This is from our Carnival overview: Carnival Cruise Lines; Carnival Cruise Lines Review, Carnival Ship Reviews
This explains all the different ages and classes of Carnival ships. Miracle is part of the Spirit class.
At the bottom of the pyramid that forms the Carnival Cruise Lines fleet the eight nearly identical, 70,367-ton circa 1990s-model Fantasy-class vessels including sister ships Ecstasy
, and Sensation
. The Fantasy-class ships each carry 2,044 passengers, in large but utilitarian cabins lacking balconies. Each offers a unique decor by famous Carnival ship interior designer Joe Farcus that puts the accent on great nightlife, good food, excitement and relaxation.
These Fantasy-class vessels just completed a four-year upgrade campaign to even more fun in the sun. The top decks received the most attention with the installation of family-oriented water parks including a 300 foot water slide, miniature golf, an adults-only area with cushioned lounge chairs new teak decks and tile. Inside is a new coffee café, art gallery and atrium bar. Staterooms are getting upgrades with flat-panel televisions and refurbished décor.
1996, with the introduction of what was then the largest cruise ship in world, the 101,351-ton Carnival Destiny, marked the year that the company truly hit its stride for the 21st century.
, Carnival began offering an abundance of the now uber-popular balcony cabins in a big way, with sister ships Carnival Triumph
(1999) and Carnival Victory
(2000) soon to follow. These 2,642 passenger vessels (3,360 total if the upper berths are full) feature three-deck show lounges, 15,000-square-foot spas, four swimming pools with water slides, and plenty of on board shopping. All balcony cabins on Carnival ships built since 1996 have with mini refrigerators, toiletries, hair dryers and bathrobes.
In November 2002, as an improvement to the Destiny-class, Carnival launched Carnival Conquest
, the first of five 110,000-ton Conquest-class ships similar in design to the Destiny class, but slightly bigger and able to carry 2974 voyagers. Carnival Glory
followed in July 2003, Carnival Valor
(the first ship with bow-to-stern wireless Internet access) in December 2004 and Carnival Liberty
in July 2005. Carnival Freedom
, entered service in spring 2007 and Carnival Splendor
followed in July 2008.
Somewhere in the seemingly never-ending quest for size (other cruise lines also jumped on the bandwagon to make bigger & bigger ships starting in 1998) Carnival did something different, and very right, by introducing an additional and relatively smaller class of vessel known as the Spirit-class.
These 88,500-ton ships carry 2,124 passengers each, and are the longest in the fleet at 963 feet, yet narrow enough to fit through the Panama Canal. These sisters (Spirit
, and Pride
) have a very inviting space-per-passenger ratio, and the technologically advanced Azipod propulsion system. Eighty percent of cabins on these ships have ocean views, and 80 percent of those have private balconies. In a stroke of genius to accommodate all these balcony cabins, the public rooms were repositioned to the lower decks three and four. You'll find two consecutive decks of bars, lounges and public areas, the upper with a wrap-around promenade. It's aboard these ships that you'll find Carnival's first reservations-only, specialty restaurants, offering prime beef, seafood and the famous stone crabs from Joe's Stone Crab restaurant in Miami.
Many cruisers seem to prefer the Spirit Class, the namesake of which was launched April 29, 2001. Carnival Pride followed on December 30, 2001, Carnival Legend in August 2002, and Carnival Miracle in February 2004.
The largest Carnival ship yet debuted in September of 2009. Carnival Dream is 130,000-tons and carries 3600 passengers. It is home-ported in Port Canaveral, something of a surprise move since most mega-ships sail out of Southern Florida. It just goes to show you the ingenuity of Carnival that just when its competitorss chose to put their biggest ships; Royal Caribean's Oasis and NCL's Norwegian Epic, in Fort Lauderdale and Mimai respectively, Carnival moved their biggest ship 300 miles away, essentially catering to a much larger drive market rather than the fly-in market.