Our Signature Day-By-Day Carnival Jubilee Review: What It’s Really Like Sailing on the Newest Ship from Texas

In our signature day-by-day Carnival Jubilee cruise review, we detail our time onboard this new Carnival cruise ship sailing from Galveston.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Review

Ship Overview

Carnival Jubilee is the third ship in Carnival Cruise Line’s Excel Class, following sisters Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration, and the 26th Carnival FUN ship. This 182,800 gross ton ship accommodates over 5300 guests at double occupancy and pays homage to the original MS Jubilee (1985). This new vessel debuted in Galveston in December 2023 from Terminal 25 which underwent an multi-million dollar enhancement project. While sailing a typical Western Caribbean itinerary, this Carnival Jubilee review did have some firsts for us as we had never sailed from this Texas homeport.

Plus, we were honored to attend the ship’s naming ceremony with Godmother Gwen Stefani who rocked out the theater with her high-energy hits.

Speaking of firsts, while Carnival Jubilee is very similar to her predecessors, she does have some new features of her own. Carnival Jubilee boasts 6 exciting zones with a number of restaurants, bars, and onboard activities, two of which are new. These two new zones pay homage to the ocean.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Review

Currents (think replacement for The Gateway on Celebration) uses technology to create an “underwater” experience for guests. This zone features two new bars, Dr. Inks Ph.D and The Golden Mermaid, both with specialty cocktail menus that you won’t want to miss. While The Shores (think replacement for 820 Biscayne on Celebration) invokes seaside boardwalk vibes and features a grand 3-story art installation.

Some other new and unique features on Carnival Jubilee are the Lonestar Tailgate deck party and a new Playlist Productions show, Dear Future Husband.

Of course, Carnival cruisers will find many familiar favorites onboard Jubilee as well. When it comes to dining, you can indulge in Mexican at BlueIguana Cantina and snacks at Street Eats on the Lido deck. One deck above, you can dive in to Guy’s delicious burgers. Carnival Jubilee also features Guy’s Pig & Anchor and Shaq’s Big Chicken which are equally tasty.

There’s also the main dining room and several specialty restaurants like Bonsai Teppanyaki, Rudi’s Seagrill, and Fahrenheit 555. Cruisers will be happy to know that Cucina del Capitano and Chibang are still complimentary on this ship too.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Review

For those looking for a little adventure, there’s the Ultimate Playground zone. This area of the ship features one of the best attractions at sea, Bolt. This electric rollercoaster at the top of the ship is certainly a thrilling experience, albeit an up-charge activity. Cruisers can also enjoy a ropes course, Carnival Waterworks with 3 slides, and mini-golf which are all complimentary.

 With comedy shows, Playlist Productions, and various other Fun Squad activities, there is never a dull moment on Carnival Jubilee. Relive our experiences in this day-by-day Carnival Jubilee review.

EXCLUSIVE DEALS: Score Savings on Your Next Carnival Cruise!

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Review – Day 1

A Long Day of Pre-Cruise Travel

If you’ve never cruised from Galveston, TX before, it’s important to know that the cruise port is not conveniently near an airport like most Florida homeports. Most cruise passengers will fly into Houston Hobby (HOU) or Bush-Intercontinental (IAH), which will require some drive time to get to the cruise port. This is why it’s extra important to fly in a day early for your cruise.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Review

Taking our advice we flew into the area on Friday. Arriving from Boston, we had a direct flight into IAH. It was then an approximately 1.5 hour drive to Galveston. There are several hotels located on the island which are all a short drive from the cruise terminal.

Since we were part of a small media group hosted by the cruise line on this sailing, we had a private transfer from the airport to Galveston. Though, Carnival does also offer transfers to the port on embarkation day.

This Ship is Bananas

Departing our hotel around 9:30 AM, we took the short drive over to Terminal 25 to begin our extra special embarkation day. Breezing through the check-in process and security, we were onboard Carnival Jubilee in no time. It is important to note that ordinarily guests receive an embarkation timeslot and should adhere to such to avoid long waits in the terminal.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Review

Like any other cruise boarding day, we set off to explore as much of the ship as possible. Although, since there were a series of special events taking place today, we modified our routine a bit. First, we toured the spa and fitness center, as well as the special access Havana outdoor deck. Then, we made our way upstairs to the main outdoor decks, checking out the Beach Pool, Tides Pool, adults-only Serenity, and the tweens and teens clubs.

