At the beach in Koh Nang Yuan, Thailand

By Norbert Figueroa, an experienced architect, travel writer, long-term budget traveler, and photographer with over 13 years of travel experience in over 139 countries and counting. @globotreks


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What better way to spend your vacation than at sea? If you’ve ever thought of going on a cruise ship, you’ve probably heard about Carnival Cruise Line. Each vessel in the Carnival fleet of cruise ships is guaranteed to be a fun ship.

In fact, one of Carnival’s tag lines is “Choose Fun,” so they take the fun aspect of cruising to the max.

You can enjoy the calm ocean view and spend an exciting time on the ropes course or take an exhilarating ride on the onboard roller coaster.

Carnival Rollercoaster, Carnival Cruise Line
Image from Facebook

You can also travel from the east to the west coast or vice versa, or from the northern to the southern hemisphere on your trip because Carnival cruise ships travel all around the world and during all seasons.

Carnival cruises are worth the experience, but there are dozens of Carnival ships to choose from. So it can be hard to pick just one for your next trip.

But no worries, we got you covered here. So, pack your bags and discover some of the best Carnival cruise ships you can take a trip on.

Carnival in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Image from Facebook

Carnival Cruise Ships

Carnival cruise ships provide vacations across the seas. You can cruise to the Caribbean, the Bahamas, or even breathtaking Hawaii, among other gorgeous destinations. You have the option of traveling for just two days or being aboard for more than ten days.

Of course, each specific cruise ship travels to specific destinations at a given time of the year or season, so it’s best to check on sites like Expedia, Orbitz, or Cruise Direct.

They will help you choose the best cruise ship for your preferred departure port, destinations, cruise duration, and departure date.

Fortunately, Carnival offers you a wide selection of ships you can travel on depending on your travel style, So no matter when you plan to travel, there will be a Carnival cruise ship for you. And, here are some of the best ones.

Carnival Mardi Gras, Carnival Cruise Line
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Carnival Mardi Gras

Year built: 2021
Size (Gross Tonnage): 180,800
Guest Capacity: 5,282

Carnival Mardi Gras is a recent Carnival ship launched in 2021, and it offers the best Carnival cruise experience. It is one of Carnival’s newest ships and the first cruise ship to have an onboard roller coaster. But, that’s not the only perk on this fun ship.

This Carnival cruise ship has fun for kids and adults. The playground area on Mardi Gras has a ropes course, a basketball court, a mini-golf course, and plenty of fun slides to go down.

You don’t have to spend all your time being active. It also has pool areas where you can spend time winding down and relaxing. You can then retreat to a comfortable room. There are many options you can choose from to enjoy your stay in, including a family harbor, balcony, or suite.

You can also savor a delicious meal at one of the various dining areas like JavaBlue Cafe or Bonsai Sushi. There is an array of entertainment, ranging from live performances to watching Family Feud live. With all it offers, Mardi Gras is one of the Carnival cruise ships you could go on.

Another interesting fact about the Mardi Gras is that it’s the first Carnival ship to be powered by LNG, a more efficient and environmentally-friendly fuel when compared to the traditional diesel used by cruise ships.

Carnival Ship by the Sea
Image from Facebook

Carnival Panorama

Year built: 2019
Size (Gross Tonnage): 133,500
Guest Capacity: 4,008

The Carnival Panorama is another one of those cruise ships that you can’t miss out on. Unlike the Mardi Gras, it doesn’t have a roller coaster, but it does have the SkyRide. The SkyRide allows you to pedal a bike high in the sky above the deck.

One of the cool onboard activities is the unique Sky Zone. This is a trampoline park where you can enjoy dodgeball sessions halfway in the air or play slam dunk basketball as you defy gravity to get the shot.

This Carnival cruise ship also offers the Serenity Adult-Only Retreat as the perfect place to relax. There are also some late-night shows to watch and delectable dining opportunities on offer.

You can eat at Bonsai Teppanyaki or Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, among other tasty options.

