Cruisers aged from newborn through to knocking on the doorstep of adulthood are well catered for on Carnival Cruise Line through the brand’s Camp Ocean Kids Club and its adolescent offshoots Circle C and Club O2.

An army of qualified and experienced youth workers are on hand in all three centres to oversee and coordinate a plethora of activities designed to keep minds of all ages busy and stimulated to ensure they have fun and maybe even learn some things while their parents take time to have a bit of a holiday themselves, knowing their kids are being well looked after, fed and entertained.

If you are travelling with kids, the first bit of helpful advice is that you should head straight to Camp Ocean as soon as you can upon embarking on your ship in order to register your child. The centres are limited in their capacity and depending on the time of the year you are taking your cruise – such as during school holidays – Camp Ocean and the other rooms can fill up very quickly. Early registrations will help your kids get into the appropriate program for their age bracket and ensure they don’t spend their cruise on the outside, looking in.

Each of the rooms publish a program of activities which can be picked up at the front door and which details the opening hours of each room, the times of each event and associated rules. In each room, there are different opening hours depending on whether the ship is in port or at sea, with different rules applying again for after dinner and late night care.

In this article, we’ll go through the program on Carnival Spirit, what each age bracket offers and provide some important information to help you plan.

Services for Under 2’s

According to Carnival, a full Kids Club program may not be suitable for children under the age of two, who likely may not be toilet trained.

On a sea day, the centre is open from 8am until 10pm however during scheduled activity times, Camp Ocean cannot accept those under two. During free play, little ones under two can be signed into the Camp Ocean room at a fee of $8.00 per child per hour for supervised play. If parents wish to make use of the play facilities with their children, there is no charge.

Camp Ocean welcomes kids under two through until 1am however the service can be cancelled if there are no children left in the room after 11pm. Depending on availability, the Kids Club may issue parents with a mobile phone so that they can reach them if needed. If some children are proving problematic, parents may be asked to collect them.

Camp Ocean Main Room

Children can bring out their inner aquatic character in Camp Ocean on Carnival Spirit.
Decorated in a nautical theme, the main room inspires kids to bring out their inner aquatic character.

The main room for Camp Ocean caters to children from age 2-11, is broken down into three separate characters to ensure kids can interact with others their own age or close to it. According to a Youth Centre worker Cruise Advice spoke to, the crew makes a concerted effort to ensure kids keep to these age brackets, where possible.

Parents are advised to keep an eye on the time and the printed kids program for any children in a particular age bracket, to ensure they know when they need to collect their kids. The centre does close for short periods on a number of occasions each day in order to set up for a future activity, and these times are easy to locate in the program.

Multiple televisions and games are available for kids to use in Camp Ocean.
When video games are on the agenda, there are multiple consoles and televisions for kids to move between.

These three brackets are:

Penguins (Ages 2-5): These include Silly Songs, Bubble Dancing, Mr Potato Head decorating, Nintendo Wii Dance Games, Lego and Duplo, Balloon activities, Ocean Bingo, Truck Races, Bean Bag Toss, Circle Games, T-Shirt Decorating, Movie Times and more.

Stingrays (Ages 6-8): Kids in the mid-range bracket will have access to more advanced activities including Camouflage, Magic Games, Knights Night, Video Games, the Yes/No Challenge, Speed Stacking, Art Attack, Giant Jenga, Pirates of the Caribbean, Paper Plane and Origami making and more.

Sharks (Ages 9-11): Kids at the elder end of their childhood have games such as Giant Rock, Paper, Scissors, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Sand Art Creations, Card Games, Bead Creations, Video Games and more at their disposal.

From time to time, kids in this age bracket will also be offered the chance to engage in an activity outside the Kids Club itself, such as a Scavenger Hunt where they will be tasked with finding items and people around the ship. This is an unsupervised activity, however they will not be able to disembark the ship. A family Scavenger Hunt where parents can join in is also on the activity schedule for kids in this age bracket.

Circle C

For the early teens, Circle C offers more mature activities.

Those knocking on the door of their teenage years probably don’t want to be in the same room as the little kids (they’re too cool for it, we’re sure) so Carnival has recognised that by developing a totally separate club with more age-appropriate activities. Enter Circle C.

With its own director, Circle C is nowhere near Camp Ocean, located not only on a different deck but at the other end of the ship as well. As those fitting in this program are generally more mature than those in Camp Ocean, there are some more mature rules by which they must abide in order to remain in the program. Anybody bullying, fighting, consuming alcohol or smoking or any other anti-social behaviour will see them excluded from Circle C. At some times, the Circle C lounge may also be open and unsupervised, and those in this program can also come and go as they wish, with no sign-in or sign-out required.

