Carnival Venezia

Carnival Cruise Line

Ship information

Carnival Venezia

About Carnival Venezia

Carnival Venezia might seem like a new ship, with a 2023 christening in New York City by godfather Jay Leno.

But the ship has a special history. Carnival Venezia was originally built in 2019 specifically for the Chinese market where it sailed until March 2020, before coming back to Europe and the subsequent pandemic lockdown. So even though Carnival Venezia cruise ship is almost four years old, it hasn't actually sailed for more than a handful of months -- and now it has a completely new identity.

Redesigned for US passengers and rebranded as "Carnival Fun, Italian Style," Carnival Venezia is definitely a departure from the typical Carnival look and feel. But once you get used to the faux marble columns, the gold balustrades, the rococo inlays and the Venetian artwork adorning every available space on the Carnival Venezia ship, you notice the clever touches the Carnival redesign team has made: the first Guy's Burger to feature a pizza burger (yes, really); Tomodoro, a Mexitalian taco restaurant; Amari, the Italian version of the Alchemy Bar and a main dining room, Canal Grande, which an actual gondola in the center.

We feel the 4,090-passenger Carnival Venezia cruise ship will work for New Yorkers, who will enjoy and relate to its Italian touches. The one area which may be a pinch point is the Lido Deck, or main pool deck, which has a small pool and very limited sunbathing. This is adequate for northern sailings, as there are plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants to keep people occupied, as well as a retractable glass roof. But we're not so sure how the pool size will stand up when the ship moves to Florida for winter 2025.

Carnival Venezia's Deck Plan Includes New Bars And Restaurants

Carnival Venezia's deck plan includes an adults-only spot the Serenity Deck on Deck 15.

As you tour the Carnival Venezia ship, you'll find the outdoor sports facilities which include a running track, pickle ball and basketball court, ropes course, waterpark, mini golf and gym, and Camp Ocean, the Kids' Club all on Decks 11-14.

The double-deck Lido Marketplace is like an Italian piazza, surrounded by cafes, bars and restaurants, including a new venue Tomodoro; Guy's Burger Joint and the buffet. It's enclosed with a sunroof (or "magrodome") which opens and shuts depending on the weather. There is a small pool and also a stage and a screen for late-night movies.

At the back of the ship, you'll find a second pool. Though not huge by modern cruise ship standards, the pool has a more typical sun deck, with lots of loungers and space to sunbathe.

Decks 6-9 are all cabins. You'll also find cabins on decks 10-14, including some suites.

The heart of the ship is the triple-deck atrium, aka Piazza San Marco, as it's meant to represent Venice's main square. Most of the bars, restaurants and shops come off here, including one of the two main dining rooms, Marco Polo Restaurant (Deck 3). At the back of the ship, you'll find Canal Grande, the second main dining room. At the opposite end of the ship is Circle C, the teen and tween hangouts.

The main theater, Teatro Rosso, and the Limelight Lounge, which is for late night dancing and stand up comedy are on Deck 4, where you will also find the shops, casino and a brand new bar for Carnival -- Heroes Tribute Bar, dedicated to veterans.

There are more bars and restaurants on Deck 5, including Frizzante -- new for Carnival and serving bubbly Italian drinks; Amari, which is the Venezia version of the popular Alchemy Bar; Carnevale, which is elaborately decorated and more of a lounge bar; a Piano Bar and the Gondola Lounge. There is also a brand-new for fee Italian restaurant, Il Viaggio and two mainstays of the fleet – Fahrenheit 55 steakhouse and Bonsai Sushi and Teppanyaki.

Carnival Venezia's Rooms Include Suites And a New Category, Terrazza Cabins

Carnival Venezia rooms include 2,116 cabins and suites across 12 decks which range from 150-square-foot interiors to balcony rooms measuring 200 to 265 square feet to suites measuring up to 356 square feet.

Post-refurb updates include adding mini-bars and U.S. power outlets to cabins.

There are just 20 Ocean Suites, and they are not so much suites as larger rooms, with an L-shaped sofa and a bigger bathroom complete with a tub and twin tubs.

Carnival has also introduced new Terrazza staterooms -- measuring 200 to 265 square feet -- which are similar to the Havana cabins on other Carnival vessels. Located on decks 5 through 9, the 77 cabins in the new category are available as interiors, balconies -- many with aft-facing views -- and upscale cabanas.

The cabana cabins feature private patios with loungers and a hammock and direct access to Terrazza Carnevale, an exclusive outdoor terraced deck with whirlpools and a bar.

Another new category are family staterooms, which feature a separate room with half-sized tub for smaller kids.

There are also a number of fully accessible cabins across all stateroom categories.

