Ever wished your Carnival cruise had just a little bit of Italian flair? Well, that’s exactly what you get on Carnival Venezia, where you’ll find, as the brand states, “Carnival fun, Italian style.”
Carnival Venezia is a brand-new Carnival ship, but it’s not a brand-new ship overall. Previously owned by Carnival’s sister line Costa, the ship was originally known as Costa Venezia.
Much as was the case when Costa transferred Costa Luminosa to the Carnival brand (changing the ship to Carnival Luminosa) in 2022, Carnival Venezia brings a new experience to Carnival cruisers with its 2023 debut.
Expect new Italian-style touches, new staterooms, new dining options and more when you step aboard this ship. It’s nothing like the Carnival cruises you’ve taken in the past. Here’s what you need to know.
Carnival Venezia Stats
Formerly Costa Venezia, Carnival Venezia measures as such:
- Gross tonnage: 135,225 GT
- Length: 1,061 feet
- Double occupancy: 4,208
- Maximum occupancy: 5,263 guests
- Passenger decks: 15
- Staterooms: 2,045
- Total crew: 1,424 members
Costa/Carnival Venezia Construction and History
The original Costa Venezia (built by Fincantieri in Italy) debuted on May 18, 2019, in Shanghai, following a March 1 christening ceremony in Trieste, Italy. Unlike is often the case, the ship’s christener was not a celebrity, but rather a frequent Costa cruiser. After a short preview cruise in the Mediterranean, the ship headed to Shanghai.
Directed at the Chinese cruising market, the ship was, for at least a few months, the largest in Costa’s fleet. (And, because of factors like these, current Carnival cruisers can expect a ship that’s nicely sized, with plenty to do and space, as well as a ship that’s hardly outdated.)
Costa Venezia (along with sister ship Costa Firenze) has always offered a thoroughly Italian flair, which can still be seen today, despite renovations (though this isn’t a bad thing at all). More specifically, Costa Venezia featured a Venetian-inspired theme, to go along with, of course, the name.
Transfer from Costa to Carnival
As was the case with so many cruise ships, Costa Venezia’s activity serving East Asian itineraries ground to a halt over the Covid-19 pandemic. The ship was only saved when the Carnival brand decided to take over and give this ship new life.
The ship was handed over from Costa to Carnival on March 22, 2023, in Cadiz, Spain, after which refurbishments began at the Cadiz shipyard.
Once rebranded as Carnival Venezia, the ship rolled out in May 2023 and the christening celebration and naming ceremony took place on June 14, 2023, in New York City. In a first for the Carnival cruise line, a godfather (rather than a godmother) christened the ship — comedian Jay Leno (which, with Leno’s Italian heritage, is an explicit nod to the ship’s Italian theme).
It’s expected that Carnival Firenze — Carnival’s takeover of sister ship Costa Firenze — will follow Carnival Venezia’s example at a later date. Under the Carnival umbrella, both will be considered part of the Venice class, which is a subcategory of Carnival’s current Vista class.
As alluded, the ship is really a blend of both Costa’s European style and Carnival’s family-fun atmosphere. As such, expect favorite elements from both cruise lines.
For example, the ship retains its Venice-inspired decor, with Italian-leaning architecture found throughout the ship. The atrium channels a European square, while the Lido deck gets the Italian Riviera treatment.
New food and beverage options further amp up the Italian theme, but you can still find classic Carnival dining favorites such as Guy’s Burger Joint. There are even some new Italian-inspired lounges and bars.
Additionally, Carnival’s Havana staterooms get a new look and a new name with the ship’s Terrazza staterooms. Just like Havana staterooms, these staterooms feature a few perks and amenities that you won’t find elsewhere in the ship, such as private patios, an outdoor deck only for Terrazza and suite guests and more.
Even the hull livery is different, blending Costa and Carnival with a yellow stripe (rather than red) along the hull to match the ship’s yellow funnel.
There are more than 2,000 staterooms and suites aboard Carnival Venezia. They are broken down as such:
- 44 Accessible Staterooms
- 20 Ocean Suites
- 36 Terrazza Balcony Staterooms
- 920 Balcony Staterooms
- 27 Terrazza Ocean View Staterooms
- 246 Ocean View Staterooms
- 14 Terrazza Interior Staterooms
- 782 Interior Staterooms
So what can you expect with each type of stateroom? Interior staterooms are broken down into several types, including standard interior staterooms and interior staterooms with picture windows and portholes.
