- Family fun1 of 1
Why we love this cruise line
What sets Carnival Cruises apart from other cruise lines is the overall experience you get when traveling with this fun, vivacious and lively cruise line. Their ultimate goal is to make sure you have just as much fun getting to destinations as you do in the destinations themselves. All the Carnival ships have unique décor and theming; they offer a wide range of on-board activities that make the ships like mini-resorts at sea that people of all ages can enjoy.
The whole family can do many of the activities together, such as getting soaked in the Carnival Waterworks waterpark, playing a round of mini golf or watching one of the many top-quality entertainment shows. There are also many things for individuals in the family to do: the parents can go off and relax in the kids-free Adult Retreat whilst the kids and teens can have fun at clubs just for kids and teens. What is great is that most of these activities are included in the cost of the cruise and there is something to do whatever time of day or night it is.
We love this cruise line because it really understands its primary market: families. Whether you’re old or young, adventurous or laidback, you will find something on Carnival ships to enjoy and you will most definitely have a fun time on board, whatever your tastes are. Each ship sports one of the cruise line’s iconic trademarks: a red, white and blue funnel in the shape of a whale’s tail. The mascot, Fun Ship Freddy, is the same colors and shape as the funnel and is always popular among guests, attracting people of all ages with his energy, charisma and charm. We love Carnival Cruises because they really make traveling fun.
Everyone who sails onboard a Carnival will find a wealth of activities both indoors and outdoors to keep them occupied throughout the duration of their cruise. There is even a Cruise to Nowhere; as the name suggests, it doesn’t stop at any location, simply sailing to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and back so that guests have ample time to make the most of all the facilities and activities onboard. The cruise is a great way for guests to explore everything Carnival has to offer.
If you like waterparks you will love spending hours in the Carnival Waterworks waterpark, splashing about in the pools and sliding down the slides. After drying off you can watch movies under the stars on a large LED screen then treat yourself to a few gifts at the shops or gather the whole family for a round of mini golf or two. For interactive family-friendly fun, take part in Hasbro, the Game Show, which has you try out larger-than-life versions of classic Hasbro games including Connect 4, Operation and Sorry! among others. The video arcade is open 24 hours to day, giving you plenty of time to beat your high score on your favorite arcade games. If you prefer to take things a little more slowly, you can peruse the works of art in the art gallery or relax with a good book in the library. Even though offerings differ depending which ship you’re on, each ship does provide plenty of activities with something for everyone.
Bars & Clubs
The wide range of bars and clubs on every Carnival ship ensures that the fun carries on into the night. You could find yourself in the Punchliner Comedy Club laughing out loud as comedians selected by George Lopez regale the audience with their funniest stories and anecdotes. Or you could find yourself dancing along to contemporary music in the nightclub after singing your heart out at karaoke. Sports fans can catch up with the latest games over a round of refreshing drinks in the sports bar and cocktail lovers can try a range of new mixtures at the Alchemy Bar. If you fancy a singsong, the piano bar is the place to be, with its resident pianist playing lively tunes guaranteed to get everyone joining in. You can even enjoy wine and cocktails in the library as you unwind with a good book. Some of the newer bars that have been installed as part of the Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades include the BlueIguana Tequila Bar, where you can enjoy a range of Mexican drinks including ice-cold shots of Tequila. The RedFrog Rum Bar is a delightful Caribbean-inspired bar where you can try Carnival’s very own beer, ThirstyFrog Red. All venues offer a great range of drinks and encourage everyone to have fun. Though the line-up of bars does vary from ship to ship, you will find plenty of places to have fun in the evening while onboard any Carnival ship.
