Carnival Fascination (1994-built/28-year-old) was sold in August 2020 and scrapped in February 2022 at Gadani Pakistan .

In 2022, the CCL fleet left Carnival Ecstasy (1991-built/31-year-old) and Carnival Sensation (1993-built/29-year-old).

Itinerary changes

CCL-Carnival established cruise ship operations in China via a partnership with its local subsidiary company Costa Asia (in China since 2008).

Representing 90% of CCL's American capacity, by February 2022, the fleet's USA-based homeporting operations covered the following ports and ships

  • Galveston TX : Breeze, Dream, Vista
  • Miami FL : Conquest, Freedom, Horizon, Sunrise
  • Port Canaveral FL : Mardi Gras, Elation, Magic, Liberty
  • New Orleans (Port NOLA) : Glory, Valor
  • Long Beach (Los Angeles CA) :Miracle, Panorama, Radiance
  • Baltimore MD : Legend
  • Tampa FL :Pride
  • Charleston SC : Sunshine

In summer 2025-2026 (starting May 2025) CCL homeports in LA/Long Beach three ships (Firenze, Panorama, Radiance) for 4- to 8-day roundtrip itineraries visiting destinations along the Mexican Riviera (Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan) and Baja California (Ensenada, La Paz).

Follows a review of CCL-Carnival Cruise Lines' itinerary program for 2023-2024 scheduled itineraries. For sailing dates (departures, arrivals), call ports times and cruise prices (per person) follow the ship pages listed below.

Carnival AirShip

The 128-ft (39-m) long Carnival AirShip is a painted like cruise ship dirigible. The blimp floated around Galveston and Houston (September 7-8-9, 2018) as part of a 30-day air voyage across the Southern USA. The voyage started in Nashville TN (Aug 25) and ended in Atlanta GA (Sept 26-30), visiting along the route Memphis TN (Aug 29), Dallas (Sept 1-3), Austin (Sept 4), San Antonio (Sept 5), Houston (Sept 7-9), Galveston (Sept 9), New Orleans (Sept 10), Mobile AL (Sept 13), Tampa (Sept 15), Miami (Sept 16-20), Orlando (Sept 21), Canaveral (Sept 22) and Jacksonville (Sept 23).

Carnival AirShip is part of the company's marketing campaign about homeport changes (new ship deployments) - Carnival Vista (Galveston, since September 23), Carnival Horizon , ( Miami , since September 22), Carnival Breeze ( Port Canaveral , since September 30), and Carnival Magic (Miami, since September 30).

Carnival cruises to Cuba

Carnival expanded its cruises to Cuba with an additional 23 three- to five-day itineraries to Havana in 2020 planned for 5 different liners departing from 4 US East Coast homeports - Carnival Triumph (from Fort Lauderdale ), Carnival Sunshine (from Charleston SC ), Carnival Sensation (from Miami ). Carnival Sunshine was the biggest passenger ship to ever visit Havana and the liner with the first-ever Cuba cruise from Charleston SC. The new Cuba cruises include:

  • Carnival Sunshine : 8 five-day voyages featuring Freeport and Havana departing January 6, February 3 and 17, March 2, 16 and 30, April 13 and 27, 2020.
  • Carnival Triumph-Sunrise : 8 five-day itineraries featuring an overnight in Havana and a day-long visit to Nassau departing January 11, February 8 and 22, March 7 and 21, April 4 and 18, 2020; as well as a 5-day cruise featuring an overnight in Havana and a visit to Half Moon Cay departing January 20, 2020.
  • Carnival Sensation : 4-day voyage featuring an overnight in Havana and an extended visit to Nassau departing on March 19, 2020, as well as a couple of 5-day trips with an overnight in Havana and visits to Nassau and Freeport departing February 15 and 29, 2020.

Note: According to the current Cuban law, US citizens of Cuban origin (born in Cuba) are not allowed to visit the island country (including on cruise ships). Regardless of their US citizenship status, Cuba-born Americans were denied booking on cruise itineraries visiting ports in Cuba. However, the situation changed in April 2016, after Carnival Corporation negotiated with the Cuban government to allow ships with Cuban-born passengers, as such US citizens are allowed to visit the country on USA-Cuba charter flights. The Carnival-fathom cruise line started Miami to Cuba cruises in May 2016 with the P&O UK ship Adonia (now Azamara Pursuit) . The brand was terminated in April 2017.

Alaska Airlines offers regular nonstop flights to Havana from Los Angeles (California USA). An 80-min ling JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale (Florida) to Havana costs less than USD 100. Previously, air travel from the USA to Cuba was thought charter flights only.

Carnival Journeys cruise itineraries

Since 2015, Carnival Cruise Line offers the so-called "Carnival Journeys" itineraries. These are longer than usual voyages with length ranging between 9 and 15 nights. Some are one-way (relocation cruises).

"Carnival Journeys" offer a more in-depth port of call experiences than the shorter itineraries of 7-8 nights. Among the highlights are live entertainment and exotic culinary experiences that reflect the local cuisine and cultural traditions.

The onboard "journey" experiences feature local cuisine specialties (served in the Main Dining Room), cooking demonstration, Academy of Fun (expert lectures), traditional dance performances, themed deck parties, crew connections (opportunities to connect with the ship's staff and crew). The new program "Carnival Journeys" features destinations like Hawaii, Caribbean, Mexico, Panama Canal, Europe.

Among the wide variety of offers are over cruises of up to 5 days, providing passengers with many "mini-cruise" options, including new 4- and 5-day deployments for Carnival Valor ( from Port Canaveral ) and Carnival Victory-Radiance (from Miami ). Longer Carnival Journeys visit exotic ports. Bermuda cruises depart from 7 East Coast USA homeports. The unique Panama Canal cruises on Carnival Pride leave from Tampa .

New Carnival Caribbean cruise shore excursions

Since July 2015, Carnival Cruise Line offers new shore excursions, new customized private tours and new family-friendly enhancements with complimentary beachside activities and complimentary land tours in select Caribbean ports of call. The min age requirement is 5 yo.

The new tour deals pertain to over 50 call ports in Mexico, Hawaii, Bahamas, Caribbean, Canada New England, South America.

  • Cozumel (La Casa en la Playa) 5-hour tour offers luxury limited to 30 participants who have access to a beach house for the day with 5-star service provided by the wait staff and personal chef. They also can learn Mexican cooking, making Margaritas and mojitos.
  • Cozumel ("Photo Safari and Beach Expedition') is a 2-days tour starting with a 1-hour photo seminar on the cruise ship. On the next day, the tour continues with visiting a national park and beaches.
  • Ocho Rios ("Eat, Drink and Dance') is a food-themed tour about Jamaica's culture, music, and food. After food tasting at jerk hut, passengers enjoy dining at Miss T's Kitchen. Follows a visit to a beach bar (where mixologists create rum cocktails), then ends with reggae dance lessons.
  • Ocho Rios ("Jamaican Home for the Day') is a day-long tour on which cruise passengers enjoy their own Jamaican home, with included home-cooked lunch.
  • Charlotte Amalie / St Thomas Island USVI ("Eat, Drink and Walk") is a walking tour starting with a bus-drive to StPeter Mountain Great House and Botanical Gardens. Passengers can try 24 different local rums and learn how to make banana daiquiri and local food.

CCL also offers new "family-friendly" cruise shore excursions in the Bahamas, Mexico, and the Caribbean. On these tours, kids aged 5 and under receive complimentary beach excursions if their parents book the excursion.

  • Freeport Bahamas ("Family Beach Escape') tour starts with a bus ride to a beach resort, where kids enjoy treasure hunts, face-painting, sandcastle-making competitions, and other supervised outdoor activities. Lunch is included.
  • Cozumel ("Island Beach Escape for Families by Power Catamaran') tour starts with a power catamaran ride to Passion Island and its white-sand beaches and resort facilities. Adults enjoy water trampolines, pedal boats, beach volleyball, while kids play is a dedicated beachside playground. A Mexican-style buffet is included.
  • Nassau Bahamas ("Family Treasure Hunt with Lunch at Blue Lagoon') - discover hidden treasures, answer trivia questions, win Pirate's Bounty. Grilled lunch at Blue Lagoon Island is included.
  • Montego Bay Jamaica ("All Inclusive Family Beach Resort Getaway') tour is at Seawinds Beach Club and includes live entertainment and complimentary buffet lunch.

Carnival offers private tours via motor coaches, yachts, and helicopters. These excursions are all guided by experienced locals. Carnival ships have a new tour dispatch system, from where tours depart as local operators board the ship to meet the participants.

All new cruisetour offers complement CCL's "Shore Excursion Best Price Guarantee" providing a 110% refund in OBC/onboard credit if passengers find a better price on similar land tour deals. Each Fun Ship also has a dedicated "shore excursion desk" with experienced staff to answer any questions and to recommend particular tours. The company's tour section was revamped with enhanced navigation, more videos, and photos, online reservations, guest-written tour reviews.

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The 5 best destinations you can visit on a Carnival Cruise Line ship

Gene Sloan

Some cruise lines offer voyages to every corner of the world. Others are more focused on where they operate.

Carnival Cruise Line , one of the world's largest cruise brands, is firmly in the second category.

Carnival is all about relatively short, affordable cruises from U.S. ports. You'll find at least one of its ships sailing out of pretty much every major port city around the country, but it's rare to find them based anywhere else.

For more cruise guides, news and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter.

Catering heavily to budget travelers who reach its ships by car, Carnival only rarely offers voyages in Europe, Asia and South America — destinations that are much more integral to the schedules of such rival lines as Royal Caribbean , Princess Cruises and Holland America .

However, Carnival is the undisputed leader in cruises out of U.S. ports to the Caribbean and Bahamas, with a wide range of sailings to the regions from ports on the East Coast and along the Gulf of Mexico.

Some of Carnival's East Coast-based ships also sail to Bermuda, New England and Canada. For Carnival ships based on the West Coast, sailings to Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska are the norm.

Carnival also offers some Panama Canal voyages.

Related: The ultimate guide to Carnival Cruise Line

The overarching idea for Carnival's ship deployments is that a large percentage of the U.S. population can reach one of the line's ships by car, saving the cost of flights. For that reason, it takes a much broader approach to ship deployments around the U.S. than other lines.

Carnival's biggest operations are out of PortMiami and Port Canaveral in Florida; Galveston, Texas; Long Beach, California; and New Orleans — all major cruise hubs. You'll also find Carnival ships in secondary cruise ship ports such as Baltimore; Charleston, South Carolina; Mobile, Alabama; and Jacksonville, Florida.

For the most part, Carnival ships sail relatively short voyages of three to eight nights.

Here's our take on the five best places Carnival sails.

The Caribbean and Bahamas

carnival cruise lines 5 day cruises

Carnival is, quite simply, the king of Caribbean and Bahamas cruises. If you're looking for a quick, easy and — perhaps most importantly — very affordable cruise getaway to the region, Carnival is your line.

