Carnival has 25 cruise ships, with two more set to be added to the fleet by the end of 2024. But did you know that they vary in size massively?
The largest Carnival cruise ship, Carnival Jubilee (on the left) is two and a half times as big as the smallest ship, Carnival Elation (on the right).
Doesn’t look it, right? Well that’s because the size of cruise ships is measured in gross tonnes. This is a measure of the internal volume of a ship. So two ships can be not too dissimilar in terms on length, but one may have more decks and a larger width, giving a larger volume overall.
So, how do the other Carnival ships size up? And does bigger mean better? Read on to find out…
List of Carnival Ships from Biggest To Smallest
The infographic above shows illustrations of all of the Carnival ships by size, from biggest to smallest. The images are to scale. As the tonnage and guest capacity varies slightly between ships, I have used the averages.
Here are the Carnival ship sizes in a table for you…
|Ship||Gross Tonnage||Length (Feet)||Guest Decks||Max Guest Capacity|
Excel Class – The Biggest Carnival Ships
Carnival’s Excel-class ships are 35% larger than the next biggest ships in the fleet. They’re made with the same hull design as other Carnival-owned ships like P&O Cruises Arvia and Iona, AIDAnova and AIDAcosma and Costa Smeralda and Toscana.
Excel-class ships have some features that you won’t find on other Carnival ships, such as the first-ever rollercoasters at sea.
Set to make her maiden voyage on December 23, 2023, Carnival Jubilee will be the joint-largest ship in the Carnival fleet.
This Excel-class vessel boasts a staggering gross tonnage of 183,521 GT and stretches an impressive 1,130 feet in length. With the capacity to host 6,630 passengers and a dedicated crew of 1,735, the ship has 2,641 staterooms spread.
Key attractions include the thrilling BOLT roller coaster, the WaterWorks aqua park, the serene adults-only Serenity Retreat sundeck and the NASA-inspired Space Cruisers programme for kids.
The ship also features delectable dining at the Seafood Shack, Shaq’s Big Chicken and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse.
Carnival Celebration is the same size as Carnival Jubilee and accommodates the same number of guests. Launched in November 2022, this colossal vessel has a gross tonnage of 183,521 GT and spans a remarkable 1,130 feet in length.
Guests can experience the adrenaline rush of the BOLT roller coaster, engage in Family Feud Live, or unwind at the travel-inspired Latitudes bar. The WaterWorks aqua park promises splashing fun, while dining options range from the exotic Bonsai Sushi and upscale Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse to Rudi’s Seagrill and the ever-popular Shaq’s Big Chicken.
Registered in Panama and with an investment of $1 billion, the Carnival Celebration epitomises fun and entertainment at sea.
Mardi Gras was the first ship in Carnival’s groundbreaking Excel class and the first Carnival ship to be powered by Liquified Natural Gas, marking a significant step towards sustainable cruising.
But the innovation doesn’t stop there. The Mardi Gras also boasts the exhilarating BOLT roller coaster, ensuring thrill-seekers are in for a treat. Guests can engage in spirited games at Family Feud Live or sip tropical concoctions at the RedFrog Tiki Bar. The WaterWorks aqua park promises endless aquatic fun, while the Excel suites offer an elevated experience with exclusive Loft 19 access.
Culinary adventures abound with the unique fusion of flavours at Chibang! Mexican and Chinese restaurant, the revamped Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, Rudi’s Seagrill, and the crowd-favourite Shaq’s Big Chicken.
Venice Class – Ex-Costa Cruises Ships
The Venice Class ships we originally built for Carnival’s sister-company, Costa Cruises. Carnival Venezia was originally Costa Venezia, while Carnival Firenze, was originally Costa Firenze.
Carnival Corporation signed an agreement in 2015 for five ships to be delivered between 2019 and 2022. Two of these were planned for Costa Cruises’ expansion into the Chinese market. However, the global shutdown of 2020 meant that these ships were no longer needed for Costa Cruises, and instead, they were transferred to Carnival Cruise Line.
As construction of the ships had already started, you’ll notice that they have some key Costa-style features, such as the rounded funnels instead of Carnival’s signature whale tails.
The first Carnival Fun Italian Style ship, Carnival Venezia began sailing for the cruise line in 2023 and it offers a fantastic blend of cruising styles. While she’s not as large as some of the other recent ships from Carnival, she still offers plenty to see and do for the whole family.
Guests will love the wide range of Italian and global dining options, the lively bars, and the relaxing Serenity Retreat for grown-ups only. Kids will never get bored too, with the organised activities and hangout spaces of the three youth zones plus the ropes course, mini golf, water slides and more.
