Carnival Luminosa

Carnival Cruise Line

Ship information

Carnival Luminosa

About Carnival Luminosa

In fall 2022, Carnival Luminosa became the latest ship to join the Carnival Cruise Line fleet. The 2,260-passenger vessel previously sailed as Costa Luminosa with Carnival Corporation's Costa Cruises brand. It underwent an extensive refit in the run up to its debut with a new name and livery.

Once the crown jewel of the Costa fleet, Carnival Luminosa can't hide its unmistakably Italian roots. From the deck names on the elevator panels to Captain Adriano Bonacchi's cheery Ciao Ciao during announcements, the ship is Italian through and through.

Constructed at Italy's Fincantieri shipyard in 2009, and sailing for Costa Cruises for 13 years, the ship underwent an extensive dry-dock to bring it in line with Carnival's Spirit-class vessels --

Carnival Miracle

,

Carnival Legend

,

Carnival Pride

and

Carnival Spirit

. The refurbishment also included the addition of the signature red, white and blue hull livery that was first introduced on the cruise line's new flagship 

Mardi Gras

in 2021, and is now being rolled out to other ships in the fleet. The throwback funnel design that once adorned some of Carnival's earlier vessels has been retained.

Aimed at families, couples and solo cruisers, Carnival Luminosa is not Sydney-based, but Brisbane. While yet to be fitted out with the usual Carnival attraction hallmarks (roller coasters etc.) this compact, fun ship delivers.

Luminosa's interior design is not as bold as sister Carnival ships, but still bright and breezy, and although the decor is more 2009 than 2022, every public space and each cabin we viewed was in remarkable condition with no sign of wear and tear.

Kids Clubs cover four age groups: the family pool, amusement arcade, Warehouse, and several Dr Seuss special events. The Serenity Retreat on Deck 9 Aft is 'Adults only' with a bar, pool and whirlpool.

Carnival Luminosa Deck Plans Feature Familiar Favorites

Carnival Luminosa has been adapted to offer passenger favorites and signature Carnival experiences across dining, bars and entertainment such as Playlist Productions, The Punchliner Comedy Club, Limelight Lounge, Piano Bar 88, Alchemy Bar, RedFrog Rum Bar, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, Chef's Table, Bonsai Sushi Express and Seaday Brunch.

The ship's spa has been transformed into the line's traditional Cloud 9 spa -- which will also offer a dedicated stateroom category -- and one of the pool decks has been reconfigured as Carnival's Serenity adult-only retreat.

Carnival Luminosa's Cabins are Comfortable and Well-Designed

Carnival Luminosa has 1,130 cabins and suites, which range in size from 13.65 square metre Interior stateroom to 68.09 square metre Grand Vista Suites. 662 cabins and 106 suites have balconies.

Carnival Luminosa offers eight levels of staterooms: Interior, Ocean View, and Balcony cabins, Junior Balcony and Panorama Suites and Cloud 9 Spa suites and two versions of Grand Vista suites with subcategories bringing a total of 14 configurations across the ship. Additionally, 68% have balconies with 23 accessible suites. For families, there are 102 connecting rooms.

The best cabin on board has to be a Grand Vista Suite. For space alone it’s a winner. But there’s nothing better than enjoying a glass of bubbles on the aft-facing wraparound balcony at sunset. The addition of a bathtub means a long luxurious soak is only minutes away.

All the amenities that come with suites like priority check-in, boarding and disembarkation can make the difference between a good cruise and a dream cruise. Little extras count too like bathrobes and the first two bottles of water are included.

What’s the worst cabin on Carnival Luminosa? A basic interior cabin can never complete with a Grand Vista Suite. But for the budget conscious Interior cabins can offer real value.

Category 4K aka interior cabins have an obstructed ocean view. It’s usually obstructed by a lifeboat do sport floor to ceiling glass to ensure plenty of light. While you can see the sky - this is not one for those longing for uninterrupted ocean views.

The rooms and cabins to avoid on Carnival Luminosa are interior cabins with picture windows and a walkway view. If you can see out those on the walkway can see in. So keep those curtains closed 24/7 if you don’t want other cruisers catching you in nothing more than a towel.

