Cruise Fan Builds Massive LEGO Carnival Ship Model

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A Carnival Cruise Line fan built a stunning (and huge) model of Carnival Miracle for Bricks Cascade 2024, an annual LEGO Fan Expo event in Portland, Oregon.

The ship included scale dimensions and outstanding details such as lifeboats, waterslides, deck chairs, and of course, the iconic Carnival whale tale funnel, all rendered in LEGO bricks.

Young Cruiser Builds Cruise Ship

Ryder Gray built a scale model of Carnival Miracle entirely from LEGO bricks, displaying his masterwork at Bricks Cascade 2024 in mid-March. Gray was inspired to build the ship when he saw her sail into Portland, Oregon – home of the annual event – for refurbishment.

Gray’s model is 7 feet, 3 inches long and is built in two sections, each weighing more than 21 pounds.

The details included in the model are the Serenity adults-only area, Carnival Waterworks water park, the two main deck pools, the ship’s basketball court and golf course, as well as the bridge wings, deck chairs throughout, flags, people, lifeboats, and even the proper red-white-and-blue livery on the hull.

Overall, the ship’s shape proved to be one of the most difficult aspects of the design, particularly the proper tapering and angles for a realistic model when working with square and rectangular bricks. Gray used ship deck plans and his own photos of the vessel as a basis to build his model.

“The nautical design is really really difficult,” said Gray in an interview with Beyond the Brick. “Achieving these shapes is a lot of trial and error.”

It isn’t just the model that Gray is well versed in. He knows about ship operations and which boats are tenders and standard lifeboats, how the covered pool is used, and more.

The real 88,500-gross-ton, Spirit-class Carnival Miracle joined the fleet in 2004, and is able to welcome 2,124 guests aboard at each sailing. She is currently homeported from Long Beach, California until early May, when she will move to San Francisco to offer 10- and 11-night sailings to Alaska for the summer season.

After finishing the Alaska season in September, the ship will reposition to Galveston to offer Eastern, Southern, and Western Caribbean itineraries, as well as the occasional Panama Canal cruise.

Carnival Miracle Cruise Ship
Carnival Miracle Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: achinthamb / Shutterstock)

Carnival Miracle is not the first cruise ship Gray has built from LEGO bricks. In 2023, he constructed the former Carnival Tropicale, which debuted as the cruise line’s first new build ship and the first to sport the iconic whale tail funnel.

Next up, Gray wants to build Carnival Paradise, one of the fleet’s only two remaining Fantasy-class vessels. He has sailed on Carnival Elation and loves the smaller cruise ships.

“That’s just such a wonderful ship,” he said. “For any cruisers out there, smaller is better.”

About Bricks Cascade

The annual event in Portland, Oregon draws more than 7,000 attendees, and in 2024, featured 552 builders exhibiting 1,354 amazing creations. Awards are voted on for People’s Choice recognition and Best in Show creations.

Along with Carnival Miracle, other amazing creations at this year’s event included a variety of castles, the starship USS Enterprise 1701-A, complete scenes of communities, underwater vistas, Star Wars-themed murals, the Intercontinental Marseilles Hotel, Camden Yards baseball stadium, Dodger Stadium, spacescapes, and so much more.

While Gray’s Carnival Miracle recreation did not win the awards, it’s truly a favorite of cruise fans!

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