Carnival currently has 19 of its 25 ships scheduled to sail to the Caribbean and the Bahamas for at least part of the coming year, including its newest and biggest ships, the 5,282-passenger Mardi Gras and sister vessel Carnival Celebration .

To put that in perspective, that's more ships than exist in the entire fleet of Norwegian Cruise Line , which itself is a major player in Caribbean cruises.

Carnival offers a broad range of Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries from no fewer than 11 U.S. ports.

If you're looking for something short, the line has you covered in the form of quick three- to five-night trips to the Caribbean and the Bahamas from Florida ports such as Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville and Port Canaveral, as well as from Mobile, Alabama; New Orleans; and Galveston, Texas.

Related: The 8 types of Carnival ships, explained

From the Eastern ports, these itineraries often focus on stops in the Bahamas and Grand Turk Island. From the Gulf ports, they often focus heavily on the ports of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, including Cozumel and Progreso.

Carnival is also big in the market for six- to eight-night sailings to Caribbean and Bahamas ports, which break down into three broad categories:

  • Eastern Caribbean voyages
  • Western Caribbean voyages
  • Southern Caribbean voyages

A typical seven-night Carnival sailing to the Eastern Caribbean includes stops in San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; and Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos.

However, each of Carnival's six- to eight-night Eastern Caribbean itineraries is a little different. There are typically three and sometimes four calls on these Eastern Caribbean cruises.

Carnival's six- to eight-night Western Caribbean voyages will typically include three or four stops in some mix of the following destinations: Mexico (Cozumel and Costa Maya), Honduras, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Belize.

The line's Southern Caribbean itineraries — typically eight nights in length — will often bring visits to Aruba and Curaçao, as well as one or more northerly Caribbean ports such as Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic.

Carnival also offers a handful of longer, 10- to 14-night sailings in the Caribbean, but not many.

Related: The best Caribbean cruises for every type of traveler

The Mexican Riviera

carnival cruise lines 5 day cruises

Carnival is one of the leaders in cruises to the Mexican Riviera — the string of resort towns running down the west coast of Mexico.

Carnival operates cruises to the west coast of Mexico out of the California ports of Long Beach and San Francisco, with Long Beach being its main West Coast hub.

Notably, Carnival is the only cruise line to base ships in Long Beach year-round for voyages to Mexico. One of the line's newest vessels, the 4,008-passenger Carnival Panorama , is based year-round in Long Beach for seven-night Mexican Riviera voyages. The smaller, 2,764-passenger Carnival Radiance operates three- and four-night trips out of Long Beach year-round to Mexico.

A third Carnival ship, the 2,124-passenger Carnival Miracle, operates four- and five-night sailings to Mexico out of Long Beach on a seasonal basis during the winter and also offers some Mexican Riviera cruises out of San Francisco.

In addition, a fourth Carnival ship — the not-yet-in-the-fleet Carnival Firenze — will begin sailing four- and five-night cruises to Mexico out of Los Angeles in May 2024.

The typical seven-night Carnival voyage to the Mexican Riviera brings stops in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta.

Three- and four-night Carnival trips to the west coast of Mexico typically only feature a single Mexico call in Ensenada and, at times, a stop at Catalina Island off the coast of California.

Related: Everything you want to know about cabins and suites on Carnival ships

carnival cruise lines 5 day cruises

Carnival isn't the biggest player in Alaska cruises. The giants of cruising to Alaska are Princess Cruises and Holland America , which are sister lines to Carnival that control a large percentage of the market. Still, Carnival has sent more vessels to Alaska in recent years than in the past, and for 2023, it has three ships sailing to the destination.

Carnival's fun-focused, affordable ships are a popular pick with families looking to visit Alaska during the short Alaska cruise season, which lasts roughly from May to September.

For 2023, Carnival has deployed the following ships to the Alaska market:

  • Carnival Luminosa: The 14-year-old vessel is mostly operating seven-night voyages to Alaska round-trip out of Seattle. Most departures feature calls at Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska; and Victoria, British Columbia. It also visits the Tracy Arm fjord in Alaska for glacier viewing. A few sailings have a slightly different line-up of ports.
  • Carnival Miracle: The 19-year-old vessel mostly operates 10-night voyages to Alaska round-trip out of San Francisco. It calls at Skagway, Juneau, Icy Strait Point in Alaska; and Victoria, British Columbia. It also visits Tracy Arm for glacier viewing.
  • Carnival Spirit: The 22-year-old vessel operates seven-night voyages to Alaska round-trip from Seattle. It calls at Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska; and Victoria, British Columbia. It also visits Tracy Arm for glacier viewing.

Unlike some lines such as Princess, Holland America and Royal Caribbean, Carnival does not offer Alaska "cruise tours" that combine an Alaska cruise with multiple days of overland touring.

Related: How to find the right Alaska cruise for you

carnival cruise lines 5 day cruises

At least a couple of Carnival ships typically sail to Bermuda every year between May and October.

While the line doesn't offer a huge number of Bermuda departures, it usually operates Bermuda trips out of at least three ports every year: New York, Baltimore and Norfolk, Virginia.

Most of the sailings are six nights in length and include two days in Bermuda. The line also typically offers a few shorter four- and five-night Bermuda sailings and, occasionally, a longer seven-night Bermuda sailing.

Note that the shorter Bermuda sailings can offer very little time in the country, sometimes as little as eight hours.

For 2023, Carnival is offering sailings to Bermuda on three ships: the 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic, the 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend and the 4,208-passenger Carnival Venezia . The latter ship is a Costa Cruises vessel that Carnival began operating in May 2023 . Costa is a sister line to Carnival with similarly designed ships.

Related: Does a short cruise to Bermuda make sense?

carnival cruise lines 5 day cruises

Carnival may be all about cruises from U.S. ports. However, not all its vessels always are based in North America.

In what might seem an unusual diversion for a line known for short, easy-to-reach, affordable voyages for Americans, Carnival, in recent years, has deployed two of its vessels to Australia to operate trips from Sydney and Brisbane.

The two ships — most recently the 2,260-passenger Carnival Luminosa and 3,012-passenger Carnival Splendor — typically operate a mix of three- to 10-night sailings along the Australian coast and to New Zealand.

Carnival's Australia trips, notably, aren't really aimed at Americans. They're aimed at Australians. A few years ago, Carnival discovered that Australians love the sort of fun-focused, affordable cruises it offers just as much as Americans, and it set out to build a business in Australia catering to them.

That doesn't mean an American can't book one of the trips.

The typical Carnival cruise along the coast of Australia includes stops at Airlie Beach, Cairns and Willis Island. Some longer Australia voyages add in stops at Port Douglas or Moreton Island.

Shorter Australia voyages might include a stop at just one of the above destinations or even no stops at all — a so-called "cruise to nowhere."

Related: The ultimate guide to Carnival's VIFP loyalty program

Bottom line

Carnival focuses heavily on cruises in North America.

If you're looking for a voyage to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda or the west coast of Mexico, you'll find an unparalleled array of choices from Carnival.

If a cruise vacation in Europe, Asia or South America is what you're after, you probably should focus on another line.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

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  • A quick guide to the most popular cruise lines
  • 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
  • 15 ways cruisers waste money
  • 15 best cruises for people who never want to grow up
  • What to pack for your first cruise
  • Cruise From
  • New-Orleans

New Orleans, LA

carnival cruise lines 5 day cruises

  • Carnival Glory
  • Carnival Liberty
  • Carnival Spirit
  • Carnival Valor

* Coming Soon

carnival cruise lines 5 day cruises

  • Things To Do

A Carnival cruise from New Orleans is your chance to discover the unmistakable charm and flavor of the Crescent City. Before or after you cruise, take a little time to explore the French Quarter — romantic as ever, with restaurants serving up heaping helpings of savory Creole cuisine, and nightclubs and street musicians playing the kind of jazz that gets your toes tapping. The best part is, you can soak up some of this flavor before sailing on one of our cruises out of New Orleans.  Whether you’re whooping it up on Bourbon Street, listening to the Jackson Square trumpeters, or hearing the ghosts whisper at eerie St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, spending extra time in the Big Easy is a must when cruising from New Orleans. Time your NOLA cruise right, and you can step out with the parades of Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras.

  • Eat, drink, and revel in the lively French Quarter.
  • Spot mansions peeking out from lush greenery in the Garden District.
  • Dunk sugary beignets in your café au lait at Café du Monde.
  • Celebrate the history of Mardi Gras before you cruise from New Orleans.

Things to do in New Orleans

See it all from new orleans..

* Taxes, fees, and port expenses are additional per person.

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carnival cruise lines 5 day cruises

Carnival Panorama

A member of Carnival Cruise Line's Vista class, the Carnival Panorama debuted in December 2019 as the first new Carnival ship homeported on the West Coast in 20 years. With a capacity of 4,008 guests and 1,450 crew, Panorama is one of Carnival's largest ships.

Among the ship's standout amenities is the Sky Zone – a trampoline park that offers dodgeball and basketball games, toddler bounce sessions and more. Other unique Carnival amenities found on the ship include a suspended bicycle in the air called SkyRide, a sprawling water park, the Cloud 9 Spa and an open-air recreation area and ropes course.

Dining options on board are just as diverse. In fact, there are more than a dozen dining venues aboard Carnival Panorama, including multiple Guy Fieri eateries, a sushi restaurant, a steakhouse, a seafood eatery and more.

Carnival Panorama offers the line's typical range of accommodation classes (Interior, Ocean View, Balcony and Suite) along with Family Harbor and Havana staterooms and suites. Havana Cabana Suites feature rain showers and patios equipped with hammock chairs, along with exclusive access to the Havana Bar & Pool. Meanwhile, Family Harbor accommodations are located next to the ship's Family Harbor Lounge and afford guests special perks, such as a free evening of babysitting and complimentary kids meals in the onboard specialty restaurants.

Sailing from Los Angeles , the ship cruises to destinations in Mexico, including Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas . It also departs from Singapore for transpacific voyages. 

carnival cruise lines 5 day cruises

Carnival Radiance

Carnival Radiance (previously Carnival Victory) set sail in December 2021 after a full transformation. The ship, which holds 2,984 guests and 1,108 crew members, boasts plenty of fun indoors and outdoors for cruisers of all ages.

Carnival Radiance features a ropes course, waterslides, a mini-golf course, dive-in movies in the evening and a sports area for activities like soccer, basketball, volleyball and boxing. The ship also offers a kids club for youths ages 2 to 17. The pool is surrounded by lounge chairs – perfect for relaxing – and those seeking additional quiet space can spend some time at the Serenity Adult-Only Retreat. Inside, the spa, the piano bar, the comedy club and the performance event venue, which features musicals, concerts and more, round out some of Carnival Radiance's most popular offerings. Dining options (14 eateries in total, including a Chef's Table experience) abound on this ship as well: Cruisers can enjoy casual fare at Big Chicken or Guy's Burger Joint, or sit down for a more upscale meal at Cucina del Capitano, Bonsai Sushi or the Steakhouse.

