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BEFORE YOU CRUISE

The Ultimate Carnival Cruise Ship Guide (2019)

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What are the main differences between the various ships in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet?

This comprehensive guide will give you all the information you need to know about Carnival cruise ships- the older ones all the way to the newer.

Whether you’re getting ready to take your first Carnival cruise or trying to figure out which ship to take on your 20th, this look at what each of the vessels in their fleet has to offer will help you make the decision.

Carnival Sunrise waterworks

The new WaterWorks area on Carnival Sunrise features two slides for thrill-seekers and more.

We’ve listed them so you can easily find the specific ships you want more info on.

Jump to the Carnival Cruise ship you are looking for.

Carnival Breeze

carnival cruise line

Lido Deck on Carnival Breeze.

  • Name: Carnival Breeze 
  • Class: Dream
  • Size: 130,000-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: June 3, 2012
  • Guest Count: 3,690
  • Crew: 1,386
  • Godmother: Philanthropist Tracy Wilson Mourning
  • View Carnival Breeze Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 10 oceanview balcony Grand Suites
  • 44 oceanview balcony Junior Suites, Ocean Suites and Spa Suites
  • 851 oceanview balcony staterooms
  • 221 oceanview staterooms
  • 690 interior staterooms
  • 29 oceanview and interior upper/lower staterooms
  • 35 Accessible Staterooms
  • 1,845 total guest staterooms

The top deck of the Carnival Breeze features shady areas for mom and dad to relax and water slides for the kids to do anything but relax! 

Highlights: While Carnival’s newer ships feature a more muted color palette, many of the public and private spaces aboard Breeze have a tropical vibe that’s perfect for its Caribbean-heavy itineraries. Although she doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the newer ships, her Water-Works and Serenity areas make her a big hit with families.

Fun Fact: This was the first ship to feature Bonsai Sushi, which has since become a wildly popular venue among Carnival passengers.

Carnival Conquest

  • Name: Carnival Conquest
  • Class: Conquest
  • Size: 110,000-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: November 15, 2002
  • Guest Count: 2,980
  • Crew: 1,150
  • Godmother: Corrine Lindy Clairborne Boggs, the first woman elected to Congress from the state of Louisiana
  • View Carnival Conquest Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 2 deluxe Captain’s Suites
  • 10 oceanview Grand Suites
  • 42 oceanview Ocean Suites and Junior Suites
  • 6 scenic oceanview balcony staterooms
  • 521 oceanview balcony staterooms
  • 324 oceanview staterooms
  • 564 interior staterooms
  • 10 oceanview upper/lower staterooms
  • 11 interior upper/lower staterooms
  • 26 modified for wheelchair users
  • 1,490 total guest staterooms

Highlights: Although currently sailing out of Fort Lauderdale, the Conquest was originally designed to sail out of New Orleans. As such, much of her decor reflects that city’s culture and history, including the Blue’s Piano Bar and the Toulouse-Lautrec Main Show Lounge.

Like many of the older ships, Carnival Conquest's lobby features several glass elevators. And look at the artwork on the walls! You won't find that on any of the more modern ships! 

Fun Fact: The controversial 2008 book Cruise Confidential chronicles, in part, its author’s experiences as a restaurant worker on the Conquest.

Carnival Dream

Photo by Andy Newman

  • Name: Carnival Dream
  • Class: Dream
  • Size: 130,000-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: September 21, 2009
  • Guest Count: 3,646
  • Crew: 1,367
  • Godmother: Actress Marcia Gay Harden
  • View Carnival Dream Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 12 oceanview balcony Grand Suites
  • 44 oceanview balcony Junior Suites, Ocean Suites and Spa Suites
  • 831 oceanview balcony staterooms
  • 250 oceanview staterooms
  • 657 interior staterooms
  • 8 oceanview upper/lower staterooms
  • 21 interior upper/lower staterooms
  • 35 accessible staterooms
  • 1,823 total guest staterooms
Carnival Horizon

During the ship’s most recent refurbishment, the Pig & Anchor BBQ joint was added.

Highlights: The first in her class — soon to be followed by the Magic and the Breeze — the Dream introduced a new concept in the Ocean Plaza area, which featured music and a cafe with indoor/outdoor seating areas. The ship’s atrium is a stunner, stretching all the way up to a top-deck skylight. Another great feature: Deck five’s promenade, which circles the entire ship and features several hot tubs that are cantilevered over the edge!

Fun Fact: The Dream was the very first Carnival ship to be built with a top-deck water slide.

Carnival Ecstasy

  • Name: Carnival Ecstasy
  • Class: Fantasy
  • Size: 70,367-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: June 2, 1991
  • Guest Count: 2,056
  • Crew: 920
  • Godmother: Kathie Lee Gifford
  • View Carnival Ecstasy Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 28 oceanview balcony Grand Suites
  • 26 oceanview balcony Junior Suites
  • 98 oceanview balcony staterooms
  • 468 oceanview twin/king staterooms
  • 389 interior twin/king staterooms
  • 25 modified for wheelchair users
  • 1,028 total guest staterooms

Highlights: As one of the oldest ships in the current Carnival fleet, you’ll notice she has fewer balcony staterooms than you might find on other ships. But this smaller ship is big on activities, entertainment and top-notch service. Unlike many of the Carnival ships which have the Serenity Deck at the front of the ship, the adult’s only area on Ecstasy is perched on the back of the Promenade deck. Because there’s only one pool (located on the Lido deck), the Serenity hot tubs are a hot-ticket item. Although this ship’s last dry-dock was in 2017, she’ll be undergoing another in the fall of 2019.