While not technically ready yet, we did drop off our carry-on bags in the cabin before heading back downstairs for an exclusive naming ceremony lunch in the Pacific dining room. It was nice to catch up with some cruise friends while enjoying this 3-course meal complete with our first serving of the chocolate melting cake. Just how many of these delicious desserts would we eat over our seven days onboard Carnival Jubilee?

With about an hour until the christening ceremony began, we went back to our stateroom, cabin 12235, to get photos and videos. This balcony stateroom (8D category) is located on the starboard side and is forward of the forward bank of elevators.

This cabin looked identical to the one we stayed in on Celebration last year, even right down to the color palette and art. While the decor and finishes are very basic, the room was functional and had quite a bit of storage. Just off Icon of the Seas, we appreciated the extra shelves and space in this closet.

It’s a Jubilee Ya’ll

Now, it was time for the main event of the day, Carnival Jubilee’s naming ceremony. We were lucky enough to have reserved seats in the main theater for all the Texas-sized fun. In fact, this was the first cruise ship naming ceremony to ever take place in Galveston! From a lassoing cowboy, to Galveston’s mayor officially naming February 24th as “Carnival Jubilee Day”, the event culminated with the traditional champagne bottle breaking on the ship’s bow.

And of course, with Gwen Stefani as godmother, the formalities ended with a mini-concert featuring some of her top hits. It was definitely a Sweet Escape. Now, we can add Gwen Stefani to our growing list of musicians that we’ve seen perform at cruise ship events.

Saying goodbye to some cruise friends who were only onboard for the day, it was back to our regularly scheduled cruise program. But first, coffee! Java Blue is the coffee house on Carnival Jubilee serving up all your espresso-based beverages, along with milkshakes.

Tip: If you do not have the Cheers Package, ask for the coffee punch card. It’s basically buy six drinks, get one free. Let’s just say that we were on our 4th card by the end of the week.

With afternoon coffee in hand (albeit later than usual), we headed back to our cabin to unpack and get settled in before dinner.

Our First Evening on Carnival Jubilee

For this sailing, we had Your Time Dining. This is Carnival’s version of anytime dining, which guests can opt for instead of traditional dining. However, the best part is that it goes beyond just the main dining room. In addition to dining at the Pacific Dining Room, guests can choose to dine at Cucina del Capitano and Chibang for no additional fee.

With Your Time Dining, cruisers simply join a virtual queue in the HUB app and wait for a notification. Once a table is assigned, head to the restaurant of choice where you’ll be escorted to the table.

Wanting to test out as many dining options as possible for this Carnival Jubilee review, we chose to dine at Chibang tonight. Chibang is a hybrid Chinese and Mexican restaurant. So, for tonight, we opted to try some of the Asian cuisine.

I ordered the lettuce wraps as an appetizer, and Don did the spring rolls and potstickers. For entrees, Don ordered the sweet & sour shrimp and I did the kung pao chicken and hakka noodles. All of the options were pretty average “Chinese take-out” versions.

While this option adds variety to the dining lineup, we are glad that it’s complimentary because we don’t see ourselves ever paying to dine here. Of note, all visits are free on Jubilee; only the first visit is free on Mardi Gras and Celebration, with subsequent visits $8 each.

Out of dinner within about 75 minutes, we made a pitstop back to our cabin, where we watched some of the sailaway from our balcony.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Review

Now, it was time to check out more of the ship. And first on the agenda was the new Dr. Inks bar in the Currents zone. With Texas law, only drinks that use liquor purchased from local suppliers can be served in Texas waters. Thus, the menu here was limited to just three drinks: Ocean Bubble, Coral Beauty, and Starfish Rays. Still, these drinks are as eccentric as the venue’s decor.

