On our voyage, the 12 to 14 year old and 15 to 17 year old teens could sign up for a river tubing excursion in Jamaica as their teens-only shore excursion selection. They traveled as a group and were accompanied by the teen director and one youth counselor. All Carnival cruises feature one teens-only shore excursion.
By The Numbers
Carnival Cruise Lines carries about 500,000 children under 14 annually. On our cruise, there were about 500 youngsters, with the age breakdown as follows: 140 in the 12 to 14 year old group; 140 between the age of nine and 11; 120 in the six to eight year old group; 87 between the ages of two to five; and 16 under age two. According to Zwanenburg, the Carnival Victory had a record 810 youngsters under 14 aboard ship during Easter week this year. A typical week in the summer sees about 600 to 700 kids. Zwanenburg said that Camp Carnival enjoys a strong 60 to 95 percent participation rate of kids on board who check out the youth programming.
Each cruise aboard the Carnival Victory is staffed with 12 to 16 youth counselors, depending on the number of youngsters aboard. On our cruise, there were 14 counselors and they hailed from Australian, Canada, the Philippines, and Eastern European countries. We found the counselors to be friendly and energetic, while still maintaining good control of the children.
On our cruise, there were two sea afternoons devoted to family activities, as well as a family dance party and ice cream sundae making on the first night of the cruise. One afternoon was devoted to water games on deck. Even three-year-old Ethan was able to participate in water balloon tosses and other team games. Prior to that, there was a family scavenger hunt that my daughter Alex and I participated in. I was proud that we won the hunt, but more importantly, the game afforded me time to learn something about my daughter and how resourceful she can be. For example, we needed to find a red sock that we didn't have in our cabin. So she suggested we take one of her old socks and color it red with her little brother's markers!
The other sea afternoon featured family cookie decorating, which the kids really enjoyed making and eating. Following the cookie decorating was the Camp Carnival talent show which was a very endearing, entertaining, and positive way to end our relaxing cruise.
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