Fun Fact: After Hurricane Katrina, the Carnival Ecstasy spent six months housing relief workers as well as folks who had been displaced by the storm.

Carnival Elation

Carnival Elation

Carnival Elation leaving port for the Bahamas.

  • Name: Carnival Elation
  • Class: Fantasy
  • Size: 71,909-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: March 20, 1998
  • Guest Count: 2,130
  • Crew: 920
  • Godmother: Shari Arison Dorsman, President of the Arison Foundation and daughter of Carnival’s Chairman Emeritus, Ted Arison
  • View Carnival Elation Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 28 oceanview balcony Grand Suites
  • 26 oceanview balcony Junior Suites
  • 565 oceanview twin/king staterooms
  • 389 interior twin/king staterooms
  • 19 interior upper/lower staterooms
  • 25 modified for wheelchair users
  • 1,027 total guest staterooms

CHristmas tree carnival artium

Carnival's ships get all decked out for the holidays, as evidenced by the Elation atrium and its humongous tree!

Highlights: Elation is one of the older Carnival ships which still manage to retain a sense of individuality. There are bursts of bright colors everywhere, and venues with completely unique design elements (such as the enormous Statue of Liberty head in the piano bar). When people say, "They don't make 'em like that anymore" in reference to cruise ships, this is exactly the kind of ship they're talking about. During a 2017 dry-dock, numerous oceanview staterooms were converted into the more in-demand balcony category. 

Fun Fact: Like her fellow Fantasy-class members, this ship was originally named, Elation. In 2007, the decision was made to add the word “Carnival” to all of their names.

Carnival Fantasy

Carnival Fantasy. Photo via Carnival.

  • Name: Carnival Fantasy
  • Class: Fantasy
  • Size: 70,367-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: March 2, 1990
  • Guest Count: 2,056
  • Crew: 920
  • Godmother: Tellervo Koivisto, former First Lady of Finland
  • View Carnival Fantasy Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 28 oceanview balcony Grand Suites
  • 26 oceanview balcony Junior Suites
  • 566 oceanview twin/king staterooms
  • 389 interior twin/king staterooms
  • 19 interior upper/lower staterooms
  • 24 modified for wheelchair users
  • 1,028 total guest staterooms

Highlights: Currently the oldest ship in the Carnival fleet, Fantasy is a throwback to an era when cruise ships were more focused on bingo and water slides than bells and whistles. There's a reason this ship is much loved by folks who prefer their voyages a little more mellow, their ships a little slower paced. 

Fun Fact: Although Fantasy is currently the oldest ship in the Carnival fleet, she wasn't actually the first. That honor goes to the original Mardi Gras, which began sailing under the company's flag in 1972.

Carnival Fascination

Carnival Fascination docked in Nassau.

  • Name: Carnival Fascination
  • Class: Fantasy
  • Size: 70,367-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: October 1, 1994
  • Guest Count: 2,056
  • Crew: 920
  • Godmother: Jeanne Farcus, wife of Joe Farcus, the interior designer who created many of the iconic looks featured across the Carnival fleet.
  • View Carnival Fascination Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 28 oceanview balcony Grand Suites
  • 26 oceanview balcony Junior Suites
  • 98 oceanview balcony staterooms
  • 468 oceanview twin/king staterooms
  • 389 interior twin/king staterooms
  • 19 interior upper/lower staterooms
  • 24 modified for wheelchair users
  • 1,028 total guest rooms

Highlights: This is one of the older ships in the Carnival fleet, and while it's theme is Old School Hollywood, she’s not quite as full of glitz and glamour as she once was. You'll still find many of the gaudier touches, the line was once known for, such as the decor in the Coconut Grove Bar & Grill (aka the buffet), complete with faux coconut trees. That being said, the ship has its charms and can often be sailed at a price far cheaper than you’d be able to book on a newer ship. One cool area that not everyone discovers: Just past the mini-golf course at the very front of the ship is a cool observation deck which offers incredible views (if not much protection from the occasionally vicious winds). 

Fun Fact: Following Hurricane Maria, the ship was chartered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from October of 2017 until February of the following year to house relief workers. The cost of the charter was reportedly in the range of $74 million. 

