Carnival Cruise ship itinerary
Discover top cruise destinations on one of 25 Carnival ships
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OnboardCarnival offers the usual assortment of onboard activities, from traditional napkin-folding classes, Vegas-style revues and kitchen tours to belly-flop pool contests and waterslide races. All of its ships offer size-appropriate spa and fitness facilities and have multiple pool areas. On Destiny-class ships and all subsequent new-builds save for Carnival Dream, one pool always lies under a retractable roof so it can be used year-round. Casinos on Carnival ships are elaborate, Vegas-style rooms with all the neon and flash one would expect.
Carnival is increasingly experimenting with dining venues on its ships. Although traditional two-seating dining arrangements - passengers can choose 6 or 8:15 p.m. - are still available in the ships' main restaurants, the line has also added Your Time Dining, which allows passengers to eat in the main dining room anytime between 5:45 and 9:30 p.m.
Beyond traditional dining, Carnival has focused on expanding its casual dining options. An Asian-themed buffet station, a New York-style deli, a 24-hour pizzeria, a pre-dinner sushi bar and Indian food are all now staples onboard. Spirit-, Conquest-, Splendor- and Dream-class ships have an upscale alternative restaurant serving steakhouse fare (cover charge applies). Carnival Magic features a for-fee Italian restaurant serving handmade pastas. Carnival Breeze will also have the venue.
Also available on all of Carnival's ships is The Chef's Table dining experience, which affords a dozen passengers a multi-course dinner with a master chef, a private cocktail reception and a tour of the galley and its operations. This dining option usually takes place in a nontraditional venue, such as the galley or library, and it can be booked onboard at the information desk for a per-person cost of $75.
In the spa arena, Carnival has remodeled its SpaCarnival spa and fitness facilities. Other highlights include Internet cafes and the introduction of in-cabin amenity baskets. Carnival Splendor, Carnival Dream and Carnival Magic offers the line's first thalassotherapy pools, thermal suite and spa cabins in its Cloud 9 Spa.
Carnival Freedom, Liberty, Destiny, Triumph, Glory, Conquest, Splendor, Dream and Magic feature the Seaside Theatre, an outdoor big-screen movie setup located poolside. Similar to sister line Princess' Movies Under the Stars (M.U.T.S.) concept, passengers can enjoy concerts, news and sporting events during the day, and movies at night.
Editor's Note: For the most part, Carnival's larger, newer liners have the more sophisticated accouterments. Despite much uniformity and the effort to revamp older ships, this is still one cruise line where ship-by-ship research is a good idea if there are particular features that interest you.
About Carnival Cruise LineCarnival Cruise Lines, founded in 1972 and headquartered in Miami, is the world's largest cruise line. The company's humble origins pigeonholed the line as the cruise industry's version of a floating fraternity party for a long time. But that was yesterday, and while Carnival still commands a certain reputation for a flashy, neon atmosphere - and by no means skimps on elaborate lounges and discos - its ships continue to evolve.
In particular, Carnival earned kudos for enhancing cuisine (never a high point in the old days), investing in a top-notch children's program, and expanding its itinerary offerings beyond traditional Caribbean and Bahamas trips to regions like Alaska and Atlantic Canada. Carnival offered its first European itineraries in 2002 (Carnival Legend sailed a few cruises after its inauguration in Harwich), and in 2005, Carnival Liberty spent a full season in Europe - a first for the line, which has since offered cruises to the Continent regularly. But the company's bread and butter has long been three- to seven-night cruises embarking from regional U.S. ports, including Miami, Boston, Charleston and Los Angeles.
Carnival Cruises is one of the world's most innovative cruise lines. In 1996, it debuted the first passenger vessel to exceed 100, 000 tons: Carnival Destiny. It was also the first major cruise line to build and operate a completely smoke-free cruise ship, Carnival Paradise. (After nearly six years of butt-free sailings, the ship went to a "limited smoking" policy.) Effective December 1, 2011, smoking will be prohibited in all staterooms across the fleet.
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