Whether you’re cruising with toddlers or teens – and all age groups in between – there’s a smorgasbord of activities for kids on board Carnival’s fun ships.
And it’s not just about kids – there are plenty of games for the whole family to play. Heading up to the top of the ship, you’ll find a nine-hole mini-golf course, a sports court for basketball, a jogging track, SplashZone and the famous Green Thunder waterslide – just follow the sound of excited screams. Carnival’s Twister Waterslide™ is not so scary. A couple of decks down are two swimming pools, plus one for adults only in the Serenity retreat.
Indoor family-friendly entertainment includes Hasbro, The Game Show (live, onstage, competitive and fast), a Dr. Seuss character parade known as Seuss-a-Palooza, Green Eggs and Ham Breakfasts with Cat in the Hat and Friends, Build-A-Bear (launching in late 2016 on Carnival Legend and 2017 on Carnival Spirit) and towel animal workshops, evening stage shows and a video arcade.
Kids-only activities are organised into different age groups and run by energetic “counsellors” who have training and experience in childcare or education. Here’s an overview of what’s on offer.
Camp Ocean: ages 2 to 11
The space on Deck 5 is divided into activities for three age groups: two to five, six to eight and nine to 11. Camp Ocean age groups called Penguins, Stingrays and Sharks.
For the youngest cruisers there are arts and crafts, lots of toys, games, a play igloo and sing-alongs. The six- to eight-year-olds might design an aquarium, play ocean-themed memory games and learn spin art; the nine- to 11-year-olds can join scavenger hunts, and have their own pool parties.
There are three three-hour sessions on sea days, starting at 10am, and kids have their own menus for lunch or dinner. On port days, supervised free play starts when the ship arrives and goes on until about 2pm; scheduled activities resume at 2pm until 10pm.
Circle “C”: ages 12 to 14
Young teens have their own hangout on Deck 4, next door to the video arcade. The “C” stands for “chill”, “connect” and “cool” and this is the spot where 12- to 14-year-olds can get together for movies, do sporty stuff around the ship, go swimming, play video games and have dance parties in the evenings. Counsellors supervise without spoiling the fun.
Club O2: ages 15 to 17
Up on Deck 10, the older teens can kick back in Club O2 and watch movies, listen to their sort of music, play sports and video games, or join karaoke jam sessions. There is a dance area and a bar serving mocktails and other non-alcoholic drinks; around the ship, teens can go to pool parties, wallow in hot tubs and play organised sports. They can even go on teens-only shore excursions with new-found friends.
Night Owls: ages 1 to 11
So mum and dad can go “out” in the evening, the Night Owls* program offers group child-minding and activities for kids aged one to 11. It’s available every night from 10pm until 1am.