Overview and things to do

If you board the Carnival Shard cruise ship and notice that things look a little familiar to you, maybe it’s because this ship is nothing new…sort of. Carnival Shard is the new name of the prior Carnival Victorywho sailed with the cruise line for two decades, starting in 2000. Recently, the ship underwent a brand new refit and makeover, after which she was given her new name.

So what can you expect on this cruise ship and what did the $200 million drydock include? Here’s everything you need to know about Carnival Shardso you can find out if this is the perfect ship for your next cruise vacation.

Ship Stats & Facts

Like Carnival Victorythis ship was commissioned in 1997, launched in 1998 and finally christened with its former name in 2000. Built at an initial cost of $410 million, it served travelers from its home port of Miami, with routes to across the Caribbean.

The original design mimicked the one travelers would find on the sister ship Carnival Triumph (now Carnival Sunrise), although it differs slightly from the design of the older sister ship, Destiny of Carnival (now known as carnival sun).

  • Rough measure: 101,509
  • Accommodation capacity : 2,984
  • Crew capacity: 1,108
  • Length: 893 feet
  • Passenger decks: 13
  • Cabin: 1,492

Carnival Radiance Improvements

So what has Carnival changed Carnival Victory when it was put in dry dock and the ship received its new name?

the new and improved Carnival Shard was announced in 2018 and began the dry-docking process in March 2020. However, as cruisers are well aware, the industry has been severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and refits have therefore been put on hold .

Originally, Carnival had planned for the upgrades to be complete by the end of April 2020, but later pushed that back to April 2021. When the renovations were still not complete in summer 2021, rumors arose started circulating that Carnival was simply going to sell the ship. for parts, but those rumors have been debunked and the drydock was completed in October 2021. Now the ship finds its new homeport in Long Beach, California.

Major changes to the ship included the addition of new dining and entertainment options, including the addition of the following restaurants and bars:

  • Lido Marketplace, for casual bites by the pool
  • The Chef’s Table, the chef-led, multi-course dining experience Carnival cruisers already know and love
  • Bonsai Sushi, for a full-service Asian meal
  • Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, for classic American steakhouse fare
  • JavaBlue Cafe, a cafe and cocktail bar
  • Cucina del Capitano, for the favorite Italian cuisine
  • Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, one of Carnival’s new restaurants, made possible through the line’s partnership with celebrity chef Guy Fieri
  • RedFrog Pub, for Caribbean-style drinks
  • Piano Bar 88, with its singing piano-bar atmosphere
  • Limelight Lounge, for drinks and comedy and stand-up sets
  • Liquid Lounge, an entertainment venue with shows day and night
  • Big Chicken, another celebrity-inspired restaurant, this time made possible through a new partnership with Shaquille O’Neal (Carnival Shard is the first Carnival ship to feature Big Chicken)

As well as adding new food and drink options, the upgrades also included the addition of popular Carnival public and entertainment areas, such as the SportSquare entertainment complex, with its ropes course and mini-golf course. ; WaterWorks, with its children’s pools and slides; and the adult-only Serenity Retreat.

New retail spaces, an arcade, and a spa were also added, along with new cabins.


As mentioned, Carnival Shard offers a variety of cabins. There are…

  • 53 suites (including Balcony Captain, Balcony Grand and Balcony Ocean suites)
  • 502 cabins with sea view balcony
  • 6 panoramic cabins with ocean view
  • 304 glass cabins with ocean view
  • 527 interior cabins

The cabin decor is similar to what you probably already know if you’ve sailed with Carnival in the past. There are lots of blues, reds and oranges, for the colorful vibe that classic Carnival ships do so well.

Carnival Radiance Stateroom (Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

Rooms are more reminiscent of a beachfront family hotel than an upscale luxury hotel in town, so this is something to keep in mind if you’re looking for a more upscale vibe. However, the rooms are still very spacious, and the suites have plenty of seating, both indoors and out.

What’s included?

Carnival is known to be one of the most economical cruise lines, so you’ll find that you don’t have to spend much out of pocket while on your cruise, in order to have a great time.

Carnival Radiance, big chicken
Photo by: Carnival Cruise Line

After purchasing your cabin, you will also have access to…

  • Most restaurants on the ship, including exciting new options like Shaq’s Big Chicken
  • All outdoor entertainment, such as activities available at the new SportSquare and WaterWorks
  • Scheduled daily activities ranging from Q&A contests to pool games
  • The fitness center
  • Entertainment venues and indoor shows, from theatrical performances to comedic settings

What’s not included?