Carnival Freedom

Photo by Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Lines

  • Name: Carnival Freedom
  • Class: Conquest
  • Size: 110,000-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing:  March 14, 2007
  • Guest Count: 2,980
  • Crew: 1,150
  • Godmother: Supermodel Kathy Ireland
  • View Carnival Freedom Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 2 deluxe Captain’s Suites
  • 42 oceanview Ocean Suites and Junior Suites
  • 6 scenic oceanview staterooms
  • 521 oceanview balcony staterooms
  • 324 oceanview staterooms
  • 564 interior staterooms
  • 10 oceanview upper/lower staterooms
  • 11 interior upper/lower staterooms
  • 29 modified for wheelchair users
  • 1,490 total guest staterooms

Highlights: Fresh out of a dry-dock in early 2019, Freedom now offers a wide variety of venues and entertainment options that have long been staples on other Carnival ships.

For example, a Bonsai Sushi Express was added, and the water park got a whole new look, including two water slides.

But one of our favorite things about sailing on older Carnival ships, is seeing familiar venues such as dance clubs and main dining rooms with unusual names, picked for the ship’s theme (something that no longer exists on new builds).

For instance, on this ship you have the Centuries Promenade, International Aft Lounge and Victoriana Main Show Lounge. 

Fun Fact: This was the first ship to replace Camp Carnival with Camp Ocean, the popular children's program, as well as the first to introduce the Dr. Seuss-themed Bookville and its reading room. 

Watch Carnival Freedom Ship Tour (2019)

Carnival Glory

  • Name: Carnival Glory
  • Class: Conquest
  • Size: 110,000-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: July 14, 2003
  • Guest Count: 2,980
  • Crew: 1,150
  • Godmother: Dr. Sally Ride, Astronaut
  • View Carnival Glory Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 2 deluxe Captain’s Suites
  • 10 oceanview Grand Suites
  • 42 oceanview Ocean Suites and Junior Suites
  • 6 scenic oceanview staterooms
  • 521 oceanview balcony staterooms
  • 324 oceanview staterooms
  • 566 interior staterooms
  • 10 oceanview upper/lower staterooms
  • 11 interior upper/lower staterooms
  • 29 modified for wheelchair users
  • 1,490 total guest staterooms

Highlights: Thanks to dry-docks, which saw changes both major and minor in 2012 and 2017, Glory has a whole lot of popular venues despite being more than 15 years old. But it also retains some of the things we love about the older ships, including four glass elevators. Another feature you won’t find on the newer ships is a band playing on the promenade at night, just outside the casino, bringing that entire area to life. One thing we’ll say about this ship: It definite has the mark of Joe Farcus, meaning you'll find a whole lot of unique design touches, including some that border on Gothic. 

Fun Fact: While the steakhouse on most Carnival ships is named Fahrenheit 555, here it's known as The Emerald Room. It's a bit less formal looking than some of the steakhouses found on newer ships, but reservations are still recommended.

*Don't have one? You might still be able to get in... plus, the Emerald Room offers a bar where you can have a cocktail while you wait for a table to become available. 

Watch Carnival Glory Tour (2019)

 

Carnival Horizon

Carnival Horizon

Photo: Carnival

  • Name: Carnival Horizon
  • Class: Vista
  • Size: 133,500-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: April 2, 2018
  • Guest Count: 3,974
  • Crew: 1,450
  • Godmother: Queen Latifah
  • View Carnival Horizon Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 8 oceanview balcony Grand Suites
  • 66 oceanview Ocean Suites
  •  2 Junior Suites (obstructed standard balcony)
  •  38 Ocean Suites (large balcony)
  •  6 Cloud 9 Spa Suites (large balcony)
  •  16 Family Harbor Suites (large cove balcony)
  •  4 Havana Cabana Suites (patio cabana & Ianai)
  • 864 oceanview balcony staterooms
  • 23 oceanview with patio cabana & Ianai
  • 254 oceanview staterooms
  • 752 interior staterooms
  • 20 oceanview & interior upper/lower staterooms
  • 25 modified for wheelchair users
  • 1,987 total guest staterooms

Highlights: In many ways, Horizon is a virtual twin to the first-in-class Vista. Both offer the new Havana staterooms (including some with a cool lanai and even hammocks!), and both feature the thrilling SkyRide that allows you to essentially ride a bicycle while suspended some 140 feet above the sea.

The biggest difference between the two mega-ships? While Vista became the first ship to brew its own beer, Horizon upped the ante by combining ship-brewed beer with smoked meats to create the amazing venue that is Guy Fieri's Pig & Anchor Smokehouse/Brewhouse. 

Carnival Horizon

Horizon's Pig & Anchor has plenty of outdoor seating, allowing you to nosh while taking in the scenery.

Fun Fact: As part of the festivities following the ship's naming ceremony, godmother Queen Latifah kicked Philadelphia Eagles' kicker Jake Elliott's butt during a Lip Sync Battle. 

Watch Carnival Horizon Ship Tour (2019)

Carnival Imagination

photo: Carnival Cruise Line

  • Name: Carnival Imagination
  • Class: Fantasy
  • Size: 70,367-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: July 8, 1995
  • Guest Count: 2,056
  • Crew: 920
  • Godmother: Jodi Dickinson, ex-wife of former Carnival CEO Bob Dickinson
  • View Carnival Imagination Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 28 oceanview balcony Grand Suites
  • 26 oceanview balcony Junior Suites
  • 564 oceanview twin/king staterooms
  • 389 interior twin/king staterooms
  • 19 interior upper/lower staterooms
  • 25 modified for wheelchair users
  • 1,028 total guest staterooms

Outside the Imagination's dining room you'll find... a model of the Imagination!