The wide variety of dining options on every Carnival ship ensures that no guest will ever go hungry. Each ship in the fleet features a number of quality dining venues that are just as fun and exciting as everything else Carnival. The fleet’s recent Fun Ship 2.0 programme has seen a wave of new additions to many of its ships, including exciting new dining venues. One of these is Guy’s Burger Joint, a poolside restaurant which Carnival created in collaboration with Food Network personality and author Guy Fieri. Here guests can enjoy appetising grilled burgers and delicious fries. For Mexican cuisine, guests can head to the BlueIguana Cantina for all the classics, including tacos, burritos and tortillas among its delicious menu items. A rather different offering is the Punchliner Comedy Brunch, where guests can enjoy a delicious brunch while laughing along as they laugh along with comedians chosen by George Lopez himself.
In addition to these newer offerings, all Carnival ships feature a great variety of classic dining options, from casual buffets to more formal dining experiences and more. Guests can go on a backstage tour of the kitchens then dine at the chef’s table for an experience that comes at an extra charge and has to be booked in advance owing to its popularity. Guests can also enjoy signature dining experiences in the main dining room, which can be at set times or flexible to suit guests’ needs. Ships usually have more than one main room, each of which features subtle contemporary décor throughout to create a pleasant dining atmosphere.
Guests have a wide range of other dining options to try out. They can eat delicious Italian food in the Cucina Del Capitano restaurant or stop by the Taste Bar to try a different sample every day. Those who enjoy a hearty meal can dine at the steakhouse for succulent meats cooked to their specifications. For lighter options, there are coffee bars, hot dog stands, ice cream bars, buffets and a 24hr pizzeria. Not all dining venues are available on all ships and some of Carnival’s specialty dining venues require a nominal fee and need to be booked in advance.
Carnival places an emphasis on fun, and so its entertainment line-up is exceptionally vast so that people of all ages can kick back, relax and be entertained. Or if they choose they can get up and be part of the fun themselves! All ships feature karaoke competitions, comedy clubs with family-friendly shows and shows geared more towards adults, high-energy stage shows with the best singers, dancers and all-round entertainers, live music performances and wildly popular pool and deck parties. These can be held in the day or in the evening and are a great way for you to let your hair down, with live DJs, outgoing hosts and live music creating a celebratory and fun atmosphere.
A number of ships in the fleet feature Playlist Productions, top-class shows that see songs everyone knows performed on stage with a talented troupe of singers and dancers bringing the song to life right before your very eyes. You will be dancing in your seat as you enjoy shows such as Motor City, Divas, Latin Nights and The Brits!, which showcases great songs from Britain. Select ships have also benefitted from the DJ Irie Spin’versity programme, headed by DJ Irie himself. The programme trains the ships’ DJs to make them just that bit better and to make the nightlife on the ships even more exciting than ever.
Health & Fitness
Carnival’s goal is to ensure that everyone onboard has a fun time and even when health and fitness are concerned, facilities have been designed in such a way to ensure that everyone still has fun while working out. The fitness center is open all day long and all of the state-of-the-art gym equipment is free to use. There are many classes on offer, including indoor cycling and aerobics. Some of the classes in the fitness center have a small fee; the rest are free of charge. If you fancy open-air exercise, go for a jog on the jogging track, have a relaxing game of mini golf or challenge someone to a fast-paced game of Ping Pong. Sports fanatics will love the SportSquare, which is currently available on the Carnival Breeze, Magic and Sunshine ships. SportSquare includes a ropes course, exercise bikes, pool tables, punching bags, a basketball court and so much more.
After a fun workout, Carnival ships all have plenty of relaxing spa treatments on offer that you can reward yourself with to help you unwind, from hot stone massages and aromatherapy to full-body wraps and steam room sessions. Four ships in the fleet (Carnival Breeze, Dream, Magic and Splendor) have a Cloud 9 Spa, an extended spa area set over two floors with even more enticing treatments on offer, including facial treatments, thalassotherapy pools and thermal suites
Most of the Carnival ships also have Serenity Adult Retreat, a getaway for those over 21. It is an outdoor area where you can lie back on sun loungers in the sun or in the shade and have a soak in a whirlpool. There’s also a full-service bar that offers refreshing drinks. What is great about Carnival is that not only do they know how to make you have fun, they also know how to make you unwind and relax as much as you want.
