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Waterworks water park is the sweet spot for a ton of fun atop Carnival Sunshine.

Danny Lehman / Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line

Waterworks water park is the sweet spot for a ton of fun atop Carnival Sunshine.

Family cruises on Carnival Cruise Line

The 24 ships in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet expect to carry more than 750,000 children this year, the most in company history. Dining options got a reboot with the launch of American Table menus and serving styles inspired by guest feedback. Fun Ships (most Carnival ships have gotten the Fun Ships upgrade) also offer family favorites like 24-hour pizza, poolside restaurants, Guy’s Burger Joint (created by the Food Network’s Guy Fieri), a new confections and gift shop called Cherry on Top, and the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with Dr. Seuss characters for a nominal fee.

What's new for families

Setting sail on May 1 is the new addition to its fleet, Carnival Vista, offering 6- to 11-day Caribbean itineraries to Antigua, Jamaica and the Bahamas, and 8- to 12-day journeys to European cities Trieste, Italy; Athens, Greece and Barcelona, Spain. The newest Fun Ship features family suites with access  to a family lounge, Camp Ocean and Seuss at Sea, and the first IMAX and multiplex at sea, among other cool features.

For kids: Carnival Cruise Line offers complimentary programming and facilities for kids in three age groups: Camp Ocean (ages 2-11), Circle “C” (12-14) and Club O2 (15-17). Camp Carnival is designed for younger cruisers and features indoor play areas stocked with games and toys along with indoor climbing mazes, computer labs and video walls. Kids can also eat with their counselors so parents can enjoy a night to themselves.

For tweens: Circle “C” provides 12- to 14-year olds with a place of their own to dance, watch movies outdoors, play games and get together with new friends.

For teens: Club O2 includes a dance floor with a DJ, soda bar, movies, video games and pool parties.

Around the ship

You'll find outdoor games and activities, along with children’s wading pools, and main Lido deck pools offering the line’s signature water slides. Outdoor play areas with mini basketball hoops, jungle gyms and other playground equipment, mini-golf, as well as game rooms offering the latest video and arcade games, are available fleet-wide. The line also offers nightly babysitting and Carnival Night Owls, featuring a full schedule of late-night activities running as late as 3 am (fees apply for babysitting and the Night Owls program).

In this series

Your take

Have you and your family cruised on Carnival? What was the highlight? Did we overlook anything in this roundup? Please leave a comment below. 

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