You will only have to worry about paying extra for a few items during a Carnival Shard cruise. As a general rule, when cruising with Carnival, you can expect to pay additional fees and charges for…

  • Tips
  • Special dining experiences (like the new Chef’s Table experience)
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • fitness classes
  • Spa services
  • Retail purchases
  • Wireless
  • Shore Excursions

To eat

In addition to the new restaurants mentioned above, what other dining options are available on board Carnival Shard?

Guys Burger Joint, Carnival Cruise Line
Guy’s Burger Joint (Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive)

Other dining options include…

  • The ship’s two main dining rooms, Radiance and Sunshine
  • Restaurant Guy’s Burgera former Carnival restaurant made possible thanks to the partnership with Guy Fieri
  • BlueIguana Cantina, which serves more Mexican and Caribbean-inspired dishes
  • Cherry on Top, for your sweets
  • Alchemy Bar, for all your favorite mixology concoctions
  • Heroes Tribute Bar, a veteran-themed sports bar showing all your favorite games and teams
  • The casino bar, for a drink while you gamble all night


There are many ways to have a good time while on board Carnival Shard. Inside and outside, there is no shortage of entertainment.

Catch a show at the Punchliner Comedy Club, where you’ll find family-friendly and less-family-friendly shows any time of the day. For singing, dancing, and Broadway-worthy performances, check out what’s streaming from Playlist Productions.

If gambling is more your style, head to the onboard casino, where you can enjoy your favorite table games, as well as slot machines.

Carnival Radiance Retreat for Adults Only
Carnival Radiance Adults Only Retreat (Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

For outdoor fun, WaterWorks Water Park is where it’s at. The water park includes an amazing water slide, Twister. If you prefer to stay dry, head to SportSquare, where basketball, mini-golf, table tennis and other games are on the menu. You can also try your hand at the ropes course, for stunning views of the water from atop the ship’s deck.

Also check out Carnival’s movie night schedule and catch your favorite movie by the pool.

The grown-ups in the family can also escape for some adult-only fun, when they escape to the Serenity Adults-Only Retreat, where the crowd is 21+ and amenities include comfy loungers and lots of peace and quiet.

For kids

Kids will enjoy Carnival’s popular Dr. Seuss programming while they’re aboard the ship. This lineup includes the Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham breakfast, story times, crafts, a character parade and more.

Beyond all the family entertainment available on the ship, Carnival Shard also features kids’ favorite Carnival programming, with special kids’ clubs for every age group.

Dr Seuss at sea
Photo by: Carnival Cruise Line

Kids ages 2 to 11 will enjoy Camp Ocean, with its kid-friendly activities available throughout the day (babysitting services are available after hours). Kids ages 12-14 enjoy scheduled activities in the Circle C Lounge. Teens, ages 15-17, also have their own spot in Club O2.


Check out the fitness center for all your fitness needs while on your cruise. However, if you’d rather relax all day than sweat out your stress, head to the new Cloud 9 Spa, part of the ship’s recent renovations.

You’ll find an extensive menu of favorite spa treatments, from massages to wraps to facials. You can even book a couples treatment, if you want to enjoy a little one-on-one relaxation with your favorite person.

thinking about taking a Carnival Shard Cruise?

If you are considering taking a Carnival Shard cruising soon, you will definitely find plenty to like. This ship offers entertainment for the whole family, plus many new dining and entertainment venues, for a fresh and improved atmosphere, at an affordable carnival price.


What is the size of the Carnival Shard?

Carnival Shard arrives with a gross tonnage of 101,509 GT and a length of 893 feet. As such, Carnival Shardthe size of is not noticeable; it’s not even in the top 50 largest cruise ships in the world. The ship has 13 decks and can accommodate 2,984 passengers at double occupancy or 3,873 passengers at maximum occupancy.

What was the old name of Carnival Shard?

Carnival Shard was previously known as Carnival Victoryfrom 2000 to 2020.

What class of cruise ship is the Carnival Radiance?

Carnival Radiance is currently a Sunshine-class ship, with sister ships being Carnival Sunshine and Carnival Sunrise. Prior to the renovations of the three ships, the previous class name was the Destiny class, with ships such as Carnival Victory, Carnival Destiny and Carnival Triumph.

Carnival Radiance: Overview and Things to Do

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