Next up was one of the new Playlist Productions, Dear Future Husband. This show tells the story of a couple getting married on a cruise ship. It is high energy and features several hit songs. While not our favorite production show, it was a fun way to close out our first night on Carnival Jubilee.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Review – Day 2

Our First Sea Day on Carnival Jubilee

Day 2 of this Carnival Jubilee review was a sea day. We made plans to get up early this morning to catch up on getting photos and videos around the ship. Given yesterday was busy with the naming ceremony, we didn’t capture as much as we typically do on embarkation day.

While I got ready, Don spent about 1.5 hours collecting content from various areas around the ship. When he returned with our morning coffees, we decided to join the virtual queue for Sea Day Brunch. Sea Day Brunch is a complimentary offering on Carnival ships that takes place in the main dining room and features some great menu options.

When we joined the waitlist, it gave us an approximate 20-30 wait time. However, when we arrived at the MDR about 20 minutes later, we were informed that we were still number ten in queue. Unfortunately, this would not give us enough time to eat and be ready for our scheduled media activities of the day.

So, it was on to plan B instead. On Carnival cruise ships, there is not a lack of options for casual dining spots. There are so many venues serving breakfast and lunch that it’s almost impossible to try them all in just seven days. But today, we went with breakfast burritos from BlueIguana Cantina.

This Mexican eatery on the Lido Deck serves up custom burrito and taco selections throughout the day that are quite tasty.

From here, we took a stroll around the outdoor decks before heading back inside for our 10:30 AM meetup in the Currents zone for Seaquest: A Fun Sub Adventure. This immersive “show” brings the zone to life via LED portals and a wave-like LED ceiling. On this underwater excursion, you’ll come across sea creatures and even the elusive Golden Mermaid.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Review

We then headed upstairs to the pool deck for another exclusive Carnival Jubilee event, the Lone Star Tailgate. I’m not sure what we were expecting, but it was really just organized poolside games. This event is divided into four quarters with various events taking place. First Quarter were speed competitions for kids.

After watching for a few minutes, we made our way aft to the Ultimate Playground zone. We debated playing a round of mini golf, but it was pretty busy. So, we would subsequently return later in the week for some sports deck fun.

More Eating and Drinking

Well, since it was approaching lunchtime, why not continue our Mexican trend at Chibang. Chibang and Cucina del Capitano are both open for lunch on sea days with a reduced menu. Cucina del Capitano has a few apps and entrees along with pasta bar. Chibang’s menu features Asian noodle bowls and Mexican rice bowls.

We opted for Mexican rice bowls, mine with chicken and Don’s with pork. While I preferred the Asian dishes from dinner last night, Don preferred the Mexican from lunch today.

Now, it was time to check out the Summer Landing zone aft on Deck 8. This zone features the Patio Pool along with a couple whirlpools. Guy’s Pig & Anchor is also located here, along with the outdoor Watering Hole bar. This bar serves up a small signature menu, with drinks like the Lynchburg Lemonade and Watermelon Crush.

We grabbed some seats while sipping our cocktails and enjoyed the ocean vistas for a bit. We then grabbed our afternoon coffees before heading back to our cabin to get a little work done before dinner. Alternating between the balcony and the air conditoned cabin, we worked and relaxed until it was time for the Captain’s Reception in Grand Central at 6:30 PM.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Review

An Elegant Evening on Carnival Jubilee

After a short introduction to the captain and his crew, our media group met for a cocktail hour in the Golden Mermaid. This is the second new bar to debut on Carnival Jubilee. While the bar is very reminiscent of the Golden Jubilee Bar on Celebration, it does have nods to the sea and mermaid mosaics.

Personally, I liked the cocktails at this bar better than those at Dr. Inks too.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Review

An elegant evening deserves an upscale dinner too. Thus, we dined at Fahrenheit 555. Fahrenheit 555 is Carnival Cruise Line’s steakhouse; this specialty restaurant has an up-charge of $49 per person, which is certainly cheaper when compared to other cruise lines’ steakhouses.

As our regular readers may have guessed, I went with a Caesar salad and the chicken entree. Don did shrimp cocktail, risotto, and surf & turf. For dessert, we ordered the chocolate sphere and the cheesecake. These selections were on par with most steakhouse experiences at sea but for a much better value.

Given we were dining as a large group, this meal did take over 2.5 hours. This meant that it was already 10:30 PM and we had missed the production show, Celestial Strings. It’s too bad, as this is probably our favorite of the Playlist Productions.

