Carnival Cruise Line fleet
Review of Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) is an US cruise 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 (global market share 22% / passengers and 9% / revenue) is one of the 10 brands owned by Carnival Corporation - world's largest passenger shipping company (followed by RCCL Royal Caribbean). As of 2018, Carnival Corporation controls around 39% of the global ship cruising market (revenue) and around 48% (passengers), with full ownership of 9 brands (AIDA, CCL, Costa, Cunard, Holland America, P&O / UK and Australia, Princess, Seabourn).
CCL has the largest fleet in Corporation's group of companies, and accounts for over 1/5 of group's worldwide market share. CCL's executive control is provided by Corporation's North American division.
- Carnival pioneered the concept of less expensive, short-break cruise itineraries.
- In 1996, the 101,000-GT Carnival Destiny (now Sunshine) became world's biggest passenger ship and the first to weigh over 100,000 tons.
- In October 2012, Carnival Corporation ordered a new-class liner for CCL. It was built by Fincantieri (Italy) as company's largest ever, with passenger capacity 4000, GT tonnage 133,500, speed 23 kn (43 kph / 26 mph). The panama-flagged newbuild (Carnival Vista) was delivered in 2016.
- 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".
NEW Carnival-XL ship
On November 15, 2018, was the steel-cutting ceremony for Carnival’s new XL-Class (largest) cruise liner. The 180,000 GT-ton newbuild also features a new livery and will be LNG-powered.
The shipbuilder is Meyer Werft (Turku Shipyard, Finland). The vessel is scheduled for delivery in 2020 and will be homeported in Port Canaveral Florida. A second liner (sistership) from the same XL series will be delivered in 2022, with its construction starting in 2020. In 2022, Carnival Cruise Line celebrates company's 50th Anniversary.
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 liner has length 1130 ft (344 m), passenger capacity 5200 (lower berths) and will offer various fleet-first and industry-first innovations.
(NEW) Carnival China cruise brand
In February 2015, Carnival Corporation signed a 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 destination.
- MouU's joint venture port plans included 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, subsidiary of CSSC / China State Shipbuilding Corporation) and China Investment Corp. The USD 3,88 billion deal established a Hong Kong-based joint venture to place shiporders 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 the new joint venture "CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Ltd". The deal was officially signed in early-November 2018.
- The shipbuilding project has total value around USD 1,5 billion, not including the options for 4 more liners. Additionally, CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping will purchase 2 existing liners from Costa Group - Costa Atlantica (scheduled transfer by 2019-Q3) and Costa Mediterranea (transfer date tba).
- Shipbuilder is SWS. Another joint venture - "CSSC Cruise Technology Development Co Ltd" (SWS plus Fincantieri) will grant shipbuilding technology licenses and provide technical services to SWS, including supply chain and project management, components, fundamental marine systems. New liner's design will be specifically tailored for Chinese cruisers.
- 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
Carnival Cruise Line 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 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 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 & 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.
Carnival Cruise Lines ships provide a variety of onboard activities - from napkin-folding classes, Vegas-style revues and gourmet & 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 noules 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 on the newest Vista-class Carnival ships.
This is the 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 great golf cruise packages created for keen golfers.
Carnival caters for families with amazing kids programs. Kids club activities by “Camp Ocean” kids program feature “Dr Seuss at Sea” entertainment programming. 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 has been spending a lot on fleet refurbishments and upgrades since 2007. The initiative “Evolutions of Fun” cost USD 350 million on eight Fantasy-class cruise ships and included new deck spaces, kids facilities, “WaterWorks” aqua park with water-slides.
The “Fun Ship 2.0”, launched in 2011, cost USD 500 million and featured new dining venues; transforming cabins; themed bars, lounges and clubs. The biggest part of the program was the transformation of Carnival Destiny into Carnival Sunshine in 2013 at the staggering USD 155 million for a 49-day drydock refurbishment. Next link is to CruiseMapper's Carnival cruise secrets, tips and tricks.
This official YouTube video reviews Dream-class Carnival vessels (Breeeze, Dream, Magic) as facilities and onboard amenities.
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, Carnival Cruise Line don'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 departure port cruise terminals were installed health signage to remind practicing hand hygiene and reporting any illness to staff / crew.
Carnival cruise gratuities (2018-2019 cruises)
Daily gratuities are per person (pp):
- USD 12,95 pp (standard staterooms - interior, oceanview, balcony, both adults and kids)
- USD 13,95 (suites). 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.