Staterooms aboard the ship include Interior (porthole and picture window choices are available), Ocean View, Balcony and Suite category options. Carnival Radiance sets sail from Los Angeles to destinations in Hawaii and Mexico .

carnival cruise lines 5 day cruises

Carnival Mardi Gras

There's a good reason why Carnival named one of its newest ships Mardi Gras. The ship – which launched in July 2021 – is not only named after the first Carnival ship that entered service in 1972, but also features amenities and activities that keep guests entertained and the atmosphere energized. Carnival designed the ship with six different zones, each with a unique flair. Kids can play all day in the Ultimate Playground, which features WaterWorks (the onboard water park), SkyCourse (a ropes course) and Bolt: Ultimate Sea Coaster, an onboard roller coaster that travels up to 40 mph. Meanwhile, adults can take advantage of Lido, where the RedFrog Tiki Bar flanks one of the ship's pools. Additional activities include a comedy club, a casino, Family Feud Live (yes – it looks like the famous show's set) and a spa.

As you might expect from its large-scale amenities, Mardi Gras is sizeable: It accommodates up to 6,465 passengers and 1,745 crew members. To keep up with demand, the ship offers close to 20 different dining venues serving everything from sushi to burgers to fried chicken. When travelers need refreshments or a nightcap, they can visit one of seven bars and lounges.

Following a full day of fun, cruisers will need a quiet retreat to rest their heads. Staterooms feature Carnival Comfort Collection linens, TVs and a dedicated room steward. Upgraded rooms may include perks like exclusive access to ship amenities, bottles of water, in-room coffee makers and priority check-in and disembarkation. Rooms range in size from 158 square feet for interior staterooms to the massive 1,120-square-foot Carnival Excel Presidential Suite.

Catch Mardi Gras in Caribbean locales like San Juan, Puerto Rico ; Cozumel and Grand Turk .

U.S. News Insider Tip: To dine at Bonsai Teppanyaki (available on Celebration , Horizon , Panorama , Venezia and Mardi Gras), make your reservation as soon as possible. The restaurant only seats 16 people at a time, so reservations go fast. –  Karon Warren , Contributor  

carnival cruise lines 5 day cruises

Carnival Horizon

Carnival Horizon – which set sail in April 2018 – accommodates 3,960 passengers and 1,450 crew members. The ship offers a plethora of amenities for travelers of all ages. Children can ride the SkyRide suspended bike, play at the Dr. Seuss-themed water park and climb the ropes course, while parents can lounge on an adults-only deck and pamper themselves at the Cloud 9 Spa. At night, the whole family can enjoy live performances.

Onboard dining options are also plentiful, with 11 eateries that serve everything from steaks to Italian classics to burgers. Carnival Horizon was the first in Carnival's fleet to offer a teppanyaki-style restaurant and Guy Fieri's Pig & Anchor Smokehouse and Brewhouse. 

The ship has a variety of cabins for passengers to choose from, ranging from budget-friendly Interior staterooms to specialty suites with spa, nautical and Havana themes. Each comes with modern conveniences like a minibar, a flat-screen TV and a Carnival Comfort bed.

Carnival Horizon departs from  Miami  for voyages throughout the Caribbean. 

carnival cruise lines 5 day cruises

Carnival Celebration

Carnival Celebration debuted in early November 2022 and boasts a Las Vegas -style theater, a casino, an arcade, a saltwater pool and a top-of-the-line rooftop rollercoaster – the first one of its kind at sea. Complete with six separate zones to explore, including a summer-themed zone and a playground-themed zone, the 1,130-foot-long cruise ship has something for everyone. Celebration can hold up to 5,374 passengers and 1,735 crew members, and it features more than 20 dining venues, including a barbecue smokehouse and a full-service sushi restaurant.

Staterooms are comfortable with plush bedding, vanity mirrors and built-in reading lights, but for additional perks, guests can opt for a room with a balcony or ocean views. If you don't mind splurging a little, the Carnival Excel Suite offers upgrades like concierge service and complimentary admission to Loft 19, the ship's exclusive lounge fitted with infinity whirlpools and shaded cabanas.

Carnival Celebration explores an array of picturesque destinations, including Cozumel, Mexico ; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Maarten and more. It sails out of Miami . 

carnival cruise lines 5 day cruises

Carnival Miracle

Like other Carnival ships, the 2,124-passenger Carnival Miracle boasts activities and entertainment geared toward travelers of all ages. Thanks to a renovation in 2020, the ship features upgrades like Guy's Burger Joint, WaterWorks, RedFrog Rum Bar, BlueIguana Cantina and more. The ship also received a minor refresh to interior and exterior spaces in 2022. 

Even with the added venues, a nearly 2-to-1 guest-to-crew ratio ensures service is a priority. And compared to other Carnival ships, Miracle offers a higher percentage of cabins with ocean views. While Interior staterooms provide more wallet-friendly digs, Ocean View, Balcony and Suite category cabins offer more space and scenery. All cabins come equipped with flat-screen TVs and 24-hour room service.

During days at sea, grown-ups can enjoy poolside lounging or the adults-only Serenity Retreat, while kids ages 2 to 17 can play at age-specific programs.  There are also entertainment options like the Punchliner Comedy Club, the SkyBox Sports Bar and the Seuss at Sea program. Once the family works up an appetite, they'll have their pick of the main dining room, the Lido buffet, a specialty steakhouse (for an extra fee) and more.

Carnival Miracle departs from Galveston, Texas ;  Los Angeles  and  San Francisco  to destinations in the Caribbean, the Panama Canal,  Hawaii , Mexico , and Alaska . 

carnival cruise lines 5 day cruises

Carnival Luminosa

Formerly a Costa Cruises  ship, Luminosa joined the Carnival fleet in November 2022. This 2,260-passenger, 926-crew member cruise ship includes highlights such as a casino, a spa, an adults-only retreat and a comedy club.

There are plenty of ways to occupy your time on board, from deck parties and art seminars to karaoke and martini tastings. Plus, Luminosa offers a slew of amenities geared toward kids, including story time, supervised camps, a video arcade and a teens-only hangout space. When hunger strikes, this Carnival cruise ship offers around 10 eateries serving staples like sushi, steak and pizza.

Interior staterooms come equipped with a flat-screen TV, climate control, an in-room safe and a dedicated stateroom attendant. If you'd prefer accommodations with windows, consider upgrading to an ocean-view room or a cabin with a balcony. Guests seeking even more luxury can opt for a suite, which features exclusive perks like priority check-in; boarding and dining assignments; bathrobes and a pillow-top mattress. Cruisers looking for extra relaxation should consider a Cloud 9 Spa stateroom or suite, which includes a welcome ritual, two complimentary fitness classes, unlimited use of the thermal suites and hydrotherapy pool, priority spa reservations and more.

Carnival Luminosa departs from Seattle, Washington , and the Australian cities of Brisbane and Sydney . It sails to destinations in Alaska and the South Pacific, among others.

carnival cruise lines 5 day cruises

Carnival Breeze

The 3,690-passenger Carnival Breeze was introduced in 2012 and last updated in 2017. On board, cruisers will find outdoor activities like a water park and a SportsSquare with games like mini-golf, as well as supervised (and free) age-appropriate programs for kids and teens. While the younger passengers play, adults can relax at the adults-only Serenity retreat, get treatments at the Cloud 9 Spa and sip cocktails at one of the ship's bars. 

As far as dining goes, cruisers can choose between several food options, including sushi, Indian, 24/7 pizza and more. Guy's Burger Joint and Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, in partnership with celebrity chef Guy Fieri, are passenger favorites. Nighttime entertainment ranges from karaoke to shows at the Punchliner Comedy Club.

Carnival Breeze offers a variety of cabin categories, all of which include flat-screen TVs and 24-hour room service. The ship maintains a nearly 1-to-3 crew-to-guest ratio. While some recent cruisers appreciated the family atmosphere, others were disappointed by long lines and wait times during dinner service. 

Carnival Breeze cruises to the Caribbean from Galveston, Texas . 

carnival cruise lines 5 day cruises

Carnival Conquest

Last revamped in 2022, Carnival Conquest features cosmetic enhancements to select staterooms, as well as upgrades like new carpeting and lighting in public areas. Still, some felt Conquest showed its age despite these upgrades and could use a more major refurbishment. The ship appeals to a wide range of travelers and budgets, with amenities like Seuss at Sea, The Punchliner Comedy Club and the Alchemy Bar. It also includes "Fun Ship 2.0" features like Guy's Burger Joint and an outdoor movie theater, as well as signature bars BlueIguana Tequila Bar and RedFrog Rum Bar.

The ship carries 2,980 passengers and 1,150 crew members. Accommodations, ranging from Interior staterooms to Grand Suites, offer standard amenities such as flat-screen TVs and 24-hour room service. Those looking for more space should consider splurging on a Suite category room, which includes a large balcony, a walk-in closet and a whirlpool tub. 

Along with signature line amenities, including a full-service spa, a casino and an expansive pool deck, the ship provides supervised programs and entertainment for cruisers ages 2 to 17, with various activities geared toward specific age groups. 

Conquest departs from Miami  for sailings in the Bahamas , the Caribbean and the Panama Canal.

carnival cruise lines 5 day cruises

Carnival Vista

Introduced in mid-2016, Carnival Vista welcomes up to 3,934 passengers and 1,450 crew members. The ship offers unique dining, entertainment and cabin options not found on other ships in the fleet. In addition to staples like kids clubs, an adults-only retreat and a waterpark, new activities include the SkyRide suspended bike course, the first IMAX theater at sea and a Dr. Seuss-inspired library. The ship's next refurbishment is scheduled for early 2024. 

Recent passengers were most impressed with the accommodations. Typical cabin categories (Interior, Ocean View, Balcony and Suite) are available, but cruisers recommend splurging on the Family Harbor or Havana staterooms and suites. Those who select Family Harbor cabins receive exclusive 24-hour lounge access with free breakfast and kid-friendly movies and games. Plus, children staying in these rooms enjoy free meals at most specialty restaurants and a free night of babysitting. Havana category rooms cater to adults, with access to a private bar and pool, as well as extra-large outdoor spaces and rainfall showers in suites. 

Dining options are just as diverse. While the Lido buffet offers everything from pasta to stir-fry to salad, other complimentary venues include BlueIguana Cantina and Guy's Burger Joint. A number of specialty restaurants are also available for an extra fee, such as JiJi Asian Kitchen and Cucina del Capitano.  

Carnival Vista departs from Galveston  and Orlando for sailings in the Bahamas and the Caribbean. 

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Answered: How Much Does a Carnival Cruise Cost?

When it comes to cruising, Carnival Cruise Line is among the lowest-priced options in the industry. Whether you’re wanting a quick getaway or you want to go on a longer trip, you’ll find that the cruise line has some of the best fares you’ll find.

