Carnival Cruise Ship Debuts New Dedicated Venue

A new court for the fastest growing sport in the U.S. has debuted on Carnival Conquest - will you play a match onboard?

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Following the ship’s recent dry dock and upgrades, Carnival Conquest is now home to the first dedicated pickleball court in the Fun Ship fleet, found on the ship’s top deck and offering exceptional views as well as energetic competition for this popular sport.

New Pickleball Court Added During Dry Dock

The new court, designed exclusively for pickleball, was added during the ship’s recent dry dock and gives guests the opportunity to enjoy this fast-growing sport.

Pickleball, which can be enjoyed by players of all ages and abilities, is a fast-paced sport that combines tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. Players hit a perforated hollow ball over a net using solid-faced paddles, and can play as singles or doubles. Depending on facilities, pickleball can be played indoors or outdoors.

Carnival Conquest‘s new court is outdoors, permitting great sea views and plenty of sunshine for every match.

The game was first invented in 1965, but has seen surging U.S. and international popularity recently. More than 4.8 million players are found in the U.S. alone, and pickleball was named the fastest growing sport in the United States by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association in 2022 and 2022.

Pickleball Gear
Photo Credit: bhpix / Shutterstock

Onboard crew members have already tried out the court, giving it a workout before the ship returned to service.

While Carnival Conquest is the first Carnival ship to feature a permanent pickleball court, the game can be played on several other ships. Pickleball equipment has recently been added to most ships that already feature basketball courts, where pickleball can readily be played.

Pickleball courts typically measure 44 feet long by 20 feet wide (13.4 by 6.1 meters), whereas basketball courts typically measure 94 feet long by 50 feet wide (28.6 by 15.2 meters). For recreational play, pickleball could be played crosswise on a basketball court, permitting two pickleball games at once.

Because the courts are smaller, pickleball is an ideal addition to sports venues on cruise ships, where deck space may be limited, and the court can be used for other sports as well.

Mardi Gras Sports Square
Photo Credit: Marc Mayntz

Pickleball is one more addition to the cruise ship’s SportSquare offerings, which also include miniature golf, volleyball, and basketball.

Other Dry Dock Enhancements

Carnival Conquest, the first in the popular Conquest-class of vessels, received much more than just a pickleball court during its recent dry dock.

In addition to the new sports facility, the ship has received routine hotel maintenance and cosmetic refreshes to public areas, as well as the new Carnival Adventures Store and Dreams Studio spaces.

ADA-enhanced cabins have also been updated for better accessibility.

Finally, the ship also received the new signature red-white-and-blue livery hull colors that first debuted with Mardi Gras in 2021, and have been gradually rolled out to other ships in the fleet as they undergo scheduled dry dock updates.

Carnival Conquest Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

Playing Pickleball Onboard

Guests aboard Carnival Conquest, or other ships where pickleball equipment is available, can enjoy the sport at their leisure whenever the court is open and available. Depending on interest, there may be onboard tournaments, lessons, or competition brackets organized on individual cruises.

Cruise-loving picklers should note that the outdoor court will be closed in adverse weather conditions such as heavy rain or excessive wind that can make play too dangerous.

The 110,000-gross-ton Carnival Conquest is sailing 3-4 night roundtrip cruises from Miami, Florida, with both Caribbean (Eastern, Western, and Southern) and Bahamas itineraries available. The ship can welcome 2,980 guests on board, with 1,150 international crew members who provide superior service – and maybe a few pickleball tips.

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