- On Carnival ships departing from Australian ports tipping is not compulsory,
- On Cruises To Nowhere, the amount of gratuities PP per day is USD 12,95.
- Carnival Barbados deals (any itinerary visiting Barbados), all gratuities are prepaid and added upon booking.
- Daily gratuity is an automatic service charge added to the passenger's onboard account each day.
- Passengers can prepay gratuities.
- The amount of gratuities is split between the ship's staff (dining, housekeeping, cabin stewards).
- Room Service staff tipping is not compulsory.
- For drinks purchases, an automatic 15% 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 tips 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.
The following table shows the total amount of gratuities (per person) based on the Carnival cruise itinerary duration:
|Cruise Itinerary Length||Tips (standard cabin, pp) USD||Tips (suite cabin, pp) USD|
NEW Carnival cruise ship Wi-Fi plans
In 2017, Carnival Cruise Line updated the cruise ship WiFi 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.
The new Carnival WiFi plans can be purchased (at discounted rates) for either the entire voyage or for a day (24-hour period).
- "Social Package" (cost USD 8 per day, discount price $6,80 if pre-purchased prior deprture) 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" (cost USD 16 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 calling.
- "Premium Package (cost USD 25 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 inncludes all apps and websites, plus streaming services and Skype video calling.
Since May 2017, Carnival 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 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 varied 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 & 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 Cruise Line is the only cruise company allowing its customers to take advantage of the "Future Cruise Vacation" promo up to 2 weeks after the end of the voyage / disembarkation.
Carnival fly-cruise deals Fly2Fun
Since 2015, Carnival Cruise Line 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, air line / 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 flight reservation.
In November 2018, Carnival partnered with American Airlines for a new exclusive flycruise offer.
- Members of 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 the rewards. AAdvantage cardholders must book the cruise through "American Airlines Cruises" using their card to get additional mile per dollar spent.
- The exclusive deal is offered on Carnival voyages November 1, 2018, through August 31, 2021.
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" 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 Carnival customers to make online purchases more quickly and securely. PayPal can be used as 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 a 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 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.
"Fun Ship Freddy" is Carnival's mascot in the shape of the company's distinctive funnel.
Former Carnival ships
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".
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 Carnival cruise ship ever, an ocean liner built in 1961 as "Empress of Canada", scrapped 2003, weight 27,300, passengers 1,240, 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 2008, weight 25,500, passengers 1,124, 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 32,700, passengers 726, former names SA Vaal, Island Breeze, Big Red Boat III.
- MS TROPICALE (1982-2001), built 1982, tonnage 36,700 GT, the first newbuild Carnival liner. Names after its Carnival service - Costa Tropicale, Pacific Star, and since 2008 - MS Ocean Dream.
- MS JUBILEE (1986-2004), built 1986, weight 47,300 GT, passengers 1,490 (max 1,900), sold to P&O Australia in 2004, renamed Pacific Sun, sold in 2012 to a small Chinese operator to become the gambling ship MS Henna (scrapped in 2017).
- MS CELEBRATION (1987-2008), now Grand Celebration, built in Sweden, weight 47,300, passengers 1,490 (max 1,900), transferred to iberoCruceros, currently operated by Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line.
- MS HOLIDAY (1985-2009, now MS Magellan), built in Denmark, weight 46,000, passengers 1,450 (max 1,800), transferred to iberoCruceros, currently operated 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. 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.
Itinerary of Carnival Cruise Line
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 Southern USA. The voyage started in Nashville TN (Aug 25) and ended in Atlanta GA (Sept 26-30), visiting along the route Memphis (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 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).
Follows a review of Carnival Cruise Lines itinerary program for 2018-2019-2020 scheduled itineraries. For sailing dates (departures, arrivals), ports of call times and Carnival cruise prices per person follow the ship pages listed below.
- Note: Carnival established cruise ship operations in China via a partnership with its local subsidiary company Costa Asia. Costa has been in China since 2008.
|Ship Names||Homeports||Itineraries Changes|
operates on round-trips to Eastern Caribbean (Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St Kitts, St Maarten), Western Caribbean (Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel Mexico) and Southern Caribbean (Dominican Republic, Curacao, Aruba).