Carnival Venezia offers cruises to the Caribbean and Canada/New England from New York and Port Canaveral.
Carnival Firenze embodies the ‘Fun Italian Style’ of cruising with a fantastic combination of Costa-style venues and Carnival favourites. There are plenty of places to try Italian cuisine onboard, including the Palazzo and Medici restaurants along with the La Strada Grill street food venue, but guests can also enjoy classics like Guy’s Burger Joint, Bonsai Teppanyaki and more.
There’s more to Carnival Firenze than just food – guests can hit the waterslides, try out the ropes course and mini golf, or sample the many distinctive bars around the ship, while kids will love the different youth zones. Carnival Firenze sails to Mexico from Long Beach.
Carnival Vista may be around 70% of the size of the biggest ships in the Carnival fleet, but she still packs in an absolutely incredible amount of activities and thrilling attractions. Chief among them is the SkyRide suspended bike course, which made its debut on this ship.
There are plenty of indoor and outdoor bars and restaurants, and a host of activities for younger guests too, including the Dr. Seuss Bookville. Adults will also find some peaceful locations to relax too, so there’s always somewhere to enjoy no matter whether you seek peace or adventure.
The second of the Vista-class ships to launch for Carnival, the Carnival Horizon offers a very similar experience to her elder sister. There’s so much to see and do onboard that you likely won’t fit it all in on just one cruise – including the multi-screen cinema with IMAX, the water park and all the amazing live entertainment.
It also has a wider range of dining options than some of Carnival’s smaller ships, with plenty of snack stops, casual fast food options and speciality restaurants to cater to any taste. Carnival Horizon sails out of Miami to the Caribbean.
Carnival Panorama was originally due to be added to the P&O Cruises Australia fleet, but plans changed and she instead joined her sisters as the third Vista-class ship for Carnival. While many of her features are the same as on Carnival Vista and Carnival Horizon, she does have a Sky Zone trampoline park instead of the IMAX theatre.
Beyond this, there’s all the best Carnival restaurants to enjoy, live shows and entertainment in the evening, and plenty of quieter spots to unwind too. Carnival Panorama offers Mexico cruises from Long Beach.
The Carnival Dream launched in 2009 and took on the mantle of the largest ship in the Carnival fleet, offering around 11% more space than the Carnival Splendor which launched a year prior.
Guests can expect all of Carnival’s most popular bars and restaurants, along with plenty of outdoor space to relax and soak up the sun. Then there’s the waterpark, the spa, the comedy club, the theatre… boredom is impossible! Carnival Dream sails to the Caribbean from Galveston.
Carnival Magic introduced some of Carnival’s signature features when she debuted in 2011, including the Italian restaurant Cucina del Capitano and the SportsSquare, with the world’s first-ever ropes course at sea.
She also introduced the RedFrog pub and its exclusive beer, ThirstyFrog Red. Plus she debuted Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse too! While some of these have since been added to older ships, Carnival Magic was the original place to catch them. She now sails out of Miami and Norfolk, with cruises to the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Bahamas.
Rounding out the Dream Class, Carnival Breeze didn’t necessarily bring anything new to the fleet, but she didn’t need to – replicating the amazing activities and dining options of Carnival Magic was plenty to keep guests happy.
There are outdoor sports activities, water slides, casual and speciality restaurants with choices galore, kids’ clubs, adults-only relaxation spaces and more. She sails out of Galveston, offering cruises to the Caribbean.
The sole ship in the Splendor Class, Carnival Splendor was originally planned to sail for Costa Cruises as part of the Concordia Class. Plans changed during construction, and she was transferred to the Carnival brand instead.
She was, for a short while, the largest ship in the fleet when she was built. And she has brought many of Carnival’s most popular restaurants and activities to the Australian cruise market, sailing around Asia and the South Pacific from Sydney (with some cruises from Singapore too).
When Carnival Conquest launched in 2002, she was the largest ship in the fleet. While the smaller Carnival Pride was considered the flagship, Carnival Conquest was around 30% larger, and she has packed that space with exciting things for guests to enjoy.
Kids love the youth zones and the Seuss at Sea interactive experiences, while adults can soak up the sun poolside or hit the various bars around the ship, including the Alchemy Bar and the ever-popular RedFrog Rum Bar. Carnival Conquest currently sails from Miami to the Bahamas, Caribbean, and Panama Canal.
Carnival Glory is a fantastic ship if you’re looking for non-stop fun and great food. Guests love the WaterWorks waterpark, including the Twister and AquaTunnel water slides, while the Dive-In Movies make for a more serene way to enjoy the water in the evening.
