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Carnival Cruise Line Waterslides – Everything You Need to Know (2024)

Carnival Cruise Line Waterslides – Everything You Need to Know (2024)

Carnival’s waterslides are a popular activity for kids and adults alike. Here’s what you need to know about Carnival cruise ship waterslides.

If having the best waterslides on your Carnival cruise ship will make or break your vacation (or your kids’ hearts), you’ve come to the right place!

Even if you’ve cruised on another Carnival cruise ship with a waterslide, it’s not a guarantee your next ship will feature the same slides.

In this post, I detail exactly which waterslides are offered on which Carnival ships—plus what each slide is like, who can ride them (most slides have both height and weight restrictions), and what Carnival’s safety rules are for waterslide fun.

Ready to slide? Let’s go!

A quick history of Carnival Cruise Line’s waterslides

Although waterslides are common on many of today’s large cruise ships, it wasn’t too long ago that a cruise ship waterslide was unheard of!

In 1978, Carnival was the first cruise line to offer a waterslide aboard one of its ships. The single tiny slide on the 728-passenger Festivale, akin to something you’d see at a backyard pool, required guests to climb just eleven steps to reach its top.

Twelve years later, the new Fantasy ship (later renamed Carnival Fantasy) debuted with a full-size waterslide—the world’s first significant waterslide on a cruise ship.

The slide aboard Fantasy, launched in 1990, was the world’s first significant cruise ship waterslide (cropped Image courtesy of Herkie via Wikimedia Commons)

You might know that cruise ships have godparents, but did you know that in 2009, nine-year-old Hailee Steberger became the cruise industry’s first waterslide godchild? She inaugurated the Twister slide aboard Carnival Dream, then the cruise line’s largest ship.

Hailee was selected from over 500 contest entrants who created drawings and essays focused on their favorite dreams.

Related: Cruise Sweepstakes You Can Enter to Win a Free Cruise!

Carnival’s waterslides today

Today, all but one ship in Carnival’s fleet features at least one full-size waterslide, and many have two or three! Most ships also offer mini slides for little cruisers.

Carnival Luminosa, a former Costa ship, is the only Carnival ship without a single waterslide on board. The Luminosa spends much of the year in the cooler climate of Alaska, where outdoor slides typically don’t get much use.

Carnival’s fleet features sixteen types of waterslides, each with its own unique personality. Cruisers can find Carnival’s waterslides on the upper decks of each ship, most often as part of the WaterWorks onboard water park.


Carnival’s signature bright-yellow Twister waterslide is offered on almost every ship in the fleet. The spiral slide is a bit different on each ship class, with a range of slide lengths from 212 to 341 feet.

Carnival’s signature bright-yellow Twister waterslide (shown here on Carnival Pride) is offered on almost every ship in the fleet

On many Carnival ships, Twister is an enclosed spiral slide. However, on some older ships, the waterslide features an open design.

The only Carnival ships without a Twister waterslide are Carnival Panorama* and Carnival Luminosa.

*Both Carnival’s website and related marketing materials claim that Panorama has a Twister slide. However (I’ve sailed on Panorama) the ship doesn’t offer this slide.

Blue Lightning

If you’re sailing on one of Carnival’s Excel-class ships (Mardi Gras, Celebration, or Jubilee), you’ll have the chance to experience the cruise line’s new Blue Lightning waterslide.

The Blue Lightning waterslide is found only on Carnival’s Excel-class ships

The 312-foot-long tube slide is a thrilling face-forward ride. Sliders zip through the enclosed slide on a mat, so don’t forget to pick up your mat at the base of the stairs before you climb up to access the slide!

Orange Thunder

Another Excel-class exclusive waterslide, Orange Thunder is a 229-foot dropdown slide found on Mardi Gras, Celebration, and Jubilee.

Thrill-seekers start by entering the slide’s rocket-shaped pod, then the floor drops out sending riders down the tube to the splash pool below.

I was originally just going to include a photo of Orange Thunder, but I found this excellent 33-second YouTube video that perfectly captures the entire experience. Click on the embedded video to experience this ride from floor drop to splashdown!

This 33-second video by YouTuber Brian Reutell perfectly captures the Orange Thunder experience


Only on Carnival Vista, Kaleid-O-Slide is a 455-foot waterslide with kaleidoscopic visual effects. Riders grab an inner tube and experience the enclosed first half of the slide (with unique multi-colored lights) before the slide opens up for some twists and turns before splashdown.

