Best 7 Carnival Cruise Ships for Your Next Vacation



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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 2023.

Whether you are traveling solo, as a couple, or with your family, there is a Carnival ship that will meet your needs. From the newest ship in the fleet to the best budget option, this list has something for everyone. Each ship has its own unique features and amenities, ensuring that you will have an unforgettable vacation experience.

So, if you are thinking about booking a Carnival Cruise in 2023, read on to find out which ships made the cut. From the best overall cruise to the ship with the best amenities, this list will help you make an informed decision about which Carnival ship is right for you.

Best 7 Carnival Cruise Ships

Top 7 Carnival Cruise Ships

Carnival Cruise Line has a fleet of ships that offer a variety of experiences for travelers. Here are the top 7 Carnival Cruise ships that consistently receive high marks from passengers:

1. Carnival Vista

Carnival Vista is the ultimate cruise ship for adventure enthusiasts. Launched in 2016, this 133,500-ton vessel can accommodate up to 3,934 passengers. Its standout features include the SkyRide, a thrilling suspended bike ride with panoramic ocean views, and the Havana Bar & Pool, an exclusive retreat for relaxation.

Carnival best cruise ship - Carnival Vista

The ship also boasts the first-ever IMAX theater at sea, showcasing the latest blockbuster films. For families, the Camp Ocean kids’ club offers age-appropriate activities and entertainment for children aged 2 to 11. Dining options include the Seafood Shack for fresh catch of the day, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse for a sophisticated evening, and Bonsai Sushi for Japanese delicacies.

2. Carnival Horizon

Carnival Horizon, launched in 2018, is a 133,500-ton ship designed to cater to 3,960 passengers. With innovative features like the Dr. Seuss WaterWorks, the cruise is perfect for families with children. The ship also offers a suspended bike ride called SkyRide, providing unmatched views of the surrounding ocean.

Carnival best cruise ship - Carnival Horizon

For foodies, the Horizon boasts an array of dining options, such as Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, where guests can indulge in mouth-watering smoked barbecue dishes, and the Chef’s Table for an intimate, gourmet experience. The ship’s Liquid Lounge serves as the main entertainment venue, featuring high-energy production shows and live music.

3. Carnival Breeze

Launched in 2012, the 130,000-ton Carnival Breeze can accommodate up to 3,690 passengers. This ship is perfect for families, with its WaterWorks aqua park featuring thrilling waterslides and splash areas. The ship’s Seuss at Sea program provides children with exciting Dr. Seuss-themed activities, storytimes, and character parades.

Carnival best cruise ship - Carnival Breeze

For adults, the Alchemy Bar offers unique, custom-crafted cocktails, while the RedFrog Pub & Brewery serves up Carnival’s own private-label draft beer. The main dining options include the Sapphire Dining Room, Cucina del Capitano for Italian cuisine, and Bonsai Sushi for Japanese specialties.

4. Carnival Magic

Carnival Magic, with a capacity of 3,690 passengers, is a 130,000-ton ship launched in 2011. The ship is known for its wide range of entertainment options, including the Showtime Theater, featuring Playlist Productions shows, and the Punchliner Comedy Club, where talented comedians perform nightly.

Carnival best cruise ship - Carnival Magic

The ship’s SportSquare offers a ropes course, mini-golf, and basketball court for active guests. Dining options on Carnival Magic include the Southern Lights Dining Room, Prime Steakhouse for premium cuts, and the Lido Marketplace for casual, buffet-style meals.

5. Carnival Dream

Launched in 2009, the 130,000-ton Carnival Dream can host up to 3,646 passengers. The ship offers a family-friendly atmosphere with its expansive WaterWorks aqua park, featuring a 303-foot-long Twister Waterslide.

Carnival best cruise ship - Carnival Dream

The ship’s Ocean Plaza serves as a central hub for entertainment, offering live music, dancing, and trivia contests. Dining options include the Scarlet Dining Room, Chef’s Art Steakhouse, and Guy’s Burger Joint, where guests can enjoy juicy burgers and hand-cut fries.

6. Carnival Freedom

Carnival Freedom, a 110,000-ton ship launched in 2007, can accommodate up to 2,980 passengers. The ship offers an array of onboard activities, such as the Seaside Theatre for movies under the stars and the Serenity Adult-Only Retreat for relaxation.

Carnival best cruise ship - Carnival Freedom

The ship’s dining options are diverse, with venues like the Posh Restaurant, Sun King Steakhouse, and BlueIguana Cantina for tasty Mexican fare. Freedom’s main entertainment venue, the Victoriana Lounge, hosts vibrant production shows and live performances, while the Punchliner Comedy Club offers laughs for adults and family-friendly shows alike.

Active guests can also enjoy the mini-golf course, sports court, and thrilling waterslides at the WaterWorks aqua park.

7. Carnival Conquest

Carnival Conquest, with a capacity of 2,980 passengers, is a 110,000-ton ship launched in 2002. The ship’s Monet Restaurant and Renoir Restaurant provide elegant main dining options, while The Point Steakhouse offers a more upscale experience.

A Cruise Ship Carnival Conquest Seen from a Beach

The Taste Bar serves up small bites for guests to sample flavors from different specialty restaurants on board. For entertainment, the Toulouse-Lautrec Main Lounge hosts Playlist Productions shows, karaoke sessions, and game shows. Families can enjoy the ship’s water park, mini-golf course, and sports court, as well as the Camp Carnival kids’ club for engaging children’s activities.

