lots of questions! taking all 5 kids on first cruise!
We are booked on the Celabration April 8th out of Jacksonville. My husband and I curised on the Sensation a few years ago and we thought it would be fun trip for the kids. We choose the Celabration because of the port location (driving from ohio with a van full! need we say more!), also the price was right. After reading some posts about the ship we were pleased there are so many with positive things to say! I am a little worried that the ship does not have a teen lounge. Where besides the pool and game room can the teens (BOYS AGES 13 and 14) hang out with out being exposed to possible SPRING BREAK FEVER! Will the camp carnival have evening activities for their age group? Can they bring their ball gloves to pass baseball. Does camp carnival keep the younger kids ages 9,8 and 5 inside the playroom durning their stay or do they get outside? Can the family hang out at the kids pool ? Is the kids pool near the playroom?Should we bring water toys, jump ropes, ect? What are your thoughts about excursions? We dont want to miss out on any really neat experiences but the Atlantis trip could cost $350 is it worth it? Any other ideas? Anyone out there with a big family who has any advice we are all ears. We are all sooooo excited, and the kids really have no idea how cool this cruise will be !!!!!! Oh one more thing, is there any way to find out how many kids will be onboard? We are hoping it will more of a family cruise and not a crazy spring break free for all. THANKS1
On April 8th there will probably be a LOT of spring breakers.
The kid's pool is aft and one deck up from the playroom (also aft). I don't know of any reason the family couldn't hang out at the kid's pool, expect that it looks like a pretty small area. I don't think there's room for water toys in any of the pools!
I don't know if there will be enough room for the kids to toss a baseball or jump rope unless they find a small area with no traffic.
I'd love to see you post a review when you get back. I'm sure it would help others "cruising with kids".
I hope you all have a wonderful cruise!
"A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour."
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We've cruised with our four kids and they've always had a great time. My teens tend to hang out at the pool for most of the day on the sea days. They usually end up finding kids their age and end up hanging out with them. Camp Carnival does run activities up until about 11-12 pm. There are later night activities but you have to pay extra for them.
We bring 5 mile range walkie talkies to keep track of the older kids. They have to check in every hour by walkie talkie and every two hours in person. Be careful of the video arcade! It costs about a $1 a game and it can really add up fast.
In Nassau we just walked through Atlantis and then used the beach out back. My husband rented a couple of wave runners and the kids had a ball. As I recall it was about $50/hour.
Hope this helps.
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We took a cruise last year and took all 6 of our children, plus my elderly mother! The ages were from 5-18, with 5 boys and one girl.
Mine never went to camp carnival. They just really weren't into going to "daycare". But they found plenty to do around the ship. Between in and out of the pools, going to get another piece of pizza or some ice cream, and checking out who was in the video arcade, they kept busy. The teens located others near their age, and the younger ones really didn't care. They had each other and my dh and I.
They still had some quiet time in the afternoon. For about an hour or so, they were happy letting us older people get a little rest, and they stayed in the cabins, playing their gameboys or coloring. Then they started back up!
We had 3 cabins, but kept an adult in each one. My mother was with my 18yo. I had 3 in my room and my dh had the last 2.
If you go to Atlantis, just take the ferry at the dock or take a cab. We like the ferry ride which only takes about 10 minutes and then about a ten minute walk to Atlantis. I don't know the charge for an excursion there or what that includes.
We sailed Celebration last April out of Jacksonville. And yes, it was a great price that we could not pass up. We sailed with 3 families (kids ranged in age from 10-17).
The younger two (girls aged 10) did many of the camp programs-from cookie/cake decorating to the late night party (and stayed up until 3:30a). They participated in scavenger hunts as well as contests and pool parties.
The next group (boys 11-14) participated in the teen dances (which were broken down by age groups 12-15 at one time and 16+ at another), some did the arcade and others did the ping pong and 3 on 3 basketbll tournaments. We felt that the camp program for this group could have used a little help.
The teen group (16+) had dance parties as well as scavenger hunts and contests where participants had to find various clothing items and put them on and the 1st team back won. This group also participated in the line dances at the deck party the night we were in Nassau.
As for shore excursions, we visited Key West and Nassau. Key West we did on our own. Some visited the tall ships and museum (I think it was a pirate museum) while we just walked around and visited shops and had lunch at Sloppy Joes (really cool spot and for 2 months prior we visited their web page and web cam after 9:30p to watch the band warm up). Great food and awesome drinks.
One tip for you is that Key West was not real family friendly. Lots of rather adult advertising. They do have trolly rides that will take you out to the furthest point for pictures. Supposed to be great photo spot - especially at sunset.
Nassau we had from 11a until midnight to visit. We got off the ship with the intent of visiting on our own. Once outside the pier many of the locals will try to sell you a tour. We decided that since there was 8 of us we would do it. The gentleman (Gladstone) was awesome. Took us on a 2 1/2 hour tour and then back to the pier where he introduced us to a relative who was braiding hair.
On our tour he showed us the hospitals, schools, rich sections of town as well as the poor areas. He took us to the water tower, the Queens Staircase and then out to Atlantis. At Atlantis he walked us around, showed us the inside part of the aquarium, walked some of the grounds and the big chair (where we all had our pictures taken). He was awesome and loved teaching the kids about his lands. He charged us $15 for the adults and $10 for the kids and we felt it was worth it.
Our daughter had her hair braided (the whole head and it was very long) for $50. It took 1 1/2 hours. We then visited the public beach that was down the road a ways. Was a little bit of a walk (suggest comfy shoes) and then did dinner at Senor Frogs.
Hope this helps with your plans.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me directly.
Have fun planning and enjoy your trip.
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Would love to hear more from you! I'm going on the Conquest with 5 kids 9mo - 10yrs we too are not intrested in the camp carnival could you please give me suggestions on ship activities outside the "daycare" and any suggestions for "must haves" to survive would be great!!
Momx5..........My boys have been on 3 Carnival Cruises, starting at ages 11 and 13 (our last cruise they were 15 and 17). They loved Camp Carnival! It is much more than daycare. There will be a lot of activities you can do as a family on the ship, but don't count out Camp Carnival until you and your kids give it a try. On the first night, there will be a meeting/sign-up and you will get a schedule of activities for each age group. You can go through the schedule with them and highlight the activities they want to participate in. They don't have to go to every activity or stay for longer than they wish. They will also meet friends that way.