9 Carnival Celebration Tips You Must Know

Aerial view of Carnival Celebration in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

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Cruising on Carnival’s newest ship will surely give you a fantastic time!

So in this article, we’ve checked everything out and prepared this list of Carnival Celebration tips designed to help you get the most out of your time on board.

Meanwhile, while here, you may also watch our complete ship tour to have more comprehensive details about the ship.

1. Free “specialty” restaurants are available

Various food at Carnival Celebration's specialty restaurants
Various food at Carnival Celebration’s specialty restaurants

There are plenty of complimentary venues on every Carnival ship, but Celebration — like its sister ship Mardi Gras — offers two unique options.

First, there’s Cucina del Capitano, the line’s much-loved Italian restaurant. Compared to other vessels, you can have dinner at this restaurant for free.

There’s also Chibang, a new venue first introduced on Mardi Gras.

Combining Chinese and Mexican cuisines, you will find something for everyone at your party.

(If you don’t believe us, check the menu here!)

2. You can visit a very exclusive area

View of Mardi Gras Maiden Voyage Loft 19
View of Mardi Gras Maiden Voyage Loft 19

As on Mardi Gras, this ship has a gorgeous space known as Loft 19, which most guests will never see.

The area features comfy loungers, infinity hot tubs, and bar service (but no actual bar).

Guests booked in Excel-level suites have free access, but Loft 19 is off-limits to other guests unless they’re willing to pay a daily/weekly rental fee for one of the private cabanas.

3. Some of the best shows aren’t in the theater

Celebration Central at Carnival Celebration
Celebration Central at Carnival Celebration

While there’s entertainment galore in the two-deck spanning Grand Spectrum theater, some of the best shows are held in Celebration Central (the main atrium).

The multi-use space has excellent seating and spans three decks, creating a unique venue where shows combining acrobatics, music, technology, and incredibly talented performers can be staged.

4. You can download the Carnival HUB app for your convenience

Downloading the Carnival HUB app can make every aspect of your time on Celebration more manageable. It can, in fact, be your go-to guide for finding out what’s going on aboard the ship.

You can still pick up a printed copy of what’s happening, but it’s not nearly as complete as the HUB App. Even those who want to “disconnect” from their devices while on vacation find this app a necessity.

MORE: Carnival Celebration Dining Guide: Which Restaurants Are Complimentary?

5. Make BOLT reservations before your actual trip

View of Carnival Celebration's BOLT
View of Carnival Celebration’s BOLT

Yes, you need a reservation to ride BOLT, which costs $15 for two consecutive trips around the track.

Note, however, that you should not save it for the final day because if there’s inclement weather or some other reason, you may find yourself out of luck.

6. Give yourself time to get acclimated

map carnival celebration tips

Think you know your way around a Carnival ship? Think again when you’re on Celebration.

This ship is different from almost every vessel in the Carnival fleet except its sister ship Mardi Gras.

Even a friend of mine got lost several times on the second day of our sailing.

7. Plan to spend some time hanging out in the Gateway zone

View of stunning windows at Carnival Celebration
View of stunning windows at Carnival Celebration

This area, which replaces Mardi Gras‘ French Quarter, has many things to offer, including fantastic visuals that constantly change.

Remember the LED funnels that anchor the atrium bar on Vista-class ships?

Here, you’ll find a variation on that theme with the “virtual windows,” featuring everything from glimpses of ports featured on your itinerary to psychedelic light shows.

There are also plenty of seats, and the travel-themed Latitudes Bar will keep the drinks flowing, which makes for a fun-filled experience.

8. Make reservations for must-do meals

A chef in Carnival Celebration
A chef at Carnival Celebration

If you’ve got your heart set on, say, doing the steakhouse on a particular night, make a reservation as soon as possible.

The same goes for Celebration‘s Bonsai Teppanyaki, which might be the most challenging table to get on the entire ship, given the limited space and seating.

Dining at this restaurant should be on your bucketlist.

9. Step out of your comfort zone

Delicious food at Carnival Celebration
Delicious food at Carnival Celebration

Whether trying a cocktail you’ve never had or ordering an appetizer, there’s no better place than a cruise ship to get adventurous.

That’s particularly true at Celebration, where the drink and food venues offer everything from past favorites to future classics.

Feeling particularly adventurous?

Head for the ropes course. Just remember: Don’t look down!

READ NEXT: My First Impressions of the Carnival Celebration

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