The only negative we heard about the program came indirectly, from a parent shrieking at their unyielding child: "You're going to Camp Carnival, and you're going to like it!"
Other than the single incident, it was quite clear that the kiddos have an enjoyable time aboard Victory. Carnival has activities set up for every age group, from toddlers to teens. Carnival breaks down the groups as follows: Under 2s, kids between the ages of 2–5, 6–8, 9–11, 12–14 and 15–17.
All age groups are supervised by hip counselors, and although specific times vary based on the ship's itinerary, regularly scheduled activities generally take place between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m., after which Night Owl parties (11 years and younger) -- late-night group babysitting with a more fun name -- are available for $6.75 per hour, per kid (plus 15-percent gratuity per child).
On Deck 12, there's an outdoor area with a kiddie pool and Ping-Pong, but the pool was out of service on our sailing, so the area was rarely crowded.
Also on Deck 12 is the Camp Carnival area that serves children from ages 2 to 11 (divided into three age groups so 11 year olds aren't playing with 3 year olds). Awash in primary colors, it features toys and games, a wall of computers and plenty of seating and floor space for activities that include treasure hunts, Wii video game play, arts and crafts, LEGO playtime, trivia and board games, family scavenger hunts and the for-fee Beary Cuddly Workshop, which allows children to stuff their own plush animals, complete with outfits (about $25 per animal, plus $10 per outfit).
Kids can also elect to eat dinner with Camp Carnival in the Lido. Menu items feature kid favorites like chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, Tater Tots and cookies.
Offered once per sailing, Carnival also presents the Seuss at Sea program, which includes a Seuss-a-Palooza parade and storytime, featuring well-known Dr. Seuss characters like Thing 1 and Thing 2 and Sam from "Green Eggs and Ham." Speaking of green eggs and ham, the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast ($5 per person, reservations recommended), also offered once per sailing in the Atlantic Dining Room, features just that: green eggs (made that way with a bit of food coloring), ham, and red and white pancakes, staked to resemble the Cat in the Hat's head topper.
Also once per sailing, a small team of cabin stewards creates a towel animal zoo. You'll find dozens of the terry cloth creatures sunning themselves on deck chairs around Triton's Pool. Set your alarm early if you want to catch a glimpse of them, though. On our sailing, they appeared around 7:30 -- just about the time the early risers came by to stake their claims and remove the creations from prime lounge spots.
Children 11 and younger must be signed into and out of their respective kids clubs by a parent or guardian, and children wishing to stay in Camp Carnival on port days while their parents go ashore can do so.
Also on Deck 12, there are two spots just for teens: Circle C for 12- to 14-year-olds and Club O2 for 15- to 17-year-olds. Each space features video games, karaoke, a dance floor and plenty of alcove and beanbag chair seating. We even saw a foosball table.
Daily activities include things like video game play, karaoke, dancing, board and card games, trivia, scavenger hunts and themed parties, such as "glow."
Tweens and teens, ages 12 and older, can come and go as they please from the clubs -- no parental sign-in or sign-out required. Many passengers in this age group also seem more than content roving the ship in packs, playing games of their own invention.