The top tip for having the perfect vacation is to choose the right cruise ship for your first cruise. Just as there are ‘personalities’ for travel destinations (think Las Vegas versus Washington, DC), every ship has atmosphere and character that cater to the passengers. Here are the 7 top-rated ships with Carnival Cruise Line, each with its own charm.
1. Carnival Legend: She carries over 2,100 passengers; 75% are under the age of 55. The dress code is ‘cruise casual’ with theme nights and opportunities for elegant attire. The décor is on the outrageous side, and boasts impressive artwork. It is a family-friendly ship with adults-only areas. She sails from Honolulu, Vancouver, and Seattle to various ports in Alaska and Hawaii.
2. Carnival Freedom: The second highly rated ship for first-time cruisers is focused on multi-generational family cruising. Carnival Freedom carries just fewer than 3,000 passengers; the largest number from North America ages 41 to 50. Attire is ‘poolside casual’ and can get a bit dressy in the evenings. There are plenty of kids’ spaces onboard with the chance to eat green eggs and ham. She sails from Galveston, Texas to the eastern and western Caribbean, as well as the Panama Canal and Central America.
3. Carnival Miracle: This mid-sized ship sails with approximately 2,100 travelers; many couples and small groups in the 25 to 55 age range. There is an impressive 80% ratio of outside cabins, and an adults-only deck with hot tubs, lounge chairs, and a view of the ship’s wake. Day attire is cruise casual, and most nights are considered ‘elegant casual.’ Carnival Miracle sets sail from Tampa, Florida and Los Angeles, California to Hawaii, Alaska, the Panama Canal, Central America, the Mexican Riviera, and the western Caribbean.
4. Carnival Liberty: The 2,900+ passengers on this ship have vast opportunities for activities and entertainment morning, noon, and night. There are Broadway-caliber shows, Karaoke, dance parties, movies, and comedy clubs. Known for her exceptional customer service atmosphere, Carnival Liberty’s travelers range in age from children to retirees. You can dress cruise casual throughout the days and nights (at the Lido Deck restaurants), and cruise elegant at other eateries in the evenings. Carnival Liberty embarks from Port Canaveral (Orlando, Florida) for destinations in the Bahamas.
5. Carnival Pride: This sleek ship carries 2,100+ passengers who never want to sleep. This is a boisterous ship with activities for adults and kids. There is a rich mix of demographics; all ages looking for a party-at-sea good time as the common denominator. The public spaces are beautiful, and you can define your own dress code with few exceptions. Carnival Pride leaves from Baltimore and cruises in the eastern and western Caribbean, Bahamas, and to Bermuda.
6. Carnival Conquest: With just fewer than 3,000 cruisers, Carnival Conquest is your ship to relax. All ages enjoy the 19th Century French Impressionist décor, and laid-back atmosphere. For those who can make their own entertainment or enjoy the simplicity of reading a book on deck, talking with friends, or basking in the sun (with sunscreen, of course), Carnival Conquest is the right choice. She sails from Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) to the Bahamas, Bermuda, and all points throughout the Caribbean.
7. Carnival Victory: The last vessel on our list of great ships for first-time cruisers is Carnival Victory. She offers the classic cruise atmosphere to 2,700+ passengers; average age in the 40s. She provides leisurely travel on the high seas with an atmosphere of relaxation and contentedness. Cruise casual and one dress-up night are in keeping with the lack of pretense theme. Carnival Victory embarks from Miami to the Bahamas, and to ports in the eastern and western Caribbean.
Angela is a professional freelance travel writer and published indie author – AngelaMinor.com