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Noob questions - Kids and Carnival Pride 2/2010

TheresaR

Active Member
#1
We are taking our first cruise this month on the Carnival Pride. We are very excited, but I am nervous because I am having trouble getting information. I have some questions but am overwhelmed by Carnival's Web site and can't get their forums to load. Hoping someone here who has traveled w/Carnival and kids has answers!

- Signed both kids (girl 13, boy 11) up for the kids clubs. If you have kids in these age ranges who have used the kids clubs before can tell me honestly if you think they're going to enjoy that experience or will they feel like they're in daycare?

- How much freedom do kids this age have on board? They are used to a certain level of independence. Can they walk from room to pool unchaperoned? Can they sign themselves in to kids club or does an adult have to bring them there and pick them up? Is it as safe as (or safer than?) letting them walk around the mall w/o adult supervision?

- We're sailing to Freeport and Nassau - are the shore excursions worth it, or should we venture on our own at port?

- IMO, Carnival's Web site provides little info on what to do on board etc. I get they have fitness room, restaurants, etc. Is there somewhere I can see daily planned activities? I am not a "lay by the pool" person. (I am, however, an "eat all you want" person ;) )

- Is the soda card worth it? We do not drink alcohol.

Thank you very much in advance to anyone who takes the time to answer any of these questions! I'm sure I have more I haven't thought of yet, so any unsolicited "noob" advice appreciated!
 

Mbandy

Well-Known Member
#2
Ahoy Matey and welcome to Cruise @ddicts :spyglass:

- Signed both kids (girl 13, boy 11) up for the kids clubs. If you have kids in these age ranges who have used the kids clubs before can tell me honestly if you think they're going to enjoy that experience or will they feel like they're in daycare? Any time I have seen the kids participating in the activities it looked like they were having a great time.

- How much freedom do kids this age have on board? They are used to a certain level of independence. Can they walk from room to pool unchaperoned? Can they sign themselves in to kids club or does an adult have to bring them there and pick them up? Is it as safe as (or safer than?) letting them walk around the mall w/o adult supervision? A subject that is sometimes a sore spot with me. Kids can move about the ship at will. Parents need to be responsible for making sure their kids behave if they are on their own. On one cruise a group of kids came running off one of the lifts and nearly knocked and elderly woman to the deck. :madd: On another cruise a young man was getting off a lift as we were getting on. He had pushed every button from deck 10 all the way down to deck 2 :bang: On yet another cruise a group of kids running and yelling in the hall outside our cabin.......at 2:30 AM!! :smack:So if the kids are well-behaved and respectful of others it's great but lots of parents just let their kids run wild and that's just annoying. I think it is safer on a ship than at the mall.

- We're sailing to Freeport and Nassau - are the shore excursions worth it, or should we venture on our own at port? That's a hard question to answer. It depends on your interests. The excursions are worth it to me but sometimes we just go on our own.

- IMO, Carnival's Web site provides little info on what to do on board etc. I get they have fitness room, restaurants, etc. Is there somewhere I can see daily planned activities? I am not a "lay by the pool" person. (I am, however, an "eat all you want" person ;) ) Somebody will probably post the Capers if they have one.,,,I don't.

- Is the soda card worth it? We do not drink alcohol. Soda card works out to about $4.50 per day plus 15% so if you drink lots of it then it is worth it. If you only drink a couple then probably not.

Thank you very much in advance to anyone who takes the time to answer any of these questions! I'm sure I have more I haven't thought of yet, so any unsolicited "noob" advice appreciated! Any time post more questions as they come to you.
 

Cruizer

Well-Known Member
#3
Carnival allows children nine and older to sign themselves out of Camp Carnival. The eleven year old will be in Camp Carnival. The thirteen year old will be in Circle C.

From Carnival's website ...

Is there a teen program onboard?

Carnival offers two different teen programs. For our 12-14 year old guests, Circle "C" offers a wide range of activities from late night movies, sports night, teen disco, Karaoke, late night swimming under the stars, scavenger hunts, and many other age appropriate activities.


