Barely a week goes by, or so it seems, where one of the major cruise lines around the world aren’t revealing a new feature, improvement or passenger activity. As fleets grow and move from market to market around the world in line with demand, brands are always tinkering with what they offer their guests in these different economic regions.

Carnival Cruise Line currently operates eight different designs, or classes, of ship across its global fleet of 25 vessels. Ships within each class are very similar in terms of size and guest capacity but quite different to other classes. The two ships which sail in Australia each year – Carnival Spirit and Carnival Legend – are both in the Spirit class and cater to 2,124 guests.

But despite Spirit and Legend coming from the same mould or design plans, there are some very minor differences between the two which could affect your holiday in different ways. The two ships are nearly identical, however not quite exact.

As Carnival has introduced the two ships into service, both are maintained and upgraded at different times. Let’s take a look at the more noticeable variances between the two ships.

Public bars and lounges

Both of Carnival’s Australian ships have enjoyed time in the dry dock upgrade yard in recent years, with Carnival Legend last emerging in 2014 ahead of its first season in Australian waters. With the amazing popularity that sister ship Carnival Spirit had enjoyed in its first two years here, it was only natural that the line would bring a second ship here.

Carnival Spirit was last upgraded in August 2015, so Australia has two Carnival ships both reflecting amenities no older than two years.

That said, in that intervening period, Carnival Spirit has a number of differences to its sister in this area, two of which being the BlueIguana Tequila Bar and RedFrog Rum Bar. You’ll find both up on the Lido Pool deck on Spirit, but neither are currently on Legend, however there is still the RedFrog Pub and the Skybox Sports Bar.


Carnival’s celebrity chef Guy Fieri offers his award-winning burgers on much of the fleet, however this concept hasn’t yet made it to Carnival Legend – only on Carnival Spirit. It is highly likely this will be added in coming years, however at time of writing, this was the case.

The same situation exists for the tacos and burritos available at BlueIguana Mexican Cantina and Fat Jimmy’s C-Side BBQ, however you can still build your own burgers and enjoy barbecued meats with plenty of sides and condiments at the buffet.


If you’re looking for a quiet night with your family or significant other, a popular activity for those warm nights at sea is to settle in to a chair on the Lido Pool deck for a Dive-In Movie. Currently, you can only do this on Carnival Spirit, however this may come to Legend soon.

A recent and very timely addition to the lineup on Carnival Legend comes in the form of a new Dr Seuss Kids Club activity – The Cat in the Hat for President. With the US Presidential election in late 2016 (after this article was published), kids can learn about how to make positive changes in the world through good decisions and fun games. While the Dr Seuss program is also available on Carnival Spirit, this particular US Presidential activity is not.

Carnival Cruise Line will soon bring both its Australian ships onto the same upgrade timeline, with Spirit and Legend scheduled for their next dry dock refurbishment and maintenance programs in Singapore and Canada respectively in May 2018.

While not yet confirmed, it is expected that by the time both ships return to Australia later that year, they will both be fitted with the same features, bars, dining outlets and activities for all guests to enjoy.