Instead, it was upstairs to the Lido for the White Party. It was odd to us that this party occurred on formal night, but plenty of cruisers did change up their attire and were on deck ready to party. Carnival definitely gets props for its high energy activities staff and deck parties. Kyndall Fire kept the crowd engaged, and they were still dancing along when we departed around 11:30 PM.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Review

Tomorrow was another sea day, but we still had plenty to accomplish around the ship.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Review – Day 3

A FUN Sea Day

Day 3 of this Carnival Jubilee review was our second sea day. Today, we had a couple special events lined up for our media group, including a Behind the Scenes tour and a private time for BOLT.

Up around 7 AM, Don set off on his morning routine. He roamed the ship collecting more content and grabbing our morning coffees while I got ready. He then returned to get ready for our 9:15 AM meeting time.

Our Behind the Scenes Tour was led by Vivek, the ship’s Food and Beverage Director. For approximately 90 minutes, he guided us through the Galley, Chef’s Table, food storage facilities, and down I-95 to see some of the other ship operations. It’s always impressive to see the inner-workings of cruise ships.

Carnival Cruise Line does offer a similar, but longer, tour for guests. The Behind the Fun tour occurs on a sea day, and guests can book this tour like a shore excursion. It features visits to the ship’s bridge, engine control room, main galley, staff dining areas, storeroom, laundry, and other spaces.

Following our behind the scenes tour, the group made its way outside to ride BOLT. This top-deck attraction is an up-charge activity. A single ride is $15 or there’s a family pass that includes 3 rides for $30. While less than 60 seconds, it is a thrilling experience. This rollercoaster at sea does require closed-toe shoes and has height and weight restrictions. (Min Height: 4’4, Max Height: 6’5; Max Weight: 300 lbs.)

For lunch today, we decided to check Shaq’s Big Chicken off the list. This is one of my go-to spots on Carnival’s Excel Class ships. You won’t find better chicken sandwiches or tenders at sea! Though, the lines here and at Guy’s Burgers can get quite long, so plan accordingly.

After lunch, we grabbed our afternoon lattes and headed back to our cabin to do some work until our next scheduled event, a cocktail hour at Dr. Inks.

Dinner and a Show

Since we had already tried some drinks at Dr. Inks earlier in the cruise, we opted for something different tonight. I ordered the Crimson Catch and Don did the Think or Sink. Both were quite good; mine even came with a Swedish Fish and Don’s squid ink.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Review

Tonight was the first time that we would be dining in the MDR for dinner. While we like the virtual queue idea, it didn’t work as well as it did during our cruise on Celebration last year. We joined the waitlist while having drinks with our colleagues. The posted wait time was 40-50 minutes. Though, it was 60 minutes in and we were still waiting when the food and beverage director came over to us and made sure we were sat.

On other cruise lines, guests have the option to make pre-cruise reservations even with flexible dining. Over-planners like ourselves appreciate this option as we can schedule our day and not stand around waiting. Even on land, we never go to a restaurant without a reservation.

With that being said, where other cruise lines have been cutting back on MDR menus, Carnival recently revamped theirs adding new dishes inspired by the Chief Culinary Officer, Emeril Lagasse. These dishes did stand out to us, while most of the other menu items were on par with other cruise lines. There is also a full vegan menu available which is great for those with dietary restrictions.

For apps, I ordered a cheese plate and Emeril’s Girod Street salad which was actually better than my salad at Fahrenheit 555 the night before. Don did the BBQ beef spring rolls and Hawaiian shrimp poke. For entrees, we did the spaghetti carbonara and sirloin beef, finishing the meal off with banana cream pie. The dessert was delish and the shrimp poke bowl was different for an MDR selection– which Don appreciated.

Service was average, taking about 90 minutes to get through 3 courses. Though, none of the MDR staff were very memorable. What was actually a bit annoying was how much the bar servers push ordering shots. For us, it’s quite a juxtaposition to a nice sit-down meal and something you don’t see on any other cruise line.

Following dinner, we b-lined to Center Stage for Rio Carnival. While the show didn’t start until 9:15 PM, we know from experience that it’s difficult to get seats here. The venue doesn’t have the best sight lines and seats fill up very quickly. So, if you do want to see the shows here, we suggest arriving 45 minutes early.

