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  #1 (permalink)  
Old September 20th, 2001, 03:59 AM
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Default Cruising with Children

We are planning a trip to Mexico (Ecstasy) with our 2 children, ages 3 & 4.

Can anyone tell me what Carnival's children's program is like?? I've heard from someone that it is over crowded and not that great.

Also, how is the pool? Is it heated and useable in November?

We were initially looking into Orlando but decided against Disney World for fear of flying. I'm looking forward (and determined) to having a fun family vacation and would like some advice from those who've cruised with children before.

By the way, we've never cruised before. We would appreciate any and every advice!
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old September 21st, 2001, 06:49 PM
vivincali
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Default Re: Cruising with Children

Hi Jojo,
I will be going on the exact cruise Monday. I will write you and let you know how it went!

I am sooo excited!
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Old September 22nd, 2001, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: Cruising with Children

Carnival has a great kid's program called Camp Carnival. We went Sept. 9th and it wasn't crowded at all (probably because school was in session) I don't think you will experience overcrowding at all tfor the time your cruising. My 4 year old loved it!!!! She asked everyday to go to camp carnival. In fact, now that we are home, she is still asking if she can go to Camp Carnival. Have a great time!
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Old September 22nd, 2001, 08:10 PM
Jamine
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Default Re: Cruising with Children

Our little guy will be two in January, so he hasn't been to Camp Carnival. Most of the comments that I have read and heard from friends have been positive. However, there was a lengthy description of the program (from Carnival) posted on another board, and I thought that the information may be helpful to you (if you haven't seen it already)...

Camp Carnival Program - Scheduled Activities

Camp Carnival is a year-round, fleetwide program that provides daily funfilled and age appropriate activities for children and teenagers between the ages of 2 and 15 years old. In addition, there is supervised "free play" and babysitting service. Scheduled activities are
planned for the following age groups:
Toddlers 2 - 5 years old
Juniors 6 - 8 years old
Intermediate 9 - 12 years old
Teens 13 - 15 years old

Camp Carnival is not a "Day-Care". The program is designed so that families are able to enjoy "quality family time" together, and yet also have the choice of being with peers of their own age, whenever desired.

Guests between the ages of 16-18 years old will be offered an orientation meeting and mixer on the first evening, a Mocktail Party in the disco on the first formal night and a Ping Pong tournament one afternoon during the cruise. The Cruise Staff will conduct this program to enhance this age group's vacation experience.

Facilities -

Fantasy - Ecstasy - Sensation - Fascination - Imagination - Inspiration
2 Playrooms: One is geared toward toddlers
(ages 2-5) and the other for Junior and Intermediates (ages 6-12). These rooms are stocked with a variety of toys, games and puzzles for children of all ages.
Gameroom: video games, arcade games and virtual
reality-based games.
Children's wading pool; Pool with waterslide *

Elation - Paradise
1 Playroom: Children's World has the ability
to be divided into three rooms to accommodate concurrent activities for different age groups and/or interests. These rooms are stocked with a variety of toys, games and puzzles for children of all ages. Also featured are state-of-the-art computers offering the latest educational and entertainment software.
Gameroom: video games, arcade games and virtual reality-based games.
Children's wading pool; Pool with waterslide *

Destiny - Triumph - Victory
1 Playroom: This room is stocked with a variety of toys, games and puzzles for children of all ages.
Gameroom: video games, arcade games and virtual reality-based games.
Children's wading pool; Pool with waterslide *
Outdoor Play Area: featuring jungle gyms and
playground equipment.

Celebration - Jubilee - Holiday - Tropicale
1 Playroom: This room is stocked with a variety of toys, games and puzzles for children of all ages.
Gameroom: video games, arcade games and virtual reality-based games.
Children's wading pool; Pool with waterslide *

There are daily scheduled hours for use of the
waterslides on both sea days and days in port. By order of the Captain, each child must be at least
46" tall and be able to swim in order to use the
slide.