Highlights: Another throwback to a time when cruise ships had themes, the Imagination pays tribute to fantasy tales and ancient legends, giving rise to venues with names like the Xanadu lounge and Illusions dance club. But of course, you'll also find new favorites such as the Alchemy Bar and Guy's Burger Joint. While it may not be the newest ship, it's perfect for the short, 2- to 5- night runs she currently makes from Los Angeles to Mexico. 

Fun Fact: While no details are yet available as to what changes might be made, Imagination will be undergoing a dry-dock in October of 2019.

Carnival Inspiration

photo: Carnival Cruise Line

  • Name: Carnival Inspiration
  • Class: Fantasy
  • Size: 70,367-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: March 22, 1996
  • Guest Count: 2,056
  • Crew: 920
  • Godmother: Mary Anne Shula, CEO of Shula's Steak Houses
  • View Carnival Inspiration Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 28 oceanview balcony Grand Suites
  • 26 oceanview balcony Junior Suites
  • 565 oceanview twin/king staterooms
  • 389 interior twin/king staterooms
  • 19 interior upper/lower staterooms
  • 25 modified for wheelchair users
  • 1,027 total guest staterooms

Highlights: Despite being one of the older, smaller ships in the fleet, Inspiration is actually the No. 1 rated Carnival Cruise Ship according to the users and experts at U.S. News. While the ship isn't jam-packed with bells and whistles, it's the perfect vessel for short getaways (think: holiday weekends) that it tends to specialize in. The ship underwent a dry-dock late in 2018, which saw most of her public areas and staterooms being refreshed. 

Fun Fact: The closest thing the Inspiration has to specialty dining (aside from the Chef's Table) is a Bonsai Sushi Express, which was added during the late 2018 dry-dock. Many guests love that they don't have to spend the extra money to eat in a specialty restaurant... or even consider doing so! 

Carnival Legend

  • Name: Carnival Legend
  • Class: Spirit
  • Size: 88,500-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: August 24, 2002
  • Guest Count: 2,124
  • Crew: 930
  • Godmother: Dame Judi Dench
  • View Carnival Legend Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 6 oceanview balcony Grand Suites
  • 44 oceanview balcony Suites
    • Ocean Suites (32)
    • Junior Suites (2)
    • Vista Suites (10)
  • 632 oceanview balcony
  • 64 oceanview French doors
  • 103 oceanview window
  • 213 interior cabins
  • 17 modified for wheelchair users
  • 1,062 total guest cabin

Highlights: Another of the old-school Carnival ships, Legend dates back to a time when ships had themes... and this one is obvious. You don't simply get a Lido Pool or casino, but rather venues with names like the Camelot and Avalon Pools, and the Club Merlin Casino. Of course, there are more modern "legends" aboard as well... and yes, we count Guy Fieri as a legend thanks to his incredible Burger Joint. 

Fun Fact: The ship’s maiden voyage was also Carnival’s first cruise in Europe, a three-night trip from Harwich to Amsterdam and back. This was also the first Carnival ship to offer specialty dining. 

Carnival Liberty

Carnival Liberty

Photo by Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Lines/HO

  • Name: Carnival Liberty
  • Class: Conquest
  • Size: 110,00-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: July 20, 2005
  • Guest Count: 2,974
  • Crew: 1,160
  • Godmother: Actress Mira Sorvino
  • View Carnival Liberty Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 2 deluxe Captain’s Suites
  • 10 oceanview Grand Suites
  • 42 oceanview Ocean Suites & Junior Suites
  • 521 oceanview balcony staterooms
  • 327 oceanview staterooms
  • 564 interior staterooms
  • 10 oceanview upper/lower staterooms
  • 11 interior upper/lower staterooms
  • 29 modified for wheelchair users
  • 1,487 total guest staterooms

atrium carnival liberty

Carnival ships are known for their atrium's, and Liberty is no exception!

Highlights: Unlike today's more homogeneous ships, this is yet another on which you'll find unique details around every corner. The three-story atrium features an interesting combination of multi-colored lights and wrought iron, while the main dining room has white iron chandeliers that are reminiscent of the ballroom from Disney's Beauty & The Beast.

The lights-and-ironwork combo recurs throughout, especially along the promenade. A nice feature of the pool deck is that it's tiered, offering several levels of loungers. All of these have nice views of the pool, as opposed to a standard flat-plan where the majority of loungers are all on one level. 

Fun Fact: This was the first Carnival ship to be outfitted with a Seaside Theater, which is now famous for the nightly poolside Dive-In Movies.