Comparing our experiences on Carnival Celebration last year, we really enjoyed the Most Magnificent Circus but Rio Carnival didn’t live up to that level. There was singing, dancing, and some aerial acts, but the Brazilian-inspired show didn’t really fit with the Texas vibe.

Afterwards, we attempted to catch the last quarter of the tailgate in Summer Landing, but it had seemingly ended as there was just some live music when we arrived. There were some inconsistencies between the Fun Times paper daily and the HUB app, so we’d suggest checking both if there’s an activity that you can’t miss.

Listening to the live music for a bit and chatting with a friend, we called it a night around 11 PM. Tomorrow was our first port of call in Mahogany Bay.

SCORE BIG: Get Exclusive Deals on Carnival Cruises!

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Review – Day 4

Our First Time in Mahogany Bay

Day 4 of this Carnival Jubilee review was our first port of call in Mahogany Bay, Roatan. While we have visited Roatan a few times now, we typically dock in Coxen Hole; this was our first time visiting Mahogany Bay.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Review

If you cruise with Carnival, this is where your ship will dock in Roatan. It’s a private port area of sorts similar to Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic. Here, you’ll find a beach, restaurants and bars, shops, watersports, and cabanas. Guests can also book shore excursions that venture beyond the port area. While the beach is free, pretty much everything else will cost you extra money though.

Since we had never been here before, we explored the area for a few hours. We took the walking path down to the beach then later strolled around the shopping area. For those who don’t want to or can’t, there is a chair lift for an additional fee.

Tip: This is a great port for getting photos of the ship!

Since Don had some afternoon meetings for work, we headed back onboard around noontime. We continued checking off casual dining spots by grabbing lunch at Coastal Slice and Beach Buns in the new The Shores zone. This zone has a seaside boardwalk vibe, and it’s also the late night snack spot.

Coastal Slice features five complimentary pizza options and two upcharge pizzas for $6. We opted for pepperoni and Tex-Mex. While in the area, we decided to try some sandwiches from Beach Buns too. I ordered the turkey sandwich and Don ordered an Italian sausage sandwich on a pretzel roll.

While the pizza is average for cruise pizza, we did think the deli sandwiches were a notch above the competition.

An Entertaining Night on Carnival Jubilee

We spent the rest of the afternoon in our cabin doing work until dinner time. Tonight, we were dining in the main dining room again. The virtual queue did work better this evening, but we were sat in a different section of the Pacific Dining Room. So, we had a completely different waitstaff.

We also enjoyed many of the dinner selections tonight. We started with the marinated chicken tenders and the crab & shrimp cake. For entrees, I ordered the chicken roulade and Don the jambalaya pasta. All were good. We then finished the meal with a key lime pie and melting chocolate cake.

Out of dinner just in time, we scooted over to the Limelight Lounge for the 8 PM comedy show with DJ Cooch. There are several comedy shows each evening in both the Limelight Lounge (PG comedy) and Punchliner Comedy Club (18+). I think we counted a total of five comedians over our seven days onboard.

Carnival cruise ships certainly do not lack activities! In fact, if you want to see and do it all, you might find yourself a bit overwhelmed.

After the comedy show, we popped into the nearby Alchemy Bar for some drinks. Unfortunately, this bar is in a different location on Excel Class ships than on Vista Class ships. It’s in the only main walkway on the starboard side of Deck 7, so it can get congested here. Nonetheless, there are some great drinks on the menu, like the Cucumber Sunrise and Sidecar. Nikoli insisted Don try his strawberry version of a sidecar.

Since it was a bit hectic, we grabbed our drinks and headed forward to the theater for the 9:45 PM Family Feud. Even though we were early, we secured some seats for this always-a-good-time game show. While we are still partial to the cruise director Lee Mason, Kyndall held her own hosting this competition.

While there was another adult version of Family Feud occurring at 11:30 PM, we decided to call it a night as I was pretty tired from the day in the sun.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Review – Day 5

Costa Maybe

Day 5 of this Carnival Jubilee review was our second port of call in Costa Maya, Mexico. Since we needed to finish collecting content around the ship, we decided to stay onboard today.

