Five reasons kids love to holiday on Carnival Spirit
Carnival Spirit is overflowing with so much next level fun for kids that it might just be Australia’s ultimate family cruise ship.
For parents looking for their next family holiday, cruising is a no-brainer. With accommodation, meals, activities, childcare and transport all included in the one set price, not only does a cruise stretch your family holiday dollar further, but it makes planning a breeze. There’s no searching for suitable accommodation, cheap flights or things to do. Simply book, rock up and everything you could possibly need is right there waiting for you.
But, as we discovered on a recent Carnival Cruise, not all cruise ships are created equal. Carnival Spirit is packed to overflowing with so much next level fun for kids that it might just be Australia’s ultimate family cruise ship.
Here are five reasons why your kids will love cruising on Carnival Spirit.
1. The activities
There are more than 45 activities on board, each and every day. From family arts and craft sessions at Creative Cove to sports tournaments, ping-pong comps and trivia, it won’t be hard to find something that’s the right fit for your crew.
There’s also a heap of outrageous crew-led fun, including the Wiggle for Westmead fundraiser, family scavenger hunts and the hairy chest competition, which my kids thought was hilarious. Carnival's family entertainment also takes to the stage with great family shows including 'Hasbro, The Game Show' and the quirky Towel Animal Theatre. The nightly 'Dive-In Movies' by the pool on the lido deck, which come complete with bags of popcorn, was another huge hit with my little film buffs!
2. The water play
For my kids, Carnival Spirit’s biggest selling point was its gorgeous pools and awesome water zone. While the two family pools were great, it was WaterWorks that floated my kids boat. The area includes a SplashZone for little cruisers with brightly coloured slides, water play and tipping buckets to keep them cool, wet and entertained for hours.
Older kids, and brave parents, can take to the two-storey Twister, a corkscrew style waterslide, or take on the free-falling, 65km/h Green Thunder. The epic waterslide snakes out over the side of the ship with only the ocean below. Though it only last seconds, I ended up as green as the slide but my far more courageous son couldn’t be kept away, thundering down it over and over again.
3. Camp Ocean
Carnival Spirit’s on board kid’s club, Camp Ocean, was devised by an expert panel of specialists, who know how children engage with toys and games, along with actual parents. The result is more than 200 fun, educational ocean-themed activities across three age-appropriate areas. There’s Penguins for two- to five-year-olds, Stingrays for six- to eight-year-olds, and Sharks for nine to 11-year-olds.
And so good are the activities that my kids, who usually aren’t kids’ club fans, were champing at the bit to go and join in on all the fun. There’s also Night Owls where the kids can hang out, play and stay up late with their new friends, while mum and dad enjoy some of the ship’s more grown up activities.
4. Dr. Seuss at Sea
Oh, the places you will go with Carnival Spirit. Inspired by the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss, little guests will have plenty of opportunities to meet and interact with Dr. Seuss characters, participate in special photo opportunities and attend fun Seuss themed events.
At the glorious Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast, my son takes Sam I Am at his word and dives into a plate of emerald-hued eggs, followed by a sweet yoghurt parfait schlopp. My daughter opts for a colourful stack of Cat in the Hat pancakes and goose juice, and both are thrilled by the appearance by Sam, Things One and Two and the Cat in the Hat himself.
Other highlights of the Seuss at Sea program include the noisy and exuberant Seuss-A-Palooza Character Parade along the promenade and interactive story times.
5. Food for families
Foodie families are spoiled for choice on Carnival Spirit. At the extravagant two-deck a la carte dining room you’ll find a fantastic changing menu for mum and dad, plus a healthy kids menu and Carnival’s impossible to resist warm chocolate melting cake. For casual dining, the International Food Plaza is a marketplace of food outlets.
You’ll find something for even the fussiest eater amongst the serve yourself options and my kids loved the wood fired pizza, made to order 24 hours a day. If your kids prefer, they can also enjoy sizzling sausages and other barbecue delights deck side at Fat Jimmy’s C-Side BBQ, the best burgers at sea at Guy’s Burger Joint, or my son’s favourite, DIY tacos and breakfast burritos at Blue Iguana Café.
And seriously, what kid isn’t going scream for free 24/7 ice cream? Certianly not mine.
While these are all include in your fare, if you feel like splurging a little there is also great kid-friendly Japanese at Bonsai Sushi and fine dining at Nouveau, for just a few dollars more. And special events like the Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea Party, with its enormous spread of delectable canapés, cakes, and sweet treats, will prove utterly irresistible to kids.
When she’s not treading on Lego and being forced to watch Frozen on loop, Aleney de Winter is a travel, food and parenting writer. She shares tales of travelling and eating along with the hilarious antics of her globetrotting six-year old foodie son and daredevil three-year old daughter on her blog, Boy Eats World.