Carnival Magic

  • Name: Carnival Magic
  • Class: Dream
  • Size: 130,000-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: May 1, 2011
  • Guest Count: 3,690
  • Crew: 1,367
  • Godmother: Lindsey Wilkerson, a former patient at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital who went on to become an ambassador for the organization. 
  • View Carnival Magic Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 10 oceanview balcony Grand Suites
  • 44 oceanview balcony Junior Suites and Spa Suites
  • 851 oceanview balcony staterooms
  • 221 oceanview staterooms
  • 690 interior staterooms
  • 29 oceanview and interior upper/lower staterooms
  • 35 modified for wheelchair users
  • 1,845 total guest staterooms

Highlights: In some ways, the Carnival Magic represents a middle ground for the line's ships. On the one hand, it features many of the things we now associate with Carnival -- including venues like the Alchemy Bar and Guy's Burger Joint -- yet it manages to feel old-fashioned and retain some of the intimacy that was once associated with cruising. I

t also bridges the gap between some of the more over-the-top ships (such as the Miracle) and today's vessels, which don't really offer the individual themes that Carnival's older ships once did. 

Fun Fact: During a typical week-long cruise, guests on the Carnival Magic consume upwards of 40,000 pastries. 

Carnival Miracle

Carnival Miracle

Photo by Andy Newman/CCL

  • Name: Carnival Miracle
  • Class: Spirit
  • Size: 88,500-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: February 27, 2004
  • Guest Count: 2,124
  • Crew: 934
  • Godmother: Jessica Lynch
  • View Carnival Miracle Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 6 oceanview balcony Grand Suites
  • 44 oceanview balcony Suites
    •  Ocean Suites (32)
    • Junior Suites (2)
    • Vista Suites (10)
  • 632 oceanview balcony
  • 64 oceanview French doors
  • 103 oceanview window
  • 213 interior cabins
  • 16 modified for wheelchair users
  • 1,062 total guest cabins

Wild and wonderful touches like this make Carnival Miracle one of the most unique ships on the high seas.

Highlights: This might be the most unique of the remaining old-school Carnival ships. The work of longtime designer/entertainment architect Joe Farcus is unmistakable in venues like the Phantom Lounge and Dr. Frankenstein's Lab, the two-story disco featuring a 15-foot tall version of the mad scientist's creation. Unusual design elements abound whether in the practically hidden Gatsby's Garden Promenade or the steakhouse which is essentially built into the famous whale-tail funnel (which is, by the way, another Farcus design). 

Fun Fact: Outside each stateroom is a larger-than-life picture of a famous fictional character. 

Watch Carnival Miracle Tour (2019)

Carnival Panorama

Rendering via Carnival Cruise Line

  • Name: Carnival Panorama
  • Class: Vista
  • Size: 88,500-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: December 11, 2019
  • Guest Count: 4,008
  • Crew: 1,450
  • Coming Soon: Carnival Panorama Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 8 oceanview balcony Grand Suites
  • 66 oceanview balcony Suites
    • 38 Ocean Suites with large balconies
    • 2 Junior Suites with obstructed standard balconies 
    • 6 Cloud 9 Spa Suites with large balconies
    • 16 Family Harbor Suites with large balconies
    • 4 Havana Cabana Suites with patio cabana and lanai
  • 864 oceanview balcony
  • 23 oceanview with patie cabana and lanai
  • 254 oceanview
  • 769 interior staterooms
  • 20 oceanview and interior upper/lower
  • 2,024 total guest cabins, 25 modified for wheelchair users

Pig and Anchor BBQ

Carnival Panorama will feature a Pig & Anchor Smokehouse/Brewhouse, a concept first introduced on her sister ship, the Carnival Horizon. (Rendering via Carnival Cruise Line)

Highlights: Truth be told, Carnival Panorama has been a bit overlooked thanks to her attention-hogging sister, the Carnival Mardi Gras. After all, Mardi Gras is sort of a game-changer for Carnival, from her hull art to her top-deck roller coaster. But Panorama is deserving of a whole lot of attention in her own right. For one thing, the ship will introduce a fleet-first in SkyZone, a multi-purpose trampoline park. This will also be the first Carnival ship to feature a culinary studio. This third Vista-class ship will sail year-round out of Long Beach, California. Of course, the ship will offer many of the favorites featured on her siblings, including Guy's Pig & Anchor Smokehouse/Brewhouse, the Sky Ride and the Alchemy Bar. 

Fun Fact: This will be the first newly-built Carnival ship to sail from Long Beach in over two decades. 

Carnival Paradise

Carnival Paradise docked in Grand Cayman.

  • Name: Carnival Paradise
  • Class: Fantasy
  • Size: 70,367-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: November 25, 1998
  • Guest Count: 2,052
  • Crew: 920
  • Godmother: Paula Zahn, American newscaster and journalist
  • View Carnival Paradise Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • Suites and Grand Penthouse Suites: 78
  • Ocean View with Balcony/Lanai: 662
  • Ocean View without Balcony: 391
  • Interior Staterooms: 31

Highlights: During a 2018 refurbishment, Carnival Paradise received 38 brand new staterooms. Also added was Guy’s Burger Joint, RedFrog Rum Bar, BlueIguana Tequila Bar, BlueIguana Cantina, Camp Ocean kids program, and a Waterworks Aquapark.

