In recent months, we have been sharing what’s new on board several Carnival cruises. We showed you around the beautifully redesigned Sunshine, with its awesome restaurants, updated décor, and unbelievably cool SportSquare, SkyCourse, and WaterWorks areas for kids and teens. We also took you to a concert with us on the Ecstasy to experience CarnivalLIVE, a new concept in cruising entertainment where you can enjoy your favorite artists in an intimate venue while on your cruise vacation. Carnival has been pulling out all the stops to bring you the very best in family cruising, and we are excited to share the most exciting news yet: kids are going to love Seuss at Sea, Bookville and Camp Ocean!
My kids and I just returned from an 8-day Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Freedom, and we couldn’t be more excited to tell you about all the newest features on board. The Freedom recently underwent a multimillion dollar refit to bring it up to the Fun Ship 2.0 standards, including the newest bars and restaurants (like Guy’s Burgers and the EA Sports Bar), awesome new revue-style shows, a beautiful Serenity adults-only deck, and a complete overhaul of the kids spaces where Camp Carnival used to be. New Dr. Seuss characters, the Bookville reading space, and the Green Eggs and Ham themed breakfast round out the family fun!
Fun Ship 2.0 Upgrades on the Freedom
If you haven’t already been on one of Carnival’s new Fun Ships, you’re really missing out. Their plan is to update every ship in the fleet eventually, and I know cruisers will love the changes. Gone are the days of food choices being limited to the buffet on the lido deck or the main dining room. Now you have many fine dining choices waiting for you, such as the Sun King Steakhouse on the Carnival Freedom. Even the lido deck is branching out with the very popular Guy’s Burger Joint and Blue Iguana Cantina.
The entertainment has also received a Fun Ship facelift, with great interactive shows such as Hasbro: The Game Show and several impressive revue-style shows like 88 Keys and 80’s Pop to the Max, featuring songs we know and love from our favorite artists.
Don’t forget the awesome bars you can find on Carnival’s Fun Ships, like the EA Sports Bar, the Red Frog Pub and Alchemy. You’re sure to find your perfect cruise cocktail at one of these great spots!
Camp Ocean is a Great New Place to Learn and Play!
My kids have cruised with Carnival before, and they really loved the change from Camp Carnival to Camp Ocean. It’s a fun, fantastic new space, and the educational programming has been updated to match the theme.
Beautiful ocean themed rooms and play areas draw you in. Each age group now has their own dedicated space that is perfectly designed to complement their interests: Penguins (2-5 years), Stingrays (6-8), and Sharks (ages 9-11) will love the exciting aquatic-inspired activities. In addition, kids can enjoy the Party Reef (a common area for dance parties and movies) and the Creative Cove (for crafting!).
My children were excited to go each morning, pleaded to stay each evening, and when I did manage to pull them away for a few precious minutes of family time, they left with hands full of awesome crafts and brains full of great information that they were dying to share with me!
Seuss at Sea: It’s Fun to Have Fun, and Carnival Knows How!
Nobody knows fun quite like Dr. Seuss, so bringing his beloved characters to Carnival Cruise Lines is a match made in heaven. The Freedom is the first ship to receive the Seuss at Sea transformation, but don’t worry; it’s headed to other Carnival Fun Ships very soon!
My kids absolutely love Dr. Seuss characters, such as the Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 and Thing 2. You can imagine their excitement at getting to meet these characters on the very first sea day during a Seuss-a-Palooza Parade around the ship, followed by a special reading of The Cat in the Hat by the cruise director (and help from the audience!). It was a really special experience for kids of all ages, and I think more than a few adults enjoyed it too.
The Freedom has character photo opportunities at different times during the cruise, but the best time to hug your favorite Seuss character is probably the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast on the last sea day. Held in one of the formal dining rooms and adorned with wildly fun, colorful decorations, this super wacky themed breakfast is not to be missed! The menu looks exactly like a Dr. Seuss book, and you can order anything from Truffula Tree Pancakes to the famous Green Eggs and Ham to Horton’s Cereal-Crusted French Toast. The presentation is fabulous and they feed you plenty, so come hungry!
The last Dr. Seuss addition to Carnival is Bookville, which is probably our favorite space on the whole ship. Bookville is an amazing reading space located in the heart of Camp Ocean, and it’s filled with shelves of Dr. Seuss books. You are invited to come in, grab your favorite book, and settle into a big reading chair or sprawl on a colorful beanbag on the floor. Stay as long as you like, read as much as you want, just be sure to return the books to the shelf so others can enjoy!
2014 has been an amazing year for Carnival, and cruisers are in for a real treat. More ships than ever have been given the awesome Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades, and now the youth programs are seeing some updating as well with the transformation of Camp Carnival to the all-new Camp Ocean on the Carnival Freedom. Finally, the addition of Dr. Seuss characters (soon to be on several Carnival ships!) really amps up the fun factor for kids, and adults can enjoy great new revue-style shows and CarnivalLIVE performances (for more on CarnivalLIVE, check out my Martina McBride post from the Carnival Ecstasy). I am sure we will see even more fabulous changes and updates to an already great cruising experience with Carnival in 2015. I know this mom and her ocean loving kids can’t wait to hear what’s coming next!
Thank you to Carnival for hosting my crazy crew on yet another fantastic cruising adventure!