Kaleid-O-Slide on Carnival Vista is a 455-foot waterslide with kaleidoscopic visual effects (image courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

Carnival also advertises this slide for its Panorama sailings, but (I promise you!) that ship doesn’t have it. But Panorama does have some excellent waterslides—keep reading to find out about them!

The Cat’s Hat Slide

Only offered on Carnival Horizon, The Cat’s Hat is a Cat in the Hat-themed waterslide located in the Dr. Seuss WaterWorks aqua park. You’ll hop on an inner tube to ride this fairly tame 455-foot waterslide to the bottom.

Carnival Horizon is the only ship to offer the Seuss-themed Cat’s Hat Slide (image courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

The 455-foot red and white tube slide is fully enclosed for the first half of the ride, then opens up to give you a peek at the sun before depositing you into the splash zone.

Fun Things Slide

Another Seuss-themed slide unique to the Horizon, Fun Things is named after the iconic characters Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Also unique to the Horizon, Fun Things is named after the iconic characters Thing 1 and Thing 2 (image courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

This blue-and-white enclosed spiral slide is just 300 feet long but will give you a faster, more thrilling experience.

Speedway Splash Racing Slides

Only found on Carnival Sunshine, the dual Speedway Splash Racing Slides sport a racing theme that will fuel your need for speed!

Carnival Sunshine‘s Speedway Splash Racing Slides were added during Carnival’s Fun Ship 2.0 renovations (image courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

Added as part of Carnival’s Fun Ship 2.0 renovations, each 235-foot fully-enclosed slide—one green and one blue—features racing flag motifs and flashing lights. Challenge a friend and see who’s the winner on the electronic screen at the bottom!


Only on Dream-class ships (Carnival Breeze, Dream, and Magic), DrainPipe is an enclosed tube slide with a remarkable feature. After shooting through the slide’s twists and turns, riders are launched into a huge water-filled bowl for a final spin before exiting.

The DrainPipe waterslide—shown here on Carnival Breeze—features a unique funnel-style design (image courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

At just 104 feet long, DrainPipe is one of Carnival’s shorter waterslides. But you can definitely pick up some serious speed before you reach the bowl at the slide’s end!


The 203-foot enclosed tube slide fittingly named AquaTunnel can be found on five Carnival ships: Freedom, Glory, Radiance, Sunrise, and Venezia. The slide will also be featured on the Carnival Firenze, coming in April 2024.

The AquaTunnel waterslide aboard Carnival Glory (image courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

This classic tunnel-style waterslide features a translucent tube that lets in sunlight, perfect for those who might be a little nervous about taking the plunge!

Green Thunder

Found only on Carnival’s Spirit-class ships (Legend, Miracle, Pride, and Spirit), the Green Thunder waterslide is a seriously thrilling attraction.

Similar to the Orange Thunder slides on Excel-class ships, this waterslide also begins with a floor drop—it’s not for the faint of heart!

The Green Thunder waterslide on Carnival Spirit (image courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

A ride on this 187-foot slide starts with a 34’ long drop leading into a single 360° turn, so you can pick up some serious speed!

Green Lightning

Unique to Carnival Splendor, Green Lightning is like a combination of the Green Thunder waterslide and DrainPipe! With a floor drop leading into a freefall-style 37′ drop, riders then zoom into a slingshot curve and finish in a swirling bowl of H20.

The Green Lightning waterslide is unique to Carnival Splendor

Splendor is an older (and rather quirky) Carnival ship, so it’s not surprising that she boasts such an extraordinary waterslide!

Related: Carnival Splendor Food – Everything I Ate on My Cruise

Red Fun and Blue Fun

Carnival Panorama offers a pair of waterslides not found on any other ship in the fleet. Perhaps keeping with the Dr. Seuss theme (though the ship doesn’t have a completely Seussified WaterWorks splash park like Carnival Horizon), Panorama offers Red Fun and Blue Fun.

The Red Fun and Blue Fun waterslides are unique to Carnival Panorama

As I mentioned earlier, Carnival’s website states (in several places) that Panorama offers Twister and Kaleid-O-Slide, but I can assure you they don’t exist on this ship. I’ve done both full-size waterslides on the Panorama, and they’re absolutely unique to this vessel. True to their names, they’re both super-fun!

