Best 7 Carnival Cruise Ships for Your Next Vacation



Discover the ultimate Carnival Cruise ships for 2024, each offering unique experiences, from thrilling adventures to gourmet dining and serene retreats. Perfect for any vacationer seeking memorable journeys across the globe.


  • Top Carnival Cruise Ships for 2024: Carnival Vista, Carnival Horizon, Carnival Breeze, Carnival Magic, Carnival Dream, Carnival Freedom, and the newest addition, Mardi Gras.
  • Unique Features and Amenities: Each ship offers distinctive attractions, from IMAX theaters and water parks to gourmet dining and exclusive retreats.
  • Destinations: Cruises cover global destinations including the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, Europe, and Hawaii.
  • Cost and Value: Options range from budget-friendly to luxury, with many onboard activities and amenities included in the fare.

Carnival Cruise Line is a popular choice for vacationers looking for a fun and affordable way to see the world. With a fleet of over 20 ships, there is a lot to choose from. However, some ships stand out above the rest. In this article, we will be discussing the 7 best Carnival Cruise Ships of 2024.

Best 7 Carnival Cruise Ships

Carnival Cruise Ships Comparison Table

ShipTonnagePassenger CapacityNotable FeaturesDining OptionsAverage Cost per Person
Mardi Gras180,0005,282BOLT™ roller coaster, Carnival Excel SuitesRudi’s Seagrill, Emeril’s Bistro 1396, Big Chicken by Shaquille O’Neal$$$$
Carnival Vista133,5003,934SkyRide, IMAX theater, Havana Bar & PoolSeafood Shack, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, Bonsai Sushi$$$$
Carnival Horizon133,5003,960Dr. Seuss WaterWorks, SkyRideGuy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, Chef’s Table$$$$
Carnival Breeze130,0003,690WaterWorks, Seuss at SeaSapphire Dining Room, Cucina del Capitano, Bonsai Sushi$$$
Carnival Magic130,0003,690Showtime Theater, SportSquareSouthern Lights Dining Room, Prime Steakhouse, Lido Marketplace$$$
Carnival Dream130,0003,646WaterWorks, Ocean PlazaScarlet Dining Room, Chef’s Art Steakhouse, Guy’s Burger Joint$$$
Carnival Freedom110,0002,980Seaside Theatre, Serenity Adult-Only RetreatPosh Restaurant, Sun King Steakhouse, BlueIguana Cantina$$
Carnival Conquest110,0002,980Toulouse-Lautrec Main Lounge, Camp CarnivalMonet Restaurant, Renoir Restaurant, The Point Steakhouse$$

Note: The Average Cost per Person is represented with $, where $ indicates the least expensive option and $$$$ indicates the most expensive option. The costs are relative to each other within this table and may not accurately reflect the actual prices.

Best Carnival Cruise Ships for Your Next Vacation

Carnival Cruise Line’s fleet stands out with its variety, but certain ships rise above the rest for their exceptional offerings. Here’s an updated list, including the groundbreaking Mardi Gras:

1. Mardi Gras

As the newest flagship of the fleet, Mardi Gras sets the standard for innovation with its groundbreaking features like the first roller coaster at sea, BOLT™.

This ship represents the pinnacle of Carnival’s commitment to fun and excitement, offering more than 20 dining venues, including the first Big Chicken restaurant by Shaquille O’Neal, and expansive suites in the Excel class.

Its inclusion underscores Carnival’s forward-thinking approach to cruising, making it a must-experience for modern travelers.

2. Carnival Vista

Carnival best cruise ship - Carnival Vista

Carnival Vista earns its spot for its blend of high-tech entertainment and outdoor fun. The SkyRide, an aerial bicycle track, offers breathtaking views of the sea, while the Havana area provides an exclusive retreat with its Cuban-themed bar and pool.

Its family-friendly focus is highlighted by the Family Harbor accommodations, offering extra perks for families. Vista’s commitment to innovation and family entertainment solidifies its position on this list.

3. Carnival Horizon

Carnival best cruise ship - Carnival Horizon

Horizon mirrors the innovative spirit of its sister ship, Vista, with additions like the first Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse|Brewhouse, offering craft beers brewed onboard. Its Dr.

Seuss-themed WaterWorks park appeals to families, while the Cloud 9 Spa cabins offer a serene escape for relaxation seekers. Horizon’s blend of culinary excellence and family fun makes it a standout choice for a wide range of cruisers.

4. Carnival Breeze

Carnival best cruise ship - Carnival Breeze

Dream stands out for its Dream-class innovations, such as the Ocean Plaza, a social hub that combines live music, bars, and shops in one lively area.

Its expansive WaterWorks aqua park, featuring the exhilarating DrainPipe slide, appeals to adventure-seekers of all ages.

Dream’s focus on creating a vibrant social atmosphere makes it a favorite among guests looking for a lively vacation experience.

5. Carnival Magic

Carnival best cruise ship - Carnival Magic

Carnival Magic is celebrated for its diverse entertainment options, from the magical illusions at the Magic Show to the outdoor movie nights under the stars at the Seaside Theatre.

Its SportSquare is a haven for active guests, offering everything from basketball to a ropes course. Magic’s dedication to providing a wide range of activities secures its spot among the top ships.

