Everything to Know About the New Carnival Celebration (Debuts Next Month!)

Carnival is preparing to welcome passengers for the first time to the newest ship in its fleet — Carnival Celebration. The brand-new ship, a sister to the popular Mardi Gras, is set to debut in the coming weeks, signifying Carnival’s continued push toward a new breed of cruise ships that are way larger and have more activities and amenities than anything else in the fleet.

Carnival Celebration sailing
Carnival Celebration comes in at roughly 180,000 gross tons, making it and Mardi Gras the largest ships in the cruise line’s fleet. Image courtesy of Carnival.

So what exactly is there to get excited about? The answer is plenty. While your chance to get on Celebration won’t come for at least several weeks, we wanted to share everything that’s known about the new ship and why it’s such a big (literally) deal…

Celebration Is Big (Real Big)

As mentioned, Celebration is bigger than just about anything else in the fleet as Carnival moves toward a new breed of larger ships with more restaurants, more amenities, and more things to do.

How big? While we haven’t seen the official specifications for Celebration laid out by the cruise line just yet, she is a sister ship to Mardi Gras.

That ship comes in at 180,000 gross tons, 1,130 feet, and with the ability to hold 5,300 passengers at double occupancy (and even more with three to a room). Celebration will be of a similar size.

For comparison, the ship’s Vista-class vessels, which were the previous largest class of ships, come in at about 135,000 gross tons and carry around 4,000 passengers.

Carnival Celebration Is the Second Excel-Class Ship

We said that Celebration is a sister to Mardi Gras. The two ships make up Carnival’s Excel-class of ships and have a markedly different style than the rest of the fleet. And while they are similar to each other in many ways, there will be some unique features about Celebration (more on that below).

In addition, a third Excel-class ship — Carnival Jubilee — is slated for 2023 and will homeport in Galveston.

Food Is a Huge Deal (More Restaurants)

Celebration features a ton of places to eat, including Miami Slice — a pizza joint modeled after late-night eats on Ocean Drive. Rendering courtesy of Carnival.

On any cruise, food is a big deal. But when you’re feeding more than 5,000 passengers, then you especially need to be on the top of your game. In that way, you don’t have to worry on Celebration. Of course, there are the staples like the dining room, steakhouse, Guy’s Burger Joint, and the Lido Marketplace (buffet).

But then there are a number of other spots to eat. This includes Chibang! (Mexican and Chinese dining), Rudi’s Seagrill, Shaq’s Big Chicken, Cucina del Capitano, and the open-air Street Eats.

All told, we count roughly 20 different spots to grab a bite to eat. That would mean on a one-week cruise, you could eat a different spot for every meal… and only have to double-up once.

Carnival Celebration Homeports in Miami (Sailing the Caribbean)

So where can you sail on Celebration? First things first, the ship is homeporting in the cruise capital of the world — Miami. Checking the schedule out until mid 2024, the ship is ported there, giving you plenty of time to hop aboard.

From Miami, you can reach the entire Caribbean aboard Celebration. The ship sails 6,7, and 8-day cruises around the entire region. Ports of call include everything from San Juan to Costa Maya, St. Maarten to Curacao.

The First Cruises Depart in November

Want to be the first to sail aboard Celebration? Then you’ll have to pack your bags for England. The ship’s first official cruise is November 6 from Southampton, England. That trip is a 14-day Transatlantic crossing that ends in Miami.

The first sailing from Miami is on November 21, but it is likely sold out already as it doesn’t appear on Carnival’s website. The first available sailing from Miami is November 27, with a 7-day cruise to Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Roatan (Mahogany Bay).

Entertainment Is All New on the Ship

Carnival has already announced it is stepping things up a notch when it comes to the events and shows performed on Celebration.

For example, there will be a live version of “Family Feud” where passengers can participate. There will also be “Deal or No Deal” and an all ages trivia show called “What’s Age Got to do With It?”

In the theater you’ll find performers flying in the air over the audience in “The Most Magnificent Circus.” Dancers use their moves and paint to make a visual impact in “Color My World.” The cruise line says that “Visual Symphony” will use “16 massive moving LED screens” along with lasers to create stunning special effects. And “Rio Carnival” will focus on Brazil with a parade, music, and dancing.

This sounds like nothing else seen across the rest of the fleet.

Kids Areas Will Be Off the Charts (Roller Coasters, Space, Water Slides)

Bolt roller coaster on Carnival Mardi Gras
Like Mardi Gras, Celebration will have the BOLT roller coaster, along with a full water park, and a space-themed kids area. Rendering courtesy of Carnival.

Carnival is known for being a family friendly cruise line. Celebration seems to be taking that to another level.

First, like on Mardi Gras the ship will feature its own BOLT roller coaster that curves around the ship’s funnel and top deck with a two-seater cart. And while the kids clubs (Camp Ocean) make an appearance, Carnival and the Kennedy Space Center have teamed up to create “Space Cruisers” — a program that incorporates space into the fun (including building and racing Mars rovers).

Carnival’s WaterWorks is also aboard Celebration in a big way. That includes three spiral slides, splash pad features, smaller racing slides. and plenty of spots to get wet.

There are also other things for kids including Build-a-Bear Workshop, SportsSquare, the arcade, and more.

The Ship Ports at the Redesigned Terminal F 

Redesigned Terminal F in Miami
Terminal F will be homeport to the new ship after an extensive redesign. Rendering courtesy of Carnival.

We mentioned that Celebration sails from Miami, but it’s also getting a “new” terminal. In conjunction with the arrival of the ship, Terminal F at the port has been revamped. Beginning in early 2021, the remodel of the nearly 500,000 square foot terminal will now be able to host the larger ships from Carnival, which also run on liquefied natural gas.

Terminal F also marks the third terminal that Carnival uses at the always busy Port of Miami.

More on Carnival Celebration:

Popular: 39 Useful Things to Pack (17 You Wouldn't Think Of)

Read Next: Park & Cruise Hotels for Every Port in America

Popular: 107 Best Cruise Tips, Secrets, Tricks, and Freebies


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here