Since September 30, 2018, the ship is homeported in Port Canaveral for year-round Caribbean itineraries.
operates on itineraries to Southern Caribbean (Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Dominican Republic), Western Caribbean (Key West FL, Cozumel Mexico, Jamaica, Belize, Roatan Honduras), Eastern Caribbean (St Maarten, St Kitts, Puerto Rico, Grand Turk, Grand Cayman) and Bahamas (Freeport, Nassau, Half Moon Cay).
operates on 7-day round-trips to Bahamas (Key West, Freeport, Nassau), Western Caribbean (Cozumel Mexico, Belize, Roatan Honduras) and Eastern Caribbean (Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel)
starting May 2019, the ship offers year-round 4- and 5-day Mexico itineraries from Galveston
operates on round-trips to Western Caribbean (Key West FL, Cozumel Mexico) and Bahamas (3-day to Nassau).
Starting May 2019, the ship is homeported in JAXPORT (Jacksonville Florida) to operate year-round on 4-5-day cruises to Bahamas. In JAXPORT, Ecstasy replaces Carnival Elation.
operates on cruises to Western Caribbean from New Orleans (4-day to Cozumel, 5-day Cozumel and Progreso).
In 2018 Carnival offers nineteen 4- to 8-day Bermuda departing from 6 East Coast U.S. ports, including Baltimore, Charleston, Fort Lauderdale, New York and Port Canaveral. The new voyages complement the year-round 4- and 5-day schedule of the ship from Jacksonville. Carnival Elation is the only year-round ship of Jacksonville and carries approx 170,000 passengers per year from the port.
In 2019 Carnival Elation is homeported in Port Canaveral (Orlando Florida). Starting on May 12, 2019, the ship operates year-round on roundtrips with 4- and 5-day Bahamas cruises. Departures are on Thursdays (4-day itinerary to Freeport and Nassau) and on Mondays and Saturdays (5-day itinerary to Amber Cove Dominican Republic and Grand Turk Island).
operates on Bahamas cruises out of Charleston (4-day Nassau, 5-day Nassau and Freeport).
operates on 7-day round-trips to bahamas-Eastern Caribbean (Nassau, Freeport, Key West Florida) and Western Caribbean (Cozumel Mexico, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Belize, Roatan).
Vista-class ship (enters service in 2018)
First year itineraries are out of NYC New York to Bermuda (short, 4-night voyages during 2018). The roundtrips are addition to the previously announced 8-night Caribbean cruises from NYC.
As of September 22, 2018, the ship has been homeported in Miami for year-round 6- and 8-night Caribbean itineraries.
operates on 7-day round-trips to Western Caribbean (Grand Cayman, Roatan Honduras, Belize, Cozumel Mexico) and Bahamas and Eastern Caribbean (Half Moon Cay, St Thomas, Puerto Rico, Grand Turk). The ship also offers trips to Southern Caribbean (St Croix, Dominica, Grenada, Bonaire, Aruba, Curacao). Carnival Glory takes over Carnival Dream's New Orleans-based year-round 4-day schedule in May 2019.
operates on Baja cruises to Ensenada Mexico (3-day) and to Santa Catalina Island and Ensenada (4-day).
operates on Baja cruises to Ensenada Mexico (3-day) and also to Santa Catalina and Ensenada (4-day).
operates on round-trips to South Pacific Islands (New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji).
REPOSITIONING (through Hawaii): During summer, Carnival Legend operates on Alaskan cruises out of Seattle. In 2018 Carnival Legend is homeported in Melbourne. The ship sailed on a total of 6 roundtrip itineraries, ranging from 3-night short breaks, 4-night Tasmania, 10-night South Pacific Islands, 11-night Around New Zealand.
Starting October 2019, the ship is homeported in Tampa Florida, replacing there Carnival Miracle. In advance of the new Tampa deployment, Carnival Legend offers a series of longer "Carnival Journeys" itineraries, including a 15-day Panama Canal transition cruise (from Los Angeles to Tampa) and a 16-day Hawaii cruise from Vancouver (BC Canada).
From Tampa are offered 7-night Western Caribbean cruises (to ports Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Roatan, with Belize or Costa Maya). On January 25, 2020 the liner also offers a one-time, 8-day voyage including a partial Panama Canal transit, as well as visits to Limon and Grand Cayman. Legend also offers a one-time, 14-day Panama Canal voyage from Tampa on December 1, 2019 featuring calls at Cozumel, Limon, Cartagena, Aruba, Curacao and Grand Cayman.
operates on 7-day round-trips to Eastern Caribbean (St Lucia, St Kitts, St Maarten, St Thomas).
operates on 7-day round-trips to Western Caribbean (Cozumel Mexico, Belize, Roatan, Grand Cayman, Jamaica) and Bahamas (Key West FL, Nassau, Freeport).
