The Best Family Cruise Lines - Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Victory
OCEAN CITY: The Carnival Victory sets sail (courtesy, Carnival)
Sample '07 Carnival Cruise
Where: Western Caribbean on Carnival Victory
When: March 11-17, 2007
Ports of Call: Miami, Florida; Costa Maya, Mexico; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
What It'll Cost: Inside quads start at $679 per person for first two guests; $529 per person for third and fourth guests. Outside quads start from $699 per person for first two guests; $559 per person for third and fourth guests.
Off the Ship: Kayak, snorkel, and dive on the Costa Maya; pet the stingrays at Stingray City, Grand Cayman; climb a 600-foot waterfall, and discover island music at Reggae Explosion, Ocho Rios.

Carnival expects to carry more than 525,000 kids in 2006, estimated to be about half of all youngsters at sea. Many of them have been cruising Carnival since they were in pre-K. The line's Club O2, in partnership with Coca-Cola and available fleetwide, caters to ages 15 to 17 with karaoke sessions, late-night movies, ping-pong contests, and toned-down versions of Fear Factor and Survivor. Sixteen of Carnival's 21 ships currently feature expanded teen centers with dance floors, DJs, music listening stations, and movies and music videos playing on large-screen TVs.

Carnival also rates highly among families with younger kids. The line is not only one of the few to offer supervised programs for two-year-olds, but counselors will also change diapers, a rarity. Camp Carnival's supervised activities for ages two to 14, split into age-appropriate groupings, include science, music, art, and computer lab experiences. Carnival's newest splash: the Jr. Dyno Water Wars, with a catapult-like contraption that lobs water balloons at your opponents. Currently onboard the Fascination and the Imagination, the water fights will be fleetwide by summer 2007.

Preschoolers will appreciate the onboard splash pools, while bigger kids and adults will get a giggle from careening down the signature curving waterslides. Carnival also scores for its glitzy, themed ships and its make-the-scene bars, a fun way for parents to hang out when the kids are tucked up or at play elsewhere. The new Carnival Freedom, debuting February 2007, will feature a staggering 22 lounges and bars and four swimming pools, including one with a 214-foot waterslide.'s resident family expert Candyce Stapen has written the book on family travel, having authored some 1,400 travel articles and 27 books, 26 of them on family travel. She is the winner of the 2004 "Caribbean Travel Writer of the Year for North America" award and a three-time winner of the Society of American Travel Writers' Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism award. Her articles have appeared in publications including Nick Jr , FamilyFun , Parents , Better Homes & Gardens , Conde Nast Traveler , National Geographic Traveler , and the Family Travel Network , among others. Her book, the National Geographic Guide to Caribbean Family Vacations is available from

Published: 27 Sep 2006 | Last Updated: 7 Nov 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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