12 Things To Know About Carnival’s Serenity Deck



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The Carnival Serenity Adult-only Retreat is the perfect place to unwind when you need to escape from the crowds on a busy Carnival ship.

Aerial view of the Serenity adults-only retreat area on the Carnival Mardi Gras cruise ship, showcasing turquoise sun loungers, circular daybeds, a poolside bar, and the expansive open deck with the tranquil ocean in the background.

After all, Carnival’s reputation is for fun, fun and more fun – and that doesn’t always lend itself to a peaceful and calm experience.

When you need a break from the crowds (and the kids), then the Serenity Deck is the place to go – and in this guide, I’ll explain everything you need to know about it.

1. The Serenity Deck is Free of Charge

The Serenity deck on a Carnival cruise ship is free of charge – unlike some other exclusive sun deck areas on cruise ships, you don’t need to pay for a day pass or a pass that lasts the length of the cruise.

You can just head to the Serenity Deck area whenever you feel like you want to relax, and walk right onto it. Because of this, there are no limits to capacity beyond the actual available space, so it can feel a little busy at times, though the atmosphere is at least usually calmer than it would be around the main pools on the rest of the ship.

The area has a range of hammocks, loungers, day beds and clamshells that guests can use. None of these require an additional charge, and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Serenity Deck on the Carnival Celebration cruise ship, captured on a sunny day featuring a sparkling blue pool, modern grey lounge seating, shaded cabanas, and geometric tables, all inviting relaxation under a canopy sail.
Serenity Deck on Carnival Celebration

2. The Serenity Deck is Only For Adults

One of the best things about the Serenity Deck is that it is for adults only – children aren’t allowed, and if you try to take your children onto the deck then the crew members will ask you to leave.

To be clear, you need to be 21 years or older, since Carnival is an American cruise line. So if you’re a British family travelling and you have 18- to 20-year-olds in your group, they unfortunately won’t be able to make use of the space with you, as Carnival classes them as minors.

The age limit of the area is typically reflected in a more mature decor style too, using browns and teals instead of the bright colours elsewhere on the ship.

Close-up of the 'Serenity Adult Only Retreat' sign on a Carnival Cruise ship, featuring stylish turquoise script on a frosted glass panel set against a wooden background with a blurred ocean view at sunset in the distance.

3. Every Carnival Ship Has a Serenity Deck

Every Carnival ship in the fleet has a Serenity Deck – no matter which ship you book, you’ll find a relaxing adults-only space away from the main crowds. The Serenity Deck debuted on former ship Carnival Inspiration, but was retroactively added to the ship in 2007 rather than appearing when she first set sail.

It’s since been added to all other ships that sail for Carnival and were built prior to 2007, and it has been included on all ships built since, after it proved to be very popular among guests who wanted a place to escape from the bustling atmosphere of the rest of the ship.

Elevated view of the Serenity deck on the Carnival Celebration cruise ship, featuring the iconic Serenity logo in the pool, with plush round loungers, a poolside bar, and a lounge area with modern geometric designs, all set for a relaxing escape at sea.
Serenity Deck on Carnival Celebration

4. Some Ships Have a Split-Level Serenity Deck

On most Carnival ships, the Serenity Deck is situated on one level, but there are a handful of ships that have an extended Serenity area which fits across multiple decks.

The Serenity Deck on the Carnival Dream cruise ship during the day, featuring cozy blue-cushioned rattan loungers, wooden flooring, white railings, and festive flags fluttering above, offering a peaceful outdoor lounging experience.
Serenity Deck on Carnival Dream

Carnival Dream was the first to debut this with a two-level Serenity Retreat, and both Carnival Sunrise and Carnival Radiance are similar. You do have to note that it’s positioned near the slide entrance, so some noise does carry.

A lot of people believe Carnival Sunshine has the best Serenity Deck since it is split across three levels, and offers the most space.

“Sunshine has the biggest and probably the best one of the fleet”
Source: CruiseCritic

However, parts of that Serenity Deck may be closed off if it is windy due to the position of the area at the front of the ship. And on that note…

5. Aft Serenity Decks Are Better

Most people prefer the ships that have the Serenity Deck at the aft (rear) of the ship, because it’s more sheltered – not just from the wind, but from the noise as well. Even in an adults-only area, the sound of the busy crowds can carry, but the ships that have a Serenity Deck towards the aft tend to offer a quieter experience.

Aerial view of the vibrant Aft Serenity Deck on the Carnival Pride, showcasing a bustling pool area, colorful water slides, an adventure ropes course, and ample lounging options with the deep blue ocean stretching into the horizon.
Serenity Deck on Carnival Pride

Ships with aft Serenity decks:

  • Carnival Legend
  • Carnival Miracle
  • Carnival Paradise
  • Carnival Pride
  • Carnival Spirit
  • Carnival Splendor

You also get to enjoy views over the wake of the ship as you unwind, which many people believe are the most relaxing.

“Spirit class ships have by far the best Serenity areas in my opinion.”
Source: CruiseCritic

6. Serenity Decks Don’t Have Formal Opening Times

There aren’t set opening and closing times for the Serenity Deck, so you’ll be able to enjoy relaxing there for as long as you want. The bar tends to close around 10 pm which is the same time that any whirlpools will be switched off, likely to be turned on again around 8 am, though that can vary.

If you want to head there early to grab one of the best spots, the early risers tend to start grabbing the day beds and clamshells from around 7 am. The mornings tend to be busier in the Serenity area, but then as the day drifts on people get bored and go exploring the rest of the ship. If you want to enjoy the Serenity when it is quiet, aim to head there mid-afternoon.

Relaxing Serenity deck on a Carnival cruise ship featuring modern circular loungers with vibrant blue cushions, sleek sunbeds, and a translucent dome overhead, all with a city skyline visible in the distance.