Overall, the staterooms and suites are generally well-maintained and exceptionally clean. After thirteen years and minimal refurbishment, it's commendable how fresh the cabins have remained despite the dated decor.

Carnival Luminosa's Food Varies by Venue

Lido Marketplace on Deck 9 is the buffet option for breakfast, lunch and early dinner, with the Main Dining Room Vela Restaurant on decks 2 and 3 covering lunch and dinner. Then, a sleep-in is guaranteed with the always-popular Seaday brunch, while Italian and Mexican nights mix it up a little.

The only additional fine dining is Fahrenheit 555 and the Chef's Table. Room service, Sushi Bonsai Express, Java Blue Cafe and coffee at the Atrium Bar are also extra.

The made-to-order Del Capitano Pizzeria, Deli Artisan Eats, Ol' Barbecue and Taco and Burrito spots are good options if the buffet is not your thing and you want something more casual than the Vela Dining Room.

What’s included in your fare

  • Meals in the Vela main dining room, Lido Marketplace buffet, and at Pizzeria del Capitano, Burgers, The Carnival Deli, Tacos and Burritos.
  • Access to the adults-only Serenity Retreat with pool, whirlpool and sun deck area and Dive-In Movies at the family pool deck area.
  • Most daily activities and experiences, unless noted below.
  • The fitness centre is included as is Carnival's Camp Ocean kids club until 9 pm for children aged two to 17.

What's Not Included?

  • All drinks beyond water, tea, coffee and select juices in the Lido Marketplace Buffet and Vela main dining room are at extra cost. Specialty (barista) coffee is also additional.
  • All Cloud 9 spa treatments, along with fitness classes and personal training and access to the Cloud 9 thermal area are additional.
  • Room service and specialty dining - Fahrenheit 555, Bonsai Sushi Express and Chef's Table are extra.
  • Shore excursions, Wi-Fi, activities such as casino gaming and bingo come at an extra cost as are photos and after-hours babysitting in Night Owls.

Kids Choose Fun On Carnival Luminosa

Although not primarily designed with children in mind, kids of all ages can have a ball on Carnival Luminosa; and it’s included in the fare.

Camp Ocean must be the first port of call. It’s like a camp at sea for 2-11 year-olds, with a range of kids only and family activities each day. There’s Conga for Kids, Family Arts and Crafts, Board Games Fun, Science & Discovery and more. For 12-14 year-olds Circle C hosts dance parties, outdoor movies and more in the special Circle C area. Club 02 is for the 15-17 year-old group with sport, karaoke and video games.

As well there’s mini golf, competitions, basketball and games on deck. Downloading the Carnival Hub app will give you a heads up on all the day’s activities.

Cabins

Carnival Luminosa has 33 cabin types available

Inside Cabins

13 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

13 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

13 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

13 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

13 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

13 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

13 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

13 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

13 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

13 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

13 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

13 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

13 Inside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

2 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

2 Outside types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Suite Cabins

6 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

6 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

6 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

6 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

6 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

6 Suite types to choose from

Deck Plans

12 deck images available

Activities and Entertainment

Theatre and Shows on Carnival Luminosa Cruise Ship

On Decks 1, 2 and 3, the 800-seat Luminosa Theatre is home to Playlist Productions, Punchliner Comedy Club and some late-night fun and games.
Playlist Productions run 'musicals' at 7.30 and 9.30 throughout each cruise beginning with the Welcome Aboard stage show where each performer works hard to make the production 'big' on a small stage.

Flick is a tribute to Hollywood movies from Top Gun to Flashdance and, surprisingly, Star Wars through song and dance and some clever staging, lighting and effects. Let's Rock is more like a mini-rock opera.

Standup, aka Punchliner Comedy Club, is also in the Luminosa Theatre, and there's a family-friendly 7.30 show and at 9.30 pm, it gets bluer. Each sailing features different Aussie comedians who deliver some classic one-liners and are always up for some lively banter with the audience.

Daily Things to Do on Carnival Luminosa Cruise Ship

You'll feel at home onboard Carnival Luminosa if you're a trivia buff. Each day Ocean Plaza is home to up to four themed competitions from Australiana to General Knowledge, Sport, Game of Thrones, Friends and more. And yes, Bingo fans are well-catered for.