Carnival ship sailing from Miami

So how much does a Carnival cruise cost? What you’ll pay will vary widely depending on the specifics of your cruise. Cruise for a week on the newest ship in the fleet? Obviously, you should expect to pay more than a quick 3-day getaway on an older ship.

Even so, we have some data on what you can expect to pay no matter which cruise you select to give you a better idea of what you’ll pay to sail with Carnival.

What Goes Into the Cost to Cruise With Carnival

Before we get into the actual prices that you will pay, it’s helpful to understand what goes into the price of your cruise. These factors can drastically alter what you pay by hundreds of even thousands of dollars.

Of course, the type of cabin that you sail on Carnival will have a big impact on what you pay. Interior cabins — which sit on the inside of the ship and have no windows — are the least expensive rooms that you will find. From there, the prices rise for oceanview, balcony rooms, and suites. So you can pay thousands more for the exact same cruise if you sail in the nicest rooms compared to the least expensive.

But Carnival has more than four different room options. Newer ships have a number of special cabin types like Cloud 9 cabins (near the spa) and Havana staterooms. These rooms will have special décor and features like access to exclusive areas such as private pools. They will also carry a higher price tag.

Just like cabins, cruise ships will also see different costs. As a rule of thumb, the newer the ship, the higher the price you can expect to pay. However, that doesn’t mean every trip aboard that newer ship will be more expensive than every trip on an older one.

Still, in general, if you’re wanting to sail on the newest ships that also have the most to do, then expect to pay a bit more.

For example, take a July 2023 cruise aboard Carnival Celebration (the line’s newest ship) from Miami. Here, the cruise fare for a six-day trip in an interior cabin runs $759 per person. 

A trip 6-day trip aboard Carnival Horizon (a ship built in 2017), leaving the same time of year from the exact same port costs $679 per person for an interior cabin — or about $80 less.

Time of Year

Finally, the last major factor in what you’ll pay to cruise on Carnival is the time of year you sail. The same trip departing at different points of the year will have drastically different prices.

The easy rule of thumb is that Carnival’s prices are cheaper when school is in session and more expensive during breaks in the school year. As a family-oriented cruise line, more demand when school is out means higher prices.

Let’s take that same trip aboard Carnival Celebration that departs for six days. If you sail in July, then the cost for an interior cabin starts at $759 per person. But the exact same itinerary costs just $449 per person if sailing in September. That’s $310 per person less.

Other Costs to Consider

carnival cruise lines 5 day cruises

While the cost of your cruise will vary widely based on the ship, time of year, and the cabin you choose, there are also some more costs that you should keep in mind. These costs won’t vary as much from cruise to cruise, but they still impact your bottom line.

Port Fees/Taxes

One considerable expense on your cruise will be the fees and taxes that are tacked onto the cruise fare. These will vary based on the cost of your trip and also the ports you sail from and visit. However, for most cruises they run between $100-$200 per person. Unfortunately, there isn’t any way that you can avoid these fees; they are added in with your cruise fare that you pay.

Onboard Spending

One area that you do have a lot of power over what you spend is with onboard spending. This category includes everything from drinks onboard to casino gambling to spa services and more. Technically you could sail the entire cruise and not spend a dime on the ship, but that’s not realistic for most people. Still, what’s spent on the ship will vary widely from person to person. On average, Carnival Corporation (the parent of Carnival Cruise Line, Princess and others) reports that a passenger spends about $100 per person, per day on their ships.

In cruising, gratuities are a fact of life. Yes, technically they are optional in that you can go down to Guest Services and have them removed from you account if there is a problem with service. However, for the vast majority of people, the gratuity charges — which go to people like the waitstaff and your room steward — are just a fact of life. Carnival charges $14.50 per person per day for gratuities on its trips ($16.50 per person per day for suites).

Getting to Port

Finally, don’t forget to factor in the cost it takes to get to port to set sail on your cruise. If you are flying in, then you’ll have to purchase airfare, plus a hotel if flying in the night before. As well, don’t forget to factor in transportation to the cruise port. Driving in for your cruise? It’s definitely more convenient, but don’t forget that you’ll have to pay for parking while you’re gone.

With all these items in mind, what can you expect to pay to sail on Carnival? We have a cost breakdown below…

What You Can Expect to Pay to Sail Carnival

As mentioned, your cost to sail on Carnival (or any cruise line) can vary widely based on your trip specifics. That’s why we’ve broken down the cost to sail on Carnival into three different categories — a budget cruise, an average cruise, and a high-end trip. This will give you a better idea of what you’ll pay based on your specifics.

Cost of a Budget Cruise on Carnival

For a budget cruise, we assume you are taking a cruise during the off-season for 3-5 days and staying in an interior cabin on an older ship. This gets you on the ship and having a fun vacation for a more affordable price than what many will spend.

One example cruise we found a 4-day cruise aboard Carnival Radiance , departing Long Beach in late February . It offers the following pricing for an interior cabin and is a good representation of what you can expect when looking for an inexpensive cruise aboard Carnival:

Keep in mind this estimate doesn’t include your transportation to the port. But it gives you a good idea of what you’d spend to cruise on a budget. Here, the cost works out to about $140 per person, per day with all the costs included.

Cost of an Average Cruise on Carnival

While there is no such thing as an “average” cruise given all the variables, for this mid-tier vacation, we’re assuming a 7-day trip in a balcony cabin aboard a newer (but not the newest) ship in the fleet during the summer. As well, we assume that you spend a little more on board than someone would on a budget vacation.

The pricing below is for a 7-day cruise aboard Carnival Vista in a balcony cabin , sailing from Galveston in April .

Here with the upgrade to the balcony cabin, a longer cruise, and a newer ship, you can see that the cost of the cruise jumps considerably. But one thing to keep in mind is that a large portion of this estimate is onboard spending where you have the most control over what you’ll spend.

Cost of a High-End Cruise on Carnival

Finally, let’s consider what you’d pay for a high-end cruise on Carnival. Here, we are assuming a passenger staying in a suite aboard the newest ship and sailing at the peak of the summer season. As well, we assume a higher level of onboard spending on things like drinks, specialty restaurants and the spa.

The pricing below is for a 7-day cruise aboard Carnival Celebration in a suite cabin , leaving in July from Miami .

Here, the price jumps considerably with a new ship, higher-tier cabin, and sailing in the peak of the summer season. For that more luxurious experience, you end up paying about $425 per person, per day.

How Much Does a Carnival Cruise Cost?

As you can see, there is no set cost on what you can pay to cruise. Want to cruise for cheap and only spend a few hundred per person? That’s possible. Want to go all out, stay in the nicest cabins on the newest ships? It will cost considerably more.

In general, however, we think you’re best off estimating around $200-$300 per person, per day for a cruise on Carnival when all expenses are factored in.

In fact, in public investment filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Carnival Corporation (which encompasses Carnival and other cruise lines) shows an average cruise fare per day of around $150 per person and average onboard spending of around $100 per day — for a total of roughly $250 per day.

But it should be clear that what you pay can vary widely around that average depending on the sort of cruise you want to take.

What about sales on Carnival?

Head to the Carnival website, and you’ll no doubt see that they are running a special sale. That’s because these sales go year-round. And while they might be tweaked occasionally, it usually doesn’t lead to big swings in the price for the cruise. So it’s unlikely that you’ll look one day and see a price that’s drastically less (or more) than the day before.

That said, yes, occasionally there are special offers or prices — especially if you’re a VIFP member (Carnival’s loyalty program) with high status. But in general, we suggest not letting sale offers dictate when you decide to buy.

What about the cost of third or fourth passengers?

Sailing with a family? Then the pricing gets a little different. Above, we’ve accounted for two passengers in the cabin. In that case, both passengers pay the same cruise fare. Add a third or fourth person to the room and it’s slightly different.

In this case, the fare for the third person is drastically reduced — sometimes up to 70-80% the fare paid by the first two passengers. Still, they will have to pay the full share of port fees and gratuities.

Even so, sailing with a third or fourth passengers is among the best deals in travel.

More on Sailing Carnival:

  • 47 Best Carnival Cruise Line Tips & Tricks
  • Complete Guide to Sailing Carnival Cruise Line (What It’s Like)
  • Worth It? 15+ Questions & Answers About the Carnival CHEERS! Package

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Compare the 6+ day cruises to the 5- day cruises

By FiremedicMike151 , June 27, 2023 in Carnival Cruise Lines

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Cool Cruiser

FiremedicMike151

We reached gold on carnival, all 4-5 day cruises.  By the end we were absolutely sick of carnival, rowdy, loud crowds, nearly identical experience (essentially the same ship layout, same menu, same entertainment choices), and we decided to venture off to the other lines.

I'm planning out next year's cruise and looking at all the lines.  I'm willing to consider carnival if it's a more chill experience and the larger boats feel different than the mid to smaller boats..

Thanks in advance.. 

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ProgRockCruiser

ProgRockCruiser

Well, certainly the larger ships feel different from the smaller ones.  Some prefer one over the other, naturally.

The bigger ships will offer more variety - more places to put unique things like Emeril's on Mardi Gras.  The smaller ships feel more intimate yet somehow also less crowded to many people.  Might depend on where you typically hang out.

The longer cruises also tend to have a more-relaxed clientele - people aren't as intense trying to get all their vacation "enjoyed" in four days or so, and fewer kids.  And the longer cruises can offer different ports, because they have more time to get somewhere different.

I can't say what a 4 or 5 day cruise on a large ship would be like (also depends on your definition of large).  We only book cruises of 6 or more days - preferably 7 or 8 days.  Wish we had time / logistics / etc for a 15 day cruise...

The menus are changing across the fleet, so no matter which ship you pick by the time you cruise it will be different from what you might have experienced previously.

Like

24 minutes ago, FiremedicMike151 said: We reached gold on carnival, all 4-5 day cruises.  By the end we were absolutely sick of carnival, rowdy, loud crowds, nearly identical experience (essentially the same ship layout, same menu, same entertainment choices), and we decided to venture off to the other lines.   I'm planning out next year's cruise and looking at all the lines.  I'm willing to consider carnival if it's a more chill experience and the larger boats feel different than the mid to smaller boats..   Thanks in advance..   

No snark at all here, but I'm not real clear on your intent.  Are you asking to confirm you'll have a better experience on a Carnival 6+ day cruise.  I think it's been well experienced that 4-5 day cruises tend to be rowdier (not just Carnival) but it sounds like you don't really enjoy the Carnival experience.  Yes, there are different ship layouts, we don't know what ships you have been on.  Each class of ship is pretty similar in layout, but there are different classes of ship.  There are going to be a lot of overlapping throughout the fleet though.  

As mentioned above, the menus are changing, but I wouldn't expect a wildly different experience.  And then it's going to be the same on all ships, so it's not going to vary from ship to ship.  Some of the new ships have a lot more dining options though.  The entertainment choices are going to be pretty much the same, so if you are looking for something different, ship size/length of cruise probably isn't going to change that.

