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Carnival Celebration Review

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Carnival Celebration (Image: Carnival Cruise Line)
Carnival Celebration name announcement (Image: Carnival Cruises)
Carnival Celebration Steel Cutting
Carnival Celebration naming announcement (Image: Carnival Cruise Line)

The sister-ship to Carnival's trendsetting new Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration is scheduled to embark on its maiden voyage on November 6, 2022. Named after Carnival's trend-setting 1987 ship "Celebration", Carnival Celebration is a modern, cutting-edge cruise ship that is big on fun, features and amenities.

With the first steel cut in January 2021, Carnival Celebration will become the largest ship in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet along with Mardi Gras.

As the second of Carnival's Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)-powered Excellence Class vessels, many features will likely align with those found aboard Mardi Gras. As such, most changes onboard Carnival Celebration are likely to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary; the second ship in any class typically sees minor improvements made throughout to décor, passenger flow and the like.

However, there are still several areas on Decks 5, 6, 7 and 8 that Carnival has earmarked as "New Space!" on deck plans as of this Spring 2021 writing, meaning cruisers can look forward to more Fun Ship feature reveals in the months leading up to the ship's delivery.

Dining

Carnival Celebration will feature some of Carnival's most popular dining options.

The Lido Marketplace will offer up casual buffet-style fare, while other popular casual eateries including BlueIguana Cantina, Guy's Burger Joint, Street Eats and the Seafood Shack can all be found high atop Deck 16.

The two-story main restaurant graces Deck 6 and 7 aft, and serves up both open-seating and fixed-dining meals each evening. Carnival also makes a point of offering a Sea Day Brunch in its formal dining rooms on lazy days at sea; expect this trend to continue aboard Carnival Celebration.

For-fee dining venues include Fahrenheit 555, Carnival's premium steakhouse experience; the intimate 16-passenger Chef's Table; the Japanese-styled Bonsai Teppanyaki and Sushi; Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse and onboard brewery; and Big Chicken, a complimentary seagoing version of a restaurant created by Carnival's Chief Fun Officer, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal.

Numerous restaurants are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with breakfast at venues like BlueIguana Cantina and Big Chicken being a particularly well-kept secret across the fleet.

Cabins

Carnival Celebration boasts 2,687 cabins and suites onboard, with rooms designed to fulfill every taste, preference, and budget.

Inside, outside and balcony staterooms are well-represented onboard, but those who haven't cruised with Carnival for some time will be excited to find even more diversity hidden within these cabin categories.

Cove Balcony cabins are inset into the hull of the ship on its lower decks and provide a sheltered balcony experience, while Carnival Celebration (like Mardi Gras) introduces a wide variety of forward-facing balcony cabins for those who like to have a view of the sea ahead.

Insides, Outsides and Balcony staterooms are also available in Family Harbor, Cloud 9 Spa and Havana Cabana flavors -- each with its own distinctive décor, amenities and perks. Families will love the Family Harbor staterooms for their ample size, while those looking to spend more time at the spa will relish the Cloud 9 Spa cabins' enhanced spa amenities and dedicated Cloud 9 Spa access.

Lavish suites -- which historically have not been Carnival's strong suit -- are better represented aboard Carnival Celebration. These include 12 aft-facing Excel Suites, 12 Corner Excel Suites, six Havana Cabana Suites, six Cloud 9 Spa Suites, and two Excel Presidential Suites.

A total of 90 cabins across all grades are accessible to those with mobility issues.

Top Deck Attractions

Like Mardi Gras, the big story aboard Carnival Celebration is BOLT, the trendsetting roller coaster at sea.

Aboard Carnival Celebration, expect to find outdoor diversions like Carnival's WaterWorks; mini-golf putting; the Ultimate Playground outdoor sports and activity area; and Serenity, Carnival's adults-only, top-deck enclave featuring loungers, hot tubs and an outdoor bar area.

Entertainment

Entertainment has long been Carnival's strong suit, and that continues aboard Carnival Celebration. Old favorites like Piano Bar 88 -- a hopping staple of any Carnival ship -- and the Punchliner Comedy Club return, along with several new, yet-to-be revealed features.

The ship's three-story atrium, situated along the starboard side of the ship, serves as an entertainment venue in its own right, with changeable performances and themed drinks on-tap each evening. Dubbed "The Center Stage", this space becomes a cozy place to congregate by day and night, offering impressive views of the sea outside and unique performances.

For more traditional entertainment, Carnival Celebration offers a two-deck-high theatre all the way forward on Decks 6 and 7. 

Itineraries

Carnival Celebration is scheduled to sail five, six, and seven-day cruises from PortMiami to the Eastern and Western Caribbean upon its debut in 2022. Eight-day Southern Caribbean journeys will be offered, along with a one-off transatlantic crossing from Southampton, England to Miami that will serve as the ship's maiden voyage on November 6, 2022.

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