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Old August 29th, 2009, 01:15 PM
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Default Cruising Carnival with kids

We are thinking of a family cruise next summer and are wondering how Carnival is with families. I know this use to be the "party" boat, but I had heard that they were gearing more and more towards families. We have 4 kiddos (11, 9, 6, 4) so we know we will need to cabins. Does Carnival have adjoining cabins? Is there a better ship (or class of ships) for kids with kid friendly activities? What about the childcare on the ship? Has this been top-notch? We were considering DCL, but I just don't think the price is going to be right.

Thank you,
Kimberly
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Old August 29th, 2009, 02:39 PM
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Kimberly,
I don't have kids but have seen and heard many people rave about Camp Carnival, which is their children's program. Disney tends to overprice everything in my opinion, so unless having their characters around is terribly important, I wouldn't go with them. Carnival tailors activities to various age groups. Every time I have seen them, the kids seem very well supervised. And, Carnival has radically changed their definition of fun ship in the last 20 years or so. The average age now is 45 or older. Not the old spring break on water definition of fun at all!
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Old August 29th, 2009, 10:18 PM
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I believe it depends on which ship you chose. We did the Inspiration two Christmases ago. The kid's area was very small. My 6 yr old, at the time, did not like it. She called it lame. The year before we went on a Disney cruise, she is still talking about it. I think the bigger ships in the Carnival fleet have more room for the kid’s area. I have been looking at the Dream. That has 5000 sq ft for the kid’s area. That is a big upgrade compared to the Inspiration. What ever you choose, let us know the outcome.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 01:12 PM
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We cruised on the Destiny this past April with 2 boys - 10 and 7. The 7 year LOVED Camp Carnival - I could have dropped him off at 8am, and picked him up at 2am and he still would have cried. My 10 year old has special needs, so he enjoyed parts of Camp Carnival, just not as much as my younger child. Some activities they did were dinners with the group (allowed the adults to dine alone and in peace!), some dance parties and a scavenger hunt. They also enjoyed staying after 10pm, although that did cost each night, they watched movies, played games, had different themes each night. There were several pools and a few waterslides, but when we were anchored in Key West, we were parked next to another Carnival ship (can't remember which one), and they had the full waterworks play area, and my kids were very jealous. Check out the website for Camp Carnival info, because they break the activities up according to ages of the children.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 10:14 PM
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Camp Carnival separates kids into several age groups. They will put out a schedule for the entire trip with activities from hour to hour all day. You can choose to put the kids in for any or all part of the schedule. The schedule will be available the first day so you can plan out your whole trips that way.

While we generally keep the kids with us as it is a family vacation but will put them in for certain hours on sea days for scheduled activities that they would enjoy. While they whine about having to go to "Day Care", we always find them in the middle of having fun smiling and laughing when its time for us to pick them up.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 11:16 PM
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Both of my boys "grew up" in Camp Carnival...and they have always had a great time.

It was a difference experience for each of them because the youngest is a special needs child...so each boy liked it in different ways.

The care was excellent.

I would however recommend a newer (larger) ship simply because there is more stuff for them to do.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: Cruising Carnival with kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkzv
We are thinking of a family cruise next summer and are wondering how Carnival is with families. I know this use to be the "party" boat, but I had heard that they were gearing more and more towards families. We have 4 kiddos (11, 9, 6, 4) so we know we will need to cabins. Does Carnival have adjoining cabins? Is there a better ship (or class of ships) for kids with kid friendly activities? What about the childcare on the ship? Has this been top-notch? We were considering DCL, but I just don't think the price is going to be right.

Thank you,
Kimberly
Give the Inspiration a try. My family and I cruised it last August she is one of the few ships with the Waterworks. The kids had a ball. We had children cruizing from 2-17yrs. There is no basketball court, though. Which bumbed the boys and dh. out. Have done Disney in the past and it is quite expensive for which you get.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 09:17 PM
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My family was on the Glory a couple of years ago. My niece Jenna was then 8. She had a blast. She called it HER Camp Carnival. She didn't want to leave when it was time. Then we found out you could pay for extra time in the evening. And it was actually very reasonable. We were pleasantly surprised.And the food... kids love being able to eat exactly what they want. Even Jenna... a strange child eats more like an adult... she loves lobster and other types of seafood. And she loved the pizza.

Also Carnival is very sensitive and accomodating to people with special needs. I've been on a couple of Richard Simmons Cruise to Loose cruises. From what I understand other cruiselines would not accomodate a group with the many people in the group with special needs. Carnival does and very nicely too.

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Old September 4th, 2009, 04:26 PM
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We have just returned from a four day cruise on 'Sensation'. Firstly we chose just a short cruise just in case one or all of us didnt like it. This way we found out how brilliant it was without risking being stuck onboard for a week or more. We had adjoining cabins (M100 and M104) and it worked excellently. We chose inside cabins as they were cheaper and we found we spent very little time in them anyway. Our youngest was 11 and he spent some time in Camp Carnival (up till 0300 one morning) and the care was excellent, even returning him to the cabin for us. Overall we had a great time and can highly recommend a Carnival cruise for a family vacation.
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