Ship Reviews

Refit review: Carnival Radiance

Carnival Victory is to undergo a huge refit and refurbishment in 2020 as part of Carnival Cruise Line’s modernisation program across the fleet.

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Carnival Radiance will receive a new Water Works park.

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The refurbishment of Carnival Victory will complete a massive US $2-billion 20-ship fleetwide enhancement program undertaken by Carnival Cruise Lines in 2011.

The refurb will affect almost every space aboard the cruise ship, which is why a name-change was appropriate, said Gus Antorcha, Chief Operations Officer for Carnival.

“The extent of the work really merits renaming the ship,” he said. “This will feel like a new ship.”

Carnival Radiance will be launched in Cadiz, Spain at the end of the 38-day project on April 26th, 2020. Her new itineraries have not been announced, but Carnival says they will go on sale in mid-November.

The refurbishment of Carnival Victory follows similar projects undertaken on Carnival Destiny, which was relaunched as Carnival Sunshine in 2013. Carnival Triumph will follow next year, becoming Carnival Sunrise.

All three ships make up Carnival Cruise Line’s Destiny-class trio of cruise ships.

“Carnival Radiance will offer unprecedented opportunities for our guests to Choose Fun across our entire fleet and enjoy the widest variety of culinary, beverage and entertainment options at sea,” said Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line.

Carnival Victory Ship Shot

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“This investment in Carnival Radiance and our many other refurbishment projects reflects our continued commitment to providing our guests with a fun, high quality vacation experiences across the Carnival fleet regardless of what ship they’re sailing on,” she added.

Carnival Radiance’s wide-ranging enhancements will include new culinary, bar and entertainment enhancements. Here’s what we know so far:

New dining concepts

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Cucina del Capitano: offering delicious Italian favourites and new Carnival classics served family-style in an engaging atmosphere reminiscent of a cosy Italian home.

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JavaBlue Café: this expanded version of the line’s popular coffee bar will offer lattes, cappuccinos and other caffeinated favourites, as well as ‘spiked’ coffees made with liqueurs, and decadent confections.

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Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse: a classic American steakhouse offering mouth-watering steaks, gourmet appetizers, entrees and desserts, with impeccable service and understated ambiance.

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Bonsai Sushi: a full-service Asian restaurant offering a mouth-watering array of sushi, sashimi, rolls and other delicacies from the Far East.

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The Chef’s Table: a new multi-course dining experience hosted in a special glass-enclosed venue in the forward dining room.

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Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse: a open-air eatery featuring “real deal” BBQ favourites created by Food Network start and long-time partner Guy Fieri.

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Lido Marketplace:  a casual poolside eatery boasting favourites like Seafood Shack offering lobster rolls and other New England-inspired fare; Pizzeria del Capitano serving hand-tossed artisanal-style pies free of charge 24/7, and an expanded Swirls venue with complimentary ice cream and frozen yogurt.

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New bars and lounges

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RedFrog Pub: featuring the Caribbean’s best rums and beers – including Carnival’s own ThirstyFrog Red – enjoyed in a distinct British-West-Indies-meets-Key-West atmosphere.

Piano Bar 88

Piano Bar 88: a new twist on Carnival’s popular piano bar concept that amps up the excitement with themed nights, engaging new décor and spontaneous sing-along fun.

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Limelight Lounge: home to the Punchliner Comedy Club featuring a hilarious line-up of comics which later transforms into a sizzling night club where guests can dance the night away.

New Multi-Purpose Liquid Lounge

New Multi-Purpose Liquid Lounge: an expansive theatre that’s home to captivating daytime and night-time entertainment, including the line’s high-tech Playlist Productions revues and audience participation favourite Hasbro, The Game Show.

The Warehouse:  promising fun for all ages with a variety of the latest video and arcade games.

Open deck attractions

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SportSquare: a suspended ropes course offering heart-racing views to the sea 150 feet below, basketball court, jogging track, ping pong, foosball, pool tables, and a nine-hole miniature golf course highlight this open-area recreation complex.

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WaterWorks: featuring a 203-foot-long AquaTunnel slide and Carnival’s signature 212-foot-long Twister slide along with a 75-gallon PowerDrencher tipping bucket and kiddie area.

Serenity Adult Only Retreat

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Serenity Adult Only Retreat: an adults-only oasis offering plush chaise lounges, whirlpools and oversized umbrellas, enhanced by dramatic sea views.

Wellness and retail

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Cloud 9 Spa:  designed as the ultimate refuge for rest and relaxation, the health and wellness center offers an elaborate thermal suite, private treatment rooms, and the latest cardio and weight-training equipment.

Expanded Retail Spaces:  a mall-style shopping experience featuring re-imagined retail outlets with an expanded assortment of jewellery, watches, fragrances, along with the line’s own branded spaces including The Carnival Store.

These new spaces will complement a wide variety of existing food and beverage outlets, including Guy’s Burger Joint offering hand-crafted burgers and fries, The Deli serving piled-high sandwiches and traditional sides, the poolside RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar, BlueIguana Cantina offering authentic Mexican tacos and burritos, an expanded Cherry on Top sweets shop, and the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar.

The ship’s staterooms were also recently renovated with a new tropical colour palette and new accommodation choices, including luxurious Captain’s Suites with floor to ceiling windows.

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