The Blue Fun waterslide is a translucent, enclosed tube, while Red Fun starts out enclosed, then opens up to a halfpipe style for the second half of the ride. You’ll need to grab an inner tube to slide on Red Fun, while for Blue Fun you can climb right in.

Gondola Glide

Carnival’s new Gondola Glide waterslide can only be found aboard the brand’s “Fun Italian Style” ships: Carnival Venezia and Carnival Firenze (two of the three ships that the cruise line brought over from its sister line Costa).

Carnival’s Gondola Glide waterslide is only on the brand’s “Fun Italian Style” ships (pictured here on Carnival Venezia)

The new slides feature a bowl at the end—similar to the DrainPipe slides—painted in a blue-and-yellow pattern to echo the Venetian-themed canal poles you’ll find decorating the WaterWorks splash areas on these ships.

Racing Slides

Several Carnival ships, including Dream, Elation, and Paradise also offer 82’ long double-lane racing water slides. While not as intense as the Speedway Splash Racing Slides found on Carnival Sunshine, these shorter open slides offer a fun way to battle friends for the title of fastest slider.

Former Carnival CEO Gerry Cahill and Brand Ambassador John Heald race aboard Carnival Dream in 2009 (image courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

Mini Racer Slides

Do you have a thrill-seeking little one who’s just not tall enough for the big waterslides? Most Carnival ships offer Mini Racer Slides. You can check out the charts I’ve included below to see if your ship features Mini Racers.

The Mini Racer Slides (shown here on Carnival Pride) are a fun option for little cruisers

These side-by-side kiddie waterslides offer the opportunity to race a friend or sibling to the bottom, or just the chance to have some “big kid” fun in the onboard water park. I’ve listed all the minimum heights to ride on Carnival’s full-size waterslides later in this article.

Related: Cruising with Kids: 19 Essential Tips for Family Cruises

Carnival’s waterslides by ship

  • Carnival Breeze: Twister, DrainPipe, Mini Racers
  • Carnival Celebration: Twister, Blue Lightning, Orange Thunder, Mini Racers
  • Carnival Conquest: Twister
  • Carnival Dream: Twister, DrainPipe, Racing Slides, Mini Racers
  • Carnival Elation: Twister, Racing Slides, Mini Racers
  • Carnival Freedom: Twister, AquaTunnel, Mini Racers
  • Carnival Glory: Twister, AquaTunnel, Mini Racers
  • Carnival Horizon: Twister, The Cat’s Hat, Fun Things, Mini Racers
  • Carnival Jubilee: Twister, Blue Lightning, Orange Thunder, Mini Racers
  • Carnival Legend: Twister, Green Thunder, Mini Racers
  • Carnival Liberty: Twister
  • Carnival Luminosa: No waterslides
  • Carnival Magic: Twister, DrainPipe, Mini Racers
  • Mardi Gras: Twister, Blue Lightning, Orange Thunder, Mini Racers
  • Carnival Miracle: Twister, Green Thunder, Mini Racers
  • Carnival Panorama: Red Fun, Blue Fun, Mini Racers
  • Carnival Paradise: Twister, Racing Slides, Mini Racers
  • Carnival Pride: Twister, Green Thunder
  • Carnival Radiance: Twister, AquaTunnel, Mini Racers
  • Carnival Spirit: Twister, Green Thunder, Mini Racers
  • Carnival Splendor: Twister, Green Lightning, Mini Racers
  • Carnival Sunrise: Twister, AquaTunnel, Mini Racers
  • Carnival Sunshine: Twister, Speedway Splash, Mini Racers
  • Carnival Valor: Twister
  • Carnival Venezia: Twister, AquaTunnel, Gondola Glide
  • Carnival Vista: Twister, Kaleid-O-Slide, Mini Racers

Carnival Cruise Line waterslides at-a-glance

  • Twister = TW
  • Blue Lightning = BL
  • Orange Thunder = OT
  • Kaleid-O-Slide = KS
  • The Cat’s Hat = CH
  • Fun Things = FT
  • Speedway Splash Racing Slides = SS
  • DrainPipe = DP
  • AquaTunnel = AT
  • Green Thunder = GT
  • Green Lightning = GL
  • Red Fun = RF
  • Blue Fun = BF
  • Gondola Glide = GG
  • Racing Slides = RS
  • Mini Racer Slides = MR

(The table below has a lot of info, so it’s easiest to view on desktop or a tablet. If you’re on mobile, just turn your phone sideways to make it easier to read.)