In another cool twist for Circle C attendees, the room is located at the top of the stairs from another cool little hangout for people in this age bracket, known as the Jungle Room. This is a small internal corridor adjacent to the Pharaoh’s Palace theatre.

Jungle Room features on Carnival Spirit as part of Circle C.
Usually found full of pre-teens hanging out in small groups, the Jungle Room is another hangout area part of Circle C.

Activities in Circle C are not always held back-to-back to form a full schedule lasting guests throughout the day, but that’s ok – guests can come and go as they please anyway. They can engage in games such as MarioKart on Nintendo Wii, Mini Golf, Karaoke Showdown (against Club O2), Gender Showdown (Boys Vs Girls game), Magic Shows, Dodgeball, Celebrity Heads, Ice-Cream Party, Trivial Pursuit, Waterslide challenges and more.

In addition, the Circle C program includes information about the main entertainment program open to all guests that they may find interesting, such as the evening performance in the theatre. While it does carry a warning for parents if any costumes “may be revealing”, it still promotes the idea guests in their early teens may enjoy the main evening show.

Club O2

Carnival's Club O2 Youth Centre is for those knocking on the door of adulthood.

Much like Circle C, there is a high degree of autonomy and unsupervised activity that comes with guests in Club O2, which is dedicated to those in their final years before being classed as an adult (a major motivating factor when I was that age).

Designed as a nightclub, Club O2 aims to facilitate the interests of modern youth with more mature activities that guests in the 15-17 age range can come and go from as they wish. Of course, like Circle C, the same rules apply when it comes to treating fellow guests with dignity and respect, and anybody caught with alcohol or breaking any other rules can be asked to leave and not return to the program.

Activities available to those in this program include Late Night Pizza Parties, Teen Hunt, Foosball Tournament, UNO, Karaoke with Circle C guests, Mexican Deck Party (with other ship guests), Nintendo Wii Bowling, Casino Games, Sports and much more, all capped off with a grand Farewell Party at the end of the cruise to say goodbye to all their new friends.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I would love to know how much you were paid to advertise the kids club Camp Ocean and whether you actually have used the facilities yourself? As a parent who has recently returned from an 8 day cruise on the Carnival spirit with 3 other families we were extremely disappointed in the quality of the staff and range of activities available. With a total of 8 children ranging from 5 to 10 in our group, we were actually disgusted at the way our children were spoken to and treated on the very limited amount of time we had them in camp ocean. The fact that the 3 older 10 year olds were forced to spend their time on a sticky nightclub floor playing games they had no interest in was enough to pull them out of kids club and let them do other way more interesting things. Of all the “awesome” activities you have listed, only build a bear was offered to the older kids.

    For us the final straw was picking up very upset children after an adult dinner to discover that instructions given to the older children that they were not allowed to sign themselves out was completely ignored by these so called “professionally trained childcare staff” and they were quite happy to let 10 year old children wonder a ship unsupervised at 10pm at night? How is that looking after your child?

    We loved everything else about the cruise but the kids club waa a massive let down.

  2. Having read your article, really makes me wonder whether you had any children actually spend time in Camp Ocean? I have just returned from an 8 night cruise with 3 other families (8 children in total ranging from 5 to 10) and they had a horrible time in Camp Ocean.

    The awesome list of varied activities available as listed above did not happen. Camp Ocean is not for children up to the age of 11, our 3 10 year old’s were forced to hang out in the night club where they had to sit on a sticky night club floor and play whatever boring game they were told. There was no time for free play unless you supervised your children in the afternoon when free play was allowed. This defeats the whole purpose of having a a kids club if the parents need to be in attendance as well.

    The children complained about how they were spoken to, how uncaring most of the staff were and the one night we put them in so the adults could see a show, they were yelled at for no reason, treated very poorly and the 3 10 year olds were consistently told to sign themselves out even after the parents had not given them permission to do so. What professional child care worker would allow 10 year olds to leave a supervised activity at 10pm at night to walk around a cruise ship? Where is the duty of care and obligation to follow the parent’s instructions?

    Overall we were very disappointed in the whole experience our children had, and we only put them in for 2 hours a day on sea days, so they did not spend a lot of time in there.

    We loved every other aspect of the cruise, but the kids club was horrible and I would be very reluctant to use them ever again.

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