Carnival’s eighth and final Fantasy-class ship, 2,124-guest Carnival Paradise, was built in 1998. Its public areas pay homage to vessels of years past, including the Blue Riband Library, in honor of the world’s fastest transatlantic ocean liner, and the Queen Mary Lounge, for the flagship of the British Cunard Line. There’s also the Rex nightclub, named after the elegant Italian ship, and the Normandie main show lounge, in recognition of the first ship longer than 1,000 feet.
These details may be surprising since Carnival's ships are known more for the party on board than for classic elegance. This goes to show how much the line has changed in the more than two decades since Carnival Paradise debuted. The ship has gone through several renovations, including an extensive refit in 2012 that added the Serenity adults-only area and the Punchliner comedy club. A refurbishment in 2018 added a WaterWorks aqua park with three waterslides and popular poolside casual eateries Guy's Burger Joint and BlueIguana Cantina as well as the BlueIguana Tequila Bar and the RedFrog Pub. In late 2023, the Serenity retreat area was again enhanced, as was the casino and the piano bar.