This summer, my family took our first cruise together on the Carnival Fantasy. One of the highlights for my six-year-old daughter was Camp Carnival– the children’s activity program included with every Carnival cruise.
Things to know about Camp Carnival
Camp Carnival is separated into three age groups. Toddlers (2-5 year olds) and Juniors (6-8 year olds) have their own dedicated play rooms, while Intermediates (9-11 year olds) have activities all across the ship. Each group has its own schedule of age-appropriate activities. My daughter’s favorites included t-shirt coloring, making a memory book, building (and erupting) a volcano, dance time and the talent show.
You must register your child before you can send them to Camp Carnival. This is an easy process that can be done once onboard- I recommend registering as soon as you get on the boat. You will need to take your child (along with anyone in your party who will be dropping off/picking up) to Camp Carnival headquarters to fill out a release form. From there, you are given a schedule and can drop off/pick up whenever you please- as long as Camp Carnival is open.
Camp Carnival doesn’t run all day. On sea days, Camp Carnival is closed between 12:00pm-2:00pm & 3:45pm.-4:45pm. This ensures family time if you have a kid (like mine) who wants to stay all day. We used this time to eat lunch as a family, hang by the pool and play miniature golf. Camp closes every night at 10:00pm. There is after-hours care for $6/hr until 3:00am.
Camp Carnival gives kids a safe place to play, while giving parents some time to themselves. There is a very strict sign in/sign out process as well as a video monitor outside the play area to spy on your child (for ages 6-8). For parents with toddlers, there is pager system that alerts you if your child needs something.
The counselors are well trained and awesome! All Camp staff are either college educated in a related field or have professional child-care experience.
Being that this was a family vacation, I didn’t expect to use the service more than once or twice during our trip. That all changed after “T-shirt Coloring” on our first night at sea…my daughter was hooked! From that point, I realized she would rather make friends and play games then hang out with me on the Lido deck.
I don’t know why I was surprised. 😉
Special thanks to Carnival Cruise Lines for hosting my family