7. You Can’t Reserve Loungers or Day Beds

One important point is that you’re not supposed to reserve loungers or day beds on the Serenity Deck, or indeed anywhere else on a Carnival ship. That doesn’t mean that people won’t try it though – often people will get up early and try to reserve one with a towel before disappearing for a while.

Inviting Serenity deck on the Carnival Panorama featuring vibrant blue sun loungers with plush yellow towels, contemporary wicker sofas, and transparent windbreaks, all set for relaxation and offering panoramic views at sea.

Most crew will take action to remove towels after around 40 minutes but don’t be afraid to prompt them – if you see a clamshell or day bed with a towel on it and nobody returns for a while, let the crew know and they’ll remove it for you.

“If you see abandoned chairs, clam shells, cabana's for more than 40 minutes, let a towel attendant know.”
Source: CruiseCritic

8. Most Serenity Decks Have a Whirlpool But Only Some Have a Pool

Pretty much every Serenity Deck has at least a whirlpool for adults only, but not many have an actual pool (and the ones that do have a pool only have a small pool area).

The ships with a whirlpool are:

  • Carnival Breeze – 2 whirlpools
  • Carnival Celebration – 2 whirlpools
  • Carnival Conquest – 2 whirlpools
  • Carnival Dream – 2 whirlpools
  • Carnival Freedom – 2 whirlpools
  • Carnival Glory – 2 whirlpools
  • Carnival Horizon – 2 whirlpools
  • Carnival Jubilee – 2 whirlpools
  • Carnival Legend – 1 whirlpool
  • Carnival Liberty – 2 whirlpools
  • Carnival Magic – 2 whirlpools
  • Carnival Miracle – 1 whirlpool
  • Carnival Panorama – 2 whirlpools
  • Carnival Paradise – 2 whirlpools
  • Carnival Pride – 1 whirlpool
  • Carnival Radiance – 1 whirlpool
  • Carnival Spirit – 1 whirlpool
  • Carnival Splendor – 2 whirlpools
  • Carnival Sunrise – 1 whirlpool
  • Carnival Sunshine – 1 whirlpool
  • Carnival Valor – 2 whirlpools
  • Carnival Vista – 1 whirlpool
  • Mardi Gras – 2 whirlpools

The ships that have a pool are:

  • Carnival Celebration
  • Carnival Jubilee
  • Carnival Legend
  • Carnival Miracle
  • Carnival Pride
  • Carnival Spirit
  • Carnival Splendor
  • Carnival Sunshine
  • Mardi Gras
Tranquil Serenity pool area on the Carnival Sunshine with a cascading water feature, turquoise sunbeds, lush palm trees, and umbrellas, flanked by the ship's white superstructure and a clear blue sky overhead.
Serenity Pool on Carnival Sunshine

9. The Serenity Has a Bar

A prominent feature of the Serenity Retreat area is the bar – no need to leave if you want to cool off with a refreshing drink. 

The Carnival Serenity Bar Menu includes a range of Signature Sangrias, various wine options, beers (available as solo beers or a bucket of 4) and a selection of Signature Cocktails, including frozen and low-calorie options.

10. On Some Ships You Can Order Salad At The Serenity Deck

Some of the Carnival cruise ships with a Serenity Deck have a salad bar called Fresh Creations, so you can enjoy a refreshing bite to eat. These are:

Serenity decks with salad bars:

  • Carnival Celebration
  • Carnival Jubilee
  • Carnival Horizon
  • Carnival Panorama
  • Carnival Vista
  • Mardi Gras
The 'Fresh Creations' salad bar on the Carnival Celebration cruise ship, featuring a clean and modern serving counter with a mosaic tile backsplash, waiting to offer guests custom salad creations in a bright and inviting setting.
Fresh Creations on Carnival Celebration

You can choose from a pre-made salad, or customize your own. Here’s a look at the Fresh Creations menu:

Some guests have said that crew on other ships may box up lunch options from the buffet for Serenity guests to enjoy as a quick grab-and-go lunch, but this is rare and you shouldn’t expect it.

11. You Don’t Need To Take a Towel With You

Unless you’re visiting the Serenity Deck at super-early or super-late hours, don’t worry about taking a towel with you. There’ll be a towel attendant on duty who can hand out towels and then collect them from you as you leave.

If you want to head there super early then you might want to grab one from the pool deck, but it’s fine to go to the Serenity Deck, grab a lounger and then, once the attendant starts their shift, ask them for a towel.

A cozy display of yellow 'Serenity' branded towels rolled into floral shapes, neatly stacked on a wooden shelf beside playful white towel animals, creating a charming and welcoming atmosphere in the Serenity area on the Carnival Celebration.

12. Serenity Is Not Clothing Optional

There’s no dress code you need to worry about for the Serenity Retreat on a Carnival cruise ship, except that you are expected to be clothed. Some people believe that, because it’s an adults-only area, it’s OK to go topless or even nude to sunbathe.

Officially that is not the case. Carnival’s policy is that guests must always be covered up when they’re on the ship. In reality, you might be fine if you did want to sunbathe topless, especially on a European cruise, though be aware that you might be asked to cover up.

“Just because it is an adult area doesn't make it automatically a place where you can just take off clothing!”
Source: CruiseCritic

Final Word

If you’re cruising with Carnival and the noise of all the parties and screaming kids gets a bit overwhelming, there’s always an adults-only quiet area you can visit, though depending on its location and the time of day, it’s not always an absolute haven of tranquillity.

It’s still a good option, especially on the ships with a pool area or where you can grab a salad for lunch if you enjoy a lighter bite, but with it being free you shouldn’t expect it to feel super-exclusive or to have any extra freebies for you.

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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