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Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Ship Gets A Massive Makeover



After weeks of rumors about exactly what Carnival Cruise Line had in store for the Elation during its drydock,  they this morning revealed details. The massive renovation — which saw several passenger-favorite establishments added — took place at the Grand Bahamas Shipyard in Freeport, Bahamas also found the line adding 38 new staterooms, converting nearly 100 cabins into balcony accommodations and much more!

Details About The Carnival Cruise Makeover

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Photo via Carnival Cruise Line.

Thanks to the drydock, passengers aboard the Carnival Elation will now get to experience some of the  popular venues that the line has introduced over the past few years, including Guy’s Burger Joint. First introduced aboard the Carnival Liberty back in 2011, the brainchild of Food Network star Guy Fieri quickly became a guilty pleasure for many a passenger thanks to the tasty burgers and killer fries, not to mention an amazing toppings bar.

A pair of Igunanas can now be found beside the pool of the Carnival Elation thanks to the addition of the BlueIguana Cantina and the BlueIguana Tequila Bar. The Cantina is a complimentary venue serving up tacos and burritos on freshly-made tortillas as well as all the fixings. And, well you can probably guess what they serve at the Tequila Bar.

Not feeling the tequila, but want to stay by the pool? Head on over to RedFrog Rum Bar for a cocktail that’ll put you in a Caribbean state of mind or a beer, including Carnival’s famous ThirstyFrog Red.

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Other Carnival Cruise Ship Changes Include…

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Popular Guy’s Burger Joint was added during the refit.

Lest you think that food and beverage options are the only changes that were made during the drydock, think again. One of the most striking renovations involves the staterooms themselves. While all of the cabins on board were freshened up and given a new look featuring bright colors inspired by the ship’s tropical itineraries, balconies were added to 98 existing rooms. “Previously,” reminds Scott Lara, a Jacksonville-based travel agent, “Elation didn’t have balconies.” And obviously, this addition will prove a great drawn for many potential cruisers.

The drydock also included, ironically, some major additions that are definitely water-themed. First is Camp Ocean, a marine-inspired play area for kids 2-11 that features over 200 ocean-themed activities that will keep the tots entertained, and maybe even teach them a thing or two. Then there’s the massive WaterWorks area, featuring a 300-foot long water slide, a pair of racing slides and a splash zone designed just for younger passengers.

Last but not least, the 9-hole miniature golf course was relocated to Deck 14… which means you can spend some time playing with the family while still taking in the fresh sea air and incredible views.

Elation runs four- and five-day cruises to the Bahamas, featuring stops at Freeport, Nassau as well as Half Moon and Princess Cays, better known as Carnival’s private islands. In 2018, the ship will do a one-time, 8-night sailing to Bermuda and a one-time seven-night Eastern Caribbean sailing.

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Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Raises Faster to the Fun Price



The good news: When sailing on most Carnival Cruise Line ships, you can still purchase the Faster To The Fun package. The bad news? On many of those ships, taking the happiness highway’s express lane is gonna cost you a little extra.

How Much Faster To The Fun Went Up

Carnival quietly boosted the price earlier this week, although news of the change spread quickly across social media. Some proclaimed that they didn’t mind paying the extra fee for the program — which offers numerous benefits, including priority embarkation — while others thought there were better ways in which they could spend the money.

So how much did the price go up? Previously, the cost — which is per cabin, not per person — ran between $49,95 to $79.95, depending on the ship and the length of the sailing. The price has now gone up to between $69.95 and $99.95.

The Breakdown


Screenshot via Carnival.


  • The program will cost $69.95 on 5-day sailings, except on the Sensation, where the price is $59.95.
  • For 4-day cruises on Carnival Conquest, Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Paradise, Carnival Triumph, Carnival Valor and Carnival Vista is $69.95.
  • For 6- and 7-day sailings, Faster To The Fun will cost $89.95.
  • On sailings lasting 8 days or longer, the package will now cost $99.95.

When Carnival first rolled Faster to the Fun out in 2012, it was $49.95 per stateroom across the fleet. In 2016, the line switched to the tiered pricing system which remains in effect to this day.

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What does Faster to the Fun include? 

