Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, Carnival Venezia, is currently sailing its first ever cruise from a U.S. port. This four night cruise from New York City includes a port stop in Bermuda.
I sailed on this cruise ship last year when it was with Costa Cruises and it instantly become one of my favorite cruise ships that I’ve ever sailed on. When Carnival Cruise Line invited me to join them on their inaugural cruise from New York, I couldn’t wait to check out what they did to convert it over to an Italian style Fun Ship.
After spending several days on board the ship, here are my first impressions of Carnival Venezia.
The thing I love the most about the ship is the Venice theme throughout the vessel. Since the ship was originally built to sail premium cruises in China, the vessel has a premium feel and everything is just “nicer” than standard Carnival cruise ships. This includes everything from the main atrium to the cabins.
Here is a photo of the gorgeous main atrium on Carnival Venezia.
This is a Vista class ship and has the exact same layout as Carnival Vista, Horizon and Panorama. Parts of the ship will make you feel like you are walking around the Venetian in Las Vegas.
The crew on Carnival cruise ships always makes their cruises special and that is no different on Carnival Venezia. The crew has been amazing so far as they work out the kinks of being on a new ship.
We are staying in a balcony cabin on deck 7. The cabin has a premium feel and there are plenty of power outlets. You can see a photo of our cabin below.
Note: This is also the only Vista class ship that has glass shower doors.
Main Lido Deck
The main Lido Deck has a retractable roof that can be opened or closed depending on the weather. This is one thing that I wish every cruise ship had. It rained most of yesterday but guests were still able to use this area because they closed the roof. This will come in extremely handy since the ship will be sailing for the next year from New York City, especially in the winter months.
There’s the big screen TV, Java Blue Cafe, and plenty of comfortable seating in this area. I am writing this first impressions article in this space since I like it so much.
Other First Impressions
The WiFi has been great so far. I purchased the premium package so I could work and I have had no issues on my phone or laptop. Yesterday we did a video chat with our 3 year old boy at home and it worked perfectly. I paid $88 for the four day cruise for my WiFi.
Since this is a new ship, there are some things that Carnival Cruise Line will need to work on. One thing we’ve noticed is the long lines all around the ship. I’ve been on close to 80 cruises and have never experienced anything like this.
Last night we arrived 20 minutes before the comedy show was to begin and not only was the room just about full, but the line stretched all the way back to Heroes Bar.
There have also been long, slow moving lines for lunch at Guy’s Burger Joint, Tomodoro, and for pizza. There has also been decent lines at Java Blue Cafe but since every bar has an espresso machine (it’s an Italian ship after all), I just walk over to one of them to get my morning cappuccino without waiting.
Since this is just the second voyage on the ship for Carnival, it may take a little bit of time for them to get the kinks out. It will be interesting to see how it improves throughout the cruise.
We dined at Carnival’s newest specialty restaurant Il Viaggio one night and we loved it. You will want to come hungry because some of the main dishes are enormous.
We’ve found 2 ducks so far and are about to go search for more. You can follow along on my cruise on Carnival Venezia on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and on TikTok (@cruisefever on all social media platforms).
I will have a full review of this cruise after I get home. For now, I am going to enjoy our sea day and check out some of the entertainment options on board.