Ocean Plaza is also where Fun Squad Games throw the oversized dice, and passengers try to 'Guess that Song', Jesse & Sarah, and other duos perform.

On Deck 2, the Art Gallery always seems busy with auctions and seminars on featured artists while the keen shoppers make a beeline for the Galleria shops on 3 for special sales and events.

When onboard a cruise ship with Italian heritage like Carnival Luminosa why not turn your hand to pasta making? Extra $$$ will see you in the Fahrenheit 555 dining room, kitted out with an apron and chef toque and everything you need to make fresh pasta. Fettuccini, Angel Hair and Ravioli. Of course, you're not guaranteed to become a pasta master, but you get to eat your efforts as part of a three-course lunch afterwards.
Warehouse Arcade is for all ages with a wide variety of Arcade and video games and is open day and night.

Nightlife on Carnival Luminosa Cruise Ship

Musical productions, standup comedy, a piano bar, DJs, and band performances are all part of the nightly (and sometimes daily) entertainment on offer. In addition, a roster of DJs, theme nights, and late-night parties are included for those who like to keep the party going.

Entertainment options from the Playlist Production musicals, Punchliners Comedy Club, DJs, and Piano Bar 88 to the duo and band performances are all included. For those who like to party a little later, the Altair Nightclub features DJs and an Island Deck Party and Adult Games night.

You can always rely on a Piano Bar for an excellent sing-a-long, and Piano Bar 88 with Kelly plays the standards and keeps the requests coming. And if you like a little karaoke, Limelight Bar is ground zero. And a roster of DJs spins the discs for kids poolside during the day and for a more grown-up crowd at Altair Nightclub till late.

The 8-piece Luminosa Rock Band gets happy guests up on the dance floor with a funky mix of Motown, Prince and 80's hits.

Cruise Director Simon London (of course, he's English) leads many an unwitting guest to 'perform' for the audience in some 'adult' games. He's also the Chief Fun Officer at the special Sail Away Party, Island Deck Party and the Day-Glo if you dare 80s Dance night.

When it comes to Elegant night, you can choose to don full formal attire, throw on a good frock or keep to your personal dress code.

Casino: Deck 2 is home to the Luminosa Casino, with poker, blackjack, roulette tables and plenty more ways to spin the dice. There are also dozens of poker machines with different betting options.

Carnival Luminosa Cruise Ship Bars and Lounges

Pre-booked alcoholic drinks packages (CHEERS) are available from $119 per person per day, but like the non-alcoholic 'Bubbles' package, it doesn't include coffee from the Atrium Bar or Java Blue Cafe.

With nine bars across Luminosa, there is something for everyone. Alchemy is touted as dedicated to earnest mixology. But, that only goes as far as the cocktail list. For example, a dry gin martini was served with three olives as ordered but in a whisky glass minus a toothpick for the olives.

Our Picks

Cheerful and No Fuss: Piano Bar 88
For Cocktails: Serenity Retreat is the best spot for sunsets with colourful cocktails to match.
For a relaxed beer or wine: Try the Red Frog Rum Bar by the main pool on Deck 9 does more than rum cocktails and its a good spot for an afternoon drink post-swim.

Pools and Hot Tubs on Carnival Luminosa Cruise Ship

The main Lido pool is flanked by two hot tubs on Deck 9. This is the only pool available for kids and does get quite busy. There are six stairs up to the hot tubs that only feature ladder access. Unlike most Carnival ships Luminosa doesn’t have any waterslides.
The only other pool on board Carnival Luminosa is in the adults-only Serenity Retreat. There are also two hot tubs. Early risers must get to the Serenity Retreat pool deck around sunrise to stake a claim to the black rattan clamshell sunshades built for two. Attendants try to keep it fair, and sometimes if you're lucky, you might snare a spare. Carnival would do well to add more on deck 10.

Waterslides, Ropes Course and Splash Park on Carnival Luminosa Cruise Ship

With a busy Australian season followed by an Alaskan season in the US summer it’s hard to see time for a dry dock makeover soon. Giving Luminosa the Carnival treatment would include waterslides as well as a few of the favourite eateries.

Sundecks on Carnival Luminosa Cruise Ship

Those black rattan clamshells are the hottest tickets onboard Carnival Luminosa. There are loungers, but summer in Queensland and the South Pacific needs shade too. The Serenity bar area is under shade.

