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First Timer’s Guide to Carnival’s Onboard Activities

From friends gushing about their cruise to Hawaii last year to people chatting away in the supermarket check-out line, people everywhere are experiencing the joys of cruise vacations. Now, the time has come for you to enjoy your very own cruise.

overhead view of pool deck onboard a carnival ship

Cruises are as much about onboard adventures as they are about shore excursions. Check out the sports area or attend a comedy show. Even the kids will love it, too. From teen spas and digital play areas to Dr. Seuss activities and arts and crafts, no one will feel left out on this family vacation.

Look for Your ‘Fun Times’ Newsletter

The ‘Fun Times’ Newsletter is your guide to upcoming activities. Each evening, the ‘Fun Times’ Newsletter arrives in your stateroom, chock full of everything you can enjoy the following day. Snatch it up and start scanning.

Cruising With Kids

Get ready for a family vacation your kids will discuss for months to come. Featuring everything from kid-friendly staterooms to kid-approved meals, the cruising experience is all about convenience. You’re on vacation, after all! From fun family activities to independent adventures, we’re confident everyone will find something to love during their vacation.

family standing over the balcony looking at the ocean

Fun Activities for Kids and Teens

When the kids want to head off on their own, they’ll have plenty of options on any given day. Circle “C” and Club O2 are designed for young teens (12-14) and older teens (15-17), respectively. These clubs provide a great place to hang out without the parents. Teens can also enjoy Digital Play, Party Time and Active Play, all designed to foster group engagement. Younger kids can take part in Camp Ocean, which is a supervised program designed to enlighten and entertain young minds. The wild and wacky world of Dr. Seuss is also onboard, offering plenty of silly times for kids of all ages. Finally, Build-a-Bear Workshop at Sea helps bring out your kids’ creative side.

kids playing games at camp carnival

Fun Activities for Families

Family time should provide fun for all. As a family, you can enjoy great activities like SkyRide and WaterWorks. Movie lovers will enjoy IMAX, Thrill Theater and Carnival Seaside Theater, while theater fans will jump at the chance to see one of many stage shows. Any fans of the board game Clue? Take part as a family in CLUE: The Murder Mystery, and work your way around the ship picking up clues along the way. Who, what and where? Winners receive a fun prize.

family having fun at waterworks waterpark

How to Have a Parents’ Night Out

When it’s time to enjoy a night out without the kids, you will relax knowing they’re in good hands. Night Owls is a nightly babysitting service for kids between the ages of six months and 11 years. Night Owls is open nightly from 10:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

boy with plush toy at night owls

Cruising Without Kids

Whether you’re taking a romantic cruise for two or a cruise with the gals (or guys), you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy plenty of onboard activities.

Exploring Daytime Activities

What would you like to do during your days at sea? If you like to be the center of attention, you might enjoy activities such as dance classes or karaoke. Quieter, more serene types might be drawn to the library or cooking demonstrations. Art lovers or those who just appreciate artistic talent will surely love the art auctions and art games, where rapid-fire enthusiasm is the name of the game.

chefs cooking onboard

If spas come to mind when you think of cruising, you’re in luck. Carnival has plenty of spa activities just for you. Take part in the spa delights at Spa Carnival and Cloud 9 Spa and enjoy massages, facials and much much more.

Any fitness buffs out there? Whether you’re trying to maintain your physique or you’re inspired to start, you’ll have no trouble finding just the fitness activity for you. From fitness classes at the Fitness Center (open 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.) to SkyFitness and SportSquare, this cruise vacation could be the beginning of a healthier you.

Planning Your Evening Activities

Evening can be one of two things. It can be a time to wind down under the stars or it can be a time to get the party going. Regardless of your preference, you’ll discover new activities every evening that offer the perfect accompaniment to your daily thrills.

How about settling in at the bar? From the Piano Bar to the SkyBox Sports Bar and from the Alchemy Bar to RedFrog Rum Bar, there are plenty of ways to enjoy a drink or two amid excellent company. If you’d rather hit the party scene, check out great spots like the Nightclub, Mega Deck Party or the Limelight Lounge. Casino enthusiasts can play gambling at numerous tournaments, such as Blackjack, Poker, slots, table games and more. For a relaxing end to the day, head up to the deck for Dive-In Movies.

woman gives high fives during deck dance party

Whether you’re traveling with kids or with a group of friends, your cruise vacation is sure to be a blast. After you travel to a cruise destination like the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii or The Bahamas, you’ll soon be starting your own supermarket line conversations.

Note: Onboard activities vary by ship.