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Sailing on Carnival Cruise Line: Everything You Need to Know

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Carnival Cruises are a great option for anyone looking for a budget friendly cruising option. This line is known for packing each sailing with as much fun as possible. You won’t find these ships lacking in entertainment and activities, unique dining options, and stellar bars and lounges perfect for relaxing.

carnival cruise line

Carnival Cruise Line for Families

These ships are perfect for families with Camp Ocean for kids and Club 02 for teens. Carnival also offers amazing shore excursions to help you immerse yourself in the port cities’ cultures. No matter what you choose to do on a Carnival Cruise it’s sure to be a vacation you’ll never forget. Use the guide to Carnival Cruise Line to choose the best options to make your trip a once in a lifetime experience.

Carnival Cruise Line Departure Ports

  • Baltimore, MD
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Brisbane, Australia 
  • Charleston, SC 
  • Galveston, TX
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Lisbon, Portugal 
  • London, England 
  • Los Angeles, CA 
  • Miami, FL 
  • Mobile, AL 
  • New Orleans, LA
  • New York, NY
  • Norfolk, VA 
  • Port Canaveral, FL 
  • Rome, Italy 
  • San Diego, CA 
  • San Francisco, CA 
  • Seattle, WA
  • Sydney, Australia 
  • Tampa, FL 

Carnival Cruise Line Destination Ports

  • Alaska 
  • The Bahamas 
  • Bermuda 
  • Canada + New England 
  • Caribbean 
  • Europe 
  • Hawaii 
  • Mexico 
  • Panama Canal 
  • Transatlantic 
  • Australia 
  • New Zealand 
  • Papua New Guinea
  • South Pacific 
  • Transpacific 

Carnival Cruise Line Classes

Carnival Cruise ships are divided into 8 different classes including Excel, Dream, Splendor, Conquest, Spirit, Sunshine, and Fantasy. Each class differs in amenities, type of cruise, and destination. This can help you with narrowing down which Carnival ship is the best option for you.

Excel Class – Featured On: Mardi Gras, Celebration 

Excel Class ships are the largest and newest in the fleet. The ships with Excel Class also have the most amenities and activities on board. Noteworthy amenities include restaurant options, bars, roller coasters, and fun games such as Family Feud. Due to their size these ships may be more crowded and have less of an intimate feel. 

Vista ClassFeatured On: Vista, Horizon, Panorama

Vista is the second more extravagant Carnival Cruise class. If you’re looking for a more classic Carnival experience, Vista Class is a great option for you. Highlights include SkyCourse and IMAX theaters.

Dream ClassFeatured On: Dream, Magic, Breeze

Dream Class ships are very similar to Vista Class ships, although they are slightly smaller in size. Dream Class is great for families and includes amenities such as video arcades, waterparks, mini golf, and a karaoke bar. 

Splendor ClassFeatured On: Splendor

Larger than the Conquest (below), Splendor Class activities include things like casinos, comedy shows, waterparks, multiple pools, and so much more. 

Conquest ClassFeatured On: Conquest, Glory, Valor, Liberty, Freedom

While Conquest Class ships are slightly smaller, they have plenty to offer guests in terms of amenities. They include activities like an adult-only top deck, great restaurants and dining options, and mini golf. If you’re looking to avoid crowds these ships are a great option for you.

Spirit ClassFeatured On: Spirit, Pride, Legend, Miracle

If you’re looking for adventure then the spirit class is for you! These ships sail to amazing locations such as Australia, Alaska, and Europe. There are plenty of amenities and activities on board to keep you busy such as spas, pools, waterparks, and the famous SkyCourse.

Sunshine ClassFeatured On: Sunshine, Sunrise, Radiance

These are Carnival’s smaller and older ships. Don’t worry, these ships have all undergone various renovations and offer similar amenities to the newer Carnival cruises. 

Fantasy ClassFeatured On: Ecstasy, Sensation, Elation, Paradise

Fantasy Class ships are the smallest in the Carnival fleet. If you’re looking for a more intimate cruise experience then Fantasy Class is a great option for you. Be aware that there are fewer amenities onboard these ships. 

Carnival Cruise Line Cabins and Suites

Carnival offers several different cabins and suites for cruisers to choose from. These include:

Specialty SuitesOffer: Family Harbor, Cloud 9 Spa, Havana

The specialty suites are the most extravagant on the ship. Depending on the specialty suite you choose, some of the suites cater specifically to families with kids, while others cater to couples, and those wanting more outdoor space. Specific ships offer different specialty suites. 


Suites are the most spacious onboard Carnival Cruises. They sleep 5 guests, have their own balconies, and offer a host of amenities. These include things like priority embarkment and disembarkment, priority dinner reservations, complimentary water, pillow-top mattresses, and comfy bathrobes. 


Balcony staterooms are a step down from suites and feature their own balconies, which are fantastic for longer cruises with more time at sea.

Ocean View

Ocean view staterooms are larger than interior rooms and include a window. These rooms can accommodate up to 5 people, but only 3 people comfortably. You can request a connecting room for a bit more space.


Interior rooms are the most basic and budget friendly option on Carnival Cruises. Much like ocean view staterooms these rooms can accommodate up to 5 people, but only 3 people comfortably. You can request a connecting room for a bit more space.

What To Consider When Choosing A Ship on Carnival Cruise Line

Of course destination and budget needs to be taken into consideration when choosing a Carnival Cruise. While many of the cruises contain similar amenities, they may not all be included in certain packages. 

If traveling as a family, parents will want to consider places to unwind and relax as well as kids clubs and fun spaces. Solo travelers and singles will want to consider the nightlife and choose a cruise geared more toward entertainment for adults.