When we woke up around 7 AM, the seas were pretty choppy. We actually didn’t think we would be able to dock. Yet, our captain was able to safely get the ship pier-side as did Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas. Norwegian Joy and Carnival Breeze were not so lucky though. We actually witnessed Norwegian Joy try to dock and ultimately decide to call off the port.

With less crowds onboard, we were able to secure much of the remaining photos and videos that we needed. So, that left the rest of the day for lots of food and some drinks.

We started the day with breakfast at Shaq’s Big Chicken. How can you go wrong with a chicken biscuit? For lunch, I did a burrito bowl from BlueIguana and Don did a burger from Guy’s Burger Joint. In retrospect, we should have skipped lunch today as we didn’t realize we’d be preparing….and eating…a full meal at Carnival Kitchen.

A Cooking Class on a Cruise

Our media group had an exclusive 2:45 PM timeslot at Carnival Kitchen today. We weren’t really sure what to expect. All I knew was that I don’t cook, but Don was excited to give the class a try.

During this 90-minute class, our group prepared some of Emeril’s favorites including world-renowned New-New Orleans Pasta, Shrimp & Okra Gumbo, and Strawberries Romanoff.

These Carnival Kitchen classes are available for cruisers to book for $45-$60 per person. Some of the options include Pasta Master, Sushi 101, Cake Workshop, Tailgate Party, and more. Most classes are 1-1.5 hours, with a few 2-hour elegant dinner sessions.

The classes are led by a chef who provides step-by-step directions for guests to prepare the dishes at their own cooking stations.

While I mostly observed the experience, Don had a fun time preparing these dishes…and enjoying the finished product afterwards. He said this was a highlight of the cruise for him as it was something fun and different.

If that wasn’t enough food, we also had a group dinner at Cucina del Capitano tonight at 7:30 PM. So, we used the rest of the afternoon to get in a walk outdoors and some work.

An Evening of Magic and Mystery

Ready for dinner early, we grabbed a cocktail from the Golden Mermaid, which became my favorite bar on the ship.

At Cucina del Capitano, we met Manoj, the Table Artist on the ship, for the first time. This is something unique that we really enjoyed. Basically, he roams the restaurants performing tableside magic for guests. He also had a standing room only magic show in the comedy club on the last day of the cruise.

For dinner, I ordered the arancini and chicken parm; Don ordered the calamari and the short rib. We think this is a great complimentary alternative to the main dining room. But when comparing it to Italian specialty restaurants on other cruise lines, the menu is somewhat more basic.

Thankfully, this group dinner was quicker than Fahrenheit 555 earlier in the cruise, so we were able to catch Soulbound in the theater. This Playlist Productions show is a supernatural journey through New Orleans with hits like Superstitious.

While the show wasn’t bad, it doesn’t compare to the caliber of productions on Royal Caribbean or even Norwegian Cruise Line. Though, the benefit for families is that these shows are shorter at about 35 minutes.

Following the show, we decided to check out Piano Bar 88. The venue was extremely crowded and rowdy. It definitely had a different vibe than the piano bars on other cruise lines. So, we only lasted about 20 minutes before deciding to call it a night.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Review – Day 6

A Day of Fun in Cozumel

Day 6 of this Carnival Jubilee review was our final port of call in Cozumel, Mexico. Today, we had a group excursion planned, the Ultimate Combo: Mayan Ruins, Snorkeling & Lunch tour. This shore excursion was scheduled to depart from the pier at 9 AM. Thus, we were up and ready to head ashore around 8:30 AM.

The first portion of this tour was a short drive away for snorkeling at Uvas Beach. I relaxed on a complimentary lounge chair while Don set off on the approximately 45-minute guided snorkel where he saw plenty of fish and a small cenote.

After snorkeling, there was just enough time for a quick complimentary drink before heading off to our next stop, the San Gervasio Mayan Ruins. This was about a 35 minute drive away.

San Gervasio is a small but important site, where Mayans would make offerings to the goddess Ix Chel. Here, we spent about an hour touring some of the prominent structures including the Small House, Structure 25 B, and The Arch.