All Carnival ships feature three kids’ clubs: Camp Carnival, which looks after kids in age groups of 2-5, 6-8 and 9-11; Circle C is the club for kids aged 12-14 and Club 02 is for those aged 15-17.
Camp Carnival offers plenty of fun activities that all kids can join in. Experienced counsellors make sure everyone has fun and keep things running smoothly. Kids can also have special kids’ meals and in the evening, the Camp Carnival Night Owls is offered. For a nominal fee, parents can let their kids watch movies and stay up late.
Friendly counsellors make sure everyone in Circle C has the best time. Kids can hang out, make new friends, watch movies outdoors, go to dance parties and play video games. Older teens who join Club 02 can listen to music, play video games, have a shot at karaoke and go to pool parties. There are even special onshore excursions just for teens so they don’t have to be with their parents.
Guests aged 21 and over may only bring one standard sized bottle (750ml) of wine or champagne in their carry-on luggage, but only one bottle per person. A corkage fee of $10.00 applies if you wish to drink it in the main dining room, while the charge is $14.00 should you wish to drink it in the steakhouse. Any guest who brings in more than they are allowed will have their alcohol confiscated until the end of the cruise; alcoholic drinks that are unsealed will be disposed of.
Any alcohol purchased at a port-of-call will be retained and held by Carnival until the end of the cruise, as will any alcohol purchased in one of the onboard gift shops. Guests must be 21 years of age and older to drink alcohol. Guests who don’t appear to be over 21 will be asked for photo identification and will not be allowed to drink if they can’t produce such identification.
Those 13 and under can be booked in their own staterooms but they must be either next to or directly across the hall from the stateroom their parents or grandparents are in. Furthermore, minors cannot be booked into a balcony stateroom or a connecting stateroom unless they are booked along with their parents or grandparents. Those aged 14-17 can be booked in their own staterooms up to 3 staterooms away from the one their parents or grandparents have booked. Those 18 and older are not required to have their own stateroom close to their parents or grandparents’ stateroom, nor are they required to even be on the same deck.
Guests must be 21 on embarkation day to travel by themselves. Those under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or a guardian over the age of 25 staying in the same stateroom. An exception is made, however, for legally married and same gender union couples if both are under 21 years old. Suitable documentation is required to confirm marriage status.
Those between 12 and 16 must be accompanied by an adult when in the spa and fitness areas and those under 12 are not permitted in these areas. Guests under 18 should be supervised by an adult at all times in all of the ship’s public areas and are allowed in the dance club until 10pm, at which time they will be required to leave. The Midnight Shows are adult-oriented comedy shows only for those over the age of 18. Those under 13 need parental permission to use the pools and ride the waterslides, for which additional height restrictions apply. Guests need to be 18 or over to enter the casino and make use of its facilities.
Carnival requires guests to dress casually throughout the day. During evening meals there are two dress codes: Cruise Casual and Cruise Elegant. Most evenings will require Cruise Casual attire, while those not wanting to dress formally can go to the Lido Restaurant, which requires Cruise Casual attire every evening of the cruise. Shirts and shoes are mandatory in the Lido Restaurant
The Cruise Casual Dining Dress Code requires that men wear collared sports shirts, long dress shorts, khakis, sports slacks and jeans, though cut-offs are not permitted. Women are required to wear summer dressed, Capri pants, dress shorts, casual dresses, casual skirts or pants and blouses and jeans, though cut-offs are not allowed.
The following items of clothing are not permitted for grown men and women during Cruise Casual dining: flip-flops, swimsuit attire, shorts, gym shorts, basketball shorts, baseball hats, sleeveless men’s shirts and cut-off jeans.
The Cruise Elegant Dining Dress Code stipulates that men wear dress shirts, dress slacks, sports coat and, should they choose, tuxedos, suits and ties. Women should wear pantsuits, cocktail dresses, elegant skirts and blouses and evening gowns, if they so wish.
