Mardi Gras, Celebration, and Jubilee Are Getting A Sibling

Today, Carnival Cruise Lines announced that they’ve ordered a fourth Excel-class ship with shipyard Meyer Werft. Carnival currently has three of these ships: Mardi Gras, Celebration, and Jubilee. This yet-to-be-named ship will bring another mega ship into the Carnival fleet. 

carnival excel class ships

Four years before the next new Carnival ship

While completing cruise lines, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines have plans to add many new ships to their fleets over the next few years; Carnival had nothing on the docket after the Jubilee launched in late December. They’ll bring the Costa Firenze into the fleet later this year, but no new ships were scheduled. 

The new Excel-class ship will be delivered in 2027, 4 years after the last ship, the Jubilee. It’s an unusually long time between ships for Carnival, one of the longest since the late 90s. This pause is because Carnival Corporation is focusing on using cash during this period to pay down debt. 

Excel-class ships have proven very popular

Carnival Corporation has 9 Excel-class ships already sailing around the world under the different brands. While these ships share the same platform, the Carnival version of the Excel-class ship has many unique aspects, like the 3-story performance space/atrium, BOLT roller coaster, and adult-only Serenity area. 

celebration central on the carnival celebration
Carnival’s 3-story atrium/performance space is unique to their version of the Excel-class ships

It’s unusual for a ship in a class to be ordered this late after its siblings. Typically, if there is this much time between sailings, it’s because a new class of ship is debuting. Carnival has said that the Excel-class is a hit with guests. Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, stated, “Our Excel class ships have been a tremendous addition to the Carnival fleet and proven very popular with our guests.” 

Name, home port, and themed zones yet to be revealed

Unfortunately, Carnival hasn’t released anything else about the new ship. 

It’s a safe bet that the new ship will be named after an older Carnival ship, like all its sister ships.

walkway on a cruise ship with LED lights
The French Quarter on the Carnival Mardi Gras. The new ship with have it’s own themed zone.

We also know that the Excel-class ship will have two themed zones unique to that ship, such as The French Quarter on Mardi Gras, 820 Biscayne on Celebration, or Currents on Jubilee, but we don’t know what they are yet. 

As for the home port, there’s currently an Excel-class ship in Galveston, Port Canaveral, and Miami. Because these ships are extra large, they need a large cruise terminal to accommodate them, limiting where they can sail from. 

More ships to come, but maybe not for Carnival

Josh Weinstein, CEO of Carnival Corporation (parent company of Carnival Cruise Lines) said they’ll add one to two ships annually starting in 2027. But that doesn’t mean they’ll be Carnival ships; it could be Princess Cruises, Holland America, AIDA, or any of their holdings. Those ships will go to the cruise lines where the demand is exceeding the capacity.

What’s it like sailing on an Excel-class ship?

Follow along on our 7-day sailing aboard the Carnival Celebration.

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Randy Young

Randy Young is the founder and editor-in-chief at Cruise Spotlight. He has been in marketing for 19 years and has been cruising for just as long. Over the years, he's worked with products like TVs, copiers, light bulbs, and EV chargers, but cruising has always been his passion. There's nothing Randy likes more than the first couple of hours on a ship, exploring every nook and cranny and seeing how it's different from everything else out there. He's known for providing detailed and analytical coverage of cruising to help cruisers get a comprehensive picture of a ship's offerings.