Fun Fact: Carnival Paradise was launched at the world's first non-smoking cruise ship. It was so anti-smoke that even the crew members were not allowed to smoke. On top of that, if you were caught smoking on the ship you were fined $250 and sent home from the next port of call. Carnival discontinued the smoke-free policy in 2003.

Carnival Pride

  • Name: Carnival Pride
  • Class: Spirit
  • Size: 88,500-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: January 12, 2002
  • Guest Count: 2,124
  • Crew: 930
  • Godmother: Dr. Tamara Jernigan, an astronaut who flew five different space shuttle missions
  • View Carnival Pride Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 6 oceanview balcony Grand Suites
  • 44 oceanview balcony Suites
    • 32 Ocean Suites 
    • 2 Junior Suites 
    • 10 Vista Suites 
  • 632 oceanview balcony
  • 64 oceanview French doors
  • 103 oceanview window
  • 213 interior cabins
  • 17 modified for wheelchair users
  • 1,062 total guest cabins

Highlights: This midsize ship underwent a renovation in early 2019 which mostly involved sprucing things up. At that time, the chapel and library were removed and an area known as "The Cove" was added. This is largely used in conjunction with Carnival's newly-formed partnership with Michael's, meaning it's where a lot of family-friendly crafting events are held. You'll find some of Carnival's newer offerings -- like Guy's Burger Joint and Bonsai Sushi -- on board, but the ship also managed to maintain some of its old-world charm in venues such as the Normandie Dining Room. 

Fun Fact: Pride was the first ship to do year-round sailings out of Baltimore, Maryland's port. 

Carnival Radiance

carnival radiance

A rendering of the upcoming Carnival Radiance.

  • Name: Carnival Radiance, currently Carnival Victory
  • Class: Sunshine as of 2020, currently Destiny
  • Size: 133,500-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: October 15, 2000, as Victory; unknown as Radiance
  • Guest Count: 4,008
  • Crew: 1,450
  • Godmother: To be announced  
  • View Carnival Radiance Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 8 oceanview balcony Grand Suites
  • 66 oceanview Ocean Suites
  •  2 Junior Suites (obstructed standard balcony)
  •  38 Ocean Suites (large balcony)
  •  6 Cloud 9 Spa Suites (large balcony)
  •  16 Family Harbor Suites (large cove balcony)
  •  4 Havana Cabana Suites (patio cabana & Ianai)
  • 864 oceanview balcony staterooms
  • 23 oceanview with patio cabana & Ianai
  • 254 oceanview staterooms
  • 769 interior staterooms
  • 20 oceanview & interior upper/lower staterooms
  • 25 modified for wheelchair users
  • 2,004 total guest staterooms

Highlights: Once the Carnival Victory undergoes an extended dry-dock, she'll emerge in April of 2020 as a new ship with a new name. As Carnival Radiance, she'll join new sister Carnival Sunshine as part of the Sunshine class. At the same time, Radiance will get some new venues. Some new to her specifically and some new to Carnival as a whole.

Hard as it is to believe, this ship doesn't yet have a Red Frog Pub, a situation that will be remedied during the refurbishment. And while the ship's current incarnation has a Bonsai Sushi Express, she'll get a sit-down version of the popular venue. Meanwhile, Carnival will use this transformed ship to introduce Big Chicken, a restaurant which just happens to have been created by the company's Chief Fun Officer, Shaquille O'Neal. 

shaq big chicken

Bring your appetite when you swing by Shaq's Big Chicken restaurant aboard the Carnival Sunrise. (Photo via Carnival)

Fun Fact: During her inaugural season, Radiance will sail from New York City; Norfolk, Virginia; and Port Canaveral, Florida... and she is slated to visit Cuba from each of those ports! 

Watch Carnival Victory Ship Tour (2019)

Carnival Sensation

photo: Carnival Cruise Line

  • Name: Carnival Sensation
  • Class: Fantasy
  • Ship Size: 70,367-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: November 21, 1993
  • Guest Count: 2,056
  • Crew: 920
  • Godmother: The ship actually has four godmothers, all of the Carnival Cruise Line Vice Presidents. They are Vicki Freed, Roberta Jacoby, Cherie Weinstein and Gerry Donnelly.
  • View Carnival Sensation Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 28 oceanview balcony Grand Suites
  • 26 oceanview balcony Junior Suites
  • 98 oceanview balcony staterooms
  • 468 oceanview twin/king staterooms
  • 389 interior twin/king staterooms
  • 19 interior upper/lower staterooms
  • 25 modified for wheelchair users
  • 1,028 total guest staterooms

Highlights: Having been part of the Carnival fleet since 1993, Sensation is definitely one of the oldest ships. In fact, only two ships are currently sailing under the Carnival flag who are older. Those would be the Fantasy, which began sailing in 1990, and the Ecstasy, which joined the fleet in 1991.

Because of it's "maturity", this isn't the ship for folks looking to experience the latest and greatest in cruise ship technology. It is however, perfect for the type of runs Sensation does: 2- to 5-day sailings from Miami to the Bahamas, the Caribbean and Cuba.