During Cruise Elegant dinners, the following are prohibited: flip-flops, shorts, gym shorts, T-shirts, swimming attire, baseball hats, jeans and cut-off jeans, men’s sleeveless shirts and sportswear.
For cruises to New England, Canada and Alaska, jackets, raincoats and sweaters are recommended, as well as extra layers of casual clothing. For those going to glaciers, it is recommended that you bring a heavy sweater, an umbrella and raincoat. This also applies to those cruising to South America and Europe. Those visiting the Vatican should note that bare legs and shoulders are not permitted and should dress accordingly.
Note that all footwear with wheels is prohibited.
The minimum age for sailing Hawaiian, Transatlantic and South American cruises is 12 months, whereas everywhere else, it is 6 months. If air travel is involved in your cruise and you have taken advantage of the Fly-Aweigh program, infants of 6-23 months will be charged the ‘Cruise-Only’ rate so long as they sit on their parent’s lap for the flight. Once an infant reaches 24 months, they will require their own ticket. If a parent feels their infant who is younger than 24 months needs their own seat on the flight, they will be charged at the typical Fly-Aweigh rate.
For the health and safety of mother and child, pregnant women are only permitted to sail if they have been pregnant for 24 completed weeks or less at the time of disembarkation. A doctor’s letter is required: this must state that both the mother and baby are in good health, they are fit for travel and that the pregnancy is not high risk. It must also state the estimated date of delivery.
On Carnival ships smoking in public is only allowed in the dance clubs and in designated areas of the casino and the adjoining casino bar. The jazz clubs on the following ships also permit smoking: Carnival Conquest, Carnival Destiny, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Glory, Carnival Legend, Carnival Miracle, Carnival Pride, Carnival Spirit, Carnival Splendor, Carnival Triumph, Carnival Valor and Carnival Victory.
As for outdoor areas, there are designated smoking areas on the starboard side of every ship where guests can also smoke cigars, whilst electronic cigarettes are only permitted in the designated smoking areas.
Smoking is prohibited in all guest staterooms except balcony staterooms, though guests are only allowed to smoke cigarettes and cigars outdoors on their balcony. Those who smoke inside their guestroom will face a fine of $250.00 to clean the room, which will be added to their Sail & Sign account.
However, smoking is also prohibited in all Spa Suites and Staterooms including on the balcony. These rooms can be found on the following ships: Carnival Breeze, Carnival Dream, Carnival Splendor and Carnival Sunshine.
Gratuities for dining and stateroom staff are billed to your Sail & Sign account at a rate of $11.50 per day. This comprises:
$2.00 – entertainment, kitchen, hotel and guest services.
$3.70 – stateroom services
$5.00 – dining services.
The same rate applies for Cruises to Nowhere, though gratuities must be prepaid. On Barbados cruises, all gratuities are prepaid and are automatically added during the booking process.
Gratuities will be posted to your Sail & Sign account from the second day of your cruise and you can adjust them whenever you so wish prior to disembarking in accordance with the level of service you have experienced. If the onboard service is sub-standard, simply speak to someone at the Guest Services desk.
Whenever you purchase a beverage, 15% of the total bill is added to your Sail & Sign charge. You are free to tip room service staff whenever you so wish.
Note that gratuities are not applicable for those under two years of age.
Wi-fi is available throughout each ship and all devices that have the standard Wireless 802.11b card installed should be able to connect to the ship’s Wi-fi without restrictions. Once you have connected to the ship’s Wi-fi, you will be instructed to create an account and accept the pricing charges, which is the same throughout the whole ship, whether you access the Internet on your own device or in the Internet café. All charges will be added to your Sail & Sign account. All users have to pay a one-off activation fee of $3.95. Guests can take advantage of Time Plans, which offer cheaper rates and can be transferred between guests’ personal devices and the computers in the ship’s Internet café.
Time Plan pricing is as follows:
480 minutes for $159.00
240 minutes for $89.00
120 minutes for $59.00
45 minutes for $29.00
Or if you pay as you go, it is $0.75 per minute.
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