Cabins to avoid are mostly on Deck 1 as they have obstructed views. If you are at all nervous about the proximity of the sea to your room, avoid the balcony cabins on Deck 2.

Carnival Venezia Introduces New Dining Concepts And Some Familiar Favorites

Carnival Venezia places a strong emphasis on Italian food, and has a new-to-the-fleet upscale Italian restaurant: Il Viaggio, which as the name suggests takes you on a tour of Italy's regional cuisine.

The two main dining rooms are both designed with Italian names, and the menus feature favorites from the popular Cucina del Capitano, elsewhere on the fleet.

Another new dining concept, Il Tomodoro, introduces tacos with an Italian twist; and Guy's Burger Joint even has a burger with a pizza topping.

Familiar favorites Fahrenheit 555 and Bonsai Sushi are also onboard, the latter expanding to the biggest Teppanyaki of the fleet.

Carnival Venezia Has Extensive Facilities For Kids

Carnival Venezia is a kids' paradise, with enough to keep any age group occupied for hours. Counsellors and programming are both outstanding, as are the facilities, which range from the waterslides, to the ropes course and mini golf; to indoor fun in the arcade and Camp Ocean to the Circle C area for teens and tweens and with multiple games consoles.

The only drawback is two relatively small pools for a ship this size and no dedicated kids' pool.

Cabins

Carnival Venezia has 32 cabin types available

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

4 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

4 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

4 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

4 Outside types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

15 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

15 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

15 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

15 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

15 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

15 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

15 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

15 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

15 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

15 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

15 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

15 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

15 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

15 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

15 Balcony types to choose from

Suite Cabins

1 Suite types to choose from

Deck Plans

14 deck images available

Activities and Entertainment

Theater and Shows on Carnival Venezia

Teatro Rosso is the main theater on Carnival Venezia and is at the front of the ship on Decks 4 & 5. Expect two shows a night, a mixture of revue-type shows, Bingo and a new how for Carnival, Color My World (which we did not see).

Daily Things to Do on Carnival Venezia

Make sure you either have the Carnival hub app downloaded, or grab a copy of Fun Times (left outside your room every night, or available at Guest Relations); or check your interactive TV for all the fun things going on.

Starting early morning, there are (free) stretch classes on Lido, for-fee Yoga classes, Trivia in the Gondola Lounge throughout the morning, movies at the Lido, Bridge tournaments, various ball games, family activities, jewelry seminars and posture seminars, handbag sales, art exhibitions and auctions and free massage tasters in the spa and even early karaoke.

On the deck above the Lido, you'll find Bocce, ping pong, mini-golf and a ropes course, part of which goes over the side of the ship. All of these are free. There is also an arcade called The Warehouse where you (or more likely your child) will spend a lot of time and money trying to win tokens.

An Italian Street Festival takes place in the Lido , with food, games and activities once a cruise.

Nightlife on Carnival Venezia

Carnival Venezia really comes alive at night, with comedy shows starting in the early evening in the Limelight Lounge and going on till late, live music in the atrium, Happy Hour in the Fun Shops and a late-night party on the Lido Deck.

There are a myriad of different bars to choose from (detailed below), which you can hop to and from as the evening progresses, most of them on Decks 4 & 5.

Carnival Venezia has a large casino leading off the middle floor of the main atrium and which takes up a large amount of real estate on Deck 4. There is an annex area that is a dedicated non-smoking area.

Carnival Venezia Bars and Lounges

You'll be hard pressed to know where to start in terms of drinking onboard, there are so many bars to choose from. We've chosen our favorites below.

You might also like to invest in a

Beverage Package

, which allows for 15 drinks a day plus discounts on bottles of wine. Carnival's alcohol drink package costs $59.95 per person, per day, if you buy it before your cruise or $64.95 per person per day if you buy it onboard the ship. What's impressive is that the package covers most drinks onboard, including cocktails; the only exceptions being premium spirits.

**Our Picks **

For a Daytime Refresher: Rococo Bar on the Lido deck is the ultimate Carnival-meets-Italy mash up, with gilt ceilings and gold framed paintings on the walls, covered in irreverent graffiti. As with many areas on this ship, it's hard to know where to look, but we love the spiked slushies that come in a variety of different flavors.

For a Cocktail with a Twist: Amari is the Carnival Venezia version of Alchemy and has all the favorites from that bar, plus a few new-to-the-line cocktails all with an Italian twist. Our reco is to go for a sampler, which gives you three cocktails of your choice.

For Bubbles: Frizzante. New to Carnival, this bar outside Il Viaggio is the perfect spot for a pre-dinner prosecco or Aperol.

