Carnival’s Roller Coaster Voted Best Cruise Ship Feature

Carnival Cruise line's roller coaster wins "Best Cruise Ship Feature" of 2023 in Cruise Hive's annual awards.

Carnival Cruise Line’s BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster has once again been voted Best Cruise Ship Feature in the annual Cruise Hive Awards.

The motorcycle-style thrill ride garnered more than double the percentage of votes that adventure rides on competitors Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line received.

Thrill Ride Wins Top Spot For Third Year

For the third consecutive year, Carnival Cruise Line’s BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster has scored highest as Best Cruise Ship Feature in Cruise Hive Awards 2023, coming out way ahead of Royal Caribbean’s The Ultimate Abyss, and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Speedway Go-Kart.

BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster received 34.56% of votes, Royal Caribbean’s The Ultimate Abyss came in second place, with 16.65% of votes, and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Speedway Go-Kart received 15.39%. Ultimate Abyss and Speedway also took second and third place in the 2022 Cruise Hive competition.

Best Cruise Ship Feature
Best Cruise Ship Feature

Voting in the 2023 Cruise Hive Awards opened in October, with readers being able to cast a single vote in each of eight categories. With thousands of votes being registered, it’s been the most popular award to date.

Carnival Cruise Line’s BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster made its debut aboard Mardi Gras when the ship launched in July 2021. The thrill ride was included in the line’s most recent new-builds, Carnival Celebration, which was introduced in November 2022, and Carnival Jubilee, which sailed her inaugural cruise on December 23, 2023.

BOLT Roller Coaster
Photo Credit: Melissa Mayntz

BOLT is the cruise industry’s first roller coaster at sea, enabling thrill-seeking 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. 

Guests pay $15 per person to experience two laps around the 800-foot track, which is located on the ships’ open deck at the Ultimate Playground zone.

Ultimate Abyss Again Wins Second Place

The second-place winner in the best feature category, Royal Caribbean’s Ultimate Abyss, is a thrilling 10-story slide that begins on Deck 16 aft, near the FlowRider, and continues down to the Boardwalk neighborhood on five ships.

At 150 feet above sea level, Ultimate Abyss is the tallest slide at sea. Guests enter a glass platform at the top of the slide and then descend 10 stories, twisting and turning before finally reaching the Boardwalk.

The ride, which is free to guests, debuted on Harmony of the Seas in 2016 and is now offered on three more ships, including Oasis of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, and Wonder of the Seas. Ultimate Abyss will also be featured onboard Utopia of the Seas when she enters service in July 2024.

Best Cruise Ship Feature Results
Best Cruise Ship Feature Results

Third-place winner, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Speedway Go-Kart, is offered on Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Encore, Norwegian Prima, Norwegian Viva, and Norwegian Bliss.

The ride consists of electric-powered, single-occupant race cars that can reach speeds of 30 MPH, plus a turbo-boost that allows even more speed. A single run costs $9.95, with higher-priced days and weekly passes available.

Runners-up in the Best Cruise Feature category included Celebrity Cruises’ Magic Carpet, which received 11.25% of votes; MSC Cruises’ LED Ceiling, 9.09%; Princess Cruises’ The SeaWalk, 7.47%; and Disney Cruise Line’s AquaDuck, 5.58%.

Any suspicious or repeated votes were not included in the final result. The awards have been running since 2014 and, each year, are open for Cruise Hive readers.

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