Some might say Australia’s two Carnival ships – Carnival Legend and Carnival Spirit – are identical.

They’re both 12 decks high, they have the same deck plans, both have the Green Thunder and they serve the same Australian brewed beer. In fact, they’re so much alike it’s hard to decide which to book your next holiday on.

To help you make your decision, we compared the two ships’ deck plans and fact files and came up with a few interesting differences:

The Steakhouses

When Carnival Spirit underwent her makeover in 2012, she received Fat Jimmy’s C-Side BBQ on the Sun Deck (deck 10).

Resident ‘barbeque experts’ serve up sausages, chicken breast and classic pork sandwiches.

In true Aussie-style, the restaurant is open-aired, meaning guests can have their favourite food by the ocean.

In the same location on the same deck, Carnival Legend also has a steakhouse, but instead of ‘Fat Jimmy’s’, Legend has ‘The Golden Fleece Steakhouse’.

The Golden Fleece is less casual than Fat Jimmy’s, with a menu featuring starters, salads, side dishes and starters.

Where Jimmy serves grilled Italian sausages, The Golden Fleece has grilled prime rib chop and seared lobster tail with grilled filet mignon.

The Shows

It’s not just the name of the lounges onboard Legend and Spirit that differs, it’s the shows they feature.

Follies Main Show Lounge on the Legend has the stage spectacular, Rock the House. It’s an epic 80’s rock show (somewhat similar to Broadway’s Rock of Ages) featuring music from Queen. It’s a high energy show with incredible dancing and tattooed young men.

Meanwhile, the Spirit’s Pharaoh’s Palace Main Show Lounge features a more vaudeville musical with detailed 1930s costumes and jazz songs.

International  Dining

When Carnival Legend arrived in Sydney last month she brought with her Carnival Australia’s first Japanese-style restaurant, Bonsai.

The Japanese restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. There is a fee to dine at the restaurant but the menu features sushi rolls, sashimi, sushi boats, sake and more.

Next year, Carnival Spirit will bring Mexican spices to Australia’s shores when she undergoes a $44 million makeover.

The refit will start in August and will include the fitting of The Blue Iguana Cantina. The restaurant serves tacos and burritos. It will be accompanied by the Blue Iguana Tequila Bar, which sells margaritas and Mexican beer.

The ship will also receive Guy’s Burger Joint, led by Californian chef Guy Fieri. Food from Guy’s includes fresh-off-the-grill burgers and fries.

Legend’s child-friendly fun

Both ships are great for families, but Legend takes its family appeal one step further with Hasbro, The Game Show.

Featured one night of every cruise, guests partake in a live game show. The fun catch, is that they larger-than-life production and entertainment activities are based on popular games.

For example, three metre high versions of Connect 4 and Operation.

Cruise Passenger verdict:

Cruise Passenger recently stayed aboard both these ships.  Our recommendation:

Ship: The Legend is as brassy as a Las Vegas casino, while the Spirit is a lot more classy, in our view.

Food:  While the Spirit has good food at its Nouveau restaurant, The Legend’s steaks were tender and the lobster tails were bigger, juicier and a lot more yum!

Entertainment:  Hands down, the Legend’s rock show brought the house down while the Spirit’s old fashioned song-and-dance routine was polished by lacked…well…spirit!

Dancing waiters:  The Spirit won this hands down, with two nights of fabulous entertainment, including a singing waiter who served up a soulful set that won our hearts. Watch the video here.

Fun: The essential ingredient which Carnival claims as its own.  We have to say both ships were fun, though the Legend’s new games look set to raise the bar.


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