Carnival Cruise Line Opens Bookings for Celebration Key

Carnival Cruise Line has officially opened bookings for their new private island coming to the Caribbean in 2025! The cruise line’s private island aspirations on Grand Bahama were first announced all the way back on May 3, 2017 when it was announced that Carnival Cruise Line and the Bahamian government signed an agreement for the construction of a new cruise port facility in East Grand Bahama.(1) At the time, it was to be the “largest purpose-built cruise facility ever constructed in the Bahamas.”

While details were sparse, the Caribbean Journal shared the fact that the facility would feature a one-mile stretch of beach, food, beverage, shopping, water sports, and other recreational facilities.(2) All these years, and a pandemic later, and these are still key components of the project.

Fun fact: This cruise news came nearly a year before Royal Caribbean announced it would be investing $200 million to transform its own private island CocoCay in 2018!(3)

Private Island Moves Locations

Image Courtesy Carnival Grand Port

While Celebration Key was to originally be built on East Grand Bahama, it was determined that the location proposed a lot of challenges. “The amount of dredging that would have needed to take place made the site neither cost effective, nor environmentally sensitive,” according to the project’s FAQs.(4) Additionally, the Eastern part of Grand Bahama was much farther from the main population center creating more challenges for locals to be part of the project. Hence, plans for the island moved South!

The project website answers dozens of additional questions, everything ranging from environmental impact to entrepreneurial FAQs.

Celebration Key Name Reveal

Image Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line

On August 28, 2023, Carnival announced the name of the the new port as Celebration Key (complete with trademark symbol).(5) At the time of the announcement, the cruise line shared that itineraries would open late September for booking.

According to Carnival, the “name is based on the vision for the destination to be a celebration of all that Carnival and The Bahamas has to offer…” and would support up to two of the line’s Excel-class ships.

Then, on September 20, Carnival Cruise Line invited fans and passengers to sign up for additional information about Celebration Key. In the week that the invite was live, thousands of people signed up for alerts!

Bookings Officially Open

After making cruisers wait just over a week, Carnival announced that bookings are now open for itineraries that included Celebration Key! On September 28, 2023, Carnival Cruise Line shared over 400 different options to visit the newest destination across 12 ships in the fleet. Currently, ships from 8 different Carnival homeports will make a stop at the private island beginning July, 2025 – so you’ll have plenty of ways to get there!

Carnival also shares that an additional 6 ships and 100 itineraries will be added in the near future.

Check out our quick thoughts and update on Celebration Key and let us know what you’re most excited about with Carnival’s new private destination in the Bahamas!


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