After all, she has everything you'd need for what is basically a long weekend, including the Alchemy Bar, Guy's Burger Joint and should you want to get dressed up for an extra special occasion, the Chef's Table. 

Fun Fact: Sensation was one of the ships chartered by the U.S. Government following Hurricane Katrina to offer to house displaced residents and relief workers helping with the recovery process.

Carnival Spirit

  • Name: Carnival Spirit
  • Class: Spirit
  • Ship Size: 88,550-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: April 29, 2001
  • Guest Count: 2,680
  • Crew: 910
  • Godmother: Elizabeth Dole, former North Carolina senator and spouse of the late Bob Dole

Staterooms

  • 6 Grand Suites
  • 10 Vista Suites
  • 32 Ocean Views
  • 2 Junior Suites
  • 632 oceanview balcony staterooms
  • 103 oceanview staterooms
  • 277 interior staterooms
  • 17 accessible staterooms
  • 1,062 total guest staterooms

Looking for a slippery thrill? Give Carnival Spirit's 'Green Thunder' water slide a try! (Photo via Carnival Australia) 

Highlights: For several years, this ship sailed exclusively out of Australia. But she has since returned to the United States and now does voyages out of several ports: including Honolulu, Hawaii, Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia. Like some of the other older ships, Spirit has a very cool "hidden" area, called the Jungle Promenade and featuring cozy seating, bamboo and nice ocean views. 

Fun Fact: On September 25, 2020, Carnival Spirit will leave Vancouver for an amazing 11-day Carnival Journeys cruise to Hawaii.

Carnival Splendor  

Carnival Splendor

Photo by Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Lines

  • Name: Carnival Splendor
  • Class: Splendor
  • Size: 113,300-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: July 2, 2008
  • Guest Count: 3,012
  • Crew: 1,150
  • Godmother: British model/singer/pianist Myleene Klas 
  • View Carnival Splendor Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 2 oceanview balcony Captain’s Suites
  • 10 oceanview balcony Grand Suites
  • 42 oceanview balcony Junior Suites, Ocean Suites and Spa Suites
  • 6 scenic oceanview staterooms
  • 537 oceanview balcony staterooms
  • 329 oceanview staterooms
  • 551 interior staterooms
  • 8 oceanview upper/lower staterooms
  • 21 interior upper/lower staterooms
  • 29 modified for wheelchair users
  • 1,506 total guest staterooms

Highlights: If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind ship, this one might qualify… if for no other reason than she is the only one in her class! That’s because Splendor was originally ordered and built for Costa Cruises, but at some point during construction, the decision was made to transfer her to their sister line, Carnival.

Following a scheduled four-week dry-dock in November, Splendor will begin cruising year-round out of Australia.

Fun Fact: When the ship relocated from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Long Beach, California in 2009, the trip actually took 49 days. Why? Because Splendor was too wide to traverse the Panama Canal, so the ship instead went around Cape Horn ... becoming the first Carnival ship to ever make that journey!

Carnival Sunrise

Carnival Sunrise

High above Carnival Sunrise.

  • Name: Carnival Sunrise
  • Class: Sunshine
  • Size: 101,509-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: April 29, 2019
  • Guest Count: 2,754
  • Crew: 1,108
  • Godmother: Madeleine Arison
  • View Carnival Sunrise Deck Plans 

Staterooms

  • 2 balcony Captain Suites
  • 10 balcony Grand Suites
  • 41 balcony Ocean Suites
  • 502 balcony staterooms
  • 6 scenic oceanview staterooms
  • 302 oceanview window staterooms
  • 512 interior staterooms
  • 17 oceanview and interior upper/lower and twin/sofa bed staterooms
  • 46 accessible staterooms
  • 1,492 total guest staterooms

Highlights: Talk about something old, something new! Following an extensive dry-dock, the Carnival Triumph morphed into Carnival Sunrise, a sister ship to the much-loved Carnival Sunshine. The sort of new-and-definitely-improved ship has been updated with such popular outlets as Guy's Pig & Anchor BBQ, the Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse and Cucina del Capitano. If you're looking for a special dining experience, check out the gorgeous new space in which the Chef's Table is held. 

Want a night you'll never forget? Book a seat at the Carnival Sunrise's Chef’s Table. (Photo via John Heald’s Facebook page)

Fun Fact: The largest room on the ship? The Captain's Suite, which also happens to come with priority boarding and disembarkation. 

Carnival Sunrise Video Tour (2019)

Carnival Sunshine

Photo via Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Line

  • Name: Carnival Sunshine
  • Class: Sunshine
  • Ship Size: 102,853-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing:  November 17, 2013
  • Guest Count: 3,002
  • Crew: 1,040
  • Godmother: Lin Arison   
  • View Carnival Sunshine Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 2 balcony Captain Suites
  • 8 balcony Grand Suites
  • 45 balcony Ocean Suites
  • 508 balcony staterooms
  • 308 oceanview window staterooms
  • 6 oceanview porthole staterooms
  • 28 oceanview obstructed window staterooms (obstructed by lifeboats/equipment and/or outdoor walkways)
  • 586 interior staterooms
  • 10 oceanview and interior upper/lower and twin/sofa bed staterooms
  • 13 fully accessible
  • 19 modified for wheelchair users
  • 1,501 total guest staterooms

Carnival Sunshine is the only ship in the entire fleet to feature a waterfall in the Serenity area.

