The Titanic is one of the most famous cruise ships to have ever existed – as briefly as it did. While Carnival is one of the most famous cruise lines of the modern era.
But how do they compare? We know Titanic was the biggest ocean liner of her time, but do all modern cruise ships make her look small, or would Titanic still hold her own in current times?
Let’s take a look…
Are Carnival cruise ships bigger than the Titanic?
In terms of gross tonnage – the measurement of the total internal volume of a cruise ship – all Carnival ships are bigger than the Titanic. However, the Titanic was longer than two Carnival ships, and had a higher passenger capacity than seven of the ships in the Carnival fleet.
As a quick guide, here’s a look at how the Titanic compares to the smallest ship still sailing for Carnival (Carnival Elation), a mid-sized ship in the Carnival fleet (Carnival Magic), and the largest ship sailing for Carnival (Carnival Celebration).
|Ship||Length||Width||Gross Tonnage||Passenger Capacity||Crew capacity||Guest-to-crew ratio||Decks|
|Titanic||269 metres / 882 feet||28 metres / 92 feet||46,329 GT||2,453||874||2.8:1||9|
|Carnival Elation||261 metres / 855 feet||32 metres / 105 feet||70,367 GT||2,052||900||2.28:1||13|
|Carnival Magic||306 metres / 1005 feet||37 metres / 122 feet||128,048 GT||4,724||1,386||3.41:1||17|
|Carnival Celebration||344 metres / 1130 feet||42 metres / 137 feet||183,521 GT||6,500||1,735||3.75:1||19|
When the Titanic was built, she was the largest ocean liner in the world, and that’s primarily down to her length. She did have a lot of decks too, but it was the length of the ship that was the most impressive.
So it may not be a complete shock that she would still have been longer than two ships in the Carnival fleet – Carnival Elation and sister ship Carnival Paradise. And not by a hair either – by a good 4% or so.
But most of the Carnival fleet is longer than the Titanic, and the biggest ships, including Carnival Celebration, are longer by around 250 feet, so the difference is significant.
The Titanic was not a narrow ship when she launched, but most modern cruise ships are wider than she was, except for those designed to offer a small-ship experience.
And so every ship in the Carnival fleet is wider than the Titanic, with Carnival Celebration being exactly 50% wider than she was.
Gross tonnage is one of the best measurements for determining the size of a cruise ship. It tells you the internal volume, taking into account the height, the width and the length. And the Titanic may have been huge in her day, but her 46,329 gross tonnes doesn’t hold up against Carnival’s fleet.
The smallest ship in the fleet, Carnival Elation, is around 50% bigger in total volume compared to the Titanic. And the Carnival Celebration, the biggest ship in the fleet, is almost four times the size of the Titanic. That’s some size difference.
The Titanic may not compare too well in physical size against the modern ships of the Carnival fleet, but she still managed to have a large capacity – up to 2,453 passengers would have sailed on her when she was at maximum occupancy.
That’s larger than the Carnival Elation and Carnival Paradise, and the five ships in the Spirit Class too – Carnival Spirit, Carnival Pride, Carnival Legend, Carnival Miracle and Carnival Luminosa.
The rest of the Carnival ships are capable of carrying a lot more passengers, and in more comfort too.
Titanic’s crew of 874 isn’t too far away from the smallest crew numbers on Carnival’s fleet, which stand at 900 crew on the Carnival Elation and Carnival Paradise.
As you would expect, the largest ships in the fleet have a much larger crew than the Titanic – double the size for the Carnival Celebration.
But the interesting stat is in passenger to crew ratio. In theory, the lower the ratio, the more attention each crew member can give passengers. And while Carnival Elation outperforms the Titanic, the larger ships don’t. The crew numbers don’t scale up in the same ratio, so in theory, there was a better percentage of crew on the Titanic.
Modern cruise ships have continued to build up and up, and so it’s no surprise that the Titanic has fewer decks than any ship in the Carnival fleet.
It may be surprising that she has fewer than half the decks of the Carnival Celebration though – that shows you just how far modern cruise ships have come.
Carnival cruise ship vs Titanic – safety features
When comparing the size of the ships, it’s worth doing a quick comparison between other features, such as the safety measures onboard.
The Titanic obviously sparked huge changes in safety after the disaster, and part of that was down to the lifeboat numbers – there were only 20, capable of holding around 30% of the ship at maximum capacity.
Modern passengers can be reassured in knowing that, as well as improved protocols and safety awareness, the Carnival fleet all have enough lifeboats for >100% capacity on the ship.
The Titanic compared to a Carnival cruise ship – onboard experience
Carnival ships offer a very different onboard experience to that which was offered on the Titanic. But while the Titanic was formal, it still had entertainment features, including a swimming pool, a gym, a squash court and a Turkish bath.
Of course, it doesn’t quite rival the 20+ dining venues, the roller coasters at sea, the VR experiences and more that ships like Carnival Celebration have to offer…
The Titanic was a huge ship, and compared to some of the smaller ships in the Carnival fleet she’s not hugely different. But the bigger ships do still make her seem quite small in comparison. Cruise ships have really come a long way.
And of course, there are even bigger ships than the Carnival fleet. Why not check out my guide on Icon of the Seas vs the Titanic?
- Seawise Giant Vs Titanic Size Comparison
- Where Exactly Did The Titanic Sink?
- Best & Worst Carnival Cruise Ships (Ranked By Reviews)