Carnival Cruise Lines has launched a fun new photo contest designed to tie in with the US arrival of the recently transformed Carnival Sunshine. The Vacation Anticipation Contest invites travellers to submit a photo of their (or their pet’s) most “vacation ready look” via social media. Four grand prize winners will receive a free cruise for four aboard Carnival Sunshine following its US debut next month in New Orleans.

Through Oct. 31, fans can submit their best vacation-ready photos — whether it’s them in their straw hat and Hawaiian shirt or their pet with food bowl and treats packed — to Instagram, Twitter or via the simple upload tool on the Vacation Anticipation web site ( using the dedicated hashtag for each of the following categories:

!!! #SunshineReadyKids — Let little ones demonstrate their best cruise vacation look.

!!! #SunshineReadyDuos — Couples, ‘besties’ and other duos — show us you’re ready for a warm-weather retreat.

!!! #SunshineReadyFamilies — Whether you’re a family or a group of friends, let us see how excited you are to get on board with your favorite traveling companions.

!!! #SunshineReadyPets — Pets may not be able to join the cruise, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get in on the fun.

From Nov. 1-5, consumers can vote for their favourite photos in each category at once per day, and encourage others to participate by sharing contest entries on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The 10 photos in each category with the most votes will become contest finalists to be judged by Carnival Cruise Lines based on originality, creative spirit and effectiveness in depicting “vacation ready.” Carnival will announce the grand prize winner in each category on Nov. 18. Those receiving the second and third most votes in each category will receive gift cards in the amount of $100 and $50, respectively.

Carnival Sunshine, which arrives in New Orleans Nov. 17, received an unprecedented $155 million, 75-day transformation. The total makeover incorporated all of the line’s “Fun Ship 2.0” dining, bar and entertainment features, as well as a variety of exciting innovations unique to the vessel such as the stunning three-deck-high Serenity adults-only retreat. Following a transatlantic crossing from Europe, Sunshine will arrive to its US homeport of New Orleans and offer seven-day cruises to the Bahamas and Western Caribbean from the Big Easy and then begin sailing from Port Canaveral, Fla., beginning April 2014.