Not sure about taking your toddlers or young kids on a cruise? Here are some tips for a cruise with kids… I say go for it!
A cruise with kids is super fun!
We love to travel as a family, but sometimes it’s just NOT fun with small kids. I recently wrote my 5 reasons for wanting to cruise again with Carnival. Today, I want to talk about my FAVORITE reason for wanting to cruise with kids again.
Two words… CAMP CARNIVAL! ha!
Let me tell you a little secret, my kids are CRAZY! I have a 7 year old son and daughter who just turned 4 years old that I really don’t enjoy taking anywhere for long periods of time. They are wonderful and so well behaved when there is just ONE, but put them both together and it’s crazy town.
I had NEVER considered going on a cruise for vacation, because I could not imagine being stuck on a ship in a tiny room with my little kids who leave tornados in their path. No way, no how! Then Carnival called. So we packed up our bags and so happy we did!!
Here are some reasons we loved taking our cruise with kids on our latest Carnival vacation…
Camp Carnival is where kids ages 2-11 get to play and have fun while the parents get some much needed adult time! When we first arrived on the ship there was an orientation where they talked about all the activities and introduced us to the ship’s mascot Freddie!!
I was pretty impressed with the list of activities for the kids! They make it super easy to cruise with kids.
There was even late night parties if parents wanted to stay out past 10 p.m. Everything sounded great, but would my kids enjoy it?
The first day was rough in the younger class because kids just weren’t used to the new place and there were some little ones missing their mommies. But from what I could tell, the workers were doing a great job of trying to make everyone happy and when I returned to get my daughter… there were only smiles on the kid’s faces.
Freddie’s birthday was the same day as my daughter’s!! They had a big celebration and when I picked her up, this is what I found…
From then on, all this little girl talked about was “CAMP CARNIVAL!” Everywhere we went she would sing songs about going to Camp Carnival. All around the ship, she would see her new friends from her class and be so happy!
If you don’t believe me, watch this video. I stopped on the street in Grand Cayman to listen to her babble about Camp Carnival. The girl would not stop talking about it. Ha!
My son who does NOT like new places or pretty much anything new at all, even had a great time.
He made a few friends, got to do science experiments, play mini golf, color a t-shirt, watch movies, do more crafts and play his favorite video games during free time. The only thing he cried about was not getting to stay up for the late night party!
By the end of the trip, we were taking the kids to Camp Carnival for dinner so we could enjoy date nights. I don’t know why we didn’t do that every night?? From 6 – 10 pm they would feed and entertain your kids.
It was wonderful to have that time which we would never have had if we had gone on another trip. They even took the 6-11 year olds to a show one evening. My husband and I had so much fun on our date nights… it was fantastic!! Camp Carnival rocks!!
More kid fun on the cruise!
When not in Camp Carnival or at port we enjoyed playing around the cruise ship.
My kids get up early, so they would swim right after or while we were having breakfast on deck. Morning is a great time on deck, because you have the whole place to yourself!
I found a kiddie pool totally enclosed up by Camp Carnival. I enjoyed relaxing on deck while my daughter swam. Rarely ever was there anyone else up there but us! It was really nice and windy too… a great break from the heat.
It’s such a fun place to be!
We loved movie nights on deck! Great for any age:-)
Really, my kids are easy to please. Just give them bunk beds and they are happy! ha.
If you have little kids, I highly recommend a Carnival vacation because it’s just so much fun for the kids and I felt totally at ease while they were in camp.
For those of you with pre-teens and teens… a cruise would be a wonderful trip!! Not only are they the perfect age for all of the fun shore excursions, but there is also a lot going on the ship for them as well. I was sad to find out the Michael Jackson thriller dance lesson was for only for teens. Heck, I could have taught that one! ha.
One evening we went to the “Battle of the Sexes”, a game between men and women. It totally reminded me of church camp! Lots of teens were getting in on that fun. I even learned to spell Carnival Conquest with my butt! Yes… that was one of the challenges. LOL! They made the team captains turn around and move their butts to the shape of the letters. It was hilarious! Oh, the things you learn on a cruise:-)
Of course there is a lot more fun than just being on the ship, so I will tell you all about our shore excursions tomorrow! We visited some beautiful places!!
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You might also love these travel tips for first time cruise vacation!
Everything you will want to know before going on a cruise.
Disclosure: This seven day cruise was paid for by Carnival as a part of their Brand Ambassador program. All opinions and photos about the trip are my own.
Originally published on August 11, 2010. Last Updated on May 15, 2021 by Amy Locurto