So what's the deal?
Carnival Destiny recently emerged from a September dry-dock with 16 new balcony cabins. In addition to the verandas, the ship was also retrofitted with Carnival's Seaside Theater, the popular poolside movie screen introduced in 2005 on Carnival Freedom.
Carnival Triumph is currently in dry-dock, and is scheduled to return to service this Sunday, October 5, with 14 new balconies plus the Seaside Theater.
Carnival Liberty will enter a two-week dry dock this Sunday, and balconies will be added to 18 of its cabins. For the up-market Fun Ship crowd, Carnival Liberty's getting two huge new Penthouse Suites. Each will accommodate five people and feature a living area with a sofa bed, a separate bedroom, a balcony and two full bathrooms -- including one with a tub. At 750 square ft., Liberty's Penthouse Suites will become by far the largest cabins in the fleet. The current largest are the 430-square-ft. Penthouse Suites found on several ships. The new suites will be located on Deck 9, forward; at this point, cruise line spokespersons are unable to tell us what exactly they're replacing.
For all three ships, the balconies are being added to cabins that currently feature floor-to-ceiling windows; cabins will be 230 square ft. (including balcony). Carnival's standard cabins are already some of the most spacious in the industry.
Routine maintenance -- including new carpeting and upholstery, as well as more technical updates -- is also part of the dry-dock program for all three. Most cruise ships head into dry-dock every two years.
--by Dan Askin, Assistant Editor