On Deck 10 the Sunset Bar has chairs and tables but is only open for short periods. This would be a prime spot for some more shaded lounging.

Services and Wi-Fi on Carnival Luminosa Cruise Ship

Wi-Fi is available onboard Carnival Luminosa from $15.30 for the Social plan per day. Upgrade to the Value plan for $17.85 per day or Premium at $21.85 per day. Each plan can only be used on one device at a time. And it can only be used by one person. Pre-book before you cruise for a 15% discount or organise through the always busy Customer Services desk.

If you’re unlucky enough to be working while cruising the Premium package will handle most work requirements. It is sometimes spotty even on a Queensland cruise and although the Carnival site says the Premium package will handle Zoom - reliability can be an issue due to coverage.
Most passengers find the premium package adequate but download your Netflix movies at home first.

There are two ATMs onboard Carnival Luminosa. Note the $6.50 fee is per use - including account balances. (There is an international transaction fee even in Australian waters).

Tip: Withdraw cash before cruise day and organise extra funds on your credit card.

Looking to mix up your day? The Carnival Hub app is a planner with maps, activities, and special events and lists your restaurant and spa bookings. You can pre-plan and highlight events in the app as a handy reminder.

Spa and Thermal Suite on Carnival Luminosa

Cloud 9 Spa offers many treatments, from deep tissue massage and body wraps to weight loss, facials and thermal therapies. Treatments are comparable in price to land-based day spas, with a 50-minute deep tissue massage costing $150.

The Spa is also home to a suite of climate-controlled rooms, including various steam options and a serene hammam-style space with heated mosaic-tiled loungers next door to the multi-jet hydrotherapy pool. Finish with a glass of cool water in the airy confines of a salon space equipped with comfy loungers at the optimal temperature. Day passes for these rooms are $40 per day but are included with Cloud 9 Spa suites and cabins.

Fitness and Gym on Carnival Luminosa

With virtually uninterrupted views taking a spin around the Deck 11 jogging track is a must-do. It's exhilarating to merely walk some 97-metre laps. And, so much better than taking the stairs.

Just aft the free-throw Basketball court is popular with families, teens and tweens most of the day.

Down on ten as part of the Cloud 9 Spa, the fitness centre has elliptical treadmills, weight machines and a range of cardio equipment to work off that extra slice of pizza. Fitness classes include indoor cycling, Pilates and boot camp and are not included.

Dining

While Carnival Luminosa might not be the largest ship in the Carnival fleet, there is a substantial range of food options. Budget cruising is more about filling up than fine cuisine and Carnival Luminosa is not a cruise for foodies.

The Main Dining Room, or Vela Restaurant, is the primary, non-buffet option and is popular at lunch and dinner for food. There is also a specialty steakhouse -- Fahrenheit 555, at an additional cost of $65pp for dinner with wine or cocktails extra.

*Note: the Tacos and Burritos space will become BlueIguana Cantina while Burgers will get the Guy's Burger Joint livery sometime in the future. *

Free Restaurants on Carnival Luminosa

**Lido Marketplace on Deck 9 **
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Sandwiched between the Family pool area and Red Frog Rum Bar at the bow and the Serenity Retreat's adult's pool and bar aft, Carnival dubbed Luminosa's buffet the 24-hour Cruise Food Hall.

Breakfast runs from 6.30 am with self-serve continental items like cereals, Toast, pastries, cold meats and a limited fruit selection. From 7 am, servers whip up omelettes or fried eggs. At the same time, self-serve chafing dishes contain bacon, scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, baked beans, and hash browns, with a different Eggs Benedict available daily.

Machine-brewed American-style coffee, sugary apple and orange juice and chilled water are available all day. Tea lovers may be disappointed with only Bushell’s black tea and green tea bags on offer. Full-fat and skim milk is available alongside sugar sachets and artificial sweeteners.

Roasts, curries and more are available at Lunch and Dinner, with some of the Main Dining Room dishes on an early dinner menu. Meanwhile, there's a short queue most lunchtimes for made-to-order sandwiches and hotdogs at the Artisan Eats Deli. The servers are kept busy at Burgers, Tacos, Pizzeria del Capitano, Chopsticks, Snags and Pies and 'Ol Fashioned BBQ station.

