Carnival Cruise Line

The 5 Fantastic and Wonderful Carnival Ships I’ve Actually Sailed

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Looking for some trustworthy advice as you plan your next amazing cruise vacation? Your Crusie Girl is happy to recommend the five Carnival ships that provided me with the most enjoyable vacations. Prepare to set sail on some of Carnival’s finest cruise ships.

Mardi Gras cruise ship in San Juan | ©Carnival Cruise Lines

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1. Mardi Gras: The Ultimate Carnival Experience

Mardi Gras cruise ship

The Mardi Gras is one of the biggest and most recent additions to Carnival. Therefore, I had to include it first. There is plenty to do and see onboard for passengers of all ages.

Recently, my family and I took a cruise on her, and while there were some aspects that I found wanting, it was still a fantastic ship with many convenient features.

For my family and I, the most memorable part was:

BOLT, the world’s first water coaster. It’s the first roller coaster at sea, and it lets riders enjoy breathtaking vistas of the ocean as they zoom around a track that’s 800 feet long. The distinctive feature is that riders may set their own pace, making it perfect for both adrenaline junkies and those just looking to relax. BOLT is an augmented reality game that blends fast-paced action with the chance to discover hidden treasures and record precious memories. This once-in-a-lifetime experience aboard the Carnival Mardi Gras will transform the face of sailing forever.

Book your slot as soon as possible. Tickets go quickly!


There are six distinct areas, all of which feature their own set of shops, cafes, and nightclubs.
The Grand Central Zone is the hub of the ship, with a beautiful atrium and a variety of entertainment options. 

With its Creole food, live music, and Mardi Gras parades, the French Quarter captures the soul of New Orleans. 

The Summer Landing Zone is a tranquil haven with poolside lounges and open-air areas, perfect for people who prefer to unwind in nature. 

If you’re looking for some outdoor recreation and tasty food, check out the Lido Zone

From cappuccino to gelato to the finest Italian cuisine at Cucina del Capitano, La Piazza has it all, all with an Italian flair. Each traveler on the Mardi Gras will be able to find their ideal setting thanks to the ship’s many themed areas.

If you find yourself in the French Quarter, you must eat at Emiral’s Bistro 1396. Both the French Toast and the Shrimp and Grits are must-haves. You won’t regret it!


2. Carnival Horizon: The Perfect Blend of Adventure and Relaxation

The Carnival Airship floats near the Carnival Vista. The blimp and the ship are emblazoned with Choose Fun stern signage. (Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Line)

The Carnival Horizon is one of my favorite cruise ships because of the wide variety of fun things to do and the convenient services available to everyone traveling together. For my family and I, the most memorable part was:

The Carnival Horizon’s layout was created to provide passengers with a unique and varied vacation experience. The atrium, or “Dreamscape,” serves as a focal point for many events and activities. We enjoyed playing Uno and Phase 10 at the Havana Bar. At The Horizon, you may choose from a variety of restaurants that cater to every taste, from fast food joints to fine dining establishments. It didn’t take us the whole week to figure out how to go around because the building was so beautifully designed.

A Bike Rollercoaster called the SkyRide. Guests of the Carnival Horizon may experience a thrill like no other on the ship’s SkyRide. The high bike path provides breathtaking views of the ocean and the ship below. The sensation of flying is enhanced as riders pedal around a track that is suspended above the deck. Guests wishing to spice up their Carnival Horizon cruise should definitely attempt this excursion, which combines adventure with stunning views. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or want to see the ocean from a new perspective, the SkyRide will take your breath away.

Look how it dangles over the ocean! In case it wasn’t obvious. LOL.

Carnival Cruise Line

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3. Carnival Vista: Fun-filled Adventures for Every Age

Carnival Vista cruise ship in St. Thomas

The Carnival Vista cruise ship is perfect for families with children of all ages. There is a wide variety of entertainment options available. What stuck out to me and my loved ones:

Thrill Theater is a cutting-edge cinematic experience that will change the way you enjoy movies forever. It’s an adrenaline-pumping cinematic journey with high-definition 3D images, motion seats, special effects, and even aroma and wind generators to enhance the audience’s experience. Visitors to this exciting venue will be able to see and feel the action on the screen, immersing them in the experience. Visitors to Thrill Theater can expect to be on the edge of their seats during the entire movie, whether it’s a thrilling rollercoaster ride, an exciting undersea adventure, or a nail-biting high-speed chase. We went to every movie that was showing.

IMAX Theater. When sailing with Carnival, you may enjoy a movie like never before in the IMAX Theater, which brings the thrill of the theater to the open seas. You’d think that with all the other things to do, why go to the movies? Well, why not? It’s your vacation, and you can do what you wanna!

Because I’m bougie on a budget, I recommend you bring your own candy onboard. Just like land theaters, the candy is expensive.


It’s a brand new, state-of-the-art IMAX theater with enormous displays and stunningly realistic 3D visuals. There is a wide range of popular movies available, from thrilling thrillers to heartwarming comedies. The theater’s high-quality sound system renders every note and blast with lifelike realism. The IMAX experience is unlike any other because of the size and quality of the presentation, which puts you in the middle of the action. Whether you’re looking to get lost in a gripping film or catch the latest Hollywood release, the IMAX Theater on Carnival cruise ships will make your cruise holiday one to remember.

4. Carnival Miracle: A Classic Carnival Experience

Carnival Miracle in Alaska

If you’re yearning for the traditional charm of Carnival cruises, I recommend the Carnival Miracle. The Carnival Miracle is one of the older Carnival cruise ships. It is a smaller ship than some of the newer Carnival ships, but it still offers a variety of activities and amenities. We cruised this ship to honor my Grandmother with a Burial at Sea, so this ship will always be special to me. What Mom and I loved:

Carnival Miracle’s Gatsby Garden. It’s a lush oasis of tranquility and sophistication. Inspired by the opulence of the Jazz Age, this serene outdoor space evokes the elegance of a bygone era. The Gatsby Garden is adorned with charming wrought-iron gates, classic furnishings, and cozy nooks perfect for relaxation. Passengers can unwind on elegant seating, surrounded by the soft colors and gentle sounds of this garden sanctuary. It’s an ideal spot to enjoy a leisurely afternoon tea or simply savor a moment of peace and quiet while taking in the stunning views of the open sea.

Whether you’re seeking a serene escape or an intimate setting for a special occasion, the Gatsby Garden on the Carnival Miracle offers a touch of timeless charm and a serene retreat for guests to embrace.

5. Carnival Dream: A Dream Come True for All

Carnival Dream

I like the Carnival Dream because of the layout. You can get everything figured out in a day or two. It’s also less expensive than the newer ships. She doesn’t have any of the newer bells and whistles, but if you’re looking for a good value for the price, this is my pick.

So, whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a little bit of both, these are my handpicked top 5 Carnival Cruise ships to ensure your next cruise getaway is truly unforgettable. Get ready to embark on a journey of a lifetime and create cherished memories.

Happy cruising!

Your Cruise Girl

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