Carnival Cruise Line guests will finally be able to get a close-up look at how a cruise ship operates with the exclusive “Behind the Fun” tour, now returning fleetwide. Depending on the ship, tours will resume either March 6 or April 1, and can only be booked onboard each ship with limited spaces available.
Behind the Fun Tour Returns
In early January, Carnival Cruise Line announced the impending return of the popular “Behind the Fun” tour, but dates were not yet confirmed. The exclusive tour, which takes guests into crew-only areas onboard the ship, is one of the last onboard activities that has been on hold since the industry-wide pandemic shutdown.
Now, brand ambassador John Heald has shared the restart dates for the tour, which will resume either on March 6 or April 1, depending on the vessel.
“It is with great pleasure I can tell you that your look behind the crew only door or BEHIND THE FUN as it is officially known will be returning,” Heald said, followed by a list of ships and the dates the tour will resume.
Carnival ships that will start hosting the “Behind the Fun” tour as of March 6 are: Sunrise, Spirit, Miracle, Luminosa, Valor, Splendor, Dream, Vista, Panorama, and the newest Fun Ship, Carnival Celebration.
The remaining ships in the fleet will begin offering “Behind the Fun” on April 1: Elation, Paradise, Radiance, Sunshine, Pride, Legend, Conquest, Glory, Liberty, Freedom, Magic, Breeze, Horizon, and Mardi Gras.
Heald also noted that the upcoming Carnival Jubilee should also be offering the tour. “I am sure we will have this on Carnival Jubilee and more news on that closer to the time,” he said.
Carnival Jubilee is scheduled to join the cruise line’s fleet in December, but the tour may not be immediately available for the inaugural sailings.
Where Behind the Fun Visits
The “Behind the Fun” tour takes guests behind the scenes into operational areas of the ship, showing how crew members live and work onboard and how different essential tasks get accomplished, such as laundry, navigation, cooking, and much more.
While each ship’s tour varies based on the layout of the ship, time allotted for the tour, and what areas can be safely visited, top areas that are part of “Behind the Fun” include the main galley, engine control room, bridge, backstage of the main show lounge, the environmental room, and storeroom for all the supplies a cruise ship must carry.
Exclusive crew areas are also part of the tour, such as the crew lounge, gym, laundry, and dining room.
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Accessing different areas does mean narrow hallways and sometimes steep stairs, and guests who may have mobility or accessibility concerns should speak with the shore excursion staff onboard to discuss the details. At times, the tour may be able to be modified to better accommodate guests’ needs.
Booking Behind the Fun
Because “Behind the Fun” is so limited – the tour is only offered once per cruise, and only to a small group that can easily be accommodated in the different spaces visited – it does sell out quickly. On larger ships, multiple tours may occasionally be available, depending on the ship’s itinerary and whether operational tasks will permit multiple groups to visit restricted areas.
To keep the opportunity to get behind the scenes onboard a cruise ship available to everyone, guests can only book the tour once onboard their cruise, as it is not available for pre-booking online.
“My advice is if you really want to do this, the first thing you should do as soon as you walk on the ship is to go to the [shore excursion] desk and book right there and then,” Heald recommends.
Depending on the ship and itinerary length, the tour runs from 2-3.5 hours. Participating guests get an exclusive baseball cap as a souvenir, as well as other commemorative keepsakes. For security reasons, no large bags, cameras, mobile phones, or other recording devices are permitted.
All participating guests must be at least 8 years old, and guests under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
The tour costs also vary by ship and tour length, in general from $55-95 (USD) per person. Guests must also wear close-toed shoes or sneakers, and no swimsuits, skirts, sandals, or flip-flips can be worn.