Carnival Jubilee, the latest addition to the Carnival Cruise Line fleet, was voted Best New Cruise Ship of 2023 in the annual Cruise Hive Awards. The 183,521-gross ton ship received far more votes than her nearest competitor, indicating her commanding presence in the cruise ship market.
Carnival’s Newest Cruise Ship Wins
Offering a new set of onboard “wow” factors plus Carnival Cruise Line’s signature venues and restaurants, Carnival Jubilee was far and away the top vote-getter in the Best New Cruise Ship category of the 2023 Cruise Hive Awards.
The ship, the first of the line’s vessels to be constructed by the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany, received 30.69% of the votes, with the closest competitor, Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Ascent, garnering 22.29%. Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Viva came in a distant third, with 14.88% of the votes.
The highly-anticipated Carnival Jubilee, now the cruise line’s flagship, embarked on her inaugural cruise on December 23, 2023, from her homeport of Galveston, Texas. The ship is sailing 7-night Western Caribbean cruises with calls at Roatan, Honduras, and Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico.
The ship accommodates 5,400 guests in double occupancy and up to 6,500 if fully booked. More than 6,000 guests joined her maiden sailing, providing a glimpse into the level of high demand this vessel seems destined to enjoy.
The Cruise Hive Awards opened on October 1 and closed on Friday, December 22, with all valid votes tabulated to select the winners in each of the eight award categories. The awards have been an annual feature since 2014, and offer cruise fan insights into different cruise lines and experiences.
Besides the top three vote-getters, other new ships were included in the Best New Cruise Ship category, including a few constructed by the industry’s top luxury lines.
The percentage of votes received were: MSC Cruises’ MSC Euribia, 6.44%; Virgin Voyages’ Resilient Lady, 4.70%; Viking’s Viking Saturn, 3.22%; Oceania Cruises’ Vista, 2.79%; Explora Journeys’ Explora I, 2.26%; and Silversea Cruises’ Silver Nova and Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Grandeur both garnering 1.91%.
Carnival Jubilee Has New Zones, Old Favorites
Carnival Jubilee, the third of the line’s Excel-class ships after Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration, brings two new spaces to the fleet — Currents and Shores, both neighborhoods with ocean themes.
In Currents, guests can experience life beneath the waves, both real and imagined, in a space that features six huge LED windows as portals to the sea, plus a wave-shaped LED ceiling. Bars and restaurants in Currents include Dr. Inks, Ph.D, serving cocktails inspired by an octopus.
The Shores neighborhood, situated directly above Currents, is designed to evoke piers, boardwalks, and beaches, with a Ferris wheel-inspired ceiling, wood plank floors, and eateries offering goodies like pizza and hot dogs. Two of Carnival Cruise Line’s top specialty restaurants are found in Shores, Rudi’s Seagrill and Cucina del Capitano.
Carnival Jubilee also has the line’s wildly popular thrill ride, BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster, the industry’s first roller coaster at sea that debuted on Mardi Gras and is also featured on Carnival Celebration.
The ride enables guests to soar 187 feet above the sea and reach speeds of 40 MPH on two-person, motorcycle-style open cars. They are all-electric vehicles, with the front driver controlling the vehicle’s speed. BOLT was voted Best Cruise Ship Feature in the 2023 Cruise Hive Awards. It is the third consecutive year that the ride won the category.
Coming in at second place in the Best New Cruise Ship category, Celebrity Ascent entered service after her December 1, 2023 christening at her homeport of Port Everglades, in Fort Lauderdale.
The 140,600-gross ton ship carries 3,260 guests in double occupancy, and is operating alternating 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. Celebrity Ascent is the fourth vessel in the line’s Edge class, and features the popular Magic Carpet, a movable cantilevered deck that functions as a restaurant and bar.
The ship also has an expanded luxury retail space, where guests can indulge in the products of Piaget, Cartier, Bvlgari.