Guests 15 - 17 years old have a place all their own as well, it's called Club 02. This program was created so the older teens can show off their skills in fun activities like Karaoke sessions, late night dances, ping pong and outdoor sporting events like basketball.


Many of our ships feature lounges which are dedicated to both age groups. Some of these lounges feature video monitors with Playstation 2 or X-Boxes, as well as comfortable seating. High energy dance floors with state of the art lighting and sound have also become a mainstay in many of our "Teen Only" lounges.


Due to these programs onboard, it is Carnival's policy to restrict anyone under the age of 18 years old into the main disco after 11 PM. Casino guests must be 18 years of age to play the tables and the slot machines. Guests under the age of 18 are not permitted in the casino. Guests under the age of 16 are not permitted in the spa and gym. Guests between the ages of 16 and 18 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

http://www.carnival.com/CMS/FAQs/Teen_Program.aspx


Given that both of your children can sign themselves out, they pretty much have the run of the ship, with the above noted exceptions.

If you find a shore excursion that you like for a reasonable price, then yes, it is worth it. If not, feel free to go out on your own. I have been on 14 cruises and usually book one shore excursion per port. I would say that I enjoy more than 90% of them. I have done a few things on my own also.

You will find the daily schedule on your bed each evening for the next day's activities. Sometimes the daily schedules for past cruises can be found on the Internet.

If you drink a lot of soda, then the soda card is worth it. If you don't then it is not worth it.

I was on the Pride in May 2004 when it was going to the Mexican Riviera. Here is a link to some of the pictures I took ...
http://www.cruise-addicts.com/photogallery/v/Pride+-+May+2004/
 

Cruise cutie

Well-Known Member
#4
Carnival Capers.. a daily"newspaper".. printed for the passengers "update daily" on all kinds of activities, times, locations etc..as in the lounge, pool-side, deck etc..very helpful to plan ahead.
Poolside Olympics, the belly flop contests,horse-races, Poker contests in the casino etc.. the Not -so newlywed game., ice sculpture event, deck parties etc...

we bring highlighters to plan it out..they are handed out each night on your bed/ mailbox for the next day..one is waiting on Embarkation day for you...:smile:
have a fabulous time.

all the ships have these "newspapers"..(they are named the Princess Patter on Princess cruise lines )..Happy Cruising!!...:sunny:.Joanne
 
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TheresaR

Active Member
#5
Wow - thank you all so much for the helpful and comprehensive answers! And please don't worry, Mbandy, I promise not to let them take over the ship! I think the threat of having to spend the whole week with me instead of having their freedom will take care of that!
 

MisterD21

If you take me serious, it's your problem
#6
I totally agree with everything cruizer and Michael have posted.

I will only add that , while you can buy a soda package... there are plenty of places on the ship that you can get other drinks such as juices, tea, coffee, which are included in your fares. You may have to hunt down where they are set up on the ship(usually the lido cafe, somewhere in the pool area, etc.). I might suggest you get one or two soda packages and let the family "share" them. this way the kids can have sodas if they choose, you can get a soda when you want, and the chance of you drinking more than the 4.50 a day break even point on the package. I believe they will either have it on your funpass, or will put a sticker on it, if you buy the package on the ship.

I paid for the soda package on my last cruise and i can say that for a 5 day cruise i fell just short of breaking even . I drink coffee and tea far more than soda.. yet i used the sodas for mix/chasers when i bought shots... so, IDK... i think it really is up to the individual.

BTW... i think they usually have a combination of some of the following available to drink which is already included... OJ, lemmonade, fruit punch, iced tea, hot tea, coffee, also, there is usually a better variety of drinks in the Lido cafe during breakfast, lunch, and dinner(there is usually one being served almost all day, with brief periods where they stop serving).
so finding something to drink shouldn't be a problem if you decide not to get a soda package.
 

