Carnival Journeys sailings are a unique subset of Carnival Cruises offerings that are ideal for adult passengers and those interested in deeper, more rewarding, and immersive cruising experiences. Empty nesters and boomer travelers should add Carnival Journeys to their library of options for future cruise trips.
Carnival Journeys itineraries are longer (nine days or more), include unique destinations, and typically sail during the offseason months—so passengers are less likely to encounter children and families on board. Happily, the world’s largest cruise line’s Choose Fun mantra still extends to Carnival Journeys.
Why Adult Travelers Should Consider Carnival Journeys
Here are 8 great reasons that travelers should consider Carnival Journeys for future cruise vacations.
The McCool Travel team enjoyed two Carnival Journey experiences—Alaska and Southern Caribbean/Panama Canal. We also include information and tips from a travel writer from a transatlantic Carnival Journeys sailing.
Carnival Cruise Line hosted our trips with Carnival Journey so we could share our experiences with the McCool Travel audience. As always, all opinions are our own.
1. Longer Sailings
All Carnival Journeys branded sailings are nine or more days. Longer cruise itineraries mean additional time at sea, more ports, and more interaction with guests and crew, potentially forming deeper relationships. If you have always pictured Carnival as a 4-day Caribbean cruise line, it is time to think again.
2. Shoulder Season Sailings
Most Carnival Journeys cruises sail during shoulder seasons and avoid the extremely popular summer and holiday months. These relaxed periods of the year mean enhanced enjoyment at ports and on board. In most areas, shoulder season means mild weather that is not oppressively hot and not too cold.
Off-peak sailings can also allow access to places that are off-limit during busier travel months. For example, our Carnival Journeys cruise to Alaska included a visit to Johns Hopkins glacier in an inlet of Glacier Bay National Park. This glacier can only be visited by cruise ships after September 1, and we were the only ship in the area, allowing plenty of time for an up-close look at this natural wonder.
Our cruise to the Southern Caribbean and Panama Canal included Halloween and the freaks came out to play. McCool Travel note: cruises during Halloween are super fun. Extensive stateroom decorations and even more elaborate costumes were the norm.
3. Fewer Kids, More Adult Cruisers
Mainstream Carnival cruises are dominated by families with children, and young adults from spring breakers to folks on their first budget cruise. Carnival Journeys sailings, because of longer itineraries and shoulder season dates, however, attract more adult couples, baby boomers, and empty nesters. If you do bring children, be prepared for them to be part of a very small group.
Of course, the Choose Fun philosophy is still evident on Carnival Journeys sailings. As we saw on our Halloween themed Southern Caribbean and Panama Canal Carnival cruise, lively passengers still dance it up at sail-away parties and onboard celebrations.
4. Unexpected Destinations
On Carnival Journeys itineraries, you will visit destinations that are not included in any other Carnival cruises. For example, all Carnival cruise transatlantic sailings are Journeys (more info below). In addition, most Panama Canal, Hawaii, and Alaska sailings are part of the Journeys collection. These longer voyages allow you to explore more unique and distant ports.
5. Academy of Fun and Unique Carnival Journeys Experiences
Enrichment experiences through Carnival’s Academy of Fun provide opportunities to learn about or further master a variety of topics. During our journeys, experts held mini-classes and lectures on photography, social media, history, art, and more. On our Alaska cruise, one woman served as the destination expert while her husband conducted photography seminars.
These lessons are in addition to the “regular” Carnival cruise experiences such as comedy shows, nightclub performances, lobby music acts, Bingo, and other games. The longer sailings of Carnival Journeys also allows guests additional opportunities to do things like tour the kitchen (fascinating and delicious!).
6. Carnival Journeys Throwback Events
Throwback shows are a popular Journeys theme and they certainly appeal to the adult audience on board. On our Alaska journey, shows were oriented by decade—’50s, ’60s, disco—highlighting favorite music and dance from our younger days.
Pool events during our Panama journey included throwback funness like a hairy chest and back contest. Cruise standards like an elaborate midnight buffet, captain’s cocktail party, and sail-away party were just as fun (maybe more?) without a boat full of children.
7. Increased Crew Interaction
Longer sailings mean more opportunities to get to know fellow passengers and crew members. Whether you see them at meals, around the ship, in ports, or on excursions there are many opportunities to connect. Our cruise director was so fun I immediately followed Emma’s Facebook page.
Our Alchemy mixmaster Oksana knew I craved spicy drinks and handcrafted a fiery infused tequila during one port stop. You also have more opportunities to win prizes from games and from the cruise director led activities.
8. Great Value for a Budget Cruise
Like other Carnival Cruises, the Journeys brand delivers great value at a budget price. Many of the cruise lines geared to older travelers charge a higher fee for their itineraries. We love Viking Cruises, for example, and they offer an excellent experience for empty-nesters but at a higher price. UnCruise is another of our favorite brands for active adults, but again the price tag is high. Carnival Journeys are an excellent alternative for people with a more limited travel budget.
Carnival Journeys Transatlantic Cruise
Ivan from Mind the Travel shared these thoughts about his Carnival Journeys transatlantic cruise.
A transatlantic cruise from Barcelona to NYC is one of the most popular Carnival cruises and passengers can be sure that they arrive at the Big Apple fully refreshed. Unlike flying, there is no jet lag while crossing the Atlantic by ship. A Carnival transatlantic cruise gives travelers the chance to see Atlantic destinations like Cartagena, Málaga, Funchal, Ponta Delgada, and Halifax while enjoying a relaxing cruise and a wide range of entertainment amenities.
The cruise organizes daily activities to ward off boredom. These include but are not limited to Sail Away party, lido marketplace, darts, karaoke, bingo, and various games. However, bring your own entertainment since you will be spending at least 13 days at sea. Load up your electronic devices, or pack books you can leave behind once you have finished them.
Sometimes it can get windy and cold in the upper decks and remember to pack layer. You may need jackets when exploring the island of Madeira. The open ocean can get rough so pack seasickness remedies. You can also purchase motion sickness pills (meclizine) on board.
How Do You Find Carnival Journeys sailings?
To find Carnival Journeys sailings, go to the Carnival cruises home page and select Carnival Journeys from the Specialty Cruises option. There are currently 46 sailings (compared to 439 total Carnival cruises) and you can further filter by date, destination, length, and where it sails from or to.
Other Carnival specialty cruises include Carnival Saleabration (like a 50th birthday cruise in February 2020) and Cruise with John Heald sailings.
No matter which sailing you choose, your Carnival Journeys cruise is sure to deliver unique adventures, interesting ports, and a huge dose of fun.