Carnival Jubilee Activities

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14 reviews
The Pig & Anchor on Carnival Jubilee. (Photo: Colleen McDaniel)
Dr. Inks on Carnival Jubilee. (Photo: Colleen McDaniel)
The Jubilee Theater on Carnival Jubilee. (Photo: Colleen McDaniel)
Grand Central on Carnival Jubilee. (Photo: Colleen McDaniel)
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Editor Rating
5.0
Excellent
Entertainment
Colleen McDaniel
Editor-In-Chief

Theater and Shows on Carnival Jubilee

The Jubilee Theater on decks 5 and 6 serves as the main theater for more traditional entertainment. Here, you can catch shows like “Dear Future Husband” and “Carnival Rio”, as well as game shows like “Family Feud” and the always entertaining “Love and Marriage.”

Guests will find something in the theater every night, usually with two showings to accommodate early and late dining. They open the doors early, and the theater fills quickly – if you show up at the show’s start time, you’ll likely be left without a seat.

Tip: The best seats in the theater are dead center. Because of the ship’s construction, the control booth divides seating in the back (near the Deck 6 entrance). If you sit on either side of the booth, your view will be obstruction.

In addition to the Jubilee Theater, Grand Central – the ship’s busy atrium – also holds entertainment throughout the day and into the evening. We actually preferred the three-level Grand Central over the theater in part because the entertainment offerings were more drop-in in nature: You can show up, see what’s going on and either participate, watch or move along. The huge LED screen adds to the atmosphere, and stadium-type seating is casual and comfortable. Plus, you’re never too far from a bar.

Grand Central will host activities like “Deal or No Deal” and Build-a-Bear sessions. On our New Year’s Eve cruise, the best spot for entertainment and celebrating was Grand Central, where our cruise director led us through the hits of the 2000s and taught impromptu line dancing.

Jubilee also has Punchliner comedy club, which offers family friendly and 18+ shows most nights. Comedy also takes place in the ship’s Limelight Lounge.

Without a doubt, Carnival delivers fun with its shows and productions. We found ourselves laughing or singing along at every show. This is a highlight on Carnival Jubilee; you’ll want to set your schedule around the shows.

Daily Things to Do on Carnival Jubilee

Jubilee’s daily schedule is crammed with options, even on sea days (when some cruise lines typically pull back on offerings). Multiple trivia sessions are offered daily, games and contests (hula hoop contests and scavenger hunts, for example) take place throughout the day and dance classes are well-attended. The ship additionally offers mixers of all kind, Bingo and even impromptu sessions up-close magic, courtesy of wandering magicians who will blow your mind.

Activities are listed in the daily paper planner, on your interactive TV, on screens of TVs located near the elevators on each floor and in your HUB app.

Nightlife on Carnival Jubilee

Carnival Jubilee is a party ship: Things heat up after the sun goes down, and people stay up really late. Many people on our cruise had purchased the drink package, keeping the bars and bartenders hopping. Live music is offered at virtually all of the nighttime venues (heavy on country music, a nod to its Texas homeport), and any given night, you’ll find guests enjoying the tunes and singing along.

A mega-sized casino is found on Deck 7 midship. It only operates when the ship isn’t in a port, but when it does operate, it’s packed with people playing the slots or table games. We saw guests here at all hours of the day. If you are sensitive to smoke, the Jubilee Casino probably isn’t right for you, as you won’t find a spot where there isn’t smoke.

If you want to walk from the Jubilee Theater to any other spot on Deck 7, you will have to walk through the casino. The only way to avoid it is to go up or down a level.

Carnival Jubilee Bars and Lounges

With 13 bars and lounges, Carnival Jubilee will have something you’ll love. Most people will buy the Cheers! drink package, but be aware that, because of Texas law, the package isn’t available until the second ay onboard. The package is pretty inclusive, with really only the most premium drinks not covered.

Bars are lively and fun, though we found bartenders and servers often overwhelmed and routinely waited 15 minutes or more for even a soda. Sitting and drinking at the bar helps cut down on the service time, but if you sit at a table or lounge chair, you’re likely going to wait.

The ship feels Texas, and not just because it sources a lot of passengers from the Lone Star state. You’ll find beer and spirits from Texas, which is a nice touch.

Our Picks

For the Can’t-Stop-the-Boogie Crowd: Limelight Lounge turns into a club late each night and stays open until “late:” well past midnight.

For a Pint: You can’t beat Guy’s Pig & Anchor, which has its own onboard brewery with a rotating selection of Parched Pig beers. You can even book a brewery tour, offered on sea days (for $30 per person, 21 and older only).

For Something a Little Low-Key: The Golden Mermaid is not only beautiful, but it’s also a little quieter, with a location that’s a little bit off the beaten path.

For a Creative Cocktail: The pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar bartenders whip up far-from-the-norm cocktails, often involving smokers or bubbles.

To Stay Close to the Action: Dr. Inks is centrally located on Deck 6 in a marine-themed area called Currents. Guests will have to walk by on their way to or from the Pacific Restaurant, and many people will linger and take in the live music and lively atmosphere here.

