In recent years, Halloween has become increasingly popular aboard cruise ships, with themed decorations, special treats, and activities for all ages.

With great anticipation for the spooky season, Carnival Cruise Line has announced exactly when Halloween décor and special events will appear onboard fleetwide, giving guests time to prepare for amazing sailings with spooks and specters on the high seas.

From costumes and candy to ghosts, goblins, and ghouls to pumpkins and parties, Halloween is a big deal for many people. Many cruise lines get in on the fun with special Halloween cruises featuring seasonal decorations, themed movies, unique activities, and more for all guests to enjoy.

Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald has announced the dates that different Carnival cruise ships will begin featuring Halloween offerings, and indeed the cruise line will offer Halloween-themed sailings throughout the month of October.

Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive

Depending on each ship’s individual schedule and departure dates, most Halloween cruises will begin as early as September 28 or as late as October 6. Two ships will not start the spooky season until much later, on October 15 and October 23.

“Halloween is indeed a big event and will as usual be celebrating it for most of the month of October,” Heald said. The dates of Halloween festivities beginning throughout the Carnival Fun Ship fleet are as follows:

Thursday, September 28: Elation, Miracle, Paradise, Sunrise, Valor
Friday, September 29: Conquest, Liberty, Pride, Radiance, Venezia
Saturday, September 30: Breeze, Horizon, Legend, Magic, Mardi Gras, Panorama, Sunshine, Vista
Sunday, October 1: Celebration, Dream, Glory, Splendor
Friday, October 6: Spirit

The remaining two Carnival cruise ships, Carnival Luminosa and Carnival Freedom, are on longer sailings and will not embrace the Halloween holiday spirit quite as early.

Carnival Luminosa will be sailing her 30-night transpacific cruise as she repositions from Alaska to Australia in September, which departs Seattle on September 14, 2023. Because of that long sailing, the ship will not be decorated for Halloween until her first sailing from Brisbane, on October 15.

Carnival Luminosa Cruise Ship (Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line)

Similarly, Carnival Freedom has a pair of special transatlantic sailings in late September and early October as she goes into a brief dry dock, when the ship is expected to replace the funnel that was damaged in a fire in May 2022. The two voyages between Port Canaveral and Barcelona are from September 21 to October 4 (eastbound) and then from October 23 to November 6 (westbound).

Because of the dry dock, Carnival Freedom will not show her Halloween spirit until October 23, and the decorations will likely be in place for just the single transatlantic voyage as the ship returns to Port Canaveral after dry dock.

The seasonal Halloween cruises are filled with special decorations, activities, and more, making these once-a-year cruises a unique experience even for frequent travelers.

Especially popular are costume parties and contests, and guests are encouraged to dress in their Halloween finest for the event.

“There will be Halloween events such as trick or treating with the Camp Ocean staff, a decoration ship of course, and a wonderful costume party each cruise so please do bring your costumes,” explained Heald.

Halloween Door Decoration (Photo Credit: Ihor Koptilin / Shutterstock)

Each ship will also show horror movies and other Halloween favorites on each ship’s poolside screen or in a lounge, depending on the ship’s facilities and local weather.

Special treats are also likely to be on the menu, and other themed activities may be part of the schedule. Halloween-themed trivia contests, music and dance parties with popular Halloween tunes, or spooky craft projects could all be part of seasonal activities on different ships.

Many guests will also decorate their stateroom doors with Halloween themes, but should take care that all decorations are suitable and will not damage the doors with adhesives or holes.

Have you celebrated Halloween on a cruise ship? Share your seasonal spooky tips on the Cruise Hive boards!

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