Carnival Elation Vs Carnival Liberty

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Carnival Elation and Carnival Liberty are both great choices of Carnival ship, with varying similarities and differences. If you’re looking to choose between the two or would like to know more about what to expect on-board, read on and compare with a side-by-side guide on which is the best Carnival ship for your next cruise.

Ship Details

Carnival ElationCarnival Liberty
ClassFantasyConquest
Year19982005
Last Refurbished20172021
Size71,909 GT110,000 GT
Guest Capacity2,1902,974
Length855 feet952 feet
Onboard Crew9001,160

Carnival Liberty is the newest of the two ships, initially launching in 2005 as part of the Conquest Class. In 2011, she was the first ship in the whole fleet to receive the Fun 2.0 renovations – a multi-million dollar project to bring enhanced facilities with improvements to existing water parks, mini-golf, new restaurant, bar and entertainment options and more. In 2021, Carnival Liberty had a dry-dock renovation with the addition of the new blue livery.

The smaller and older Carnival Elation is part of Carnival’s Fantasy Class. The ship began sailing in 1998 and also had a refurbishment in 2017 as part of the Fun 2.0 renovations.

Read more: Carnival Ships By Age

Carnival Liberty is more than 50% larger than Carnival Elation at 111,000 gross tonnes, compared to Elation’s 71,909. Read on to find out what Carnival Liberty has that Carnival Elation doesn’t…

Itineraries

Carnival Elation sails out of Port Canaveral in Orlando, Florida on a range of 2- to 9-night sailings around the Caribbean, including the Bahamas. Ports include Nassau, Amber Cove, Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays.

Carnival Liberty also sails from Port Canaveral but instead focuses just on the Bahamas on shorter 2- to 5-night sailings, calling at ports including Bimini, Nassau, Princess Cays and Freeport.

Princess Cays
Princess Cays

Which is best?

Each ship offers very similar itineraries for short Caribbean-based cruises to ports based in the Bahamas and northern islands.

Both ships have undergone renovations to bring them up-to-date with several Fun 2.0 enhancements as seen on newer ships such as Carnival Vista or Carnival Panorama. Carnival Liberty holds more guests and is much bigger than Carnival Elation, so would be a better pick if you’re seeking more space and facilities.

Dining Options

Both Carnival Elation and Carnival Liberty offers a wide variety of dining venues and options. Each offers the usual classic places such as BlueIguana Cantina, Main Dining Room, Guy’s Burger Joint and the Lido Marketplace, as well as additional venues which incur a charge such as Bottomless Bubbles, Pizza Delivery and The Chef’s Table.

On Elation, you can also find Bonsai Sushi Express and JavaBlue Café, while Liberty features Coffee Bar, Mongolian Wok and Steakhouse. Elation features 20 dining selections, compared to Liberty’s 22.

RestaurantCarnival ElationCarnival Liberty
24-Hour Room ServiceIncludedIncluded
BlueIguana CantinaIncludedIncluded
Bonsai Sushi ExpressExtra Charge
Coffee BarExtra Charge
Dining RoomIncludedIncluded
Guy’s Burger JointIncludedIncluded
JavaBlue CaféExtra Charge
Lido MarketplaceIncludedIncluded
Mongolian WokIncluded
Pizza DeliveryExtra ChargeExtra Charge
Pizza PirateIncludedIncluded
Seaday BrunchIncludedIncluded
Seafood ShackExtra Charge
SteakhouseExtra Charge
Steakhouse SelectionsExtra ChargeExtra Charge
Sweet SpotIncludedIncluded
SwirlsIncludedIncluded
The Carnival DeliIncludedIncluded
The Chef’s TableExtra ChargeExtra Charge

Which is best?

There are only a few dining venues different between the two ships, though Liberty has more overall in total. Both ships offer a fantastic range of eateries from those which are included in your cruise fare to speciality dining and additional extras. With Carnival Liberty offering more and only missing JavaBlue Café and the Coffee Bar, this would be the best ship in terms of food variety and venues.

If you’d like to sample some of the speciality restaurants, this is a great way to spend any onboard credit you may have. Check out my guide – 12 Ways to Use Your Carnival Onboard Credit Like a Pro for more tips and ideas.

Main Dining Room dessert
Main Dining Room Dessert

Bars

Carnival Elation and Carnival Liberty are incredibly similar in terms of bar options. Both ships include the BlueIguana Tequila Bar, RedFrog Rum Bar and Alchemy Bar.

The only differences are that Carnival Elation has the Beer Station where you can pour your own beer at any time of day and that Carnival Liberty has the SkyBox Sports Bar where you can catch all the latest games on the big screens and check out the real-time scores and headlines on the panoramic ticker.

BarCarnival ElationCarnival Liberty
Alchemy BarYESYES
Beer StationYES
BlueIguana Tequila BarYESYES
Casino BarYESYES
Cheers!YESYES
Cruise the VineyardsYESYES
Exclusive Carnival BrewsYESYES
RedFrog Rum BarYESYES
SkyBox Sports BarYES

Which is best?

In terms of keeping up with sports news and the latest matches, Carnival Liberty is your best option with the SkyBox Sports Bar. Otherwise, both ships offer the same bars to visit. If you’re not a keen sports fan, Carnival Elation may be your better choice.

Whichever ship you choose, make sure you check out my guide to Carnival drink packages to work out whether you should buy the package in advance or not.

Red Frog Rum Bar
Red Frog Rum Bar on Carnival Liberty

Activities

Both ships offer plenty to keep kids, adults and families entertained, from games and mini-golf to the adult-only retreat at Serenity and pools to take a dip.

