Carnival Cruise Line is to debut its latest Excel-class ship, Carnival Jubilee, in December 2023, introducing a range of new experiences alongside returning favourites such as the Bolt rollercoaster and Shaquille O’Neal’s Big Chicken restaurants.
The ship will feature two new zones, Currents and The Shores, which are inspired by the ocean. Currents will include six LED windows and an LED ceiling, which will combine with theatrical show lighting and sound design to create an immersive environment for guests as they try cocktails at new bar Dr. Inks, Ph.D. and The Golden Mermaid lounge or creole cuisine at Emeril’s Bistro 717.
The Shores, meanwhile, is intended to recall the seaside, with a boardwalk featuring a Ferris wheel-inspired ceiling feature and casual indoor and outdoor seating areas. Guests can visit Coastal Slice for fresh pizza, Beach Buns for sandwiches or hot dogs, and the nautical-themed Marina Bar for coffee or cocktails. Rudi’s Seagrill and Cucina del Capitano both offer indoor and al fresco seating and complete The Shores zone.
“The ship will pay homage to the ocean in many ways, from the use of technology and design to the incorporation of new food and beverage offerings to heighten and enhance the theming,” says Fred Stein, Carnival’s vice president of revenue planning and deployment. “When our guests walk into these spaces, they’ll feel like they’re being transported to a totally different place – from boardwalk-style attractions and restaurants to an underwater world.”
Carnival has chosen to introduce the new experiences onboard Carnival Jubilee in the Western Caribbean, as the ship embarks on a maiden season of seven-day itineraries that will visit popular destinations such as Mahogany Bay in Honduras and Costa Maya in Mexico. But it’s another Mexican port that Stein highlights as a particular draw.
“The Western Caribbean is home to several destinations that are among the most popular with our guests,” says Stein “The region allows us to offer week-long cruise vacations that feature multiple visits to an array of ports, including one of our most popular ports overall: Cozumel, Mexico.”
Stein also highlights the wide-ranging appeal of the available excursions as another key reason for Carnival choosing the Western Caribbean for Jubilee’s maiden season.
“Shore excursions in this region offer something for everyone – from touring the ancient city of Tulum near Cozumel to snorkelling in Costa Maya,” he says. “These destinations offer guests the opportunity to experience sun-drenched beaches and turquoise blue water surrounded by lush vegetation and exotic wildlife.”
Carnival Jubilee will homeport in Galveston, Texas. Stein explains that the decision to debut the ship at one of Carnival’s busiest ports will have wider strategic benefits for the cruise line beyond the success of Carnival Jubilee’s maiden season.
“It is important for us to bring our upcoming flagship to our homeport of Galveston,” he says. “Galveston is one of our most popular homeports, and the addition of Carnival Jubilee brings not only an all-new cruise experience and increased capacity – it also gives us the opportunity to freshen our offerings for the other popular ships homeported there, Carnival Dream and Carnival Breeze. Building on our strong portfolio of options out of Texas will give our guests in that region great new options as they look ahead and plan for their future vacations.”
Ultimately, concludes Stein, the most important consideration for Carnival when deciding on any of its itineraries remains its guests.
“We’ll judge the first season for Carnival Jubilee the same way we judge the maiden season of every new ship – based on the feedback from our guests,” he says.
This article was first published in the 2024 issue of Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. Subscribe to Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning for FREE to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox.