Carnival Miracle for Families
Pinocchio's Club, the children's facility on Miracle, is a colorful, adult-free hideaway (save from the very cool and cheerful youth staff), but what's inside is even better: five eMac computers, several small televisions hooked up to PlayStation consoles and a mosaic of wall-mounted screens for watching movies. There's also a huge flat-screen TV set up with Dance Dance Revolution, which is basically an arcade dance simulation game where you can create your own routines and even track the calories you burn -- loads of fun for the kids. There's also a game cabinet, bookshelf, arts and crafts tables, a candy art machine (so neat), and a spin art machine.
Club O2, on the Sun Deck, is the place to be for passengers aged 15 to 17. It has a full array of gaming consoles, a dance floor, music-listening stations and soda bar, plus activities such as karaoke, dance classes and midnight mini-golf forays. Circle C, the designated venue for the 12-to-14 'tween set, is on Deck 4 forward, and has has a dance floor, video jukebox and Internet stations. Activities include dance parties, game shows and Wii competitions. Both spaces have dedicated directors, and both are generally open from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. on days in port and from noon during sea days.
The actual children's program, Camp Carnival, is tailored for many age groups. Children are broken up into four categories: ages 2 - 5, ages 6 - 8 and ages 9 - 11. Activities are also tailored for the age groups, and baby-sitting services, basically a slumber party in the play room, are available for a reasonable cost -- $6.75 per child -- from 10 p.m. until 3 a.m. Toddlers do not have to be potty-trained to participate, as long as parents provide the staff with diapers and toiletries as necessary.
An all-you-can-drink Bottomless Bubbles program is available for children at $4.50 per day; adults may also purchase a fountain card for $6 per day. Soft drinks range from just $1 to $1.50, so you'd have to drink a whole lot of soda to get your money's worth -- plus, while your buck-fifty can get you a fresh soda, we noticed that guests who proffered up the fountain card at the bar were served whatever dregs were left in already-open cans. Admittedly, kids consume more soft drinks (and less wine) than adults might, so parents may want to consider this option rather than paying a la carte.