The ship's design is based on the design of Carnival's Conquest-class fleet of ships. Carnival operates only a single vessel in this class, Carnival Splendor, which is marketed as a Splendor-class ship. However, Carnival Splendor is based on the Concordia class. Including Carnival Splendor, there are currently five ships sailing in this class.
However, their design from lido (pool) deck up to the top deck was enlarged and redesigned. The most notable difference is the structure around the main pool. The main pool features a glass exterior on both sides of the ship. A retractable roof was also added for the main pool. Another notable difference is the enlargement of its spa facilities. Each ship has a 21,000-ft2 (2,000-m2) wellness facility. Additional spa cabins were also included into the Concordia class.
Costa Concordiacapsized on January 13, 2012, after running aground shortly off the coast of Tuscany. The ship had departed from Civitavecchia on a seven-day Mediterranean cruise with 3,229 passengers and a crew of 1,023. The grounding caused a 50-metre (160 ft) gash in the hull, flooding the ship and causing the death of 32 people after the ship capsized and partially sank next to the shore. Although the ship sank only partially and next to the shore, its evacuation was chaotic and its captain was subsequently arrested on preliminary charges of multiple manslaughter in connection with not only causing a shipwreck, but also failing to assist 300 passengers and failing to be the last to leave the wreck.
Carnival Splendor experienced a fire in her engine room on November 8, 2010, resulting in a loss of all electrical power and stranding the vessel with almost 4,500 on board.