Mardi Gras

Waterslides on future Carnival ships

As of the last update, these are the upcoming Carnival ships and which waterslides they’ll have:

  • Carnival Firenze (coming April 2024): Twister, AquaTunnel, Gondola Glide

Related: Carnival Cruise Line Releases New Details About Carnival Venezia

As new ships are announced and the company’s plans for new Carnival waterslides become official, I’ll update this post with all the info. Be sure to subscribe for all the latest news!

Height requirements and weight limits for Carnival Cruise Line waterslides:

For safety reasons, Carnival has established minimum heights and maximum weights for cruisers to use their ships’ onboard waterslides. Some of Carnival’s waterslides allow people who are at least 42 inches tall (that’s 3’6″ or 106.68 cm) to ride, while others require riders to be at least 48 inches tall (that’s 4′ or 121.92 cm).

Potential riders who look to be close to the minimum height requirement will need to stand next to the measuring board before getting the OK to ride.

Carnival’s maximum weight for guests looking to use the waterslides also varies by type of slide. The cruise line doesn’t offer any waterslides where passengers over 300 pounds (136.08 kg) are allowed to ride. Five of their waterslide types have a weight cap of 265 pounds (120.2 kg).

You can find the minimum height and maximum weight for each of Carnival’s waterslides in the table below:

WaterslideMin. heightMax. weight
Twister (Sunshine, VistaPanorama)42 in. (107 cm)265 lb. (120.2 kg)
Twister (all other ships)42 in. (107 cm)300 lb. (136.08 kg)
Blue Lightning48 in. (122 cm)300 lb. (136.08 kg)
Orange Thunder48 in. (122 cm)300 lb. (136.08 kg)
Kaleid-O-Slide48 in. (122 cm)265 lb. (120.2 kg)
The Cat’s Hat48 in. (122 cm)265 lb. (120.2 kg)
Fun Things42 in. (107 cm)265 lb. (120.2 kg)
Speedway Splash Racing Slides42 in. (107 cm)265 lb. (120.2 kg)
DrainPipe42 in. (107 cm)300 lb. (136.08 kg)
AquaTunnel42 in. (107 cm)300 lb. (136.08 kg)
Green Thunder48 in. (122 cm)300 lb. (136.08 kg)
Green Lightning48 in. (122 cm)300 lb. (136.08 kg)
Red Fun48 in. (122 cm)265 lb. (120.2 kg)
Blue Fun42 in. (107 cm)300 lb. (136.08 kg)
Gondola Glide51 in (130 cm)300 lb. (136.08 kg)

Hours and rules for Carnival’s waterslides

Carnival’s waterslides are usually open from 9 AM until sunset. Once onboard, check the HUB app for specific hours on your sailing.

General rules of conduct for Carnival’s waterslides

  • No lifeguard on duty
  • Use the pool at your own risk
  • Showers are required prior to use
  • Parents are responsible for their children
  • No children in diapers or who are not toilet-trained
  • Take children on frequent bathroom breaks
  • Watch your step on wet surfaces
  • Use the ladder and handrails to enter and exit the pool
  • Do not use if you are experiencing diarrhea, vomiting, or fever
  • No running, horseplay, jumping, or diving
  • No glass containers, eating or smoking

It’s a good idea to check the regulations for each slide—some have specific rules (for example, don’t uncross your legs, single riders only, or guests with specific health conditions shouldn’t ride).

Carnival Cruise Line waterslides FAQ

Do all Carnival ships have a waterslide?

All Carnival ships except Carnival Luminosa have at least one waterslide.

Are waterslides free on Carnival cruise ships?

Carnival’s waterslides are free of charge to ride.

How tall do you need to be to ride a Carnival cruise ship waterslide?

To use Carnival’s waterslides, riders must be at least 42″ tall (some slides have a 48″ height requirement). Mini Racer Slides for kids don’t have a minimum height.

What is the weight limit on Carnival waterslides?

To use most of Carnival’s waterslides, riders must weigh 300 pounds or less. Some of the cruise line’s slides have a lower maximum weight of 265 pounds.

Are swim diapers allowed on Carnival’s waterslides?

Swim diapers (and children who aren’t toilet trained) are prohibited on Carnival’s waterslides.

When are Carnival’s waterslides open?

Carnival’s waterslides are usually open from 9 AM until sunset. Once onboard, check the HUB app for specific hours on your sailing.

Which do you think is the best Carnival waterslide? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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Carrie Ann Karstunen