Carnival Elation offers Master the Martini which is a mini martini tasting for an additional fee and not available on Carnival Liberty. However, the larger and newer ship of the two offers Alchemy Martini Tasting which is a similar experience. Liberty also offers the chance to play basketball, which isn’t available on Elation.

ActivitiesCarnival ElationCarnival Liberty
Alchemy Martini TastingExtra Charge
Art AuctionsIncludedIncluded
Art ExhibitionsIncludedIncluded
Art GamesIncludedIncluded
Art SeminarsIncludedIncluded
AtriumIncludedIncluded
BasketballIncluded
BingoExtra ChargeExtra Charge
Cooking DemonstrationIncluded
GamesIncludedIncluded
LibraryIncludedIncluded
Master the MartiniExtra Charge
Military AppreciationIncludedIncluded
Mini GolfIncludedIncluded
Mixologist CompetitionsIncludedIncluded
Serenity Adult Only RetreatIncludedIncluded
WaterWorksIncludedIncluded
PoolsIncludedIncluded
Twister WaterslideIncludedIncluded

Which is best?

The only main difference in terms of activities is that Carnival Liberty offers basketball, while Carnival Elation doesn’t. Both ships have been upgraded with the Fun 2.0, so each has the same facilities to enjoy including WaterWorks, bingo and art auctions.

However, if you’re a keen sports player and love to make friends on the court, Carnival Liberty is the ideal option.

Waterslides on Carnival Elation
Waterslides on Carnival Elation

Entertainment & Events

There is plenty of entertainment and events to get stuck into with Carnival Cruise Line and both Carnival Elation and Carnival Liberty spare no exception

Both ships offer the same range of entertainment aside from the Dive-in Movies which is only available on Carnival Liberty. This is a poolside movie played on the big screen outdoors which you can watch from your lounger, pool or table.

EntertainmentCarnival ElationCarnival Liberty
Dive-In MoviesIncluded
KaraokeIncludedIncluded
Live MusicIncludedIncluded
NightclubIncludedIncluded
Piano BarIncludedIncluded
Playlist ProductionsIncludedIncluded
The Punchliner Comedy ClubIncludedIncluded
Dive-In Movies
Dive-In Movies

On all Carnival cruises, you can expect a variety of organised events during your sailing. Enjoy games, giveaways, line dances and more at the Mega Deck Party or celebrate the start of your holiday with the Sailaway Party.

EventsCarnival ElationCarnival Liberty
Mega Deck PartyIncludedIncluded
Groove for St. JudeExtra ChargeExtra Charge
Holidays AboardIncludedIncluded
Sailaway PartyIncludedIncluded

Which is best?

Other than the movies by the pool, there isn’t much to distinguish between the ships in terms of entertainment or events. Carnival Liberty has just a little more offering thanks to the ship featuring the Dive-in Movies which is a great activity to enjoy on a quiet evening.

Kids Facilities

Carnival is definitely one of the best cruise lines for families and kids of all ages are sure to love the non-stop fun.

ActivityCarnival ElationCarnival Liberty
Arts and CraftsIncludedIncluded
Big Fun for Infants and ToddlersExtra ChargeExtra Charge
Build-A-Bear Workshop at SeaExtra ChargeExtra Charge
Camp OceanIncludedIncluded
Circle “C”IncludedIncluded
Club O2IncludedIncluded
Green Eggs and Ham BreakfastExtra ChargeExtra Charge
Night OwlsExtra ChargeExtra Charge
Seuss at SeaIncludedIncluded
Seuss-A-Palooza ParadeIncludedIncluded
Seuss-a-palooza Story TimeIncludedIncluded
Towel Animal TheaterIncludedIncluded
Video ArcadeExtra ChargeExtra Charge
ZumbiniIncludedIncluded

Which is best?

Both ships offer the same kids’ activities, from arts and crafts to the video arcade available for a range of age groups. Both Carnival Elation and Carnival Liberty offer the same options of kids’ facilities with highlights including the Build-A-Bear Workshop, kids’ clubs and the Dr Seuss® events and activities such as character parades, interactive storytime and a character breakfast featuring their favourite Dr Seuss friends.

No matter which ships you pick, the same features will be on board that your children are sure to love.

Camp Ocean
Camp Ocean

Spa & Fitness

For those seeking a chance to work out, keep fit or enjoy a glass or two, Carnival has a range of facilities great for keeping up your routine or just trying something new.

Some ships have been upgraded to the Cloud 9 Spas for the facilities, though this is only available on the cruise line’s newest ships, not including Carnival Elation or Carnival Liberty.

Spa & FitnessCarnival ElationCarnival Liberty
AcupunctureExtra ChargeExtra Charge
Facial TreatmentsExtra ChargeExtra Charge
Fitness CenterExtra ChargeExtra Charge
Fitness ClassesExtra ChargeExtra Charge
Hair & Beauty SalonExtra ChargeExtra Charge
Jogging TrackIncluded
MassageExtra ChargeExtra Charge
Medi-SpaExtra Charge
Men’s Spa ServicesExtra ChargeExtra Charge
Spa CarnivalExtra ChargeExtra Charge
ZSpaExtra ChargeExtra Charge

Which is best?

There are only slight differences between the spa and fitness offerings of Carnival Elation and Carnival Liberty. Liberty offers more in terms of a jogging track and Medi-Spa facilities which include treatments such as Botox and Dysport. Other than that, both ships offer the same Spa Carnival experiences.

The Overall Verdict

After reviewing all the details of what’s available for Carnival Elation and Carnival Liberty, I would say that the better ship of the two would be Carnival Liberty. The ship is newer and has had a more recent upgrade, and it’s larger meaning there is more space for guests to wander and enjoy life on board. There are also a few extra features for bars, dining venues, entertainment and activities.

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