What is the Serenity Area on a Carnival Cruise ship?

No matter how well a cruise ship is designed, it can feel crowded, especially on sea days when all passengers are on board. It’s seemingly much worse in the summer months when ships are bustling with energetic children. So finding a place to have some peace and quiet can be quite a challenge. Thankfully, it can be easy to find some solitude in the Serenity Area on a Carnival cruise ship. 

Entrance to Serenity adults only area on Carnival Dream

The Serenity Area, technically called “Serenity Adult-Only Retreat,” is an adults-only section of the cruise ship. Only passengers 21 and older are allowed in this area, and while an occasional kid may slip in, it’s not long before a crew member politely guides them to the main pool. 

The Serenity Area usually has a different feel from the rest of the ship; you’ll find upgraded padded loungers, lay-flat day beds, clamshells, and hammocks. The vibrant colors from the rest of the Carnival ship are replaced with rich dark brown tones and accented with teal highlights. Soft, peaceful music is piped in through music systems. The Serenity Area also usually has its own bar, and some ships even have a salad bar in it (Vista, Horizon, Panorama, Mardi Gras, and Celebration). 

padded teal loungers on cruise deck overlooking ocean
Such a relaxing view from the Serenity Area on the Carnival Liberty

The Serenity Area first debuted on the Carnival Inspiration in 2007. Carnival has long been known as a family-friendly cruise line, which meant lots of children running around. To help adults find some much-needed peace and quiet while on vacation, Carnival sectioned off a section of the ship to be adults only. The area was a hit with guests. A Serenity Area was soon added to the Inspiration’s sister ships and then rolled out to the rest of the Carnival fleet over the years. Today, every Carnival ship has a dedicated Serenity Area. 

What is in the Serenity Area of a Carnival Ship?

The size, layout, and what’s included in the Serenity Area will vary depending on the ship. Since a majority of the fleet was in service before this section area was added, most ships required a retrofit to add this section. During major retrofits, Carnival took existing space and upgraded it to the new Serenity Area. Because of that, the different Serenity Areas all have different features and layouts, but the general effect is the same. Regardless of the ship, though, the Serenity area has a dedicated bar, upgraded loungers, and a water feature (a pool, hot tub, or both). 

clamshells on the deck of a cruise ship with ocean in the background
Enjoy the beautiful waters from a clamshell on the Carnival Dream

Which Carnival ships have adults-only pools in the Serenity Area?

The main pools on a Carnival ship can get pretty busy with children, so an adults-only pool is a perfect solution. Unfortunately, less than half of the Carnival ships have a pool in the Serenity Area. So if you love an adults-only pool during your cruise, you’re limited in your options.  

Pool and hot tub on a cruise ship
The Carnival Pride has an adults-only pool and hot tub in their Serenity Area
Pool and Sitting area on a cruise ship
Carnival Mardi Gras has large pool with plenty of covered seating in its Serenity Area.
pool with water fall on cruise ship
The Carnival Sunshine has one of the best Serenity Pools in the entire fleet

Which Carnival ships have adults-only hot tubs in the Serenity Area?

hot tub on cruise ship with Alaska background
Beautiful views from the Serenity Hot Tub on the Carnival Liberty
Circular hot tub
On top of the large pool, Carnival Mardi Gras also has 2 sizeable hot tubs in the Serenity Area

Almost every Serenity Area has at least one hot tub, whirlpool, or jacuzzi. It’s a great place to relax during the day or in the evenings.

You can find adults-only hot tubs on the following Carnival ships:

Hot tub with high glass on a cruise ship
One of two Serenity hot tubs on Carnival Horizon

Which Carnival ships have the Serenity Area in the aft (or back) of the ship?

The location of the Serenity Area can make a big difference in the experience. Often, on the ships where the adults-only deck is on the front of the ship, it can get windy, and high glass partitions are needed to make it bearable. However, the partitions take away a bit from the view.

Ships that have the Serenity Area in the back often have more calm winds. They also offer much better ocean views because they don’t need the high glass partitions and instead have standard rails. 

Teal deck chairs facing ocean on a cruise ship
The rear (aft) Serenity Area on the Carnival Legend means beautiful ocean views
padded teal loungers by glass window on cruise ship
The glass partitions on the Carnival Liberty stop the high winds from hitting you on the front of the ship, but it kills the views
day beds and loungers facing the ocean
Beautiful views from the back on the Carnival Pride

How much does the Serenity Area cost?

There is no additional charge to use the Serenity Area on a Carnival ship. If you’re a passenger over 21, just head over to the deck and enjoy. 

How crowded is the Serenity Area?

Since there’s no additional fee to use the Serenity Area, it can get crowded on sea days. Especially in the morning, it can be hard to find a lounger and definitely hard to find a clamshell on sea days. Thankfully, there seems to be fewer chair hogs/savers in the Serenity Area than in other areas of the ship.  

Pool with waterfall filled with people
The pool on the Carnival Sunshine during a sea day.

In the afternoon, it usually opens up more as people head to lunch and for a nap. The Serenity Area is also a great place to spend time in the evening with the soft music and mood lighting. Usually, once per cruise, they’ll be a party in the Serenity Area.  

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