With a fresh “whale-tail”, new paint job, and other enhancements, another Carnival cruise ship is out of drydock and back at her homeport.

Carnival Freedom has returned to Port Canaveral, Florida after a more than two-week stay at the drydock in Cadiz, Spain.

The Carnival Cruise Line vessel boasts an all-new look with both a new whale tail that is the iconic trademark of Carnival ships, and a new paint job with the red-white-and-blue livery the cruise line has extended to ships in the fleet.

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New Whale Tail

The ship’s makeover included the restoration of its famous whale-tail funnel. A fire in May 2022 severely damaged the original funnel, melting one of the wings.

As a result, the funnel’s wings were removed, and the ship sailed without the signature funnel until this dry dock, which allowed for the full replacement of the wings.

Now the ship has returned to her full glory and boasts a brand new whale tail to fit in with the rest of the fleet.

Carnival Freedom after the fire with the wings of the whale tail no longer attached. (Photo courtesy of Port Canaveral)

Arrival in Port Canaveral

Just after arriving in Port Canaveral after a transatlantic cruise from Barcelona, Spain, Carnival Freedom departed for a 5-night cruise to Grand Turk and Bimini, Bahamas.

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The Conquest-class ship will offer sailings out of Port Canaveral that are 4 and 5 nights in length, with ports of call in Nassau, Half Moon Cay, Amber Cove, and Princess Cays.   The ship is scheduled to remain at the homeport through at least April of 2026

Celebration Key will be on the schedule for Carnival Freedom in 2025, once the Carnival-exclusive destination on Grand Bahama Island is open and ready for cruise traffic.

Carnival Freedom in Barcelona, Spain (Photo credit: Carnival Cruise Line)

New Venues

Among the notable changes and additions during the drydock is the Heroes Tribute Bar & Lounge, a dedicated space to honor and celebrate the contributions of U.S. Armed Forces personnel. Located on Deck 5, midship, on the port side near the Fun Shops in the Millennium Atrium, the Heroes Tribute Bar replaces the former Skybox Sports Bar.

In addition to the Heroes Tribute Bar, Carnival Freedom has also received an expanded casino, a Dreams Studio for professional portraiture, and refreshed public areas.

Some of the regular maintenance was taken care of as well as worn decking was replaced, and guest staterooms were renovated and refreshed.

The timing of the Heroes Tribute Bar’s addition coincides with Veterans Day, a fitting tribute to those who have served our country.

Carnival Cruise Line is further honoring veterans with special tributes aboard six vessels at various homeports. For Port Canaveral, the special Veterans Day tribute event will be held aboard Mardi Gras on Saturday, November 11.

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