I'd say book an Excel class ship, that's probably the only thing that will change the experience by any noticeable amount.

3 hours ago, FiremedicMike151 said: I'm planning out next year's cruise and looking at all the lines.  I'm willing to consider carnival if it's a more chill experience and the larger boats feel different than the mid to smaller boats..  

We have done 25 cruises on Carnival (everything from 3 days to 16) and in our experience the longer cruises are a different crowd.  And of course the time of year (and whether it's during a Holiday) makes a difference too.  In general our longer cruises seemed to be a quieter/older crowd, more interested in the destination than partying on the ship (not that there is anything wrong with that - Carnival is the fun ship).  We saw way fewer teens running around the ship at midnight and things like that.

I agree, the Excel ships are a very different experience and if you are tired of the "same old thing" you will likely really enjoy Mardi Gras/Celebration/Jubilee.  It's my favorite class because there is so much more to do. 

havanadaydreaming

havanadaydreaming

i have loved every cruise i have been on, from 4 -11 nt sailings.  big or small ship.  

sure there are features and benefits i like on some ships vs others (and ports of call).  but a bad day at sea beats a good day on land.  

jsglow

OP, I just think you're trying to convince yourself that you won't have a good time.  No problem. Other cruise lines fit you better. Enjoy.

I booked 5 nights, back-to-back, for the Mexican Rivera next year, in the new Italian vessel.  Booking the private "Cabana Carnivale" section, I hope it is more a VIP experience. 

hard_eight

The 6+ ones are generally longer.

Kidding, as others have said longer cruises tend to be less "party crowd"

Haha

26 minutes ago, jsglow said: OP, I just think you're trying to convince yourself that you won't have a good time.  No problem. Other cruise lines fit you better. Enjoy.

Nope, I wanted to know if the longer carnival cruises felt different than the shorter ones, as I explicitly stated in my original post.

Thank you all, I think I may give an 8 day a try.  Our first cruise ever was on Carnival Imagination and it was a magical experience.  8 cruises later we just felt burnt out on Carnival, but their prices are still pretty good so we may give it a go.

txcruiser1234

txcruiser1234

OP, if you were "absolutely sick" of Carnival before, don't keep doing it. An even longer Carnival cruise will probably have you pulling your hair out. All Carnival cruises, in our experience, have been MUCH more similar than dissimilar in every appreciable sense - in terms of crowds, food, entertainment, cabins, service, low points and highlights. No matter the ship or length of cruise, the fundamental on-board experience has been more or less the same. We obviously enjoy the Carnival brand and overall product consistency, but understand that it is not for everyone.

nydney1

I understand what you are saying.

I have found that the 6 day is the best fit for me. We did an 8 day last thanksgiving and found it to be a bit long for me.   

I found the six day eliminates allot of the die hard party crowd. To me the six day feels like a 7 day with one less see day so I get a day to spend on the front or back side relaxing 

I’ve done a big mix of lengths from 3-8 days. The 6-nights are the same “vibe” to me as the 7-8nighters. The 3-4s are a totally different vibe & the 5s could go in either direction.   

I agree with others that said the ship may be a big factor too- the larger, newer ships on a 6 day are likely to be an “elevated” experience, I did my 13th carnival on the celebration & there was a lot of “new to

We did back-to-back 10-day & 4-day late last year on the Carnival Sunshine. My perceived “intensity” of the passengers on the 4-day was much greater than the relaxed atmosphere of the 10-day. On that 10-day, more experienced and older cruisers, less “weekend party til you drop” vibe. Because of that experience, we have only booked 6+ day cruises for the future.

I do short cruises for the casino. I live in NE Florida, so it's a long drive to Bilox, and a long flight to Las Vegas.  I  do the short cruises so I'm not tempted to spend my life savings in the casino. 4-5 days and nights are enough. Sure there are rowdy kids and drunks to deal with, but I just get our the their way. I love being on the open water. I love being able to afford it several times each year. I go on other lines when I want a more elegant cruise. 

Lee Cruiser

We've been on over 20 Carnival cruises and the longer ones are typically very good with very few issues.  Our worst experience was on a four day cruise out of N.O.  It was a weekend wrap around (Thursday-Monday) and many just treated it as one big weekend party.  Loud music, screaming, and partying on balconies until the early morning hours.  We said then that we would never take another cruise shorter than five days. 

serene56

cruises that leave on a sunday or a monday have a better crowd vs crowds on longer weekend cruises     Our next leaves on a Monday and comes back on Saturday.     The one before leaves on a thursday and comes back on Monday.          Try to avoid the cruises that are  weekend cruises 

TreyB

Shorter cruises attract the drunks and partiers. Not to say that I’m not into drinking on a cruise because I certainly am, but I prefer a quieter setting like the Alchemy Bar. To get the best experience on Carnival, choose a 6-9 day option. Avoid cruising between May and September and the holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years when more kids will be on board. I think the Vista class ships are fantastic, we love the Panorama and prefer them over the smaller ships. We find early to mid October (pre Halloween, another heavy kid cruising period) to be a great time to go. Excellent rates and a more relaxed vibe.   

Give it a try and enjoy! 👍 😎

On 6/27/2023 at 9:26 AM, FiremedicMike151 said: We reached gold on carnival, all 4-5 day cruises.  By the end we were absolutely sick of carnival, rowdy, loud crowds, nearly identical experience (essentially the same ship layout, same menu, same entertainment choices), and we decided to venture off to the other lines.   I'm planning out next year's cruise and looking at all the lines.  I'm willing to consider carnival if it's a more chill experience and the larger boats feel different than the mid to smaller boats..   Thanks in advance..   
19 hours ago, FiremedicMike151 said: Nope, I wanted to know if the longer carnival cruises felt different than the shorter ones, as I explicitly stated in my original post.  

I've done a 4 day cruise and many 7 day cruises. The longer cruises are a whole different vibe. If the 4 day one had been my first experience I would likely have never set foot on a Carnival ship again. 

As it was we had friends on that cruise and kept telling them the longer cruises are much different. 

Try the Spirit class out of Tampa. All of our Carnival cruises on the various Spirit class ships sailing from Tampa were all older people. Last year we did the Easter week cruise there were more families but still a lot older passengers. It’s not crowded. It’s not noisy or rowdy. There are 3 pools including the adult only Serenity pool. There’s music by main pool but no craziness. I’m in my sixties and there are people older than me. We love Frankie Portera the cruise director. He’s not annoying. Every time we go it’s hard to believe it’s a Carnival cruise. We have been going 1 to 2 times each year.

5,000+ Club

On 6/27/2023 at 11:26 AM, FiremedicMike151 said: We reached gold on carnival, all 4-5 day cruises.  By the end we were absolutely sick of carnival, rowdy, loud crowds, nearly identical experience (essentially the same ship layout, same menu, same entertainment choices), and we decided to venture off to the other lines.   I'm planning out next year's cruise and looking at all the lines.  I'm willing to consider carnival if it's a more chill experience and the larger boats feel different than the mid to smaller boats..   Thanks in advance.. 

After 30 cruises tried Carnival for 1st time in Jan--14 days to Hawaii. 

Everyone said we would hate it--we LOVED it.

Bartenders said Carnival is great--IF you take cruises LONGER than 7 days outside Caribbean & MX Riviera. 

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Carnival's HUB App offers an at-a-glance overview of the day’s events, including activity and entertainment options, dining choices, children’s programming and more.  The following entertainment and activities are offered fleet wide, unless otherwise noted. Parties  |  Full Gambling Casino |  Shows and Entertainment |  Youth Programs |  Sports |  Spa Carnival and Cloud 9 Spa |  Fun and Games with the Cruise Director and Social Staff |  Instructive Talks, Demonstrations and Classes |  Mixers and Meetings  |  Onboard Facilities Parties

  • Sail Away Party : Following the Safety Briefing and as the ship sets sail, guests gather at midship Lido Deck where the cruise staff and DJ get the party started with music, dancing and drink specials.
  • Captain's Welcome:  Join us for live music and a special welcome with the Captain and Senior Officers on your cruise.  This event is featured on all cruises four days and longer; on shorter cruises, guests will have the opportunity to mingle with the Senior Officers on the elegant evening.  
  • VIFP Diamond and Platinum Reunion  : An exclusive party on cruises five days and longer, for Platinum and Diamond guests, featuring fun-filled activities with an interactive, casual and exclusive feel, as well complimentary drinks and appetizers.  
  • Mega Deck Party : An island inspired party that celebrates the fun and spirit of RedFrog and BlueIguana - the colorful namesake characters from our poolside watering holes. This party is featured on cruises six days and longer; shorter cruises will feature the Mega Deck Party or the 80s Night Deck Party.
  • 80s Night Deck Party : A high energy, fun and unique '80s themed party showcasing our exciting musical offerings. This party is featured on cruises six days and longer; shorter cruises will feature the 80s Night Deck Party or the Mega Deck Party.  
  • White Hot Night Party : The fun on a Carnival cruise may start at sunrise, but that doesn’t mean it comes to an end when the sun goes down. So when packing for your cruise, bring your favorite, most fun… even quirkiest white clothing and matching accessories for an amazing night of dancing, giveaways and fun. This party is featured on select sailings. 

Full Gambling Casino

  • Gaming: Blackjack , Dice/Craps, Roulette , Texas Hold ‘Em (electronic dealer), Caribbean Stud Poker, Three Card Poker and Let it Ride ,  Slots  
  • Casino Tournaments : Blackjack, slots and poker tournaments for cash prizes

Shows and Entertainment

  • Welcome Aboard Show
  • Playlist Productions™ stage shows  
  • Punchliner Comedy Club™  featuring established comedians as well as rising stars
  • Karaoke  
  • Live music  for dancing
  • Carnival Seaside Theater  and  Dive-in Movies  (select ships)
  • Big Screen Blockbusters (select ships) 
  • Bingo  sessions
  • First-run movies featured daily on the in-cabin TV
  • ‘On Demand’ movies  (select ships)
  • Behind the Fun Tour
  • Thrill Theater  (on Carnival Horizon and Carnival Vista)
  • IMAX® Theatre  (on Carnival Horizon and Carnival Vista)
  • Sky Zone® Trampoline Park at Sea (on Carnival Panorama)

Youth Programs

  • Space Cruisers™
  • Circle ‘C’® - exclusive program for teens, 12-14 years of age
  • Teen's Party Time
  • Teens' Digital Play
  • Teens' Active Play  
  • Seuss-A-Palooza Story Time
  • Seuss-A-Palooza Parade
  • Dr. Seuss® Bookville (select ships) 
  • Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast  (all ships, excluding Carnival Jubilee)
  • Thing 1 & Thing 2 Birthday Breakfast (on Carnival Jubilee)
  • Build-A-Bear Workshop at Sea  
  • Turtles Program - for infants, 6 months to under 2 - coming soon!
  • Zumbini® Program

Sports and Outdoor Fun Please note: Some facilities may not be available on every ship - check here to see what is on your cruise!