If you find that a traditional interior stateroom is a bit too claustrophobic for your taste, but you don’t want to spring for an ocean view stateroom, go with the interior with a picture window or porthole. You won’t get great views, but you will get a little extra natural light and airiness.
Overall, interior staterooms boast a European hotel-style motif, with lots of neutral colors, patterned wallpaper and understated accents that make for an elegant look (compared to Carnival’s typical bold bursts of color and family-friendly aesthetic).
Ocean view staterooms are much the same, with larger, rectangular windows on one side of the cabin. Ample floor space allows for a big sitting area and entertainment center. The wallpaper changes up slightly in some of the ocean view staterooms as well, with photo-based wallpaper that depicts scenery in — where else? — Venice.
Balcony staterooms are nearly identical to the ocean view staterooms, but with bigger windows and more natural light, as well as more floor space.
As mentioned, the most exciting stateroom offering on this ship is a brand-new one for Carnival. Terrazza staterooms include Terrazza interior, balcony and cabana staterooms. The cabana staterooms include private, outdoor patios outfitted with hammocks and loungers. Cabana Terrazza staterooms also offer direct, lanai access to the special, VIP Terrazza Carnevale.
Read Also: What Are the Best Rooms on a Cruise Ship?
Terrazza Carnevale is a special venue only accessible to Terrazza and suite guests, and it includes a terrace, two hot tubs, and a bar. Guests get specialty amenities and VIP perks, including complimentary continental breakfast, brunch on sea days, complimentary drinks and access to exclusive events.
Terrazza staterooms are only open to cruisers ages 12 and up, and guests under 21 must be accompanied by an adult when visiting Terrazza Carnevale.
There is only one class of suites aboard Carnival Venezia, which is quite different from Carnival’s other ships, where you typically have a range of suite types to choose from. The “ocean suites” are slightly larger than balcony staterooms, with extra features, including walk-in closets and whirlpool tubs in the bathrooms.
If you stay in one of these suites, you’ll enjoy extra amenities including…
- Priority check-in and boarding
- Priority dining in the main dining rooms
- Priority debarkation at your homeport, and ports of call requiring a water shuttle or with arrival times later than 9:30 a.n.
- Access to the Terrazza Carnevale area for guests 12 or older
- Morning access to the Carnevale Lounge for a daily continental breakfast
- Specially-curated brunch on select sea days, with a complimentary drink
When it comes to the free dining options aboard Carnival Venezia, you’ll find some Carnival staples, but also a few newcomers to the scene. Your free dining options include the following:
- Lido Marketplace, the ship’s buffet
- The Carnival Deli, for quick sandwiches
- Pizzeria del Capitano, for pizza at any hour of the day
- Swirls, for a fast ice cream fix
- Canal Grande, one of the two main restaurants, both serving three courses in a Venetian-inspired setting
- Marco Polo, the second of the two main restaurants
- Guy’s Burger Joint, a Carnival classic at this point
- La Strada Grill, for Italian street food and sandwiches
- Tomodoro, an Italian-Mexican fusion eatery
However, while many of these offerings are more or less the same as what you might find on any Carnival cruise ship, do note that many of the ship’s staple restaurants have given their menus an Italian upgrade on this ship specifically for newer, more options that you haven’t tried before.
Carnival Venezia’s Italian roots can be spotted when you upgrade to the specialty dining experiences that come for an extra fee. Specialty restaurants and dining options include…
- Bonsai Teppanyaki, for a classic teppanyaki experience
- Fahrenheit 555, for steakhouse eats
- The Seafood Shack, for fried bites of fresh seafood
- Bonsai Sushi, for affordable sushi
- JacaBlue Cafe, for specialty coffee drinks
- Il Viaggio, a new Italian eatery
- The Chef’s Table, a classic Carnival dining experience that’s limited to a handful of cruisers
- Room service, for when you just can’t be bothered to leave the view from bed
The most notable new-to-Carnival restaurant aboard this ship is Il Viaggio. There, the three-course, high-end menus focus on regional Italian cuisine. Items you can expect to see on the menu include antipasti options such as house-made burrata served with Genovese pesto and heirloom tomatoes; entrees like pappardelle al cinghiale from Tuscany; and tiramisu and Sicilian ricotta cannoli for dessert.