Since September 30, 2018, the ship is homeported in Miami for year-round Caribbean itineraries.
operates on 7-day round-trips to Mexican Riviera (Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta).
There were plans for the ship to be repositioned to Asia (China, early 2018), but those were later changed. In 2018-2019, the ship had scheduled 7-day Western Caribbean cruises leaving from homeport Tampa.
In Tampa, Miracle joins the fleetmate Carnival Paradise (operating 4-8-day roundtrip itineraries) to Caribbean and Cuba. Both Carnival ships had combined annual passenger shipping capacity from Tampa around 280,000.
The 7-day Carnival Miracle Tampa cruise departures are on Saturdays or Sundays. Itineraries visit Cozumel Mexico, Grand Cayman Island, Roatan Island (Mahogany Bay) and Belize City.
The 6-day itineraries offer day-long port stays in Cozumel, Belize City and Costa Maya (or Roatan).
The 8-day Panama Canal cruises (departures 2018 - Sept 8) and 2019 (Feb 2, April 6) offer partial transition and stops in Costa Rica (Limon) and Grand Cayman Island.
A special 14-day "Carnival Journeys" itinerary (roundtrip Panama Canal cruise from Tampa) was scheduled for December 2, 2018. It visits Cozumel, Limon, Panama Canal (transit), Cartagena Colombia, Aruba, Curacao, Jamaica (Montego Bay).
In 2019 Carnival Cruise Line is also adding 2 additional extended cruises, both on Carnival Miracle. The first is a 13-day Panama Canal sailing, that sees the ship sail from Tampa FL leaving on September 29 to Long Beach CA, where she's then homeported for the winter months. The itinerary includes an overnight stay in Cartagena, before the ship transits through the canal, and Puerto Quatzal, as well as Cabo San Lucas.
Carnival Miracle finally operates a 14-day roundtrip cruise to Hawaii from Long Beach, with the ship setting sail October 19 and returning November 2. During the voyage, she visits Maui, Kona, Hilo, Honolulu, and Ensenada, Mexico. Miracle spends the rest of winter doing 7-night itineraries to Mexican Riviera, with calls at Puerto Vallarta, Mazaltan, Cabo San Lucas.
Carnival Miracle is homeported San Diego for 3 months - starting December 1, 2019 with a 7-day Mexican Riviera
new Vista-class ship (enters service in December 2019)
operates on 7-day Mexican Riviera cruises leaving out of Long Beach CA. This makes it the first newbuild Fun Ship based in California in 20 years.
operates on round-trips to Western Caribbean - 4-day to Cozumel Mexico, and 5-day to Cozumel and Grand Cayman. In 2018 Carnival added 5 more itineraries with extended port visits to Havana.
Ship's Cuban itineraries include 4- and 5-day roundtrips from Tampa to Havana (4-day) and to Havana-Key West (5-day), both with an overnight in Havana.
The new Cuba cruise schedule aboard Carnival Paradise includes:
operates on round-trips to Florida-Bahamas (Port Canaveral, Nassau, Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk), and occasionally out of Tampa to Western Caribbean (Grand Cayman, Cozumel Mexico). Panama Canal.
operates on round-trips to Bahamas (3-day Nassau, 4-day Nassau and Freeport, 5-day with Half Moon Cay), Western Caribbean (Cozumel Mexico, Key West FL) and Eastern Caribbean (Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Grand Turk, Dominican Republic).
In 2019, the ship offers a total of 17 new 5-day cruises to Cuba leaving roundtrip from Miami. Each itinerary features day-long port stay in Havana. The other ports of call in Caribbean are Grand Turk, Grand Cayman and Bahamas (Nassau, Half Moon Cay Island, Princess Cays). With the new voyages was expanded Carnival's Florida to Cuba 2019 cruise program, also including Carnival Paradise leaving from Tampa.
4-day voyage featuring an overnight in Havana and extended visit to Nassau departs on March 19, 2020. A couple of 5-day trips with an overnight in Havana and visits to Nassau and Freeport depart February 15 and 29, 2020.
operates on roundtrips from Melbourne Queensland to New Zealand, South Pacific Islands (Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu) and also on Cruises to Nowhere (out of Sydney AU).
The ship has been homeported in Sydney NSW Australia since 2012.