Guy’s Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina and the Emerald Room Steakhouse are just a small sample of the popular Carnival restaurants onboard. Carnival Glory sails from New Orleans and Port Canaveral, with cruises to the Bahamas, Caribbean, and Panama Canal.
The Carnival Valor first set sail in 2004 and has been wowing guests for many years, especially with the upgrades she’s received since. Passengers love the variety of dining options, relaxation spaces and fun features, especially the Seuss at Sea kids’ activities and the impressive Twister water slide.
Big screen movies under the stars, live comedy and musical theatre performances all help to ensure the fun carries on well into the evening, too. Caribbean cruises are available on the ship, sailing out of New Orleans.
Carnival Liberty first launched in 2005 as the fourth ship in the Conquest Class, and she’s been well taken care of since. Indeed, she was the first ship to get some of the Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades, and she now has a fantastic range of activities and venues for guests to enjoy.
Whether it’s grabbing a beer in the SkyBox Sports Bar, soaking up the incredible live shows of the Playlist Productions theatre, or letting the kids go wild in the Camp Ocean clubs, there really is something for everyone. She sails out of Port Canaveral and New Orleans, with cruises to the Bahamas, Caribbean, and Panama Canal.
Carnival Freedom was the last of the Conquest-class ships to launch, and she features the same venues and activities as her sister ships. There’s loads to do, and plenty of places to eat and drink, including all the Carnival favourites.
A great choice whether you want fun or relaxation, Carnival Freedom offers you the ‘freedom’ to cruise your way. She sails around the Caribbean and to the Bahamas from Port Canaveral.
The Carnival Sunshine is a milestone cruise ship – not just for Carnival but for all cruise lines. She was built in 1996 as the first-ever cruise ship to exceed 100,000 gross tons. She launched as the Carnival Destiny, but was refitted in 2013 and became the Carnival Sunshine, the first ship in the fleet to have all of Carnival’s Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades.
She’s now Carnival’s oldest ship, but still very popular with guests. She offers sailings out of Charleston and Norfolk, cruising to the Bahamas and the Caribbean.
Launching as the Carnival Triumph and renamed in 2019 as part of a major refit, the Carnival Sunrise is packed with exciting things to see and do, ideal for a cruise where the fun never stops.
She has water slides, pools, three youth spaces, live comedy performances and music, theatre shows, a sing-a-long piano bar, sports facilities and so much more, along with a huge range of dining venues. She offers Bahamas and Caribbean cruises from Miami.
Originally launching as the Carnival Victory, the Carnival Radiance was the first ship of the new millennium for Carnival, and also the last of the Sunshine/Destiny Class. She was given a major upgrade in 2020, which is when the ship was given her current name.
As part of that upgrade, she was given a whole host of new features. Now, guests can enjoy Shaq’s Big Chicken, Guy’s Burger Joint, Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, the RedFrog pub and loads more, along with loads of entertainment and activities.
She sails out of Long Beach with cruises to Hawaii and Mexico.
The Carnival Luminosa is a little bit of an outlier – while the rest of the Spirit Class was launched between 2001 and 2004, she set sail in 2009 for sister brand Costa Cruises, sailing as the Costa Luminosa. Then in 2022, she was transferred to Carnival. She’s considered a Vista/Spirit hybrid, but officially she’s marketed as part of the Spirit Class.
She doesn’t have all the Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades of her sister ships, but you’ll still find Carnival favourites including many of the popular bars and restaurants, along with the Piano Bar and the Punchliner comedy club. She sails to Alaska and around Australasia from Seattle, Sydney and Brisbane.
The founding ship of the Spirit Class, Carnival Spirit offers a great time whether you want a fun-packed cruise or one that’s more relaxing. During the day you’ll be able to play mini golf, unwind by the pool, try the water slide or escape to the Serenity adults-only retreat.
At night there’s the piano bar, live entertainment, lively bars, comedy performances and more. Carnival Spirit offers cruises to Alaska, the Bahamas, the Caribbean and Hawaii from Miami, Mobile, and Seattle.
When the Carnival Pride launched, she wasn’t the biggest ship in the fleet, but she was considered the flagship due to her excellent dining and entertainment options. And those have been further enhanced with subsequent dry dock upgrades, including the addition of the Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse and a revamp of the Cloud 9 Spa.
She offers cruises primarily from Tampa in Florida, although sailings from Rome and Baltimore are also available.
The Carnival Legend has plenty to keep guests entertained, even when she’s crossing the Atlantic between seasons. Some of Carnival’s most classic features are present, including the Club Merlin Casino, the BlueIguana Cantina, and Truffles restaurant.