A limited number of Faster To The Fun passes are sold, which is one of the reasons many believe it to be worth the price, as it allows for faster boarding thanks to separate security screening lanes and an express boarding lane upon embarkation. Those who purchase FTTF also have immediate access to their staterooms, which generally are not available immediately upon boarding. The perk also includes priority luggage handling, access to priority tendering in ports where applicable, a choice of disembarkation times and priority dinner-time assignments.

Do you generally purchase Faster To The Fun? Will the change in price impact your decision to do so in the future? 

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Queen Latifah Named Carnival Horizon’s Godmother



The newest ship to join the Carnival Cruise Line fleet also just became the coolest with the news that Queen Latifah has been named the Carnival Horizon’s godmother.

When The Queen Will Reign

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Photo: Carnival

Beloved by millions, the actress/singer/author/businesswoman said it was “an honor” to be selected, especially given the line’s longtime association with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, “a cause that is very near and dear to my heart.”

Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line, said that “with her fun-loving spirit and positive, can-do attitude, Queen Latifah embodies our brand and knows how to Choose Fun in everything she does. Knowing that she is a long-time supporter of St. Jude and has performed on and won Lip Sync Battle made her the ideal candidate to serve as godmother on our newest ship.”

READ MORE: Sneak Peek At The Carnival Horizon [Photos]

Latifah will officially assume her duties at the naming ceremony, which is set to take place during an invitation-only overnight gala being held on the Carnival Horizon in New York City on Wednesday, May 23. During the ceremony, St. Jude will be presented with a check representing funds raised at various Carnival events, both on ships and on shore. The atrium-grounding Dreamescape funnel will also feature artwork created by dozens of St. Jude patients.

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The gala will also see Latifah taking part in a special event titled Lip Sync Battle: Horizon which will showcase the ship’s authentic reproduction of the hit TV series.

Over the past few years, Latifah has… well, pretty much done it all. She’s won awards from groups as diverse as the Teen Choice Awards and the Screen Actors Guild, not to mention a Grammy, an Oscar nomination and two NAACP Image Awards. She was also the first hip-hop artist to be honored with a star on the world famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, and now runs a production company — Flavor Unit Entertainment — which produces a wide variety of programming.

After The Gala

Following the naming ceremony and Gala on May 23, the Carnival Horizon will spend the summer sailing out of New York City before relocating in September to Miami, where she’ll sail year-round cruises to the Caribbean.

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Carnival to Offer New Cuba Cruises in 2019



Carnival Cruise Line will be offering 17 new sailings to Cuba aboard Carnival Sensation in 2019. The five-day voyages will be the line’s first to operate round-trip from Miami and feature a day-long call in Havana as well as stops in other popular ports.

The voyages complement a series of sailings to Cuba departing from Tampa aboard Carnival Paradise taking place in 2018 and 2019. Sensation‘s Cuba schedule includes:

  • four 5-day sailings to Havana and Grand Turk departing May 20, Sept. 9, Nov. 18 and Dec. 16, 2019
  • five 5-day voyages featuring Havana, Nassau and Half Moon Cay departing June 17, July 15, Aug. 12, Sept. 23, and Nov. 4, 2019
  • a 5-day cruise to Havana, Nassau and Princess Cays departing April 22, 2019
  • seven 5-day cruises to Havana and Grand Cayman departing May 6, June 3, July 1 and 29, Aug. 26, Oct. 7 and Dec. 2, 2019

A Cuban taxi driver, piloting a vintage car, pulls up to the El Morro Castle while the Carnival Paradise cruise ship is docked in Havana, Cuba. (Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Line)

The 2,052-guest Carnival Sensation underwent a massive dry dock last year and a variety of venues were added, including Guy’s Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina, BlueIguana Tequila Bar, RedFrog Rum Bar, Alchemy Bar, and Cherry on Top. Already onboard was a Serenity adults-only area, 24-hour pizza, the WaterWorks aqua park, and the Seuss at Sea program.

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Guests sailing on Carnival’s cruises to Cuba can choose from almost 20 shore excursions that showcase the island’s culture, beauty, and architectural landmarks. There will also be Cuba-themed parties, games, and activities onboard. To learn more, visit

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