In 2018 Splendor operates on 7-day Mexican Riviera cruises from Long Beach. By the Carnival Journeys (enrichment voyages) program, Splendor will operate roundtrip 14-day Alaskan cruise from Long Beach CA, featuring Hubbard Glacier and a day-long call on Icy Strait Point (best whale and bear watching, has the world's longest zip-line).
REPOSITIONING: Carnival Splendor is sent to China in spring 2019 to offer Asian cruise itineraries. As of November 2019, the ship is based in Sydney, Australia.
From Australia, Carnival Splendor offers 3 itineraries (Sydney roundtrips to South Pacific islands):
NEWS: The ship was to be transferred to the fleet of P&O Australia in late 2019. However, the liner stayed in the Carnival fleet.
The longest Carnival cruise ever is the 24-night Transpacific crossing on Splendor - departing on October 5, 2019, from Long Beach CA. The ship crosses Pacific Ocean to Asia (Singapore), arriving on October 30. After extended stops in Honolulu and Maui, the liner visits Guam and Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia), then Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) - all the 3 ports are first for Carnival (never visited before). The relocation cruise also features the traditional ceremony held during International date line crossings. Prices started from just USD 1650 pp ($69 pp per day).
The 2020 program of Carnival includes the first full year of voyages for Australia’s newest and biggest ship, Carnival Splendor, homeported year-round in Australia, and sailing from Sydney.
operates on round-trips to Bahamas (Nassau, Freeport, Half Moon Cay), Eastern Caribbean (Puerto Rico, St Thomas, Grand Turk, Dominican Republic), Canada New England (Saint John, Halifax, Boston), Bermuda.
The ship used to offer also Cruises to Nowhere (out of New York and Norfolk).
Carnival Sunshine sails from Port of Charleston beginning May 2019, with regular 4- and 5-day cruises to the Bahamas. Sunshine replaces Ecstasy as the main ship sailing from Union Pier. The first cruise under the full-time stay of Carnival Sunshine in Charleston is on May 18, 2019. 4-day cruises visit Nassau while 5-day sailings include stops at the Bahamian port city and the private island of Half Moon Cay.
Sunshine also operates 11-day Carnival Journeys voyage round-trip out of Union Pier from December 3-15, 2019, with calls at St Thomas, Bonaire, Aruba, Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay.
4-day itinerary with a day-long visit to Havana departs from Charleston November 21, 2019 along with 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.
Triumph operates on round-trips to Western Caribbean - 5-day Mexico (Cozumel, Progreso) and 4-day Mexico (Cozumel).
In 2019-2020, the renamed ship (Carnival Sunrise) starts new itinerary program of 4- to 14-day roundtrips from homeports NYC New York, Fort Lauderdale Florida and Norfolk VA.
In 2019, from homeport NYC, the ship offers five 4-day Bermuda cruises (May 23, June 20, July 18, Aug 15, Sept 12), one 6-day Bermuda cruise (Sept 16, 2019, with overnight stay), and one 8-day Caribbean and Bermuda cruise (June 24, with 2 overnights in Bermuda and visiting Grand Turk). The ship also has scheduled three 7-day Canada New England cruises (Sept 22, 29, Oct 6) plus two 8-day Caribbean itineraries: (to Grand Turk, Puerto Rico and Amber Cove departures July 2, 10, 30, Aug 7, 27, Sept 4) one 8-day roundtrip (to Puerto Rico, St Thomas USVI and Grand Turk (July 22, Aug 19), one 10-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary (June 10, to Puerto Rico, Tortola BVI, St Maarten, St Thomas USVI, Grand Turk), one 14-day "Carnival Journeys" (May 27, to Panama Canal / Colon, Grand Turk, Grand Cayman, Limon Costa Rica, Half Moon Cay Bahamas).
From homeport Fort Lauderdale, the ship offers 4- and 5-day roundtrips (April 2019) and between November 2019 - April 2020). The 4-day Bahamas itineraries (Thursday departures) visit Nassau and Half Moon Cay Island (or Princess Cays). The 5-Eastern Caribbean itineraries (Saturday departures) visit Grand Turk, Nassau, Half Moon Cay Island (or Princess Cays). The 5-day Eastern Caribbean itineraries (Monday departures) visit Ocho Rios Jamaica and Grand Cayman.