Many other things make it stand out from other ships, such as the Punchliner Comedy Club. The way it caters to young and old in all its activities makes it one of the best Carnival cruise ships.

Carnival Miracle, Carnival Cruise Line
Image from Facebook

Carnival Miracle

Year built: 2004
Size (Gross Tonnage): 88,500
Guest Capacity: 2,124

If you want to go on one of the best Carnival cruises, look no further than the Carnival Miracle. It may not be Carnival’s newest ship, but it still has a lot to offer. It’s the perfect place to escape from the rest of the world and completely relax.

The onboard entertainment transports you into a different world, like Dr Frankenstein’s Lab where you can have a wonderful time dancing. Let yourself get swept up in lilting music at Sam’s Piano Bar.

You can take time to marvel at the artistry that goes into making drinks at the Alchemy Bar or escape to the Serenity Adult-Only Retreat for some pampering.

The Carnival Water Works is still there for water-filled onboard activities. Have a blast at the waterslides, or chill in the sun on this Carnival cruise. The Carnival Miracle is there for a pleasant escape into relaxation.

Carnival Breeze, Carnival Cruise Line
Image from Facebook

Carnival Breeze

Year built: 2012
Size (Gross Tonnage): 130,000
Guest Capacity: 3,690

Carnival Breeze is one of the most fun-filled Carnival cruise ships. Depending on the journey, this vessel travels both to the eastern and western Caribbean coasts.

This is one of the best Carnival cruise ships because it caters so well to the whole family. Adults can enjoy a relaxing time at Cloud 9 Spa before spending some restful time at the Serenity Adults-Only Retreat.

You can’t have a day of fun and relaxation without having some quality food. Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar Smokehouse are dining options.

These two onboard restaurants were inspired by celebrity chef Guy Fieri, and both offer delicious meals. Pizza Pirate is another option for a more chilled meal.

You can get your groove on at the end of a fun and relaxing day and dance the night away on the dance floor at Liquid Nightclub. This ship has it all.

Carnival Horizon, Carnival Cruise Line
Image from Facebook

Carnival Horizon

Year built: 2018
Size (Gross Tonnage): 133,500
Guest Capacity: 3,960

The Carnival cruise line doesn’t disappoint with the Carnival Horizon. If you decide to board this vessel, you can look forward to plenty of entertainment.

The Carnival Horizon packs a punch with its water activities. Along with pools and slides, there is also Dr. Seuss WaterWorks, where splashing fun includes the writer’s funky characters.

If rest and relaxation are what you’re looking for, then head to the Cloud 9 Spa for a choice of treatments. Or enjoy some onboard entertainment with the Punchliner Comedy Club.

It wouldn’t be a Carnival cruise line experience without some delicious food, and the Carnival Horizon has some great food spots. You can eat at Cucina del Capitano or Jiji Asian Kitchen, among several others, like the Guy Fieri-inspired choices mentioned on Carnival Breeze as well.

If you’re a movie lover, the Carnival Multiplex will be a dream come true. The massive screens broadcast IMAX content you can enjoy theater style. There is even an option with 3D visuals and motion effects so you can truly immerse yourself in the big screen.

The Horizon’s Caribbean route includes stops such as Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Cozumel, and more.

Carnival Vista, Carnival Cruise Line
Image from Facebook

Carnival Vista

Year built: 2016
Size (Gross Tonnage): 133,500
Guest Capacity: 3,934

Carnival Vista is one of the Vista-class ships on the Carnival cruise line. The Vista class also includes the Carnival Horizon and the Carnival Panorama.

The Carnival Vista caters to your water-fun dreams without having to set foot on the sea. The Carnival WaterWorks is filled with waterslides and pools you can splash around in. There’s also the funky Kaleid-O-Slide, which adds color and light effects to your water fun.

You could also spend a relaxing time sunbathing near a pool to escape the activities. You can go and quench your thirst right beside the pool at the Blue Iguana Tequila Bar. Here you’ll find a selection of Mexican-inspired drinks ranging from a slushy tequila drink to margaritas.

