Thanks for following along all week as we take 30 days to highlight 30 cruise lines. Today’s cruise line is hard to limit the amount of information. Chances are if someone asks you to name the cruise lines, Carnival will be in the first three you name. Carnival is a leader amongst the major cruise lines. It is most known for FUN and for its famous funnel shape and color. Carnival doesn’t sell themselves as a luxury or premium cruise line. However, they absolutely excel in providing an excellent cruise vacation. For many people, Carnival is the first brand they sail when they are first introduced to cruising. It is very affordable and thus attracts many guests and opens their eyes to the world of cruising.
We’ve been on more Carnival ships than any other cruise line. We actually were married on the Carnival Inspiration when it was in Tampa and then a week later honeymooned on the Carnival Dream when it was brand new and in the Mediterranean. Needless to say, we are big fans. What we enjoy most is the happy crew, good service, comfortable rooms and great food. It is a relaxed atmosphere with a variety of activities. And the cruise directors play a big role in making sure there is something for everyone to have FUN.
Carnival offers ships in 4 different classes – Fantasy class, Sunshine class, Dream class and Spirit class. We have been on ships in each of the classes and they all have something great to offer. Sadly, sometimes people take a 3 day cruise on a smaller class ship and then assume ALL of Carnival ships are the same experience. We can tell you they are not. Any short cruise on ANY cruise line is going to attract a “booze cruise” crowd. Just be aware of this and you will know what to expect should you choose a smaller ship and shorter cruise. The longer itineraries are a much different experience. Carnival does a good job of pairing the right itineraries with the right size of ship as well.
When a Carnival guest books a vacation, they are looking to have fun! They are known for their brand of “Fun Ships” and they certainly are. You will encounter a young, energetic demographic, although there are many guests who are well over 45. Their ships are perfect for families with kids, multi generational groups, and youthful adults. It is also a good brand if you have a large group you would like to put on a charter. Here are some fun facts about Carnival.
- They have 24 ships in their current fleet with a new ship scheduled to be delivered in the spring of 2016.
- They offer the Carnival Great Vacation GuaranteeTM to US and Canadian residents on North American itineraries. The guarantee basically states that if a guest is not satisfied with their experience, they just need to notify the ship within 24 hours of departure and then they can leave the ship at the next port and get back home, plus get a refund equal to 110% of their cruise fare. Pretty cool.
- Carnival also recently launched Carnival LIVE concert series. Think of it as an intimate concert featuring great bands aboard your ship. For a low nominal fee you can attend the concert or pay more for VIP access which can include backstage pass, meet and greet with the band or more. This program was launched in 2014 and thus far has received great reviews. You should check it out to see if your favorite band is on the list.
- One of the most popular additions to Carnival on some of their ships is food network star Guy Fieri’s GUY’s BURGER JOINT. Yummers! Plus, there are also some pretty cool food options such as the Mongolian BBQ, sushi, Seaday Brunch, BBQ, Pizza and more. Just be sure to check before you go which food options are available on your ship as not all ships have everything. (The steakhouse on the Dream was to die for – highly recommend!)
- The kids programs have been getting an update and some ships now feature Seuss at Sea and Camp Ocean.
- Other partnership include The Punchliner presented by George Lopez and the Hasboro Game show just to name a few.
There is so much to learn about Carnival. They are constantly improving their brand and the experience of their guests. This is evident by the super loyal fans of Carnival. That is a result of a positive cruise experience, good service and offering what people are looking for TODAY in a cruise vacation. We often see in Carnival Cruise fan forums people who have cruised on Carnival well over 20 times. That’s a lot and there are a lot of them! And because they have so many ships and itineraries you can literally see the world from a Carnival cruise ship. In fact, we think a TransPacific voyage to Australia would be pretty cool to experience on a Carnival ship.
So, for all you Carnival fans, what is your favorite ship and why? Share in the comments below.