Carnival Cruise Line is set to celebrate its 50th birthday in grand style, starting with a series of exclusive “Sailabration” cruises. The first celebratory sailing departs this week, and a total of 17 birthday sailings will continue with embarkations through March 10, 2022. These commemorative birthday sailings will feature at-sea ship meetups, special entertainment, unique activities, special occasion menus, and more.
Sailabration Birthday Cruises
Carnival Cruise Line was founded in 1972, making 2022 the line’s 50th birthday. Carnival is celebrating this momentous milestone in true Fun Ship style, with amazing parties and events on board each of its ships, starting with birthday-themed “sailabration” cruises.
“We only turn 50 once, so we had to go big, and what’s bigger than a year-long birthday celebration that begins with our special Sailabrations cruises,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
There are 17 designated Sailabration cruises. Carnival Miracle will be the first Sailabration cruise to set sail when it leaves Long Beach on Sunday, February 20 on a 14-day Carnival Journeys cruise to Hawaii. Most other Sailabrations depart the week of March 5, and range from 3-8 nights depending on the ship, embarkation port, and itinerary.
Sailabrating On Board
The birthday celebration begins even before guests are on board, maximizing all the celebratory fun for these special sailings.
“From the minute our guests walk into our terminals, they’ll know they are at the biggest and best birthday party ever,” Duffy said.
Carnival’s cruise terminals will be decorated as birthday parties with fun music, signage, and décor to get the party started from the moment passengers arrive for their cruises.
Each ship’s traditional sailaway party – scheduled as the ships set sail from their embarkation terminals – will be a 50th Birthday Bash Sailaway Party where guests are invited to wear their favorite Carnival gear, vintage or modern, to show their love for the cruise line. Entertainment cast members and the ships’ Cruise Director, Fun Squad, and DJs will rock festive tunes and lead dances to get each party started.
Other unique entertainment debuting on the Sailabrations will include Carnival-themed puzzles; 1972 fun-fact trivia with commemorative 50th Birthday medallions; a Build-A-Bear Birthday Party featuring the debut of a special-edition cuddly bear; and a Rollin’ In Riches casino event.
The sailings will also include the debut of new, exclusive collections of specially-designed and collectable retail offerings in the ships’ Fun Shops.
Ship Meet-Ups at Sea
But what’s a party without lots of guests? Sailabrations will allow guests to not only celebrate on board but have also been carefully coordinated to celebrate with other Carnival ships. Ships throughout the fleet will “meet” to host the biggest birthday parties at sea as they share destinations. The meetups will happen on designated dates during the weeklong event:
- March 5: Carnival Radiance and Carnival Miracle (Baja, Mexico, outside Ensenada)
- March 7: Carnival Breeze, Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Glory, Mardi Gras, Carnival Pride, Carnival Sunrise, and Carnival Vista (Western Caribbean, between Cozumel and Costa Maya)
- March 9: Carnival Conquest, Carnival Spirit, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Legend, Carnival Liberty, and Carnival Sunshine (The Bahamas, between Eleuthera and Nassau)
- March 11: Carnival Miracle and Carnival Panorama (Baja, Mexico, outside Ensenada)
Interested guests should note that while the ships are “meeting” the events are at sea. Passengers will not be partying on different ships, though they will likely share funnel blasts and other greetings between vessels to mark the occasion.
Of course, no party is complete without a delicious menu. While Carnival’s food is always tasty – the chocolate melting cake is a particular favorite – the Sailabration cruises will feature specialty menus, such as the commemorative dining menu for one night that features some of the most popular Carnival dishes from the past 50 years.
A selection of all-new birthday-themed beverages will debut on these sailings to toast all the fun, including a Birthday Bellini at Seaday Brunch, a special Carnival Birthday Beer from Carnival’s own brewmasters that will be both canned and on tap, and Carnival’s 50th Birthday Tini.
The Final – and Biggest – Celebration of All
Serving as the culmination to the year-long festivities for the line’s birthday, the biggest celebration of all will be when the newest Carnival ship is officially welcomed to the fleet.
Carnival Celebration will be named in PortMiami in late November as she arrives to her new homeport. Her first sailing from Miami is a 6-day Eastern Caribbean sailing departing November 21, 2022 and calling on Grand Turk, Amber Cove, and Nassau, with two days at sea for guests to fully explore the new, 180,000-gross-ton ship and all her amazing features, including the BOLT roller coaster.
Just earlier this week, Carnival Celebration was floated out at the shipyard, touching water for the first time and moving along to the next phase of her construction. When she arrives to join the birthday party, it will be a celebration indeed for her crew members, eager passengers, and all of Carnival Cruise Line.