Our kids'/grandkids ages for cruising have ranged from 3 y.o. to 16 y.o. Our kids have loved every minute of Camp Carnival. I haven't noticed much difference in the CC experience from ship to ship. The playroom my or may not be physically smaller on the smaller ships, but I never seemed to notice that. For the 2-5 y.o. group, they are mainly confined to the CC playroom. They may venture out for a holiday show, and for lunch and dinner, but for the most part they're in the playroom where the activities change up every 30 minutes. There are a couple of days where they have family story time or some other kind of family activity. The older age groups at CC get to have activites in different locations around the ship. CC is a life saver!
We were on the Valor with my 2 children this past Oct. THey were 3 and 7 at the time. After the first night, I could not tear them away! I thought the counselors were excellent. My oldest thought the program was a lot more fun than on her last cruise (2/07, RCI Jewel) I also thought the program was better run as well.
Triumph didn't get a lot of votes but I can tell you they must do their job and the CC facilities are secure. We have an almost three-year old granddaughter that we're taking in October and we checked out the facilities on Triumph - just wonderful. Triumph's CC was like Fort Knox to even get a glance at....
Theresa and Dave
"Tragedy plus time equals humor. You'll end up laughing about it later."
I just wanted to throw in my two cents here, since I'm experienced at cruising with a preschooler.
Carnival is AMAZING. We've been on 3 cruises with our girls. My oldest daughter was 3 on her first cruise, and we just returned in February from an 8 day Mexico Riviera trip on the Spirit with our 3 year old younger daughter..
Each time we've gone.. The crew is always so friendly to the children.. everywhere we go. In the hallways.. on the Lido deck dining room.. and the Camp Carnival counselors are amazing. Our cabin steward on the Spirit even left an extra special souvenir for the girls - some small currency from his country!!! My girls LOVE Camp Carnival, and cry each time I come to pick them back up. They've instituted a new "educational" program for all age groups.. and the kids did science projects (made a volcano and blew it up), had music class (my 3 year old was rambling on about how she liked the violin music), and did "gym" classes (dodge ball in the disco!). I was pleased at the variety of things offered.. and didn't feel one bit like I was "dumping them" in a playroom.
Whichever ship you choose will be an incredible experience for your child..
Carnival Miracle to Aruba/Curacao/Dom.Rep/Grand Turk - 3/11
Carnival Miracle to Panama/Belize/Costa Rica-1/10
Carnival Sensation to Bahamas - 8/08
Carnival Spirit to Acapulco/Zijuantenejo/Manzanillo- 2/08
Carnival Miracle to Bermuda/Newport,RI - 4/07
Carnival Legend to Jamaica/Grand Cayman- 4/04
Carnival Imagination to Barbados/Martinique/St.Maarten- 2/03
Carnival Victory to San Juan/St. Thomas/St.Croix- 2/01
This is our first cruise, my 2 kids ages 16 and 5 are going with us. My 16 year old is almost to cool for us so we thought it would be a great family vacation, maybe our last with the oldest. However, my husband is already planning our 2nd cruise and that will be with out them. All he can think about is hanging on our balcony in just our robes and ordering drinks from room service.
We get 2 rooms; the kids are either next door or across the hall. The 13 y.o and 16 y.o. are pretty self-sufficient on the ship, having to check in with usevry so often and the 5 y.o. wakes up trying to hurry to CC. There's plenty of 'us' time.