If you’re one for a good drink, you can head inside the Carnival Vista and go to the Red Frog Pub & Brewery. This unique onboard brewery exclusively produces its own craft beer for your enjoyment.

Carnival Dream, Carnival Cruise Line
Image from Facebook

Carnival Dream

Year built: 2009
Size (Gross Tonnage): 130,000
Guest Capacity: 3,646

Carnival Dream is actually the pioneer of the Dream class of cruise ships that includes Carnival Breeze.

The ship has a lot to offer both inside and out. Outside you’ll find WaterWorks, which is Carnival Dream’s onboard waterpark. You can have fun with the twisting slides and different water features.

If you don’t want to splash around, you can spend some calming time chilling and sunning at the pool. Or take your relaxation to another level at the Cloud 9 Spa.

Heading inside, you’ll find fantastic dining and fascinating entertainment. You can easily find something that tickles your fancy, from the BlueIguana Cantina to Bonsai Sushi or even the Steakhouse.

There’s plenty of entertainment for night owls. Enjoy some live music, sing your heart out at karaoke, then dance the night away at the Nightclub. The Dream definitely ranks as one of the best Carnival cruise ships.

Carnival Spirit, Carnival Cruise Line
Image from Facebook

Carnival Spirit

Year built: 2001
Size (Gross Tonnage): 88,500
Guest Capacity: 2,124

The Spirit is a stunning ship that offers you both fun activities and opportunities to relax.

Like a Carnival ship, you have access to the WaterWorks area, where you can have an incredible time sliding around and splashing in the water. There are also pools you can retreat to for a calmer experience.

If you want to remain dry, enjoy a round at the mini-golf course. Or stay fit at the fitness center and jog on the jogging track. You can take time to relax at the spa after all of this activity.

The ship is host to brilliant dining areas to fill your belly joyfully. The Lido Restaurant lets you build your own meal, while the Empire Restaurant serves you a delectable menu.

Soft serve is available until midnight if you have a sweet tooth, and you can catch a bite of pizza any time until four am if those food cravings hit you at night.

Another cool thing about the Spirit is that it is one of the few Carnival cruises that also does the Alaska route. Check the best time to cruise Alaska to get the most out of the 49th state’s cruise experience!

But if you’re more into beach vacations, the Spirit also travels to the Bahamas! With so many things to do in Freeport, Bahamas, you’ll feel like your cruise stop is just a quick taste of how amazing the Bahamas is.

Carnival Celebration, Carnival Cruise Line
Image from Facebook

Carnival Celebration

Year built: 2022
Size (Gross Tonnage): 182,800
Guest Capacity: 5,374

The Carnival Celebration is one of the newest additions to the cruise line and one of the best Carnival ships you can spend your vacation on. The Celebration is very similar to the Mardi Gras but with a few upgrades.

And at the moment, it is, in fact, the largest cruise ship on the Carnival line (a title it shares with its sister ship, Carnival Jubilee, which came out in 2023).

The modern design has made way for gems such as the BOLT onboard roller coaster. There is an extensive SportSquare with a full-court basketball and mini-golf course. And, of course, there are waterslides galore.

There are stellar restaurants you can choose to dine in, like the Havana Bar. Of course, the Cloud 9 Spa is there for your relaxation.

Cruise Ships in Port from Above

Carnival Cruise Line | Wrapped Up

As far as cruise lines go, the Carnival Cruise Line is one of the best out there. You have a plethora of brilliant options to choose from when deciding on your vacation ship and location.

Be sure to check Expedia, Orbitz, or Cruise Direct to get the best cruise deals for your next trip.

When you plan to travel on a cruise to some of the best places to visit across the world, consider these fine ships to have an amazing time on. You won’t regret the slides, rides, spas, and delicious food. Have fun making memories with the best Carnival cruise ships.

9 Best Carnival Ships | A Guide to Cruising the Seas in Style
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