Overall, most buffet dishes were fresh, if a little bland. On more than one occasion, the food could have been much hotter.

On Day Six, the food crew unveiled a sweet surprise - a Chocolate Extravaganza at the Lido Marketplace. It was a parade of Chocolate Tim Tam Cake, chocolate pretzels, mini choux puffs, and cheesecake. The big hits were towering layer cakes glistening with dark ganache, Espresso palmiers, chocolate crackles, and chocolate banana marshmallow cake.

*Tip: The pizza is made to order and tasty. So grab a salad, some wine, and a relaxed in-cabin movie night is just an elevator trip away. *

**Vela Restaurant **

Vela is the main dining room and again, most dishes could have been hotter. It felt like the experienced crew were still learning the Luminosa ropes. However, these may merely be teething issues. All the team we encountered were friendly, courteous and willing to help at every moment. Drinks from the bar and wine by the glass or bottle are well-priced.

Sea Day Brunch is a little hit-and-miss in the two-storey Vela Dining Room. Other passengers reported overcooked 12-hour French Toast, and the Aussie Breakfast was sparing. A pre-prepared (read soggy) crouton with mashed avo masqueraded as Avocado Toast. On the other hand, Chia pudding with coconut milk and banana was delicious.

Themed nights in Vela proved much better. Italian night's highlights included a small but tasty Caprese salad entree, duck pappardelle and a reduced sugar passionfruit pannacotta to finish. Mexican night's Carne Asada steak was cooked as requested, hot and delicious.

Tip: Not everyone is a fan of the nightly choreographed ‘song and dance’ by the wait staff at dinner in the Vela dining room. Diners can request to eat in the adjacent Archipelago dining room. It’s quieter and may suit those who don’t need to wave their cloth napkins in the air to have a good time.

What Restaurants Cost Extra on Carnival Luminosa

There are only a few options if you want something off the included menu.

Sushi Bonsai Express is inexpensive - $

$$ - The Seafood Shack on Lido Marketplace displays fresh and cooked seafood - mussels, prawns and more over ice.

$$$$ - If you're looking for a more refined dining experience, Fahrenheit 555 offers three courses at $65 and is well worth the splurge. Wine is extra; the menu lists recommended pairings at $$ per person. The service is a little brisk for a what is described as a fine dining experience.

$$$$ - The Chef's Table begins with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres for just twelve guests. Then, a galley tour followed by a multi-course dinner with wine for $140pp.

Cruise Critic Restaurant Picks on Carnival Luminosa

Breakfast burritos are a great fresh, made-to-order option with Mexican or traditional scrambled eggs, shredded hash browns, salsas, extra jalapeños, cheese, lettuce and tomato all available. A separate self-serve fixings station with salsas and crema fresca is a few steps away.

We also thoroughly enjoyed Pizzeria del Capitano. Open from lunch to 4 am, and the menu is limited to Margherita, Pepperoni, Quattro Formaggi, Prosciutto and Hawaiian. Gluten-free is taken seriously here - with a separate prep bench and oven shelf. Other pizza lovers say you can ask for variations on the compact five pizza menu.

Fahrenheit 555 at $130 per couple plus drinks is worth a splurge for a special occasion or if your cruise is longer than seven nights. With ten entree and ten main courses to choose from there is something for everyone. A range of sides include a very good Mac ’n Cheese and six other vegetable and three different potato dishes.

The mushroom risotto, steaks and lobster tail are the stand-outs. If you want bragging rights when you get home order the oysters. While they are served fresh on ice and served with an apple mignonette they arrive under a glass cloche with smoke for full dramatic (and social media effect).

And if you like your dessert with a splash, the Art at your table dessert makes for a great Instagram post as chef splatters fruit gels and melted chocolate across an enormous dessert board.

Tip: Rumour has it that if you book a table at Fahrenheit 555 for the first night a free bottle of house wine is included.

Dietary Requirements on Carnival Luminosa

Guests with food dietary requirements are best to alert Carnival at booking. Still, the dining room crew do a fantastic job taking great care of coeliacs, the lactose-intolerant, vegetarians and those wanting a low-sugar alternative.