TheresaR

Active Member
#8
Speaking of soda - I saw in another thread that someone packs sodas and bottled water - is that common? I can't recall if the room has a refrigerator or not. Are you even allowed to do that?
 

Cruizer

Well-Known Member
#9
Speaking of soda - I saw in another thread that someone packs sodas and bottled water - is that common? I can't recall if the room has a refrigerator or not. Are you even allowed to do that?
I was in a suite and that was six years ago. Nonetheless, I do believe the rooms have a mini refrigerator. As too how well it keeps things cold, I have not been impressed (other ships have mini refrigerators also).

From Carnival's website ...

Are there minibars in the staterooms?

All staterooms will have a stocked minibar. The items will be replenished twice daily as the items are consumed and charged to the guest's Sail & Sign Account along with a 15% restocking charge. If the guest wishes to have the minibar permanently locked, they must contact the Information Desk. The minibar service will be locked on the night prior to debarkation.

Offered on the following ships: Spirit, Pride, Legend, Conquest, Glory, Miracle, Valor and aboard the Triumph and Victory in category 11 and 12 suites.

The minibar will be stocked with premium liquor, wine, beer, soft drinks and a variety of sweet/salty snacks.

http://www.carnival.com/CMS/FAQs/In_Cabin_Minibars.aspx


Can you bring your own soda and water - yes.

From the Carnival website ...

(f) Weapons, firearms, contraband, ammunition, explosives, incendiary devices, or other dangerous items are strictly prohibited aboard the vessel. Carnival reserves the right to confiscate, destroy and/or turn over to authorities these or any other items it deems in its sole discretion to be detrimental to the safety or comfort of any person or which are otherwise improperly in the possession of any Guest. Each Guest warrants that no such articles are contained in any receptacle or container carried or presented as baggage. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited except as provided for in clause 8(f). All Guests agree Carnival has, at all times with or without notice, the right to search Guest’s baggage and/or personal effects for any of the prohibited items, at any location, to ensure compliance with these restrictions. Any Guest who refuses any such search or screening, or any Guest traveling with such items, may be denied boarding or disembarked and no refund of the cruise fare will be issued. The Guest will be solely responsible for any and all damage and/or loss caused by his violation of this policy.

(f) Except as noted below, Guests are prohibited from bringing alcohol on Carnival’s vessels for on board consumption. However, at the beginning of the cruise during embarkation day only, guests 21 years and older may bring one bottle of wine or champagne per person on board only in their carry on luggage.

http://www.carnival.com/CMS/Static_Templates/ticket_contract.aspx?icid=CC_Footer_84

Does it specifically say you can bring soda or water on board? Of course not. The list of things you can bring would fill a book. Soda and water are not prohibited, so they are allowed. You will note that alcoholic beverages are prohibited, with the above exception.

You can buy alcoholic beverages in the ports and bring them on board. They will be collected once you board and given back to you at the end of the cruise. Same applies to any bottles you buy on board the ship. You can of course buy glasses of alcoholic beverages and cans & bottles of beer to drink on the deck. You can also buy bottles of wine or other alcoholic beverages to drink at dinner. However, those bottles will be kept for you for the following night's dinner if you don't finish the bottle on the night you buy it.

It is actually easier to understand than it sounds.
 

TheresaR

Active Member
#10
Well we don't drink so I blew right past all that stuff about alcoholic beverages - thank you for providing the information!

I never would have even thought to look for info about a minibar. I had better have the one in my kids' room locked! God forbid they start driniking $12 cans of soda!
 

Mbandy

Well-Known Member
#11
Well we don't drink so I blew right past all that stuff about alcoholic beverages - thank you for providing the information!

I never would have even thought to look for info about a minibar. I had better have the one in my kids' room locked! God forbid they start driniking $12 cans of soda!
You can ask your cabin steward to remove the items from the mini bar and just use it as a refrigerator. We bring a six pack of soda on board and just buy more in ports of call. Same for bottled water we buy it in port, not on the ship.