From here, it was off to a nearby restaurant, Zacil, for some lunch consisting of tacos and tequila. We also attended brief demonstrations on Mexican chocolate and tequila where we got to sample some of the products.

It was a long and tiring, but informative, day ashore. Going close to an hour beyond the scheduled time, we made it back to the ship just in time for all aboard. Upon returning, we grabbed our afternoon coffees and sat on the balcony cheering on the pier runners. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much of a display this time.

A Formal Affair

Even though it was a port day, tonight was the second elegant night of the cruise. It was also lobster night in the main dining room. So by now, we knew to put ourselves on the waitlist well in advance.

Getting ready and grabbing some pre-dinner cocktails at Dr. Inks, we received notification that our table was ready about 60 minutes after joining the queue. This was perfect timing.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Review

We were sat in the same section as our last visit to the MDR meaning we at least had the same waitstaff. While the venue was busy, it wasn’t as crazy as we expected.

If you are new to Carnival, the cruise line does limit you to two free entrees, with additional plates available for $5 each. This is different than other cruise lines like Royal Caribbean who only limit lobster (to one entree).

Tonight, I had the spinach salad, chicken cordon bleu, and creme brulee. Don had the calamari, his own version of surf & turf with a lobster tail and prime rib, and melting chocolate cake. Don enjoyed his prime rib, but I was a bit disappointed in the creme brulee as it was very watery.

Time for Some Laughs

After dinner, it was time to enjoy more of the comedy available around the ship. First, we attended another DJ Cooch set in the Punchliner comedy club, which was funnier than his PG version we saw earlier in the week. Next up was the 10 PM show in the Limelight Lounge with Chas. And overall, we didn’t find him very funny.

From here, the fun continued on the lido deck with the 80’s Glow Party. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again–Carnival cruisers go all out for these parties, so be sure to pack your 80’s attire for the event. Maybe we were partial to the music, but we did enjoy this party more than the White Party earlier in the week.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Review

If this wasn’t enough, we rounded out the evening with the 11:30 PM late night comedy in the main theater. This show featured DJ Cooch and Jersey. While many cruisers reported liking Jersey the best, we only got to see his short set here given our schedule.

Since this was the first night of the cruise that we were up late, we decided to check out the late night snack scene before going to bed. We popped into Guy’s Pig & Anchor which has a small buffet from 11:30 PM to 1 AM. But we opted for some pizza instead. Coastal Slice is actually open until 4 AM for the late, late night crowd.

Tomorrow was already our final day of this Carnival Jubilee cruise review, and there was still so much to do!

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Review – Day 7

An Adventurous Morning

Day 7 of this Carnival Jubilee review was our final sea day. With nothing on our official agenda until this evening, we took this time to check some final items off our list.

First, Don had an appointment at 8:30 AM to check out Camp Ocean for our ship tour. On Carnival Jubilee, there is a high-tech “space wall” as part of a partnership with Kennedy Space Center. There’s also Dr. Seuss Bookville for families and ocean-themed rooms with age-appropriate activities for kids 2-11 years old.

Then, around 9 AM we added ourselves to the waitlist for Sea Day Brunch and eventually got pinged about 30 minutes later. Sea Day Brunch is available on sea days from 8:30 AM to 12 PM and offers a variety of breakfast and lunch menu items.

We opted for an omelet, eggs benedict, and the skillet-cake. The skillet cake is one of my favorites. But if you are looking for lunch-type options, there is steak and eggs, fried chicken, burgers, and more. Select menu items from Emeril’s Bistro are available for an up-charge as well.

After breakfast, it was time to work off a few calories or at least pretend that we did. Up to the Ultimate Playground, we took a few laps around the jogging track before trying our luck at mini-golf. While I’ve been known to play a mean game of cruise ship mini-golf, my losing streak continued.

Next up, Don tested his skills on the ropes course. We really like that this is a complimentary activity, and as far as thrills go, it’s just as thrilling as the Crown’s Edge on Icon of the Seas that comes with a hefty up-charge. There are various challenge levels, including a small zip line, a plank, and even a ropes component off the side of the ship.

A Relaxing Afternoon

While we had intentions of testing out the waterslides later in the day, we never made it back. Instead, we grabbed our laptops and did some work in Serenity for a few hours. Serenity is the adults-only area on the ship and is quite large. There’s also a pool, bar, and salad bar to meet all your needs.