For the Singalong: Carnival Jubilee’s Piano Bar 88 is fun and funny, with deft pianist/singers playing favorites and requests, often swayed by a friendly tip.

For Day Drinking: The two-level RedFrog Tiki Bar is the poolside bar. It opens early and serves up more than its share of blender drinks, including Carnival’s famous Kiss on the Lips.

For a Little of Everything: Havana Bar is an always-lively spot for dancing, great live music and fun drinks. The Cuba theme is seen in the decor as well as the drinks and music.

Pools and Hot Tubs on Carnival Jubilee

Carnival Jubilee has five pools onboard, the biggest of which is located on the lido deck, Deck 16. This is where the bulk of activities take place, and it’s often busy, especially on sea days. A big hot tub sits at the front of the pool.

An adults-only pool is located in the Serenity area. It’s sizable and wasn’t often packed on our cruise. Serenity also has two good-sized hot tubs.

The patio pool was our favorite. Located aft on Deck 8, it’s an infinity pool with a little wading area, so you just want to sit in the water without fully immersing, you can. Two hot tubs are nearby, on the starboard side, just around the corner.

Tides Pool on Deck 16 aft is near the action at Shaq’s Big Chicken; two hot tubs are also located here. The private Havana Experience area also has its own small pool.

Roller Coaster, Waterslides, Ropes Course and Splash Park on Carnival Jubilee

Carnival Jubilee’s Ultimate Playground houses all the activities you could dream of doing on a cruise ship. The most wow-worthy might be BOLT roller coaster, which sends guests careening around a track high above the sea. It’s a thrilling experience that is worth doing once. Two laps around costs $15.

The ship’s SkyCourse ropes course is also a blast for all ages – just maybe not for people who have a fear of heights. There’s no additional cost for the course, which includes a feature that sends climbers (harnessed safely in) over the edge of the ship.

Also part of the Ultimate Playground are three waterslides as well as a splash park for the kids, which also has its own child-appropriate waterslide.

The ship has a sports court, where basketball seemed to be the only activity on our sailing, and it was packed with pickup games and shootarounds. Nearby, you’ll find foosball tables as well as cornhole boards and bags.

The Warehouse Arcade, loaded with games that ding and claws that grab, is open 24/7, and it takes keycards rather than cash. (Parents, you can limit your kids’ spending on their cards.)

Tip: If you have your heart set on BOLT or the ropes course, go right away. Both activities are affected by wind and rain, and they can close without notice. Make reservations for BOLT using your Hub onboard app.

Sundecks on Carnival Jubilee

The main ship sundeck is located on Deck 17, and it gets busy early, especially on sea days. A great alternative for adults is the Serenity area, open only to 18 and older. Located on Deck 18, the area is large, offering sunbeds, padded lounge chairs and clamshells in shade and sun. It also has a book and two hot tubs, and contains Fresh Creations, a made-to-order salad station, as well as a bar.

Up above is Loft 19, open only to guests in the ship’s Excel Suites. This spot includes a warm tub as well as a lot of padded lounge chairs. While we love the privacy here, we preferred the options (and wind protection) of Serenity. Loft 19 is also where you find the ship’s cabanas, available for rental at $500 a day. Cabanas hold up to five people, and come with on bottle of bubbly, fresh fruit and lunch service. We thought the price was a little on the steep side for what you get.

Another sundeck is Summer Landing, found on Deck 8. It’s near a pool and hot tubs, but loungers and sunbeds abound. We loved this spot in the evening, when the sun was starting to set and crowds thinned.

Tip: Stay to the port side of Summer Landing if you are sensitive to cigarette smoke; a small smokers’ area is found on the starboard side, and the smoke really wafts – both outside and in.

Services and Wi-Fi on Carnival Jubilee

If you’re a shopper, you have plenty of options on Carnival Jubilee, with stores offering items ranging from logo items and bulk candy (SO MUCH CANDY) to duty-free and luxury goods. Cherry on Top is a Carnival staple candy store, and on Carnival Jubilee, it’s located on Deck 6 adjacent to the coffee shop. While most of the shops on Jubilee are consistently trafficked (but not over-trafficked) throughout the day and evening when the ship isn’t in port, Cherry on Top is busy no matter when you visit. (It also sells come cute gift items, including a fluffy duck backpack that clerks couldn’t keep on the shelves on our sailing.)

You’ll find ATMs in several spots onboard, including near the services area on Deck 8. (This was a constant choke-point on our sailing, as lines for guest services were always long, blocking walkthrough paths.)

Wi-Fi is excellent on Carnival Jubilee. While it’s limited to one device, we found it simple to switch from our cell phone to our laptop to our tablet. We were able to participate in video conferencing and Peloton classes on our sailing, though the internet went down for one full day. (Carnival refunded a day’s worth of the fee we paid. The outage was likely a symptom of it being a new ship rather than something that will continue to happen.)

