There’s truly no better way to reconnect as a family than on a holiday, but let’s face it, taking kids on a break is often more stressful on us as parents than day to day life! But I promise you, as a parent who has taken kids on a Carnival cruise, this holiday won’t leave you feeling frazzled.
If you took a quick straw poll of your friends, they’d probably fall into two camps – those who love family cruises and those who’ve never been. I was in the latter group for many years, and now if you ask any of my mum friends, they’ll be the first to tell you I recommend a Carnival cruise any chance I get.
Why? Because it’s honestly the most relaxed family holiday we’ve been on. Firstly, my husband and I didn’t have to cook or clean. That right there is the best selling point! But besides that, it was a whole heap of fun on board, and when you throw in the fact you’re actually also heading to fun destinations, it’s like two holidays rolled into one.
Before we dive into the five reasons you really need to take your family on a Carnival cruise, here’s a quick rundown of the different ships sailing in Australia, where they sail and where you can board.
Australian Carnival Cruise Line Ships
Regardless of which Carnival ship you cruise on, they have both been designed for maximum fun balanced with just the right amount of relaxation!
Guest capacity: 3012
Sails to: Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific
Sails from: Sydney
Duration: 2 – 5 Days, 6 – 9 Days, 10+ Days
Carnival Splendor is a whole lotta fun on the high seas, with bars, burger joints and boatloads of things for busy kids to do!
Activities including the Punchliner Comedy Club, Alchemy Bar, Green Lightning Waterslide, Adults-Only Serenity Retreat, Dive-In Movies, Cloud 9 Spa, Sports Bar, Mini Golf, Playlist Productions and Warehouse Arcade.
What about the food? We’re glad you asked! There’s pizza, Indian cuisine, Guy’s Burger Joint, Mongolian – Wok Noodles, a juice bar and so much more!
Guest capacity: 2260
Sails to: Australia, Papua New Guinea, South Pacific, Transpacific, Alaska
Sails from: Brisbane, Australia; Seattle, WA
Duration: 2 – 5 Days, 6 – 9 Days, 10+ Days
The gorgeous Carnival Luminosa is an absolute beauty.
On board activities include the RedFrog Rum Bar, Playlist Productions, Cherry On Top, Dive-In Movies, Camp Ocean and the Piano Bar.
The food choices are also incredible, from pizza to sushi, Mexican, steak and 24-hour room service.
Now that you’re a bit more familiar with the Carnival ships, let’s explore why a Carnival cruise should be on your family’s holiday bucket list.
1. The Food
If there’s one thing kids know how to do – it’s eat. And if it’s one thing Carnival knows how to do, it’s feed kids!
When it comes to meals and snacks, there’s literally something to please every taste on board. And no matter when you’re feeling peckish, you (and the kids!) will always be able to get something to eat.
The food choice can seem a little overwhelming if you’re a first time cruiser, so let me break it down for you.
Onboard dining includes eateries that are included in your fare, and others that are an extra cost (although there aren’t many of these). There’s a huge variety of foods, and most are serving meals all day. For example Pizzeria del Capitano is open from 9am until 4am everyday! We actually got pizza with the kids at some crazy hour and ate it in our room – because we could! The kids LOVED it!
Besides the eateries, there’s also the dining room, which offers a sit-down service for dinner every night. It’s three courses, you’re going to be very full and the best part is there’s an early sitting option which is perfect if you have small children.
We loved the roaming entertainment, including magicians, which help keep the kids occupied if they’re waiting on their meal. It’s such a great experience.
In relation to drinks, pre-purchasing a CHEERS! package before you go is great value. It costs $111 per person per day, if pre-purchased before you cruise.
2. The Onboard Activities and Entertainment
Every day there are different things to do aboard the ship, and you’ll get an itinerary so you know exactly what’s going on. From comedy shows to game shows, stage shows, basketball, workshops, waterslides, mini golf, dive-in movies – it’s endless! The kids will NEVER say they’re bored! And most of the activities are included in you fare.
Camp Ocean, which is included in the price of your cruise, is the kids club for kids aged between two and 11, and gives them time to play and do their own activities while you relax (we’ll get to that in a minute!). The supervised age-based groups get to have fun with their counsellors, who each have education or childcare experience.
And there’s also something for the older kids crowd. Circle C is for young teens between 12 and 14 years old to meet new friends and enjoy games, outdoor movies and more, while Club 02 is for teens between 15 and 17-years-old to meet, play sport, video games, do karaoke or just chat with their peers.
And if you want to have a child-free meal or dance in the evening, for an additional cost kids under 11 can attend Night Owls until 12am where they’ll enjoy music, activities and games.
3. The Relaxation
Even though the kids will be on the go with activities and endless food to enjoy, there is a haven away from the kid-fun – the Serenity Adult-Only Cruise Retreat. While the kids enjoy some time at Camp Ocean, you can treat yourselves to a spa treatment, enjoy the hot tub, have a drink at the bar or head to the beauty salon.
Or you can just sit and read a book without any distractions and a gorgeous ocean-view. Bliss.
4. The Destinations
Now that you’ve had a taste of the fun and relaxation available on-board a Carnival cruise, we can explore the destinations! Whether you want to stay close to home and sail within Australia, or head overseas, there are some incredible spots to visit, including:
- The Great Barrier Reef (sailing out of Aus)
- Melbourne (sailing out of Aus)
- New Zealand (sailing out of Aus)
- Papua New Guinea (sailing out of Aus)
- The South Pacific (sailing out of Aus)
- Transpacific (sailing out of Aus)
- Tasmania (sailing out of Aus)
- Hawaii (sailing out of US)
- Caribbean (sailing out of US)
- The Bahamas (sailing out of US)
- Mexico (sailing out of US)
- Europe (sailing out of Europe)
- Bermuda (sailing out of US)
- Alaska (sailing out of US)
- Canada & New England (sailing out of US)
- Panama Canal (sailing out of US)
- Transatlantic (sailing out of Europe)
A Carnival cruise gives your family a chance to explore some incredible destinations, all while being looked after beautifully by the incredible Carnival staff. And they’ll help you book on-shore excursions, which are an additional cost, or you can just explore to your heart’s content.
5. The Cost
There’s no doubt about it, finding the money for a family holiday at the moment isn’t as easy as it used to be. But the beauty of a Carnival cruise is that once you’ve paid your food, accommodation and entertainment is taken care of. Of course, there are additional costs if you want to do certain activities or eat in certain restaurants. But the food and entertainment that is included in your fare is amazing, and perfect for an affordable family holiday. It’s great value for money.
And don’t forget, you won’t be lifting a finger! Your beds will be made every morning and your room cleaned. Food is available whenever you want, it’s such a fabulous way to really enjoy just being a family.
So, have we convinced you to take the plunge and head off on a Carnival cruise? Make sure you check out what cruises are currently available, and start dreaming of the adventure ahead!
Mouths of Mums is proudly working with Carnival Cruise Line to bring you this article. Carnival Cruise Line is the World’s Most Popular cruise line, with some five million guests travelling every year.We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.