Monday, August 26, 2013

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Yes! You Should Cruise with Your Kids!

Thinking you'd like to take a cruise, but your on the fence about taking the kids with you?   I was for the longest time.  In fact, I had several reasons why I wouldn't.  After spending a day on Carnival Cruises' Magic, I was able to clearly see why taking children on a cruise is an amazing experience!
My history with cruising is limited.  My husband & I went on a big Caribbean cruise about 10 years ago just as a couple and had a blast.  And we then took a smaller Mediterranean one in 2007 and loved it as well. But for some reason, I had it in my mind that cruising was really just for adults.  I mean, with the casinos, the off-shore excursions, the night life, the spa...why would I want to take my children?

Well, last weekend, my family and I were invited to tour Carnival Cruises' Magic while it was in Galveston, Texas.  Y'all, I have completely changed my mind.  I can not wait to take my kids on a cruise!

After I spent a day onboard the ship, I started thinking about why I didn't take my children on a cruise all these years and I was able to crush them all on the Carnival Magic!

5 Myths to Why People Don't Take Children on Cruises 

1. There's nothing for children to do on a cruise ship.  My friends, this is most certainly NOT the case.  In fact, Carnival Cruise lines cater to families, making each cruise memorable because there is SO much to do. 

On board the Carnival Magic, we spent the majority of our visit at the SportsSquare - an open-aired amenities area with a suspended-ropes course, minature golf, ping pong, basketball courts and more!


 Toward the front of the ship, Waterworks will entertain all ages with racing slides, a twisting slide, dumping water buckets and so much more.  This ain't your ordinary pool y'all.

2. There's nothing for children to eat on a cruise ship. One of my favorite parts of cruise is the FOOD.  But let's be honest, my children are not going to enjoy the gourmet offerings that Mom & Dad enjoy so much.  I was happy to find that even in the formal dining areas, there are plenty of options that kids will enjoy.  Even on Carnival, they can make chicken strips and french fries look gourmet!
But even more exciting for my children, Carnival Cruises offers pizza and ice cream 24 hours a day.  And it's good pizza - homemade & hand-tossed - not out of the freezer.

3. Childcare must be really expensive on a cruise ship.  I knew that cruise lines offered childcare for families, but I had NO IDEA how much fun it was or that it was complementary.  Yes, complementary. Carnival Cruises offers different offerings for 3 different age groups - Camp Carnival for ages 2-11, Circle "C" for ages 12-14, and Club O2 for 15-17 year olds.
While on board, my youngest tried out Camp Carnival.  This colorful room was filled with games, computers, indoor climbing mazes, books, and more.  He didn't want to leave.  While at sea, the camp counselors fill the day with lots of games and activities, so the kids are really engaged and having a great time.

Carnival also offers evening care as well - called Camp Night Owls - with movies, games, snacks and more.  After 10 pm, there is a small cost ($6.75/hour/child) but the fun doesn't stop.  They have themed evening parties - they sound so fun, I wanted to go!

4. There's nothing for my Teen to do on a cruise ship. You remember this age group, right?  The "I'm-really-having-fun-but-I'm-not-going-to-show-it-so-I'll-sulk" age?  Carnival has fun events planned for them too.  Club O2 is a great place for them to hang out with other kids their age and not have to be with the parents all cruise long.  They even plan excursions for this age group, in case they want to hang out with their friends.

5.  We/They won't have fun on a cruise ship. Carnival knows that you have come on your cruise to spend time together as a family, so they have geared the ship to accommodate.  I was so excited to see how much there was for us to do together onboard.  I really assumed you'd sit by the pool on days at sea but with how much Carnival has, I don't see how we will fit that in (just kidding - they totally have an adults only area when you want need a break!)

Along with everything else I mentioned, Carnival recently launched their Fun Ship 2.0 initiative, partnering with George Lopez, The Food Network, EA Sports, and Hasbro to bring even more "fun" to their fleet. George Lopez is enhancing the line's comedy clubs, becoming the creative director of comedy.  The Food Network's Guy Fieri developed a Burger Joint for some ships. EA Sports is bringing a video-game sports bar to life.  And Hasbro is allowing you to play some of their best know games in game-show style.  Imagine playing a life-sized Operation??

Carnival Cruises truly wants you to have a memorable vacation and know that catering to the children helps make it that much more fun.  After our tour of the Carnival Magic, I will never think that a cruise is no place for a child.  Quite the opposite on Carnival and I can't wait to book one!

My family and I were invited to tour the Carnival Magic while in port in Galveston, TX.  All opinions are my own.

1 comment:

Amanda O. said...

Wow...Now I want to take the kids on a cruise too! I totally thought that you had to pay extra for the Kids Clubs, but now that I know that I don't, I'm gonna have to start planning a trip!