Carnival Venezia began life as Costa Venezia and was built specifically for the Chinese market, where it sailed briefly pre-pandemic, before being refurbished for U.S. deployment.
As a result, it's an interesting mash up of Italy meets the U.S. with a handful of Chinese touches and so is not immediately recognizable as a "typical" Carnival ship.
To help you navigate this hybrid ship we got onboard the maiden voyage to do a Carnival Venezia ship tour.
Our Carnival Venezia ship tour starts right at the top of the ship on Deck 12, where you will find the triple-height Carnival Waterworks, which as well as three waterslides – the Gondola Slide, Aquatunnel and Twister – there is also a splash park for smaller passengers.
Opposite here is a mini-golf area and also a Ropes Course, which is not for the fainthearted as a section of it goes over the side of the ship; The Warehouse arcade and the jogging track.
It's worth noting the adults' only Serenity Deck, high up on Deck 15, is a real haven from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the vessel.
As well as a hot tub and plenty of sunbathing spots, there is also this Spritz Bar – perfect for a sundowner.
Carnival Venezia's Burano Sunshine Deck is at the aft of the ship and offers an alternative to the ship's Lido Deck, which has limited space to sunbathe and can get overcrowded at peak times. Here you'll find tiered seating for sunbathing, and a central pool flanked by two hot tubs as well as two spots to grab a bite – Pizzeria del Capitano and Seafood Shack.
Carnival Venezia's Lido Deck is surrounded by bars and restaurants, including the Italian-themed Rococo Bar and new-to-the-line Tomodoro, a Mexitalian eaterie for a breakfast, brunch or lunch burrito.
As well as the central pool, there is also a stage for crew-led fun, and a large screen for showing outdoor movies. On the upper levels you'll find plenty of spots for sunbathing or sitting. Once a cruise this area is turned into an Italian-themed outdoor market where you can sample food and drinks.
As well as a different design and a lot of Italian signage, Guy's Burger Joint on Carnival Venezia comes with a couple of surprises when it comes to toppings – anyone for a pizza burger?
This Carnival mainstay can be found on the main Lido Deck, near the Lido Marketplace.
A new to the fleet offering, this "Mexitalian" joint will satisfy your burrito and taco cravings – again with an Italian twist. It's open for breakfast and lunch and serves everything from the aforementioned Mexican staples to Italian meatballs and salads.
Tomodoro is situated just outside Lido Marketplace on Deck 10.
We love spotting all the nods to Italy on Carnival Venezia, and this Vespa caught our eye. Situated just off the main Lido Deck, the iconic Italian ride is another example of the line's attention to detail when it comes to bringing a taste of Italy to Carnival (and we might have jumped on for a selfie opp.).
Continuing our Carnival Venezia ship tour inside, and in keeping with the Italian theme, Carnival Venezia's spa on Deck 12 has gone for a Roman Bath-type theme, with columns, mosaics and painting of lounging Romans being pampered.
The spa does not have a thermal suite, but does have his 'n' hers sauna facilities and there are 12 treatment rooms, including one for couples only which comes complete with a Hammam attached.
The Terrazza Cabins on Carnival Venezia have private terraces that lead out on the Deck 5 Promenade Deck – but this area is keycard access only so if you book one, you won't have loads of people walking past gawping.
These cabins also have access to an exclusive sundeck area complete with bar and perhaps best of all – all Terrazza Cabins come with a hammock on the private terrace!
We continue our Carnival Venezia ship tour in the heart of the ship – the main atrium, or the Piazza San Marco, Venice's main square in recognition of the ship's name in Italian.
The triple-height space is quite a feast for the eyes, with a central triple height column, atop of which stands a winged lion below a duck-egg blue sky complete with fluffy clouds (anyone familiar with the Venetian in Vegas will feel quite at home here).
There is a bar in the center and shops on the upper floors, with corridors leading off to more bars and restaurants.
In this picture, the crew are here to welcome the very first guests onboard the ship's very first sailing as Carnival Venezia, in Barcelona on May 29, 2023.
There is gilt and marble, columns and glass filling every available space, all that's missing is a gondola... oh wait.
You don't have to walk far on a Carnival Venezia ship tour to find a gondola – and we're not talking a replica gondola – this is an actual gondola plucked from the canals of Venice and plonked right here in the middle of the aptly-named Canal Grande (Grand Canal) main dining room.
The restaurant is exquisitely designed with a lot of attention to detail (notice the lamposts and candycanes and the underlit blue in the center, meant to represent water) – try and nab a seat beside the canal or on the Rialto Bridge which spans it when you dine here.
Heroes Tribute Bar is, as the name suggests, a tribute to those who have served, and it's also a first for the line (expect to see it on forthcoming ships). It has a sports bar vibe, with big screen TVs, bar snacks and plenty of beers on tap.
Amari is another first for the line and is a bar which specializes in Italian cocktails on one page, and classic cocktails (with an Italian twist) taken from the Alchemy Bar, which you'll find on ships on the rest of the line.
Fahrenheit 555 is a mainstay across the fleet, and the one on Carnival Venezia has been given an overhaul to better reflect the classic steakhouses of New York City, where this ship will be based until 2025.
This particular Fahrenheit 555 also happens to be the biggest on the fleet, and offers a wide range of cuts, as well as seafood dishes and wine pairing.