Highlights: It's impossible to talk about the Carnival Sunshine without mentioning the feature which sets it apart from all other ships in the fleet. A gorgeous Serenity deck, complete with the waterfall! It's easy to forget that from 1996 until 2013, the ship was known as the Carnival Destiny. Only after a $155 million makeover did she become the Sunshine. This process recently saw the Triumph morph into the Sunrise and next, the Victory will be transformed into the Radiance.  The ship does have a few layout quirks which can lead to a bit of confusion when newcomers first begin exploring, but over time the ship has become one of the most popular in the fleet. 

Fun Fact: At the time of her introduction, Carnival Sunshine was the world's largest ship in terms of weight, being the very first to cross the 100,000 gross ton mark. 

Carnival Victory

Carnival Victory port Miami

Carnival Victory departing Port Miami.

  • Name: Carnival Victory
  • Class: Destiny
  • Size: 102,000-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: October 15, 2000
  • Guest Count: 2,764
  • Crew: 1,090
  • Godmother: Deshauna Barber, the first member of the U.S. military to be crowned Miss USA.
  • View Carnival Victory Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • Suites and Grand Penthouse Suites: 50
  • Ocean View with Balcony/Lanai: 488
  • Ocean View without Balcony: 286
  • Interior Staterooms: 558

Highlights: Carnival Victory was one of the last ships to get the Guy's Burger Joint and the rest of the Fun Ship 2.0 features. Several new cabin categories were also added to Carnival Victory, including 260-square-feet Scenic Ocean View staterooms and 320-square-foot Scenic Grand Ocean View accommodations.

Fu Fact: When Carnival Victory was launched in 2000, she was one of the largest cruise ships in the world.

Carnival Valor

  • Name: Carnival Valor
  • Class: Conquest
  • Size: 110,000-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: December 19, 2004
  • Guest Count: 2,980
  • Crew: 1,180
  • Godmother: Katie Couric  
  • View Carnival Valor Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • Deluxe Captain’s Suites: 2
  • Grand Penthouse Suites: 10
  • Suites: 42
  • Scenic Ocean View: 6
  • Ocean View with Balcony/Lanai: 521
  • Ocean View without Balcony: 334
  • Interior Staterooms: 575

Highlights: Another ship from the era when vessels in the fleet had themes, Valor's through-line here is "heroes and heroics." The message does get a bit muddled, with venues like the moon-themed One Small Step dance club and the Paris Hot Lounge. But you'll also find all your favorite Carnival hot spots, including Guy's Burger Joint, the Alchemy Bar and a steakhouse (although it's called Scarlet's here, as opposed to the more recent Fahrenheit 555 branding). Like other similarly-aged ships in the fleet, Valor isn't going to have the big-ticket attractions. But those looking for a classic ship will find exactly what they were seeking once they step on board. 

Fun Fact: The aft pool on Valor has a retractable sunroof, making it the perfect place to hang out on days with less-than-ideal weather. 

Carnival Vista

Waterworks on Carnival Vista.

  • Name: Carnival Vista
  • Class: Vista
  • Size: 133,500-tons
  • Inaugural Sailing: May 1, 2016
  • Guest Count: 3,934
  • Crew: 1,450
  • Godmother: Deshauna Barber, the first member of the U.S. military to be crowned Miss USA.
  • View Carnival Vista Deck Plans

Staterooms

  • 8 oceanview balcony Grand Suites
  • 66 oceanview Ocean Suites
    • 2 Junior Suites (obstructed standard balcony)
    • 38 Ocean Suites (large balcony)
    • 6 Cloud 9 Spa Suites (large balcony)
    • 16 Family Harbor Suites (large cove balcony)
    • 4 Havana Cabana Suites (patio cabana & Ianai)
  • 854 oceanview balcony staterooms
  • 23 oceanview with patio cabana & Ianai
  • 264 oceanview staterooms
  • 732 interior staterooms
  • 20 oceanview and interior upper/lower staterooms
  • 25 modified for wheelchair users
  • 1,967 total guest staterooms

Highlights: The first of her class, Vista introduced several exciting new concepts to the Carnival fleet. For example, she was the first ship to have the SkyRide (which might be the closest thing to those flying bikes from E.T.). This was also the first ship to have the Havana staterooms and, perhaps more importantly, the Havana Retreat. The ship also boasts an IMAX theater and in the expansive Serenity area, a Fresh Creations salad bar. 

Vista's Havana section includes staterooms which come with private patios  that feature a cute little gate and a swinging chair. 

Fun Fact: At the time that Vista joined the Carnival fleet, she was the largest ship they had ever built. 

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Hi, this may be of interest to you: The Ultimate Carnival Cruise Ship Guide (2019). This is the link: https://cruiseradio.net/the-ultimate-carnival-cruise-ship-guide-2019/