Hello, I wanted to ask if anyone has had any experience with the Celebration's Camp Carnival team? If not, Is there another 3-4 day ship leaving out of Florida that really helped made your family cruise great because of the Camp Carnival team.
We are looking at booking a cruise on the MSS Celebration this summer with our five children. They vary in ages from 7-12 and I want to find the right ship so that they can enjoy their first cruising experience to the best of their abilities. Any ideas?
I would try to go for the Fantasy or Fascination, both have teen only clubs called Club O2. So far Club O2 is not installed on the Celebration. Fantasy and Fascination are a year or two newer and the ships themselves seem a huge differance compared to Celebration.
We were just on the Legend a week ago and they as well had the O2 club - plenty of things to do for kids - Camp Carnival is wonderful. We've been on the Glory and the Legend. Triumph also has good programs. Our kids are 11 and 3 - never at all dissappointed.
We really had a terrific cruise not quite 2 years ago on the Celebration (it was March of '04, our spring break). Best and most attentive wait staff of the cruises we've been on! But I would say that the Camp Carnival on this particular ship was not stellar at that time. Don't know if this is still the case....things may have changed for the better in the time since we were onboard. My kids were 13, 10, & 6 at the time.
The camp facilities for my youngest was a really small room. There wasn't really a location for Camp Carnival for my other 2 kids~~~they just had activities scheduled in different parts of the ship. These were always outlined in the daily Capers, so they were easily found. I would say they had a pretty poor (non-existant) teen program (no teen area). If not very many kids were interested in what the Capers had listed, the counselors just let the activities sort of fall apart. Because of this, often times my 13 year old would join my 10 year olds' group (for ages 10-12) for something to do. Not quite as much fun for her as I had hoped. Anyway, it really was a terrific cruise but you should know that, at least when we cruised, the Camp Carnival on this ship did not compare favorably to the ones on the bigger ships that were designed with family cruising in mind.
Disney Magic 2003
Carnival Celebration 2004
Carnival Elation 2004
I should have added this in my post above because I only meant that Camp Carnival on the smaller ship, Celebration, was lacking in comparison to some other Carnival ships and not that Camp Carnival in general is lacking. I understand from more experienced cruisers than myself that the older ships weren't built with so much focus on families cruising and because of this there was not much focus on the actual kids facilities. In general, I think Camp Carnival is right up there being great!
Camp Carnival on the Elation was GREAT. My kids were just 5 months older when we were on the Elation, so the differences between our experiences weren't really age-related or developmental so much as they were ship-related (I believe). The Elation had much larger physical space with many more "things" to do there for my youngest. Plus there were physical spaces devoted to the older kids as well (they had their own "disco" or teen hang out that was used for different age groups at different times of day). Plus every evening one of the large lounges was devoted entirely to family karaoke until 10 or 11 PM (then changed to adults only). My kids had so much fun there! And the ships video arcade (an important feature for my middle kid who happens to be a boy with a passion for these games) on Elation was bigger with more choices than on Celebration. But hey, at least they did have one on the Celebration! It's tucked into the back of one of the discos. This is the same disco that is used by the kids for other activiities until it gets later and closes to the younger crowd. (or at least that was the case when we were onboard).
So, I guess I'm saying that the Celebration is a great ship and the Camp Carnival on it is ok if you're kids haven't been on a newer/larger ship that has great kids/teens facilities. But if they have, then the Celebration will likely come up lacking in comparison. On a short cruise, it may not matter quite as much because of fewer "at sea" days and in general less time to explore everthing. We were on board for a 5 day cruise and really, really, really did enjoy ourselves. One other thing: movement was noticed quite a bit more on this ship~~~whether it was because of time of year, the smallness of this ship, or just the seas on that particular week, we don't know. But everywhere on the ship we felt the movement more than on the other 2 cruises we have been on. It didn't make us sick or anything, just that we noticed it and had to pay closer attention to walking around, etc. while on board.