Hours - On sea days, scheduled activities run from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM, for children, ages 2-15. This service is complimentary.

On port days, supervised freeplay runs from port
arrival time until approximately 3:00 PM; scheduled activities then resume at 3:00 PM until 10:00 PM.
This service is for children, ages 2-15 and is
complimentary. Care for infants under the age of 2 on port day mornings, from 8:00 AM to 12:00 noon, will be charged a fee (see "Babysitting").

Every evening, from 10:00 PM to 3:00 AM, we
offer babysitting in the children's playroom for children 12 years and younger. There is a charge for this service (see "Babysitting").

Sign In/Out Policy -

All Toddlers (2-5) and Juniors (6-8) must be signed in at ALL times. The same parent that signs them in must also sign them out.

While most of the activities for the Intermediates (9-12) are supervised, there are times when they are divided into small groups for scavenger hunts and are not accompanied by a counselor. The children may attend whichever activities they choose and are free to come and
go as they please unless otherwise requested by the child's parent or guardian with the Youth Staff on duty.

Meals -
There are no scheduled activities from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM on any day. Children are expected to eat meals with their parents during their scheduled dinner seating. One evening during the cruise, we offer a "Childrens Only Dinner", which enables kids of all ages to dine with Camp Carnival staff members at the informal Lido Restaurant. On cuises of seven days or longer, children dine with the Camp Carnival staff on two evenings.

The children's menus feature a wide variety of kids' favorites, including hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, french fries, pepperoni pizza, peanut butter/jelly sandwiches and banana splits, along with a "daily junior special" offering something new and different each day.
The new menus are included on the back page of a fun coloring/activity book featuring word finds, mazes, tic-tac-toe, crossword puzzles, connect
the dots and other games. Crayons are also provided.

Toddlers -

It is not mandatory for toddlers to be potty-trained in order to avail themselves of the Camp Carnival Program. Parents must provide the youth counselors with diapers and toiletries to be used for their child.

Youth Staff

Currently, our staff consists of approximately
120 youth counselors and youth directors. There are seven youth counselors on board the Jubilee, Tropicale and Celebration. There are nine youth counselors on board the remainder of the fleet year round.

Most of the youth counselors are from the United
States, Canada, England and Peru.

All youth counselors are either college educated
in education, child psychology or youth recreation - OR - have professional experience with children, such as teaching, daycare or camp. The youth staff is professionally trained in CPR; they are able to provide basic first aid for cuts and bruises and are fully aware to contact the parents/guardians as well as the infirmary for any medical emergencies.
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Old September 23rd, 2001, 12:57 AM
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Default Re: Cruising with Children

Thank you all for the responses. Our family is really looking forward to the trip and with the added information, we can't wait to get on this cruise!

Vivincali, have lots of fun on your cruise and keep me posted on how things go.

Thank you all again for reinforcing my decision to go on this cruise with my kids.
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Old September 24th, 2001, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: Cruising with Children

you did not ask my opinion!
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Old September 28th, 2001, 10:02 PM
vivincali
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Default Re: Cruising with Children

Hey JoJo,
We had a FABULOUS time! My 4 year old LOVED Kids Carnival, especially the teacher Rochelle. I would drop him off about 9am, pick him up for lunch, drop him off about 2pm, pick him up for dinner, and if we were not both tired, drop him off about 7pm and pick him up at 830pm.

They had tons of activities (face painting, drawing, treasure hunts, talent shows) to name a few activities.

Do drop them off for your Ensenada stop, as I know my 4 year old doesn't like walking around shopping all day. We both went to Catalina, rented a golf cart, and drove around the island (30 bucks).

The food is a little "warmed" on the Lido deck, and the formal dining is okay. Not fabulous, but not bad.

One other piece of advice, don't rush out when you are debarking. We left the cabin at 700 am, and literally sat around until 10:15. I would have relaxed in the room until about 830 or 900. They call you to debark by the color of your luggage tag, and its announced everywhere, even in the cabins. They make a huge deal about being in a certain area, but it really made no difference.