We did attempt to try Fresh Creations for lunch, but the line seemed endless most of the afternoon with guests stating they waited up to 30 minutes. So instead, we ate the next healthiest thing….BBQ.

Around 2 PM, we packed up and Don headed to Guy’s Pig & Anchor. While this venue is a sit-down restaurant in the evenings, it offers a BBQ buffet for lunch on sea days. Since I’m not a huge fan of barbeque, I grabbed my second go-round at Shaq’s Big Chicken before heading downstairs to Summer Landing.

After lunch, made our way to Java Blue to see Tuti for our afternoon pick-me-up. Tuti, the barista at Java Blue, was certainly an all-star when it comes to service. While we’ve only sailed with Carnival a few times, we remembered her from our last trip.

With coffee in hand, it was back to the room for a little more work and the dreaded task of packing. While we would be doing self-assist disembarkation, we still wanted to get things packed and organized before heading out for the evening.

Our Final Farewell

Our media group had a final cocktail hour in the Havana Bar at 6:30 PM followed by dinner at Rudi’s Seagrill. It just so happened that karaoke was occurring in the Havana Bar so we got to witness a few guests put on their best show while chatting amongst ourselves.

Rudi’s Seagrill is the seafood specialty restaurant on Carnival Jubilee with a $49 up-charge. It does have other items on the menu for those who don’t like seafood, including steak and chicken. As you may have guessed, I opted for the house salad and free range chicken. Don ordered the calamari and surf & turf. While he liked the calamari, he preferred the surf & turf at Fahrenheit 555.

Now, being from New England, we are always tough critics when it comes to seafood restaurants on cruise ships, but Rudi’s Sel de Mer on Holland America and The Catch by Rudi on Princess Cruises are certainly better than his Seagrill on Carnival ships.

Finishing dinner around 10 PM, we debated going to Piano Bar 88 with some of the media folks, but instead, we decided to call it a night. Tomorrow was a long day of travel for us.

BOOK NOW: Exclusive Rates on Carnival Cruises!

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Review – Disembarkation

Time to Go Home

The most dreaded day of this Carnival Jubilee cruise review was here–disembarkation day. The PR team had arranged a transfer for us to the airport, so we were instructed to meet in Grand Central at 7:30 AM.

Up around 5:30 AM, we got ready, grabbed our morning coffees, and finished packing. Heading out around 7:15 AM, we were greeted with a long line at the elevators. After waiting about 10 minutes without making a dent in the line, Don decided to carry our nearly 100 lbs. of luggage down six flights of stairs.

The elevator situation on Jubilee definitely lacks in comparison to other cruise lines. For a ship with this guest capacity, the elevators are quite small. Besides disembarkation morning, there were several other times that we waited multiple passes to find an elevator that had enough room for the two of us.

Nonetheless, we were escorted off the ship and were through CBP in no time. The Galveston cruise terminal has facial recognition meaning you can breeze through without ever having to take out your passport.

Then, it was another 1.5 hour drive back to the airport. Unfortunately though, the Jet Blue counter did not open until 11:30 AM, so we were stuck waiting to check our bags until them.

Thankfully, our 2 PM flight was smooth sailing, and we returned to Boston without issue. Now, we are home for just over a week before heading back out once again. Next up is Princess Cruises’ brand-new Sun Princess followed by a Seine River cruise with Viking. Stay tuned.


Did you enjoy our Carnival Jubilee review? Do you have plans to sail on this brand-new Carnival Cruise Line ship? Drop us an anchor below to share your recent cruise reviews!

Heidi is a physical therapist by profession, cruise enthusiast at heart, and Princess all the time! She is a self-confessed thrill seeker, obsessive planner, and over-packer. She is always looking for the latest and greatest adventures onboard and ashore, enjoys researching top things to do in ports of call, and loves dressing up for formal nights.
Heidi Bucolo
Previous Post «
Next Post »
Cruiseline module – Remove Title

3 comments on Our Signature Day-By-Day Carnival Jubilee Review: What It’s Really Like Sailing on the Newest Ship from Texas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin This: