The Complete Guide to Carnival’s Hub App

These days, it seems like everyone has an app. From weather to sports scores to stock trading — you can seemingly get any information you need on your phone. Now cruising is no different.

Carnival has an app for its passengers called Carnival Hub. If you haven’t already heard about the service, you definitely will once you board the ship because advertisements are everywhere.

What is the app? Carnival Hub is designed to be an all-in-one service that gives you everything you need to know about your cruise all in the palm of your hand. From maps of the ship to daily schedules of activities to a chat function — allowing you to stay in touch with other passengers — the app has you covered.

We recently completed a cruise and downloaded the app to put it to the test and see if it’s worth your time. Here’s what we found…

Downloading Carnival Hub

Right now the Carnival Hub app is available on most Carnival ships and for both Apple and Android phones. The app is free, and you can download from the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play Store (Android).

We’d recommend downloading before you get on board the ship. That way it’s just one less thing to worry about on cruise day.

When you first download the app, it’s hard to see what the big deal is. You simply enter in the date of your cruise, and it provides you with a countdown timer measuring how much longer you have until your trip. Other than that, there isn’t anything else to do on the app until you are aboard the ship.

Carnival Hub app 1

Once you are aboard, however, there’s a big change.

Once on the ship, you’ll click the button at the bottom of the screen that says “I’m aboard, log me in!”

From there, you’ll have a set of instructions on how to connect to the ship’s Wi-Fi for the app to run. Don’t worry, even though Internet is expensive on a cruise, the app runs for free on the ship’s Wi-Fi.

After setting up a connection, you’ll enter your shipboard account details, all of which are on your Sail & Sign card you received at check-in.

Once you are logged in, you can start to see the power of the app. Open up the menu and you can see the complete list of what’s available. Here are the items that most people will use during the course of a cruise:

  • Chat
  • What’s Happening (Daily Schedule)
  • Food & Drinks
  • Open Times
  • Ship Maps
  • Account Summary
  • Good to Know

Menu of Carnival Hub app

Chat on Carnival Hub

Traveling with a family? Then you will likely want to use the chat feature to keep in touch. For $5 per person (for the entire cruise), you can unlock the chat feature. Chat works just like text messages on land. You can make plans to meet or check-in with kids while on the ship. Note that the chat feature works only on the ship as it runs through the ship’s Wi-Fi.

Chat menu

What’s Happening (Daily Schedule)

There’s always something on the ship from early in the morning into late at night. Every day you are delivered a schedule, but who wants to carry that around with them while they have fun on board? Instead, you have the entire schedule in the palm of your hand with the Carnival Hub app.

Ship's daily schedule

With a few clicks you can see what’s going on now, or even later days in your cruise. And if you aren’t sure what an event is, you can click it for more details about it.

More details about event on app

Food & Drinks

Want to hit up the nearest bar or grab a bite to eat? This section of the app tells you what’s open and more information about the restaurant. By the second or third day you will have a good idea of what’s available, but it’s extremely valuable when you first get on the ship and aren’t sure where to go to grab lunch or a pina colada. One improvement we’d love to see is a full menu of what’s available at each restaurant or bar.

Food and drink menu on Hub app

Open Times

Just as you would guess, open times tells you when everything on the ship opens and closes — from the casino to Guest Services to restaurants. What’s amazing is that everything is included on the list and it’s updated each day as schedules changed due to port days.

Carnival Hub open times

Ship Maps

Without a doubt the most valuable reason for downloading the Carnival Hub app is the access to maps. Every single deck is available, and you can quickly switch through them. Every restaurant, bar, or other facility has an icon you can click to get more information about what that spot is on the map. The “list view” is also helpful if you want to search for a specific spot on the ship instead of looking deck by deck.

Carnival Hub ship maps

Account Summary

If you want to keep an eye on your spending, then you can with the app. A couple of clicks shows you everything you’ve spent onboard with your Sail & Sign card. If you’re the main person on the account you can also look through the spending of other members of your party. It’s a great way to keep an eye on if kids are being responsible in the arcade. Just like a credit card statement, there are details on each transaction, not just an amount spent. Best of all, the summary appears to update in near real-time.

Account summary

Good to Know

There are tons of little FAQs that many passengers have when on the ship. The “Good to Know” section of the app attempts to answer many of these questions. From dress codes to stateroom calls, dozens of questions are covered.

Good to know on Carnival Hub app

How Does the App Work on the Ship?

When we used the app on a recent cruise, it worked almost flawlessly. The Wi-Fi connection did cut in and out, but was quick to reconnect. Other than that, it was quick and easy to navigate all the features of the program. During our time we featured no crashes or other problems.

In our opinion, Carnival Hub is extremely useful for anyone taking a cruise aboard Carnival. Since it’s free (except for $5 if you want to use the chat function), there’s no reason not to download the app. You can download here for iPhone or here for Android.

Have other questions about using the app? Let us know in the comments below.

37 COMMENTS

    • Paula — You can’t access Facebook through the Carnival Hub app. To access Facebook you need to signup for an Internet plan on the ship.

      • Yes, the Hub App Chat is separate from the Social Media Plan. The Hub Chat allows you to chat to people ON the ship and is available for $5 for entire cruise….the Social Media plan is $5/day ($4/day if you pre-buy), and allows you to communicate through social media to people OFF the ship.

  1. Thank you for this article. I found it very informative. I only hope that they have not started charging a fee to use since the article was written as we are going on a carnival cruise soon.

    • Kim — yes! Carnival Hub operates off the ship’s wifi, but you don’t have to pay for an Internet package to use it (unless you use the messaging features, which costs extra).

    • Yes. You go into airplane mode, connect to the wi-fi, then open the Hub App. It is all done through the ships wi-fi.

    • Our understanding is that they are separate. The social Internet package is $5 per day and provides access to social media messaging including Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. You’d likely have to pay the separate $5 to chat through the Hub app.

  2. When using the chat feature, are you notified when you receive a chat from a family member onboard or do you just need to keep an eye on the app to see if you have a message? We are trying to decide whether to just use the app or buy the internet pkg to text.

    • We’re not entirely sure. On our trip, we did not enable the text feature but find it strange if there wouldn’t be a notification. I will say that paying $5 for the entire trip for messaging is way cheaper than paying for Internet the entire cruise.

    • There is notification, which works most of the time – but the connection regularly drops…so you just quickly connect back to wifi and you’ll see messages. I just got used to tapping it to make sure it was connected. This is the same way on Breeze, Magic, Valor, and Freedom – which makes me think it happens on all the ships.

  3. We were on a cruise in late January…we each had the Social Wifi package ($5 per dayt) but sadly, that did NOT give us access to the app cruise feature. With the social wifi, we used FB Messenger if we needed to chat. Less than ideal, but it worked. If we’re buying a wifi package, it should include in-app chat. Just my opinion, of course.

  4. hola necesito saber si en los cyber cafe del barco.. donde estan todas las computadoras juntas.. se puede ingresar a cualquier pagina?.. voy a hacer un crucero pero necesito conectarme a recibir unas clases de maestria un dia.. sera que me puedo cobectar desde ahi??

    • This comment is asking if you can go to any page on the Internet. While we haven’t tested it, we would think some pages (such as adult websites) would be blocked. Classes for school would likely be ok.

    • Right. It’s through the ship’s wi-fi. You can put your phone in airplane mode and still use it. (Always put your phone in airplane mode on a cruise!)

  5. Carnival Hub keeps stating it is not compatible with our Android MAXX with OS 4.4.4 and refuses to install. We have never had problems installing Shipmates or other apps. Is there a known incompatibility issue? Our Verizon carrier is no help what so ever, as Carnival Hub is not one of their applications

  6. I have the Hub app. My question, when I am on the ship and want to call my daughter back in Maryland, what procedure do I need to follow?

    • That won’t be done through the app. The app only works for around the ship. If you want to call home, you can connect to the ship’s wi-fi to do internet-based calling or connect to the ship’s cellular network (which can be pricey). We would suggest waiting until you are in port, connecting to wi-fi somewhere on land for free, and then making a call through an app like Whatsapp so it doesn’t use cellular service.

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