NEWS: In 2019 (March-April) Carnival Triumph will enter drydock for around USD 200 million refurbishment, after which it will be renamed "Carnival Sunrise". The refitted liner will be transformed into Sunshine-Class vessel. It will have the same facilities and amenities as the sistership Carnival Sunshine (former Carnival Destiny, refitted in 2013 for USD 155 million).
operates on Galveston round-trips to Mexico (4- and 5-day itineraries)
starting May 2019, the ship offers year-round 4- and 5-day itineraries. The 4-day long weekend itinerary (to Cozumel) departs on Thursdays, while 5-day itineraries depart Mondays and Saturdays and visit Cozumel and Progreso (or Costa Maya).
Valor is the largest liner ever homeported in NOLA.
operates on round-trips to Bermuda and Southern Caribbean (St Thomas, Barbados, St Lucia, St Kitts, St Maarten). 3-day Cuban itinerary with a day-long visit to Havana departs November 22, 2019.
Since September 23, 2018, the ship is homeported in Galveston TX for year-round Western Caribbean itineraries to Jamaica (Montego Bay), Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize City, Mexico (Cozumel).
Carnival cruises to Cuba
Carnival Cruise Line expanded its cruises to Cuba with additional 23 three- to five-day itineraries to Havana in 2019-2020 aboard 5 different ships departing from 4 convenient East Coast homeports – Carnival Triumph from Fort Lauderdale, Carnival Sunshine from Charleston, Carnival Paradise from Tampa, Carnival Sensation and Carnival Victory from Miami. The 102,853 GT Carnival Sunshine is the biggest cruise ship to ever visit Havana while offering the first-ever voyage to Cuba from Port of Charleston. The new sailings complement the previously announced itineraries aboard Carnival Paradise and Sensation.
The new Cuba cruises include:
- Carnival Sunshine: 4-day itinerary with a day-long visit to Havana departing November 21, 2019 along with 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 December 14, 2019 and 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 Victory: 3-day voyage with a day-long visit to Havana departing November 22, 2019.
- Carnival Sensation: 4-day voyage featuring an overnight in Havana and 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.
- Carnival Paradise: 5-day voyage departing November 18, 2019, with an overnight in Havana and a visit to Key West.
The current list of passenger shipping lines offering cruises to Cuba includes:
- Carnival Paradise leaving from Tampa Florida - cheapest prices (from USD 480 pp) since June 2017
- Royal Caribbean (ship Empress of the Seas) from Miami and Tampa since April 2017
- MSC Cruises (ship MSC Opera, leaving from Havana)
- Holland America (ship Veendam) leaving from Fort Lauderdale since December 2017
- Oceania Cruises (ships Marina and Regatta) starting in 2017, Cuba circumnavigation, stops in Cienfuegos and Havana, also part of some Panama Canal transition itineraries.
- NCL (ship Norwegian Sky) 4-day itineraries with Havana overnights - starting May 2017
- Azamara Cruises (ship on Azamara Quest from Miami)
- Compagnie du Ponant (yacht Le Ponant, leaving from Miami Florida)
- Pearl Seas Cruises (ship Pearl Mist, leaving from Fort Lauderdale Florida) since January 2017
- Thomson UK / Marella Cruises (ship Marella Dream) 7-day, leaving roundtrip from Jamaica (Montego Bay) to Havana
- Lindblad Expeditions (chartered sailing ship MS Panorama II, leaving from Havana)
- Celestyal Cruises (ship Celestyal Crystal, leaving from Havana and Montego Bay Jamaica)
- Grand Circle Cruise Line (ship MV Clio / ex Tere Moana) one-way from Miami to Havana, or the reverse from Havana to Miami (embarkation/disembarkation in port Cienfuegos).
- International Expeditions (leaving from Havana, charter flights out of Miami)
- Victory Cruise Lines - MS Victory I (former MS Saint Laurent) - fly-cruises from Miami to Havana (home-port Cienfuegos /departures)
- 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, Cuban-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 for allowing 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 transferred from 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 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-ways (relocation cruises).
"Carnival Journeys" offer 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 (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 an access to a beach house for the day with 5-star service provided by 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 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 (‘"Eat, Drink and Walk") is a walking tour starting with 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.
Carnival also offers new “family friendly” cruise shore excursions in Bahamas, Mexico and 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 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. 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 company's "Shore Excursion Best Price Guarantee" that provides 110% refund in OBC (onboard credit) if passengers find a better price on similar tour deals. Each Fun Ship also has a dedicated "shore excursion desk" with experienced staff to answer any questions and to recommend particular tours. Company's tour section was revamped with enhanced navigation, more videos and photos, online reservations, guest-written tour reviews.
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