Carnival Cruise Ships Comparison Table

ShipTonnagePassenger CapacityNotable FeaturesDining OptionsAverage Cost per Person
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.

Features and Amenities


Carnival Cruise ships offer a variety of staterooms to meet the needs of all kinds of travelers. From interior staterooms to balcony staterooms, passengers can choose the option that best fits their preferences and budget. All staterooms come with a private bathroom, a TV, a safe, and a mini-fridge. The higher-end staterooms also offer additional features such as more space, a private balcony, and a whirlpool tub.

Dining Options

Carnival Cruise ships offer a wide variety of dining options to suit every taste and preference. From casual dining to fine dining, passengers can enjoy a range of cuisines from around the world. The main dining rooms offer a diverse menu with options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are also specialty restaurants on board that offer a more intimate dining experience and a unique menu. The Lido Deck is another popular dining option, with its 24-hour pizzeria, deli, and grill.


Carnival Cruise ships are known for their lively and exciting entertainment options. Passengers can enjoy Broadway-style shows, comedy clubs, live music, and more. The Punchliner Comedy Club is a popular option, with its nightly shows featuring comedians from around the world. The Playlist Productions shows are another must-see, with their high-energy performances and stunning visuals.


Carnival Cruise ships offer a wide range of activities to keep passengers entertained throughout their voyage. There are pools, waterslides, mini-golf, basketball courts, and more. For those looking for a more relaxing experience, there are also options such as art auctions, trivia games, and wine tastings. The Carnival WaterWorks is a popular attraction, with its thrilling waterslides and splash zones.

Spa and Fitness

Carnival Cruise ships offer a variety of options for passengers looking to stay active and healthy during their voyage. The fitness center is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and offers a range of classes such as yoga, Pilates, and spinning. The Cloud 9 Spa is another popular option, with its luxurious treatments and relaxing atmosphere. Passengers can enjoy massages, facials, and other spa treatments while taking in the stunning ocean views.


Carnival Cruise Line offers a variety of destinations to choose from, including the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, Europe, and Hawaii.


The Caribbean is a popular destination for Carnival Cruise Line passengers. The line offers a wide range of itineraries that visit ports of call throughout the region. Some popular destinations in the Caribbean include the Bahamas, Jamaica, and the Virgin Islands.

Onboard Carnival’s Caribbean cruises, passengers can enjoy a variety of activities, including snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, and exploring local markets and shops.


Carnival Cruise Line also offers cruises to Alaska, a destination known for its stunning natural beauty. Onboard these cruises, passengers can enjoy scenic views of glaciers, mountains, and wildlife.

Some popular ports of call on Carnival’s Alaska cruises include Juneau, Ketchikan, and Skagway. Passengers can also participate in shore excursions, such as whale watching and hiking.


Carnival Cruise Line’s Mexico itineraries visit popular destinations such as Cozumel, Cabo San Lucas, and Puerto Vallarta. Passengers can enjoy a variety of activities, including snorkeling, zip-lining, and exploring ancient ruins.

Onboard the ship, passengers can also enjoy Mexican-inspired cuisine and entertainment.


Carnival Cruise Line also offers cruises to Europe, allowing passengers to explore the history and culture of the continent. Some popular destinations on these itineraries include Europe’s busiest ports Barcelona, Rome, and Athens.

Onboard the ship, passengers can enjoy European-inspired cuisine and entertainment, as well as shore excursions to iconic landmarks such as the Colosseum and the Eiffel Tower.


Carnival Cruise Line’s Hawaii itineraries visit ports of call throughout the islands, including Honolulu, Maui, and Kauai. Passengers can enjoy a variety of activities, such as surfing, hiking, and exploring volcanic landscapes.

Onboard the ship, passengers can also enjoy Hawaiian-inspired cuisine and entertainment.

Cost and Value

When it comes to choosing a Carnival cruise ship, cost and value are important factors to consider. Here are some key points to keep in mind:


Carnival offers a range of pricing options, from budget-friendly to more luxurious. Some of the factors that can affect pricing include the time of year, the length of the cruise, and the type of cabin you choose. It’s important to do your research and compare prices to find the best deal for your budget.


One of the great things about Carnival cruises is that many of the onboard activities and amenities are included in the price of your ticket. This can include things like live entertainment, dining options, and access to pools and water parks. However, there are also some things that may come at an additional cost, such as specialty dining, spa treatments, and shore excursions. Make sure to read the fine print and understand what is included in your ticket price.


If you’re looking to upgrade your Carnival cruise experience, there are a number of options available. For example, you can choose a higher-tier cabin with more space and amenities, or purchase a beverage package that includes unlimited drinks. There are also options for priority boarding, specialty dining reservations, and more. Keep in mind that these upgrades can come with an additional cost, so make sure to factor that into your budget.

Overall, Carnival offers a range of pricing options and inclusions to fit different budgets and preferences. By doing your research and understanding the various upgrade options available, you can make the most of your Carnival cruise experience without breaking the bank.

Ready to embark on the cruise vacation of a lifetime? Don’t wait any longer! Book your Carnival Cruise today and experience the adventure, relaxation, and unforgettable memories that await you on board. For more cruise-related content, insider tips, and exclusive deals, be sure to sign up for our newsletter. Set sail towards your dream vacation and create lasting memories with Carnival Cruise Line!

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

Note: The best/popular cruises listed are based on current information and may be subject to change.

The 11 BEST Carnival Cruise Tips You Have to Know

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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