Carnival Cruise Line is wrapping the final phase of its $2 billion fleet enhancement program with the refurbishment and renaming of the Carnival Victory. The Carnival Victory will re-enter service in 2020 as the Carnival Radiance following a 38-day dry dock in Cadiz, Spain, from March 18 to April 26, 2020.
The refurbishment into Carnival Radiance will include the debut of a new, “surprise” dining option, Carnival said, as well as the addition of a number of other branded food, beverage and entertainment offerings. These include the Cucina del Capitano Italian restaurant; an expanded version of the line’s JavaBlue Café coffee bars; the Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse; Bonsai Sushi; the Chef’s Table dining experience; Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, developed in partnership with Food Network star Guy Fieri; and the casual, poolside Lido Marketplace. The project will also add a number of new bars, including the Caribbean RedFrog Pub; Piano Bar 88; Limelight Lounge, which is home to the line’s Punchliner Comedy Club; and a new, multi-purpose Liquid Lounge, which will host a lineup of daytime and nighttime entertainment that includes Carnival’s Playlist Productions revues and Hasbro, The Game Show.
During the drydock the ship will also add a number of open-air deck attractions, including SportSquare, which has a suspended ropes course, a basketball court, jogging track, ping pong, foosball, pool tables and a nine-hole miniature golf course. The ship will also add the WaterWorks water park area, as well as the Serenity Adults Only Retreat. Other added amenities will include a Cloud 9 Spa, expanded retail spaces and The Warehouse, an all-ages entertainment venue with a variety of video and arcade games.
Homeport and itinerary details for the Carnival Radiance will be announced in mid-November. In the meantime, guests can sign up for a special early offer at carnival.com.
Carnival first launched its fleet enhancement program in 2011. Since then, the cruise line has completed refurbishments to more than 20 ships and taken delivery of thee new ships. It also has an additional three ships scheduled for delivery through 2022.
The fleet enhancement program added a number of new food, beverage and entertainment venues throughout nearly all of Carnival’s fleet. New casual F&B options included Guy Fieri-branded venues like Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, as well as bars such as the BlueIguana Cantina & Tequila Bar, RedFrog Rum Bar. The line also added The Chef’s Table fine dining experience and the cocktail-focused Alchemy bar, as well as Italian, sushi and seafood options. New retail outlets ranged from the Cherry on Top sweet shops to the Pixels photo galleries and other expanded retail spaces, while the fleet’s outdoor decks received new water parks, Serenity adults-only areas and new open-air recreation courses.
Since the fleet enhancement program was launched, Carnival’s annual passenger count has also grown from 4.1 million to 5.2 million guests; the number of children under 18 sailing annually has grown from 650,000 to 800,000; its employee base has grown from 34,000 to 40,000; its voyage operations have grown from 1,400 to 1,700 sailings per year; and its lower berth count has grown from 58,000 to 70,000.
Looking ahead, Carnival said that it is focusing more intensely on its onboard technology experience.
The Carnival HubApp is now available across all 26 ships in the fleet and running ahead of projections with regard to customer adoption, the cruise line said. Additionally, the cruise line has rolled out its NextGen connectivity system on the Carnival Horizon and Carnival Vista, with the aim of providing guests faster and more reliable Wi-Fi at sea. The technology will also be deployed on the Carnival Radiance.
Carnival is also now piloting a “pizza anywhere” delivery capability on select vessels, with the eventual goal of allowing guests to order food and drink options directly from the HubApp for delivery to their location onboard. The cruise line is also investing in an enhanced Wi-Fi infrastructure to bring more robust service across the Carnival fleet by 2021.