  • Ping Pong (on all ships, excluding Mardi Gras)
  • Volleyball  (select ships) 
  • Basketball  (select ships)
  • Pickle Ball (select ships) 
  • Miniature Golf   (on all ships, excluding Carnival Luminosa)
  • Putting Green (on Carnival Luminosa)
  • Jogging Track  (select ships) 
  • Ropes Course  (select ships) 
  • SkyRide®  (on Carnival Horizon, Carnival Panorama and Carnival Vista)   
  • BOLT® Ultimate Sea Coaster (on Carnival Celebration, Carnival Jubilee and Mardi Gras)
  • Pools  
  • Waterworks  (select ships)
  • Twister Waterslide™  (on all ships, excluding Carnival Luminosa)
  • Serenity Adults Only Retreat™   
  • SportSquare™  (select ships)

Spa Carnival / Cloud 9 Spa

  • Cloud 9 Spa™  (select ships)
  • Spa Carnival  (select ships)
  • ZSpa  
  • Beauty Seminars
  • Hair & Beauty Salon   
  • Facial Treatments  
  • Medi-Spa and Acupuncture  (select ships) 
  • Men’s services  
  • Massage  
  • Fitness Center  
  • Body Conditioning, Stretch, Abs, Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates and Cycle Class 

Fun and Games with the Cruise Director and Social Staff Please note: Games vary and are up to the discretion of the ship’s Cruise Director and Social Staff

  • Family Feud™ Live (on select ships)
  • Deal or No Deal  ™ (on all ships, excluding Carnival Luminosa)
  • Fun Ship Family Games
  • Horseracing
  • Fun Squad Trivia  
  • Guess That Groove
  • Love & Marriage (18+)
  • What's Age Got to Do With It
  • Scavenger Hunt 
  • Bean Bag Toss 
  • Lido Deck and Pool Games 
  • Who Wants to be a Millionaire? 
  • Battle of the Sexes
  • Ship Building Competition
  • Game Show Mania 

Instructive Talks – Demonstrations - Classes

  • Fun Aboard, Fun Ashore  
  • Ice Carving Demonstrations 
  • Dance classes : Pick up some moves and learn to dance like a professional. 
  • Carnival Kitchen : (on Carnival Celebration, Carnival Jubilee, Mardi Gras, Carnival Panorama): Guests can enjoy more than 15 onboard hands-on culinary experiences led by our talented chefs.
  • Cooking Demonstration  (on select Carnival Journeys sailings): Learn to cook Steakhouse-style from our team of chefs as they demonstrate the tricks of the trade used to make those multi-course dinners that everyone loves. This is an hour-long presentation of kitchen skill and ingenuity - and taste tests are included. 
  • Food and Wine Pairing: Learn how to match great wines with great food and enjoy as well; informative talk by our onboard Sommelier.
  • Art Auction Program at Sea  (select ships) 
  • ‘Groove for St. Jude’ : A fun dance activity held once each cruise that allows guests to make a $10 USD donation and groove to the music. Guests receive a ‘Care to Play’ tee shirt and wristband and the proceeds go directly to St. Jude Children’s Research Medical Research Hospital.
  • Creativity at Sea: Complimentary, self-lead painting and craft experience (may be offered on select itineraries, scheduling permitted)
  • Coloring at Sea: An opportunity for our guests to relax and unwind with this simple and fun activity (scheduling permitted).

Mixers and Meetings

  • Friends of Bill W (Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting)
  • Friends of Jimmy K (Narcotics Anonymous Meeting) 
  • LGBTQ Mixer
  • Singles Mixer (18-20, 40+, Independent Travelers)
  • Card Players meet and play
  • Military Appreciation Gathering
  • Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle  (select cruises)  

Onboard Facilities

  • Video Arcade   
  • On Board Duty-Free Shopping   
  • Library  (select ships) 

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What Night Is Formal Night On 5-Day Carnival Cruise

Published: December 20, 2023

Modified: December 28, 2023

by Felipa Babin

  • Travel Tips

what-night-is-formal-night-on-5-day-carnival-cruise

Introduction

Welcome aboard the exciting world of Carnival Cruises! If you’re planning a 5-day adventure on one of Carnival’s magnificent cruise ships, you’re in for a treat. From stunning destinations to world-class amenities and entertainment, Carnival Cruises is renowned for providing unforgettable experiences.

One of the highlights of a Carnival cruise is the opportunity to indulge in an elegant and glamorous event known as Formal Night. This special occasion allows guests to dress up in their finest attire and enjoy an evening of sophistication and style.

In this article, we’ll explore the concept of Formal Night on a 5-day Carnival cruise. We’ll provide you with a detailed schedule of when to expect these elegant events, as well as some helpful tips to ensure you make the most of your formal nights at sea.

So, get ready to embrace the glitz and glamour, as we embark on a journey to discover what night is formal night on a 5-day Carnival cruise!

Overview of Carnival Cruises

Carnival Cruise Line is one of the largest and most popular cruise lines in the world. With a fleet of 24 ships and numerous itineraries, Carnival offers an array of options for travelers of all ages and interests.

Renowned for their “Fun Ships,” Carnival is dedicated to providing an unforgettable vacation experience. From thrilling waterslides and luxurious spas to dazzling stage productions and delectable dining options, Carnival cruises offer something for everyone.

Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, Carnival’s ships are equipped with an incredible range of amenities and activities. Lounge by the pool, take part in a fitness class, or enjoy a refreshing cocktail at one of the onboard bars. And when it comes to dining, Carnival offers a variety of options, including elegant formal dining rooms, casual buffet-style eateries, specialty restaurants, and even 24-hour room service.

Best of all, Carnival’s friendly and attentive staff ensures that guests’ needs are met throughout their journey. Exceptional service is a hallmark of the Carnival experience, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for every traveler.

So, whether you’re a first-time cruiser or a seasoned sailor, Carnival Cruises offers an incredible vacation that will leave you with lasting memories.

Understanding Formal Nights

Formal Nights are one of the most anticipated events on a Carnival cruise. They provide guests with the opportunity to dress up in their finest attire and partake in an evening of elegance and grandeur.

During Formal Nights, the ambiance onboard the ship is transformed into a glamorous affair. The main dining rooms, bars, lounges, and theater are adorned with beautiful decorations, and the ship’s crew members are dressed in their formal uniforms, adding to the air of sophistication.

Attending Formal Nights is optional, but it’s a wonderful chance to go all out and indulge in a glamorous experience. For those who choose to participate, it’s a chance to don their elegant evening gowns, tuxedos, suits, or cocktail dresses and make a statement.

Formal Nights typically feature a special menu in the main dining rooms, offering gourmet dishes and exquisite culinary creations. Guests can enjoy a delectable multi-course meal while being serenaded by live music or even enjoy a dancing performance.

After dinner, the evening’s entertainment often includes Broadway-style shows, live bands, or themed parties. It’s the perfect time to socialize, dance the night away, or capture beautiful photos with loved ones in their stunning outfits.

It’s important to note that while Formal Nights are elegant affairs, Carnival also provides options for those who prefer a more relaxed dress code. The Lido Deck and other casual dining areas provide a more laid-back atmosphere during these evenings, allowing guests to still enjoy a delicious meal without the formal dress requirements.

Now that we understand the essence of Formal Nights, let’s explore when they typically occur during a 5-day Carnival cruise.

Schedule of Formal Nights on a 5-Day Carnival Cruise

Formal Nights on a 5-day Carnival cruise are usually scheduled on one or two evenings, allowing guests ample opportunity to dress up and enjoy the festivities. The specific nights for Formal Night can vary depending on the itinerary and cruise ship, so it’s always best to check your cruise itinerary or consult with the onboard staff for the exact schedule. However, as a general guideline, here is an example of a typical schedule for a 5-day Carnival cruise:

  • First Night: The first night of the cruise is often a more casual affair. After embarking and settling into your stateroom, guests can enjoy a relaxed dinner and explore the ship’s amenities. This is a great chance to familiarize yourself with the ship and plan your activities for the next few days.
  • Second Night: The second night is usually designated as the first Formal Night. It’s a chance for guests to dress up and make a stylish entrance into the main dining room. The crew takes great care to ensure the ambiance is elegant and the atmosphere is filled with excitement and anticipation. After dinner, guests can immerse themselves in the evening’s entertainment or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll along the beautiful decks.
  • Third Night: On a 5-day Carnival cruise, the third night is often considered a more casual evening. While not a designated Formal Night, guests can still opt to dress up or choose a more relaxed attire. This night offers flexibility for guests to enjoy the various onboard activities, from live shows to comedy performances and late-night parties.
  • Fourth Night: The fourth night is typically the second and final Formal Night of the cruise. This evening allows guests a second opportunity to showcase their glamorous outfits and indulge in an exquisite dining experience. After dinner, guests can join in on the festive celebrations happening across the ship, including themed parties and live music performances.
  • Last Night: The final night of the cruise is a chance to reflect on the incredible experiences and make lasting memories. While not a designated Formal Night, guests can still choose to dress up or opt for a more casual attire. It’s a time to savor the remaining moments onboard and bid farewell to newfound friends and unforgettable adventures.

Remember, exact scheduling and Formal Night designations may vary, so it’s always best to consult your itinerary once onboard to ensure you don’t miss these special occasions.

Now that we’re familiar with the schedule of Formal Nights, let’s explore some tips to make the most of these glamorous evenings on your Carnival cruise.

Tips for Formal Nights on a Carnival Cruise

Formal Nights on a Carnival cruise are a chance to immerse yourself in elegance and create unforgettable memories. Here are some tips to help you make the most of these special evenings:

  • Plan your outfits in advance: Before your cruise, take some time to plan your Formal Night attire. Ladies can opt for elegant evening gowns or cocktail dresses, while men can choose between tuxedos, suits, or dress shirts with ties. Selecting your outfits in advance will ensure you have everything you need and avoid any last-minute wardrobe stress.
  • Utilize the ship’s resources: If you need assistance with formal wear or accessories, Carnival cruise ships often have onboard shops that offer rentals or sales of formal attire. Additionally, many ships have professional photographers available to capture stunning photos of you and your loved ones all dressed up.
  • Take advantage of pre-cruise offers: On Carnival’s website, you may find information about any pre-cruise offers for formal attire rentals or professional photo packages. Taking advantage of these offers can save you time and money when it comes to preparing for Formal Night.
  • Pack appropriately: Make sure to pack your formal attire carefully to avoid any wrinkles. Consider bringing a garment bag or using the ship’s laundry and pressing services to ensure your clothes look their best for Formal Night.
  • Accessorize for the occasion: Complete your formal look with the right accessories. Ladies can add statement jewelry, a clutch or evening bag, and elegant shoes. Gentlemen can choose a matching tie and pocket square, cufflinks, and polished shoes to complement their attire.
  • Don’t forget about grooming: Take the time to style your hair, apply your makeup, and groom yourself in a way that enhances your overall appearance. This attention to detail will elevate your formal look and make you feel even more confident and ready to shine.
  • Capture the moment: Formal Nights provide a fantastic opportunity to capture beautiful photos. Take advantage of the ship’s designated photo areas or arrange for a professional photoshoot on board. These photos will be a cherished keepsake from your cruise.
  • Enjoy the dining experience: On Formal Nights, the main dining rooms offer special menus with gourmet selections. Take your time to savor each course and enjoy the exquisite cuisine. Remember to make reservations in advance to secure your preferred dining time.
  • Participate in the festivities: After dinner, immerse yourself in the onboard entertainment. Attend a Broadway-style show, enjoy live music or dancing, or join in on the themed parties happening around the ship. These activities are designed to ensure a night filled with excitement and celebration.
  • Embrace the glamour: Above all, embrace the opportunity to dress up and experience the glamour of Formal Nights. This is your chance to feel like a celebrity and create unforgettable memories. So, don’t be shy – let your inner elegance shine!