For a Beer: Heroes Tribute Bar. This all-American sports bar that also pays homage to veterans sits rather incongruously amongst the marble floors and Italianate columns on the rest of the ship, but it's a perfect spot to grab a beer and watch a game.

For a Post-Dinner Cocktail: Carnevale Bar at the aft of the ship is another beautifully designed space, a nod to Venice's annual Carnival, with plenty of pictures and masks and comfortable lounge-type seating, plus an outdoor area. The cocktails here are classics: Bellinis, Espresso Martinis, Negronis and the like.

Pools and Hot Tubs on Carnival Venezia

The one area which we are not too sure about is the pool situation -- there are just two onboard, both of them not very big for a 4,090-passenger ship that carries a lot of kids during holiday time.

The reason for this is because this ship was originally built for China, where there is less interest in swimming and sunbathing and more focus on shops and restaurants. Hence the Lido Deck resembles more of an Italian square, surrounded by cafes and bars, rather than a typical cruise ship pool deck with acres of space for loungers. The pool is almost an afterthought, tucked into one end so loungers can only go round three sides (one side is shaded).

It's small, unheated and salt water.  We did not see many people using it. The pool area does have a "magrodome" -- a retractable glass roof, though, that opens and closes so it can be used in chillier weather (which is quite common in New York).

You'll find the second pool at the aft of the ship on the Burano Pool Deck, which also has two hot tubs. This is also small, but has a lot more space for sunbathing.

Waterslides, Ropes Course and Splash Park on Carnival Venezia

Carnival Venezia has an excellent water park where we found our kid spending most of his time with the other children onboard. There are three water slides: Gondola Slide, Aquatunnel and Twister.

Sundecks on Carnival Venezia

Where you might expect to get a sun lounger -- the Lido Deck -- is somewhat limited, though there are balconies and alcoves on the deck above which looks down onto this space. These areas do not get sun, however; they look more like nice spaces to read a book in the shade.

Alternatively, head for the aft of the ship to the Burano Sun Deck where there is a lot more space for loungers, including surrounding the pool on the upper levels.

If you want to get away from it all head to the adults-only Serenity Deck high up on Deck 15, which looks and feels like a for-fee exclusive area. It's not though -- the space is open to all over 21, with two hot tubs and a bar.

Services and Wi-Fi on Carnival Venezia

You'll find Guest Services and Shore Excursions (aka Carnival Adventures) on Deck 3. A deck above are the shops including Cherry on Top for a sugar fix, a jewelry store, watch shop, Duty Free and in a first for Carnival, a salon. Normally this would be in the spa, but the "beards" decided to move it up here. It's very public, so expect a lot of gawping, especially on formal night.

There are no self-service laundrettes, all laundry has to be sent out for cleaning/washing.

The Wi-Fi was strong and could sustain a Zoom meeting. Packages cost $15/$20/$22 per day respectively by plan, but cheaper if you book online before you cruise.

The Carnival Hub app gets our vote for being one of the better ones ats ea. Here you can check out what's on, take a look at your account and book restaurants and spa treatments. It also send push notifications, for example when to be at the meeting place ahead of a shore excursion, which we like.

Dining

Food onboard Carnival Venezia in both specialty and for-free dining is generally of a high quality, with some exceptional specialty restaurants.

There are a total of 13 restaurants, including two main dining rooms and a buffet, Lido Marketplace. Other places for free food are Tomodoro, Guys Burger Joint, La Strada, Carnival Deli and Pizzeria del Capitano and there are limited free snacks at Java Blue, though you'll pay for the specialty coffee.

For fee restaurants include a new upmarket Il Viaggio; Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse; Bonsai Sushi and Bonsai Teppanyaki and Seafood Shack.

Free Restaurants on Carnival Venezia

You likely won't be disappointed if you choose just to eat at the free restaurants, as the menu changes every night at the main dining rooms, and there are a number of different cuisines to choose from (though the emphasis everywhere is Italian).

Carnival Venezia operates Your Time Dining in the Canal Grande main dining room and fixed time (early or late) dining in the smaller MDR, Marco Polo.

Canal Grande (B, D)

This is the main MDR, as in it's the largest and most traditional, with a classic cruise ship-style sweeping staircase. But it's not just any old MDR -- Carnival has gone all out with this, with a real (not a replica) gondola in the center, underneath a replica Rialto Bridge. The name means the Grand Canal, and as with everything else on this ship, the dining room is an homage to Venice.

It's a magnificent setting (the only thing missing is a gondolier singing "O Sole Mio") and we recommend trying to bag a table either on the bridge overlooking the "canal" or right beside the gondola. If not, there are some gorgeous aft views at the rear of the restaurant.

