Carnival Cruise Line Advises Guests About Sports Broadcasts

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Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald has responded to guest inquiries and complaints about sports broadcasts onboard various ships, advising travelers about what can and cannot be shown onboard.

For sports fans, settling in for a favorite team, match, or game can be a great part of any vacation, but it may not be possible on a cruise.

Heald responds to hundreds of guest comments, questions, and requests every day on his popular Facebook page. Sports events are regularly brought up by passionate fans eager to follow their favorite teams while onboard.

Carnival Cruise Ship Lido Deck
Carnival Cruise Ship Lido Deck (Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive)

Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible for specific games to be broadcast on cruise ships depending on the timing and broadcast rights. While this can be disappointing to fans, Heald notes that it is never acceptable for that disappointment to be taken out on cruise ship crew members, who after all have nothing to do with what sports events are able to be shown onboard.

“Please, check with me if you have any doubts about if we will show a specific sports event before you book,” he said. “Getting angry with my colleagues and [me] because we will not be able to refund a cruise because we will not have the event you wish (in this latest case the full coverage of the Olympics) is not good for you or us.”

While Carnival Cruise Line is able to show some events, it isn’t possible to show every basketball, football, baseball, soccer, hockey, cricket, rugby, tennis, or golf game ever shown on various networks.

Broadcast agreements, event timing, satellite coverage for individual ships, and other factors can all impact what may be shown, which can change from day-to-day.

Furthermore, with so many different sporting events taking place every day, it simply wouldn’t be possible for any cruise line to satisfy every fan onboard, as space and time are both limited.

“If a specific game is so important to you please remember, we cannot guarantee you will see it on board,” Heald confirmed.

Many cruise fans also chimed in with their feedback, noting that for some events – such as the Olympics, college playoffs, Super Bowl, and so on – the dates are known well in advance. Guests can always attempt to book their travels to avoid potentially missing their favorite teams.

Where to Watch Sports Events Onboard

There are ways that sports fans can tune in to what events are broadcast onboard Carnival’s fleet of fun ships. While not all ships offer a dedicated sports bar, the Heroes Tribute Bar and Lounge typically has large screen televisions and broadcasts popular events. If a specific game is on but not on the screen, guests can always ask a bartender if it can be changed to a different broadcast.

Some very popular events may be shown on the poolside screen on the ship’s Lido deck, though that screen will be used for Dive-In Movies and deck parties as well. Those onboard activities will take precedence over any sports broadcast.

Carnival Freedom Tribute Bar
Carnival Freedom Tribute Bar

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In-cabin televisions have access to a limited number of network feeds, and guests will be able to watch whatever sports events those channels are showing at the designated times.

Travelers can also purchase onboard Wi-Fi packages to use their own streaming services. Speeds and connectivity may vary depending on where the ship is sailing and how popular internet use is at any moment. Carnival Cruise Line completed Starlink connectivity for the entire fleet just last month, dramatically improving onboard service.

“Starlink has been a game-changer for the onboard connectivity experience our cruise lines deliver to their guests, and we’ve already seen a surge in guest satisfaction and positive feedback from the super-fast and reliable Wi-Fi service we provide onboard,” said Josh Weinstein, Carnival Corporation CEO.

Of course, guests can also arrange for their favorite sporting events to be recorded while they enjoy their cruise. This will guarantee they can cheer along with the action once they’re home again without missing any activities, ports of call, or other fun onboard during their vacation.

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