Carnival Magic for Families
As if waterslides, family-friendly comedians, a splash pool and a wandering Fun Ship Freddy (Carnival's odd-shaped mascot) weren't enough, Magic devotes more than 19,000 square feet of space to children and teenagers, plus a lengthy list of activities.
Camp Carnival, located on Deck 11 and geared toward those ages 2 to 11, is sliced into three sections: Ages 2 to 5 do arts and crafts and play games; 6- to 8-year olds have talent shows, go on scavenger hunts and take on the ropes course; and the 9-to-11 set learn magic tricks, swim and the like. Kids from 6 on up also have access to Wii and PlayStation 2. Hours are long, with the camp opening between 6:45 a.m. and 10 a.m., depending on the day. When the organized activities end, usually at around 10 p.m., on-site babysitting for ages 2 to 11 ($6 an hour for the first child, $4 an hour for each additional child) is available until 3 a.m. Some activities, like the Fun Ship Freddy Surprise Party, require fees.
Two inviting and well-designed teen clubs for ages 12 to 14 and ages 15 to 17 are located side by side on Deck 4; both are generally open from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. on days in port and from noon during sea days. Both have dedicated directors.
Circle C, for the tweens, has a dance floor, video jukebox and Internet stations, and activities include dance parties, game shows and Wii competitions. Red banana-shaped chairs are clustered around glass tables and banquettes, and there's a "bar" for underage refreshments.
Club O2 for the older set is a bit larger and airier, with 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. One particularly cool area features banquettes with TV monitors suspended from the ceiling, the better to chat and gawk at videos at the same time.
For both big and little kids, the Warehouse, a relatively stark space next to Club O2, features more than a dozen arcade games and air hockey. And watch out: Every game you play is going to show up on your Sail & Sign account.