The food is a mixture of familiar favorites such as always available (salmon, chicken, steak) and -- you guessed it -- "Taste of Italy" choices, such as artichoke fritters, braised short ribs and pasta with calamari, some of which are Cucina del Capitano favorites; as well as more familiar dishes such as shrimp cocktail, country-fed chicken and enchiladas.

Marco Polo (D)

This dining room is way less grand, but is more intimate, designed a bit like an Italian village square, with lots of little spaces tucked away and fountains dotted about. The only drawback is it's also either side of a busy main corridor leading off the main atrium, so try to avoid those corridor-adjacent tables and opt for a window seat instead. The food is the same as Canal Grande.

Lido Marketplace Buffet (B, L, D)

This is open from early morning through to late evening, with short breaks between breakfast lunch and dinner to change the food on offer. Rather than palm trees, Carnival Venezia has cedar trees in keeping with the Mediterranean vibe. There is plenty of seating both inside and out, which spills out onto the main Lido Deck and all the way to the aft of the ship, to the other pool area, the Burano Sundeck. The Marketplace has stations for omelets at breakfast (though expect to wait some time at peak times); and hamburgers and salad. There is also a dedicated section for families at dinner.

Carnival Deli (B, L, D)

This is part of Lido Marketplace Buffet and is a stand-alone sandwich counter where you can build your own towards the aft of the buffet.

Tomodoro (B, L)

This new Mexico-meets-Italy taco bar on Lido Marketplace serves up a mix of favorites such as huevos rancheros, as well as paninis, pulled pork, chipotle chicken and Italian meatballs either in tacos or burritos and is a good spot for a quick grab and go.

Guy's Burger Joint (L)

A Carnival fixture, also on Lido Marketplace. The only slight tweaks are design and a new menu item -- the pepperoni pizza burger (we did not try it).

Pizzeria del Capitano (B, L)

At the aft end of the ship on the Burano Sundeck, you'll find this spin off from Cucina del Capitano serving slices of your favorite pie.

La Strada (L)

You'll have to hunt for this new restaurant one as it's tucked away on the promenade of Deck 5 and only open on sea days (though this might change). It serves a selection of sandwiches such as roast beef, Italian meatballs and smoked pulled pork; as well as salads and sides.

What Restaurants Cost Extra on Carnival Venezia? 

Il Viaggio, $$$: This is a new restaurant for Carnival and one where Emeril Lagasse has played a part, though he doesn't have his name attached. Il Viaggio, or The Journey, takes you on a gastronomic tour of Italy from the Piedmont region to Sicily and everywhere inbetween. Split into four courses -- antipasti, zuppe, secondi and dolce -- the menu gives you a choice of seven starters, three soups, eight mains and three dessert. And although some menu items might look different at first -- steak pizzaiola -- it's basically a steak with tomato sauce. Put it this way, there's nothing too out there or challenging on the menu. The only head scratcher was a pizza with a chicken crust (yeah, me neither).

We weren't overwhelmed, if truth be told, though we did eat there on the very first night it opened. Like all new restaurants, this one could take time to settle in.

Fahrenheit 555, $$$: This Carnival favorite is the largest on the fleet and is designed to reflect a New York-style steakhouse. We had our best meal here: Oysters on the half shell, French onion soup, NY striploin and the lightest tarte tatin we have ever tasted. The steak was the best we have had at sea. Outstanding value and service.

Bonsai Sushi, $$: Another Carnival favorite, this is a good spot for some Asian comfort food even if you don't like sushi. It's very reasonably priced (noodle bowls are just $8) and even the teriyaki steak (which was delicious) is just $10. For starters try the teriyaki chicken skewers or miso soup. Just watch out for the MSG if you are susceptible.

Bonsai Teppanyaki, $$$: We swear the guys who perform in these faux-Japanese grill experiences all go to the same Teppanyaki schools -- al the jokes are the same, all the songs and even the egg catching and throwing -- but we don't care. A Teppanyaki grill is always our favorite restaurant onboard and is sure to spark joy in even the grumpiest cruiser!

Seafood Shack, $: Get your lobster roll fix at this cheap and cheerful venue.

Cruise Critic Restaurant Picks on Carnival Venezia

For a very reasonable $42 per head, you can have a four-course meal at Fahrenheit 555 with some of the best steaks at sea, for what would cost you at least double on land

Tip: Opt for the $22 wine pairing option for the full experience -- it’s half a glass with every course

Bonsai Teppanyaki is cheesy but it's fun and if you've never experienced a Teppanyaki grill before, now's your opportunity.

Dietary Restrictions on Carnival Venezia

Everywhere we ate the first question we would be asked is if we had any dietary restrictions. We also found a good selection of vegetarian options in all the different venues, and not just a dish that is meat free, but one that clearly is a stand-alone vegetarian dish in its own right.