Entertainment options include Billie’s Piano Bar, the lively RedFrog pub, and the thrills of the Green Thunder waterslide. Carnival Legend sails around the Med in summer from Barcelona and Rome, and in winter offers sailings from Baltimore, Tampa, San Francisco and Galveston.
Carnival Miracle is packed with features despite her smaller size, compared to larger ships in the fleet. The kids will love the WaterWorks park and the kids’ clubs, while the adults can escape to the Serenity Retreat for a truly relaxing getaway.
Food options include Nick & Nora’s Steakhouse and the RedFrog pub, with plenty of great bars too including the Alchemy Bar for unique cocktails. Carnival Miracle sails out of Long Beach, San Francisco, and Galveston with itineraries including Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico and the Panama Canal.
Carnival Paradise was the last Fantasy-class ship to be built (several have since been sold or scrapped) and while she was first launched in 1998, she has been updated several times since, ensuring she still offers a great Carnival cruise experience.
While she’s too small to have all the exciting bells and whistles of a modern Carnival ship, she does offer pools, hot tubs, the WaterWorks waterpark, Seuss at Sea and a host of great restaurants and bars. She sails out of Tampa on Bahamas cruises.
Despite being one of the smallest ships in the Carnival fleet, Carnival Elation still has plenty to keep guests entertained and happy during their cruise. There’s the WaterWorks splash area, three youth spaces, an arcade and more for the kids.
Plus there’s a wide variety of dining options, including BlueIguana Cantina for burritos and tacos, Guy’s Burger Joint, and some exciting bars for the grown-ups to try. Carnival Elation sails out of Jacksonville and offers Bahamas cruises.
The Different Classes Of Carnival Ships (Biggest To Smallest)
There are currently nine classes of Carnival cruise ships. Each ship in a particular class is almost identical, with some small differences.
The table below shows the Carnival ship classes from largest to smallest, based on ship volume.
|Class||Ships||Average Gross Tonnage|
|Excel Class||Mardi Gras, Celebration||181,000|
|Venice (Vista) Class||Venezia||135,225|
|Vista Class||Horizon, Panorama, Vista||133,500|
|Dream Class||Breeze, Dream, Magic||130,000|
|Conquest Class||Conquest, Freedom, Glory, Liberty, Valor||110,000|
|Sunshine Class||Radiance, Sunrise, Sunshine||102,000|
|Sprit Class||Legend, Miracle, Pride, Spirit||88,500|
|Fantasy Class||Elation, Paradise||70,367|
You can read more about each of the different classes here: Carnival Cruise Ship Classes Compared.
How Size Influences the Onboard Experience
There are advantages to both the bigger and smaller Carnival ships. The biggest ships are newer and have more facilities on board, with bigger water parks and more stuff for kids to do.
The older, smaller ships in the Carnival fleet can be great too, though. The itineraries may be more destination-focused, so you’ll spend less time at sea during your cruise. Cruising on the older, smaller ships is usually a little cheaper, too.
One thing to consider with the older ships is that balcony rooms are rare. These ships have mostly interior and ocean view rooms.
Read more: Carnival Ships Ranked From Best To Worst
Carnival ship sizes rage from huge to medium-sized. None of the ships are small, and all of them have lots to keep guests entertained.
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Carnival Ship Size FAQ
The biggest Carnival cruise ships are Carnival Celebration and Carnival Jubilee. With a volume of 182,800 gross tons, a length of 1,130 feet and 17 passenger decks, these ships are 2,000 GT larger than the next-biggest Carnival ship, Mardi Gras.
The smallest Carnival cruise ship is Carnival Elation with a gross tonnage of 71,909 GT and 10 passenger decks.
Carnival cruise ships are between 855 and 1,130 feet long. That’s two to three football fields long, depending on the ship.
Each Carnival cruise ship has between 10 and 17 guest decks, plus three or four more decks for crew members. So the tallest ships are about 300 feet high, depending on how deep they sit in the water at any moment.
The nicest Carnival cruise ship is Carnival Jubilee. The newest ship in the fleet, this ship has some great facilities such as the biggest water park, a huge atrium with aerial performers and even a rollercoaster on the top deck.
- Carnival Ships By Age: Newest to Oldest
- The Newest Carnival Ships (In Order)
- Royal Caribbean ships by size
- Celebrity cruise ships by size
- MSC Cruises ships by size
- Carnival Breeze Vs Carnival Freedom
- Carnival Dream Vs Carnival Breeze
- Carnival Elation Vs Carnival Liberty