By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of the Formal Nights on your Carnival cruise. Enjoy the experience and revel in the sophistication and grandeur of these special evenings.

As your cruise comes to an end, let’s conclude our journey through the world of Formal Nights on Carnival cruises.

Formal Nights on a 5-day Carnival cruise offer a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in elegance and create unforgettable memories. From the moment you step onboard, you’ll be greeted by a world of glamour and sophistication.

Carnival Cruises provides a schedule of Formal Nights that allows guests to plan and prepare in advance. These evenings are an invitation to don your finest attire and indulge in gourmet dining, live entertainment, and dancing under the stars.

By following the tips we’ve provided, you’ll be well-equipped to make the most of these special occasions. Planning your outfits, accessorizing appropriately, and capturing beautiful photos will ensure you feel like a true VIP. Embrace the glamour, enjoy the exquisite dining experience, and partake in the festive celebrations taking place onboard.

Formal Nights are just one of the many highlights of a Carnival cruise. With their exceptional service, diverse amenities, and thrilling entertainment options, Carnival Cruises is a leader in the industry. From the moment you step onboard to the moment you disembark, your Carnival cruise promises to be a voyage filled with excitement, relaxation, and lasting memories.

So, get ready to set sail and experience the glitz, glamour, and enchantment of a 5-day Carnival cruise. Whether you’re a seasoned cruiser or embarking on your first voyage, Formal Nights will undoubtedly be a highlight of your journey.

Remember to revel in the elegance, embrace the festivities, and create cherished moments with loved ones. Your Carnival cruise awaits, ready to transport you to a world of luxury and enchantment.

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Carnival reroutes cruises as Red Sea tensions rise

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Carnival announced on Tuesday that it would reroute cruise itineraries for a dozen ships scheduled to transit the Red Sea as tensions rise in the Middle East.

  • Carnival expects the rerouting to affect its adjusted earnings per share by 7 cents to 8 cents in 2024.
  • Repeated attacks on vessels by Iranian-backed Houthi Rebels have forced major shipping and oil companies to divert their routes, adding days to shipping times and driving up costs.

In this article

"Given recent developments and in close consultation with global security experts and government authorities, the company has made the decision to reroute itineraries for 12 ships across seven brands, which were scheduled to transit the Red Sea through May 2024," the cruise line said in a press release.

Repeated attacks on vessels by Iranian-backed Houthi Rebels have forced major shipping and oil companies to divert their routes , adding days to shipping times and driving up costs.

The U.S. has responded by striking the Houthis in Yemen, but U.S. President Joe Biden admitted earlier this month the retaliation was not stopping the group . A weekend attack by Iranian-backed militants killed three U.S. service members in Jordan and also heightened tensions in the region.

Carnival expects the rerouting to affect its adjusted earnings per share by 7 cents to 8 cents in 2024. The company forecast adjusted full-year earnings per share of 93 cents, according to its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings released last month. The cruise liner is expected to release its fiscal 2024 first-quarter earnings in March.

Carnival is the latest company to announce disruptions due to the conflicts in the Red Sea. Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean and Swiss-Italian operator MSC Cruises said they would cancel trips in the region.

A spokesperson for Carnival told CNBC the cruise line or a travel advisor would directly contact customers affected by the changes.

Shares of Carnival traded flat Tuesday. The stock is up more than 50% in the past year. While bookings have rebounded from the Covid-19 pandemic, the stock is almost 70% off its pre-pandemic high. Don't miss these stories from CNBC PRO:

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  • Investors are shifting into this type of bond fund at the fastest pace in three years

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The Points Guy

Which cruise brand is best for you? A guide to the most popular lines

T hinking about booking your first cruise? The sheer range of choices can be daunting. There are more than two dozen lines marketing to North Americans — no two alike.

The list of brands includes everything from giant companies such as Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line, which are household names, to lesser-known small operators such as Windstar Cruises.

Some of the brands — Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line, in particular — operate massive vessels that are like giant floating resorts with deck-top water parks and other over-the-top amusements . Others specialize in intimate, boutique hotel-style ships.

For more cruise guides, news and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter.

Some lines, such as Carnival, are aimed at a budget crowd. Others operate vessels that are as luxurious as any upscale resort found on land. A few small luxury players such as Regent Seven Seas Cruises have ships with lavish suites that'll cost you as much as $11,000 a day .

Where should you start your search for the perfect cruise for you? Below, you'll find our quick guide to some of the most popular cruise brands. As you'll see, it's not meant to be an in-depth review of the lines. It's just a short overview — enough to give you a sense of which particular cruise operator might best appeal to you.

Once you've narrowed down the choices to a few brands that you think best fit your style, do a deeper dive into them and their specific ships, their itineraries and home ports and their comparable costs (either on your own or with the help of a cruise-savvy travel agent ). Note that TPG has many guides to individual lines, which you can find by clicking on our cruise line hub pages linked in each segment below.

Related: TPG's ultimate guide to picking a cruise line

With just four ships, each holding fewer than 700 passengers, Azamara is one of the smallest players in the cruise business. But it has a loyal following of travelers who appreciate the upscale ambience of its vessels, the inclusive amenities it offers (including gratuities and alcoholic drinks) and its destination focus.

The line prides itself on offering longer stays in ports, including multi-day visits. Its ships have an intimate, boutique-hotel feel. Pricing is higher than at the big, mass-market lines but not quite as high as you'll find at luxury lines.

Related: 5 things to love about Azamara's newest ship

Carnival Cruise Line

The self-described "fun ship" line is the king of short, affordable, fun-focused cruises from U.S. ports to the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Mexico and beyond.

The choice of roughly one in five cruisers, Carnival Cruise Line' s ships are notoriously lively, flashy and packed with fun features such as water parks with multiple waterslides. Just don't expect anything too fancy .

Related: The ultimate guide to Carnival Cruise Line

Celebrity Cruises

Designed to be a cut above mainstream options such as Carnival while remaining relatively affordable, this Miami-based "premium" line is known for some of the most stylish big ships at sea.

Expect high-end design, cutting-edge art and trendy restaurants. In short, Celebrity aims for sophisticates, not the party crowd (although it's not a luxury product).

Celebrity's four newest ships, Celebrity Edge , Celebrity Apex , Celebrity Beyond and Celebrity Ascent, feature "infinite veranda" cabins that are open to the sea in a way we haven't seen with other ocean ships. They boast a glass wall that opens from the top to create a balcony-like effect.

Crystal Cruises

This much-beloved luxury line recently restarted operations under new owners after shutting down for 18 months. For years, it was considered the ultimate luxury cruise operator, and our take after sailing on Crystal Serenity after its relaunch is that the line is even better than before. Initially, Crystal has returned to operations with just two ships. But it recently announced plans to expand rapidly with four more ships over the next six years.

A storied line with roots that go back to the 1800s, this three-ship brand is perhaps best known for its 2,695-passenger flagship, Queen Mary 2. The ship lives up to its billing as a true ocean liner with semiregular, transatlantic service between Southampton, England, and New York.

Cunard fans love the line's relatively formal vibe (including nightly dress codes) and other nods to ocean liner tradition, including evenings with ballroom dancing. A fourth Cunard ship called Queen Anne is set to debut in 2024.

Related: Why I was wrong about transatlantic cruises

Disney Cruise Line

Meet-and-greets with Disney characters, Disney-themed shows and the most extensive kiddie fun zones on the high seas are just a few of the family-friendly allures of a Disney cruise . If you're a Disney fan, nothing quite compares.

If Disney isn't your thing, well, this probably isn't the line for you. The biggest downside of the brand? As with Disney's parks on land, it doesn't come cheap.

Related: A first-look photo tour of Disney's newest ship, Disney Wish

Holland America

Tradition long has been a touchstone for this storied line, which dates to 1873 and is known for carefully crafted, globe-circling itineraries on midsize ships.

However, Holland America has been shaking things up in recent years with lively new venues such as B.B. King's Blues Club. Couples and retirees are the market for this line. Families with kids might want to look elsewhere.

MSC Cruises

A giant of cruising in Europe, Switzerland-based MSC Cruises is making a big play for North Americans with newer, bigger ships sailing year-round from Florida to the Caribbean and Bahamas. It also offers sailings from New York City.

Like Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, MSC Cruises operates big, resort-like vessels that appeal to a broad audience. Among the highlight of its cruises in North America are stops at its new private island in the Bahamas, the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve .

Norwegian Cruise Line

Multistory waterslides, ropes courses and even go-kart race tracks are among the gee-whiz attractions atop Norwegian Cruise Line 's giant, resort-like ships. The vessels also are packed with eateries, bars, casinos and showrooms.

The brand is known for its entertainment, including big Broadway shows such as "Beetlejuice." If you're looking for a Las Vegas-style resort at sea, this is your line.

Oceania Cruises

Oceania has carved out a niche with relatively small, upscale ships that offer a significant upgrade from mass-market vessels but aren't quite as fancy (or pricey) as luxury offerings.

Its seven ships feature a relaxed, country club-like ambience and inspired dining that appeal to a mostly older crowd.

Itinerary-wise, Oceania is known for destination-intensive voyages that typically are 10 nights or more in length, with some globe-circling trips as long as 180 days.

Related: Take a look at Vista, Oceania's stunning new ship

This France-based line is a specialist in expedition cruising , a type of cruising that involves traveling to remote, hard-to-reach places on small, hardy vessels that carry their own landing craft.

Operating a fast-growing fleet of tough but upscale expedition ships (none carrying more than 264 passengers), Ponant is known for voyages to places like Antarctica and the Arctic.

If you're looking for waterslides and laser tag, this is not the cruise line for you.

Related: This epic Ponant trip will take you to the North Pole

Princess Cruises

Popular with middle-aged couples, retirees and multigenerational families, the "Love Boat" line's ships aren't as flashy (or big, for the most part) as those of Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, and that's just the way its customers like it.