The restaurant also features an open kitchen, where you can watch the Italian executive chef at work. Don’t want to stay indoors? Grab a table on the lanai for al fresco dining experiences.
Bars and Lounges
Just like there are new, Italian-inspired restaurants on this ship, there are also some European-inspired changes applied to the ship’s bar and lounge lineup. Grab a drink at…
- Amari, a new take on the classic Carnival Alchemy bar, which focuses on mixology
- Frizzante, a bubbly-focused bar
- Carnevale Bar & Lounge, with a lively, Carnivalesque atmosphere
- Gondola Lounge, where the theme is, of course, gondolas
- Rococo, a frozen drink-focused bar
- Pergola Bar
Beyond these new additions to the Carnival fleet, you’ll also find Carnival-favorite watering holes that include…
- Heroes Tribute Bar & Lounge, a veteran-themed bar stuffed with Americana
- The Piano Bar, for live music
- The Casino Bar, for drinks while you gamble the night away
Activities and Entertainment
Beyond adding an Italian twist to the staterooms and suites, restaurants and bars, Carnival has also given the activities and entertainment aboard Carnival Venezia a bit of European love.
Here’s what you can expect to fill your cruising itinerary, from the well-loved and familiar to the new and exciting.
Check out the Shows at Playlist Productions
Playlist Productions encompasses some of Carnival’s best entertainment, offering musical reviews, Broadway-style shows, and more across the line’s fleet. For Carnival Venezia cruises, the lineup includes a Broadway review, a Prohibition-set musical featuring pop tunes and a rock tribute concert at the Teatro Rosso.
Try New Games at the SportsSquare
Families and fun lovers, in general, know to head to Carnival’s SportsSquare for outdoor games and a little friendly competition, but there are new ways to play aboard a Carnival Venezia cruise. The ship introduces new, Italian games, such as bocce ball.
Splash Around at the Water Park
This ship features a water park with three waterslides and a splash pad for the youngest cruisers in your crew. The WaterWorks is located mid-ship on the top decks and includes the twister waterslide, Gondola Glide waterslide, and Carnival’s AquaTunnel.
Get in a Little Retail Therapy
Carnival Venezia will feature the cruise line’s first array of truly luxurious shopping options. You’ll be able to browse offerings from Bvlgari, Cartier and more, thanks to a partnership with LVMH Moët Hennessy.
In addition to specific Cartier and TAG Heuer storefronts, other luxury brands that cruisers can find will include Versace, Tom Ford, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, and Fendi.
A luxury leather shop will offer designer bags, while those on the hunt for their next souvenir will find Italian-inspired items ranging from hats and t-shirts to luggage tags and totes.
Relax for a While
Beyond just having a great time outdoors or shopping ’til you drop, you’ll want to relax for a bit during your cruise, too. Luckily, Carnival Venezia offers plenty of ways to do so. Check out the Serenity adults-only retreat, or head to Cloud 9 Spa.
Carnival Venezia Kids Venues
The kids’ venues aboard Carnival Venezia include the standard options found aboard any Carnival ship. There’s Camp Ocean for children ages 2 to 11; Circle C for the preteens; and club 02 for the older teens. The only slight change? This ship’s kids programming includes Italian-inspired activities and events.
Carnival Venezia Itineraries
Cruising aboard Carnival Venezia is truly a one-of-a-kind experience — even for those who consider themselves stalwart Carnival fans who’ve seen and done everything the cruise line has on offer! Don’t wait to book your Carnival Venezia cruise today.
Carnival Venezia is technically a new ship. Originally debuted in 2019 as Costa Venezia, the ship was rebranded in 2023 and renamed Carnival Venezia. The ship features all-new restaurants, staterooms, attractions, activities and more.
Yes, Carnival Venezia features many staple Carnival complimentary dining venues, including Guy’s Burger Joint, Lido Marketplace, The Carnival Deli, Pizzeria del Capitano, Swirls and two main dining rooms.
Yes, Carnival Venezia does have a casino, as well as a casino bar. Both are located on Deck 4, between the ship’s atrium and the Limelight Lounge.