Thats the only thing I didn't like.

Have fun, and let me know if you have any questions.
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Old September 30th, 2001, 12:34 AM
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Default Re: Cruising with Children

Vivincali! Thank you so much for getting back to me so soon. I've been thinking about you and your little one at work this week -- thinking you guys must have boarded your cruise and the fun you guys must be having.
I'm so glad to hear you two had a great time!

I just can't wait to go on our cruise -- although it's still more than a month away, I keep thinking of the fun we will have. We haven't had a decent vacation in years and we're really looking forward to having fun with the kids!

I do have a few questions -- if you can give me your thoughts on them, I'd be most grateful!

1. How was the embarkation at San Pedro? What would be a good time to get there?

2. Did you try their room service? Because my mate doesn't like to dress up, we're thinking of passing on formal dinner but wanted to try some food from their formal menu. Are room service dining selections limited?

3. Was there any problem with seasickness? Did you take anything for your child for this?

Sorry for bombarding you with questions. I'm searching the web almost every day to get as much info as possible. But nothing can beat getting information from someone who actually travels with their child!
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Old September 30th, 2001, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: Cruising with Children

Jojo,

Hope you don't mind if I jump in here, even if the question wasn't addressed to me. I know the answer to a couple of questions, so I thought I'd interject in case Vicincali didn't check back in...

The room service menu is limited to sandwiches and other casual fare. The menu doesn't change from day to day like the menu in the dining rooms. The "formal food" is not available through room service. However, sometime during your cruise, you MUST try the cookies and brownies from room service. The brownies are heavenly!!!

We usually use Bonine (meclizine) for seasickness. It is a chewable tablet that lasts for 12 hours. There are virtually no side effects, and it works almost instantaneously. My cousin gave it to her 4-year-old, and it worked great. I would definitely check with your pediatrician for information on the proper dosage, and perhaps you should try it before going on the cruise to make sure that there are no side effects. Otherwise, my pediatrician recommended Children's Benadryl for motion sickness. However, it can cause drowsiness.

Hope you have a wonderful cruise!
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Old October 1st, 2001, 07:42 PM
Vivincali
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Default Re: Cruising with Children

Hi jojo,
Jamine is right, the room service is kinda gross (sandwiches and such). You definately have to have the formal food, thats the best food of the trip. The Lido deck has tons of food, but its kinda buffet/warmed a whole lot kinda food. Not bad, but you get sick of it. It did have pretty good breakfast cause you can make your own omelet.

The embarking procedure is pretty harmless, it takes about 30-40 minutes. The kids can run around while one of you does the paperwork stuff. We arrived at 12:30 to start the cruise asap!

My son did not get sea sick at all. I got the patch and stuck that puppy on Monday, as I get very seasick.

Hope that helps!
Vivi
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Old October 1st, 2001, 11:35 PM
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Default Re: Cruising with Children

Thank you both for the information.

My kids have a check-up coming so I will ask the pediatrician for some seasickness medication. I think I'll take some patch for myself too.

And with regards to food, I guess I'll have to tell my husband to bear wearing a suit for dinner. I think he'll throw a fit over this one...Maybe I'll just eat with the kids.

It's so nice to be able to get information from family cruisers at this message board. What would we have done without you!!!

Thanks a bunch!
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Old October 3rd, 2001, 07:41 PM
Vivincali
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Default Re: Cruising with Children

Hi Jojo,
Just one more thing, your hubby only needs to wear a suit for one day. The rest on the days is just casual. They just ask that you don't wear shorts.

Have fun.
Vivi
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Old October 6th, 2001, 10:51 PM
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Default Re: Cruising with Children

Any chance any of you did laundry while on board? Our family of five will probably need either one or two loads done........I plan on packing lightly and wearing some things twice (after washing). Also, how many washers and dryers are in the laundry rooms? Thanks for any replies. Sandy
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