Princess Cruises ' customers also like its wide range of itineraries, including voyages in Asia and Australia, as well as closer-to-home places like the Caribbean. It's long been one of the dominant lines in the Alaska cruise market.

Related: The ultimate guide to Princess Cruises

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

This Miami-based luxury line operates some of the most opulent vessels at sea, including three recently unveiled Explorer-class ships billed as the most expensive luxury vessels ever built on a cost-per-berth basis.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is particularly known for some of the most over-the-top suites at sea (including some bigger than the average American home ), some of the most inclusive fares in the cruise business and high levels of service. The only catch: You'll pay a pretty penny for it. Rooms on Regent ships start at around $1,000 per person per day and can cost as much as $5,500 per person per day.

Royal Caribbean

For megaresort fans, there's nothing quite like a Royal Caribbean vessel.

The line's biggest ships are more than 20% bigger than almost any others afloat (only MSC Cruises has ships that come close in size) and feature every type of amusement imaginable, from rock climbing walls and surfing pools to Broadway shows and ice skating rinks.

Families, in particular, will love this line, due to all the family-friendly activities and venues on its vessels. Royal Caribbean ships sail everywhere in the world, but the line's heaviest presence is in the Caribbean and Europe.

Related: The ultimate guide to Royal Caribbean

Another leader in luxury cruising, this seven-ship brand offers all-suite vessels, top-notch service and elegant cuisine.

As with other luxury lines, Seabourn offers a wide range of itineraries around the globe. It also recently jumped into more adventurous, expedition-style cruising with two new 264-passenger vessels designed to operate in polar regions such as Antarctica and the Arctic.

Silversea Cruises

Exquisite service, refined dining and well-appointed accommodations are hallmarks of this Monaco-based luxury line with 12 vessels. Silversea Cruises is also known for its industry-leading array of off-the-beaten-path itineraries.

Its growing fleet of small expedition ships will take you everywhere from the Arctic to Papua New Guinea in style.

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection

Fans of upscale hotel chain Ritz-Carlton will feel at home on one of this line's yacht-like vessels. Or, at least, that's the idea.

The cruising arm of Ritz-Carlton has been in operation for just a bit over a year, and the jury still is out on where it ranks in the pantheon of luxury cruise brands. The line notably struggled to get off the ground after years of construction delays for its first and only ship.

Dubbed Evrima, the line's only operating ship is a 298-passenger vessel designed to appeal to Ritz-Carlton regulars with an elegant, residential look. A second, bigger ship called Ilma that's already open for bookings debuts later this year.

Related: The ultimate guide to the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection

This fast-growing line has dominated the world of river cruising for North Americans for years, and in the last few years, it's become a significant player in upscale ocean cruising as well. Viking 's 80 river ships operate on just about every major river in the world, and its 10 ocean ships (up from just one in 2015) can be found in a growing number of destinations, too.

Viking is known for impeccably designed vessels with modern Scandinavian interiors and offering unusual, port-intensive itineraries. They also operate with a mostly all-inclusive format, as Viking long has subscribed to a "no nickel-and-diming" philosophy. Just don't bother booking the family. Kids under 18 aren't allowed on Viking.

Related: The ultimate guide to Viking cruises

Virgin Voyages

This relatively new cruise line, backed by Richard Branson's Virgin Group, is reinventing mainstream cruising with a hipper, more inclusive, younger vibe (though not too young; its ships are adults-only). Think tattoo shops, karoake booths and no upcharges for tips or eateries.

Virgin Voyages ' first three ships ( Scarlet Lady , Valiant Lady and Resilient Lady ) have suites by acclaimed designer Tom Dixon. Destinations include the Dominican Republic, Mexico and a private beach club in the Bahamas, as well as parts of Europe and Australia.

Related: I've been on more than 150 cruise ships; here's why I loved my first Virgin sailing

Windstar Cruises

If the idea of sailing on a big ship makes you cringe, small-ship specialist Windstar could be the answer.

Its six vessels carry just 148 to 342 passengers — fewer than fit on a single big-ship lifeboat — and are wonderfully intimate.

Romantic types will love Windstar's three vessels with sails — a relative rarity. Foodies can choose one of the James Beard-themed cruises, which include market tours and cooking demonstrations with a James Beard Award-winning chef.

More guides that will help you plan a cruise:

  • The 5 most desirable cabin locations on any cruise ship
  • The 8 worst cabin locations on any cruise ship
  • 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
  • 15 ways cruisers waste money
  • 15 best cruises for people who never want to grow up
  • What to pack for your first cruise
  • Guide to picking a cruise line

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Royal Caribbean

9 new around-the-world cruises have joined Royal Caribbean's Ultimate World Cruise at sea. See what they're like — from a sold-out 6-month luxury cruise to a cheaper $21,100 option.

  • Nine new around-the-world cruises  have already set sail in 2024.
  • These ships joined Royal Caribbean's nine-month Ultimate World Cruise at sea.
  • Oceania said its 2024 world cruise sold out in 30 minutes.

Insider Today

The Seven Seas just got a bit more crowded: Nine new world cruises have recently set sail, joining Royal Caribbean's ongoing Ultimate World Cruise in a quest to travel around the world in 2024.

TikTok has developed an obsession with Royal Caribbean's nine-month vacation . But it's not the only one of its kind — nor was it the most in-demand.

In 2021 and 2022, other operators also announced their global cruises, with one selling out 30 minutes after it was offered. Since the start of the new year, nine of these have already embarked. Take a look at which ones.

Oceania Cruises — the premium $48,500 six-month option

Oceania's 2024 world cruise was so hot that it sold out 30 minutes after reservations opened in March 2022, the premium cruise line said at the time.

After almost two years of waiting, these travelers finally set sail from Los Angeles on January 14. For the next 180 days, the Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings subsidiary says the Insignia is set to sail to 96 ports in 34 countries.

The vessel is now on its way to Hawaii, the Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Canada, according to its world cruise itinerary . This includes 24 expected overnight stays in destinations like Yangon, Myanmar, and Reykjavik, Iceland.

Oceania's cabins started at $48,500 per person.

Regent Seven Seas Seas Cruises — NCLH's $73,500 ultra-luxury 4 ½-month cruise

On January 6, the Seven Seas Mariner departed Miami on a roundtrip 132-night global expedition . Through May 17, the ship is set to stop at 66 ports in 31 countries — sailing to expected destinations in Central America, Hawaii, the Pacific Islands, New Zealand and Australia, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Bermuda.

Fares started at $73,500 per person for Regent Seven Seas' basic suite . Too cheap? The most luxurious 2,000-square-foot accommodation had a $200,000-per-person price tag.

Like Oceania, these fares didn't stop travelers from flocking to the luxury cruise . The ship was fully reserved in less than three hours when bookings opened in July 2021, Regent Seven Seas said at the time.

Azamara — a private equity-owned $39,000, five-month sailing

Azamara's sold-out 2024 world cruise departed on January 5 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Over the next 155 nights, the Azamara Onward plans to stop in 40 countries across Central and South America, the Pacific islands, New Zealand and Australia, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe before concluding in Barcelona.

There are 22 overnights scheduled throughout this world tour .

The private equity-owned cruise line's 2024 global adventure started at $39,000 per person for the windowless interior cabin. Travelers who prefer to cruise in luxury would've paid $157,000 per person for the highest-end suite.

Silversea Cruises — Royal Caribbean Group's $66,000 4 ½-month world cruise

Ultra-luxury Silversea's 2024 global vacation set sail on January 15 from San Francisco. Through May 26, the Silver Shadow is scheduled to see 65 ports in 14 countries.

Unlike most world cruise itineraries, this one is scheduled to spend most of its 132 nights traversing the Pacific Ocean, sailing to the Pacific Islands, New Zealand and Australia, Southeast and East Asia, Alaska, and Canada before returning to San Francisco.

Silversea's fares started at $66,000 per person for the least expensive vista suite, cheaper than Regent Seven Seas' cruise of the same length.

Princess Cruises — Carnival Corp's almost four-month $21,100 vacation

On January 4, the Island Princess embarked on its 111-day world cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with a second pickup scheduled in Los Angeles on Thursday. From there, travelers are expected to get to see 51 destinations in 27 countries across Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, and the Americas, according to the Carnival Corp brand.

Fares started at almost $21,100 per person.

Regret not going on Princess' world cruise? There's another chance: The cruise line's second 2024 global itinerary is sailing in late April.

Seabourn Cruise Line — Carnival Corp's almost 5-month $74,300 itinerary

It seems like every major cruise giant has an ultra-luxury brand. Carnival Corp's is Seabourn — and on January 11, the Seabourn Sojourn departed Los Angeles on a 145-day, 72-port, 28-country cruise.

The sailing is set to conclude in Piraeus, Greece, near Athens, on June 5. Along the way, the itinerary shows the Seabourn Sojourn traveling east to destinations like Hawaii, Australia, China, Japan, Sri Lanka, Egypt, and Jordan.

The Sojourn is scheduled for 20 overnights in destinations like Cairns, Australia, and Honolulu.

Fares started at $74,300 per person.

Cunard — A 3 ½- and four-month cruise from Carnival Corp's UK-based operator

Luxury operator Cunard has two 2024 "world voyage" itineraries: 123 nights on the Queen Mary 2 and 107 nights on the Queen Victoria.

Queen Mary 2's four-month roundtrip New York City voyage departed on January 3, sailing east to 32 ports in the UK, Europe, Africa, Australia, Asia, and the Middle East, according to its itinerary.

Eight days later, the Queen Victoria also began its 3 ½-month roundtrip Southhampton, UK journey. According to the UK-based operator, the ocean liner is set to sail west to 29 ports in Bermuda, Aruba, Central and North America, the Pacific Islands, New Zealand and Australia, Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Cunard did not immediately respond to Business Insider's inquiry about its fares.

Holland America Line — the four-month roundtrip Florida cruise

On January 3, Holland America Line's world cruise guests would've moved onto the Zuiderdam to spend the next 127 nights circumnavigating the globe, according to the operator's itinerary.

This roundtrip Fort Lauderdale, Florida cruise is scheduled for 46 ports in the Caribbean, Central and South America, the Pacific Islands, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

Holland America did not immediately respond to Business Insider's inquiry about the itinerary's fares.

Are you traveling on a world cruise? We're interested in hearing your experience. Reach out to this reporter at [email protected].

carnival cruise lines 5 day cruises

Watch: Forget ocean cruises, this 27-day luxury air cruise costs $159,000 per person

carnival cruise lines 5 day cruises

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World's largest cruise ship sets sail, bringing concerns about methane emissions

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Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas, the largest cruise ship, in the world sets sail for its inaugural voyage with passengers, in Miami

Reporting by Doyinsola Oladipo in New York; Editing by Mark Porter

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Tobacco giants Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco said on Friday they had agreed to resolve a multitude of ongoing patent infringement disputes relating to their cigarette alternatives.

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