6. Carnival Dream

Carnival best cruise ship - Carnival Dream

Dream stands out for its Dream-class innovations, such as the Ocean Plaza, a social hub that combines live music, bars, and shops in one lively area.

Its expansive WaterWorks aqua park, featuring the exhilarating DrainPipe slide, appeals to adventure-seekers of all ages.

Dream’s focus on creating a vibrant social atmosphere makes it a favorite among guests looking for a lively vacation experience.

7. Carnival Freedom

Carnival best cruise ship - Carnival Freedom

Carnival Freedom offers a classic cruise experience with a modern twist, featuring the 70s-themed Disco Casino and the Freedom Restaurant, showcasing the culinary diversity of Carnival’s chefs.

Its mix of nostalgia and contemporary amenities, like the Dive-In Movies at the Seaside Theatre, appeals to those who appreciate a blend of traditional and new.

Freedom’s unique thematic elements and varied onboard experiences earn it a place on this list.

Carnival Cruise Ship Fleet By Age

Carnival Cruise Line is one of the most popular cruise lines in the world, boasting a fleet of 24 ships that travel to destinations across the globe. The Carnival fleet ranges in age from brand new ships to those that have been in service for several decades.

The newest addition to the Carnival fleet is the Mardi Gras, which made its debut in 2021. This ship is the first in the line’s Excel class and is the largest ship in the fleet, with a passenger capacity of 5,282. The Mardi Gras features a wide range of amenities, including a roller coaster, multiple swimming pools, and a variety of dining options.

Other relatively new ships in the Carnival fleet include the Carnival Panorama, which was launched in 2019, and the Carnival Horizon, which debuted in 2018. Both ships offer a range of activities and entertainment options for guests, including IMAX theaters, water parks, and zip lines.

In addition to the newer ships in the fleet, Carnival also has several ships that have been in service for more than a decade. These include the Carnival Victory, which was launched in 2000, and the Carnival Freedom, which debuted in 2007. Despite their age, these ships have been refurbished and updated over the years to ensure that they continue to offer a high-quality cruise experience for guests.

Overall, the Carnival fleet offers a range of options for travelers, from brand new ships with the latest amenities to older ships that have been updated and refurbished. No matter which ship you choose, you’re sure to have an unforgettable vacation experience aboard a Carnival cruise.

Table Of All The Carnival Cruise Line Ships

Here’s a table of all the Carnival Cruise Line ships, sorted by age:

Ship NameYear LaunchedBest/Popular Cruises
Mardi Gras2021Eastern and Western Caribbean
Carnival Panorama2019Mexican Riviera
Carnival Horizon2018Eastern and Western Caribbean
Carnival Vista2016Caribbean and Europe
Carnival Breeze2012Caribbean
Carnival Magic2011Caribbean
Carnival Dream2009Caribbean
Carnival Splendor2008Mexican Riviera
Carnival Freedom2007Caribbean
Carnival Liberty2005Caribbean
Carnival Valor2004Caribbean
Carnival Miracle2004Caribbean and Mexican Riviera
Carnival Glory2003Caribbean
Carnival Conquest2002Caribbean
Carnival Pride2002Caribbean and Mexico
Carnival Spirit2001Alaska and Hawaii
Carnival Legend2002Alaska and Hawaii
Carnival Victory2000Caribbean
Carnival Fascination1994Southern Caribbean
Carnival Sensation1993Caribbean
Carnival Ecstasy1991Caribbean
Carnival Paradise1998Caribbean
Carnival Imagination1995Bahamas and Caribbean
Carnival Inspiration1996Baja Mexico and Western Caribbean
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What is Carnival Cruise Line’s cancellation policy?

Carnival Cruise Line’s cancellation policy varies depending on the cruise duration and the timing of the cancellation. You can find the detailed cancellation policy on Carnival’s official website.

Are there any booking deadlines for Carnival cruises?

While there are no specific booking deadlines, it’s advisable to book your cruise as early as possible to secure your preferred cabin and itinerary. Last-minute bookings may have limited availability and may not offer the best rates.

Are there discounts available for Carnival cruises?

Yes, Carnival Cruise Line offers various discounts and promotions throughout the year, such as early booking discounts, group rates, and seasonal offers. Keep an eye on their website or sign up for their newsletter to stay informed about the latest deals.

What is included in the price of a Carnival cruise?

A Carnival cruise fare typically includes accommodations, most meals, non-alcoholic beverages, and most onboard entertainment and activities. Additional expenses may include specialty dining, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments, shore excursions, and gratuities.

Are there any age restrictions for Carnival Cruise Line?

Carnival Cruise Line welcomes guests of all ages. However, infants must be at least six months old to sail on most cruises and 12 months old for certain itineraries, such as transatlantic, Hawaii, and South American cruises. Guests under 21 years of age must be accompanied by a guardian who is 25 or older.

Can I request a specific dining time on my Carnival cruise?

Yes, Carnival offers two dining time options: early dining and late dining. You can request your preferred dining time when you book your cruise, but note that dining times are subject to availability and are not guaranteed.

Are there any dress codes on Carnival cruises?

While the dress code on Carnival cruises is generally casual, there are some evenings when “Cruise Elegant” attire is suggested. This can include dress slacks, dress shirts, sports coats, cocktail dresses, or evening gowns. However, guests are welcome to dine in the casual dining areas if they prefer not to dress up.

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