Carnival Cruise Lines is a prominent U.S. cruise line company, offering trips that range from three days to several weeks to ports around the globe. As of 2011, Carnival has seven classes of cruise ships. Choosing the right ship can have a significant impact on your vacation as ship size, speed and amenities all play a part in your enjoyment of the cruise experience.
The Dream class is the largest class of Carnival cruise ships, weighing in at 130,000 tons and an amazing 1,004 feet long. The first Dream class ship set sail in 2009 and made its home in Port Canaveral, rather than Ft. Lauderdale or Miami as is common for many supersized cruise ships. Dream class Carnival ships travel at a speed of 20 knots and can accommodate up to 3,652 guests. The Dream fleet includes the Carnival Dream, Carnival Magic and Carnival Breeze.
The Splendor class is the second largest class of Carnival cruise ships. The class consists of only one ship, the Carnival Splendor, and it weighs 113,300 tons, is 952 feet long and travels at a speed of 21 knots. The Splendor can accommodate up to 3,006 passengers.
The Conquest class of Carnival cruise ships consists of five ships that were introduced between 2002 to 2007. Conquest class ships weigh in at 110,000 tons, are 952 feet long and travel at a speed of 22.5 knots. Conquest class ships can accommodate up to 2,974 passengers. Ships in this class are narrower than the Dream class ships and offer a smoother ride than the Fantasy class ships. They are commonly used for trips of a week or more. The ships in class are the Carnival Conquest, Carnival Glory, Carnival Valor, Carnival Liberty and Carnival Freedom. The Carnival Conquest was the first of the line to offer wireless internet service to its guests.
The Destiny class consists of only one ship, the Carnival Destiny. It weighs 101,353 tons, is 852 feet long and travels at a speed of 21 knots. The Destiny, originally introduced in 1996, can accommodate up to 2,642 guests. The Destiny class is similar to the Dream class, but with added balconies, lounges and other amenities.
The Triumph class, consisting of the Carnival Triumph and Carnival Victory, is nearly identical to the Destiny. It weighs in at 101,509 tons, is 893 feet long, travels at a speed of 21 knots and can accommodate up to 2,758 guests. The only difference between the two classes is that the Triumph class has an extra deck for vacationers' pleasure.
The Spirit class was a first for Carnival; a slender ship that could fit through the Panama Canal, opening up locations such as the Mexican Riviera, Alaska and Hawaii to guests. The Spirit class ships, consisting of the Carnival Spirit, Carnival Pride, Carnival Legend and Carnival Miracle, were introduced between 2001 to 2004. Another difference between the Spirit class and other Carnival ship classes was the focus on balconies. 80 percent of the cabins of Spirit class ships have ocean views, and 80 percent of ocean view cabins have balconies. The amenities, such as dining, lounges and entertainment, are on lower decks, freeing upper decks for passenger cabins. The Spirit class ships are 88,500 tons, range from 960 to 963 feet long and can accommodate 2,124 guests.
The Fantasy class was introduced in the 1990s, making it one of Carnival's oldest classes of ships, although they were remodeled in the 2000s. The Fantasy class ships are the Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Sensation, Carnival Fascination, Carnival Imagination, Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Elation and Carnival Paradise. The ships weigh in at 70,367 tons, are 855 feet long, travel at 21 knots and can accommodate up to 2,052 guests. The Fantasy class ships focus on three to five day excursions and do not offer balconies on most cabins.
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