Carnival’s free Hub app is almost a requirement when you’re sailing on Jubilee. You don’t HAVE to have it, but it will make everything much easier. The app offers the daily schedule, allows you to select favorite activities, make reservations and look at menus for each restaurant. If you don’t have the app, you still can do these things, but it might mean phone calls to restaurants or guest services or using your interactive TV in your cabin.

It is convenient to have it all on your phone, but if you’re someone who wants to completely get away, it might feel like a chore. We did encounter a number of discrepancies around opening hours listed in the app vs. when venues were actually open.

Spa and Thermal Suite on Carnival Jubilee

Carnival Jubilee’s Cloud 9 Spa is located on decks 5 and 6 – the entrance is on Deck 6, while the ship’s thermal spa and treatment rooms are found below.

The list of treatments offered is extensive, with massages, wraps, facials and the like available. Medi-spa treatments, including acupuncture and Restylane fillers also are offered, as well as IV therapies.

Tip: Discounts and special offers are available when the ship is in port.

A salon also is available, offering manicures and pedicures, brow and lash enhancements, waxing, and hair and men’s grooming services.

The ship has a thermal suite, which includes ceramic lounge chairs, a good-sized thalassotherapy pool, aroma and steam rooms, experience showers and saunas. Passes to the thermal suite are available by the day or for the full cruise. (Buying for the full cruise tends to be a much better bargain than purchasing by the day.)

Tip: Cloud 9 Spa cabins are located throughout the ship, including Deck 5, adjacent to the spa. Booking a Cloud 9 cabin comes with some great perks, including priority spa reservations, unlimited access to the thermal suite and free fitness classes.

Fitness and Gym on Carnival Jubilee

Carnival Jubilee’s fitness center is located forward on Deck 6, just across from the Cloud 9 Spa. The gym offers Life Fitness equipment, including cardio machines, free weights and weight machines. It also has a cycling studio for classes as well as a stretch room, also available for classes and seminars.

The space is small for a ship that can hold more than 6,000 guests, and we found it especially crowded in the morning, from 7 a.m. till about 10, and again in the afternoon until about 4, when passengers start thinking about getting ready for dinner.

Group exercise classes, from cycling to yoga, are offered throughout the cruise for a fee. If taking a class is a must for you, sign up early, as they do tend to fill up.

Tip: A padded jogging track is located on Deck 18; seven laps around make a mile. It’s a bit sandwiched between the SportsSquare activities, lounge chairs and busy pathways. It’s less busy early or in the evening, but otherwise, you’re better off hitting a treadmill for mileage.

Is Carnival Jubilee Family Friendly?

Carnival Jubilee was designed for families. Jubilee has multiple cabins designed for four guests, grab-and-go food options that appeal to kids, large and vibrant kids clubs with great programming (including a partnership with Dr. Seuss), and pools, waterslides, splash parks and more to keep kids and families happy.

Babysitting services are also available, for a reasonable fee (plus gratuity). Children who aren’t potty trained aren’t allowed to use the pools, waterslides or play in the splash area.

Parents are allowed to visit ports while kids are in the clubs, but in some cases, the babysitting fee applies. A kids-only lunch is offered on those days for kids of a certain age. Dinner (in the buffet) is offered every night. Preregistered for Camp Ocean ahead of the voyage is encouraged, as all kids at the clubs must be registered.

Kids Club on Carnival Jubilee: Camp Ocean

Carnival Jubilee’s Camp Ocean programming is available to children 6 months and older.

Camp Ocean facilities, located on Deck 4 in close proximity to the Family Harbor cabins, are open to kids up to age 11. The facility also has a super fun Dr. Seuss Bookville area. Children’s programming and activities are divided based on age, with strict adherence to that policy.

Penguins on Carnival Jubilee are ages 2 to 5. Activities might include arts and crafts, board games and group games, movies and DIY science projects.

Stingrays (ages 6 to 8) might participate in dance classes, jewelry making, speed stacking, trivia and video games.

Sharks (ages 9 to 11) are allowed to sign themselves in and out of the club, if parents authorize it. Activities include things like bean bag toss, card games, human Hungry Hungry Hippo, scavenger hunts, movies, face painting and video games.

Regardless of age and club, trained youth staff will be on hand in clubs at all times.

Babies and Toddlers on Carnival Jubilee

The youngest children (6 months to 2 years) on Carnival Jubilee are Turtles, and programming is limited to certain times at Camp Ocean. Children don’t have to be potty trained to participate, but parents must leave diapers and toiletries with staff. Cribs are available.

Tweens and Teens on Carnival Jubilee

Circle C is for ages 12-14, and Club O2 is designed for 15 to 17 year olds. Facilities for both are located on Deck 17, near the ship’s video arcade, The Warehouse.

Activities here are far less formal, and both age groups can come and go as they want – no sign-in is required.

Supervised programming is offered certain hours every day, including games and scavenger hunts, movies, karaoke, video gaming and arts and crafts. When programming isn’t offered, teens and tweens might hang, play video games on their own or use the clubs as a meeting place for new friends before heading off on their own.

Teens 16 and older can debark the ship in port without parental supervision.

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