Everyone from infants (6 months is the youngest allowed on Carnival) to mom and dad are well taken care of on Carnival Breeze. The ship is a good choice for families, with a range of family-friendly programming and day care for tots to teens. And the extra-fee "Night Owl" care for kids frees up parents to party until the wee hours of the morning. Connecting and special family cabins capable of housing five are available.
Breeze features the line's partnership with Hasbro, the game maker and offers Carnival's "Seuss at Sea," which includes a group story time, camp activities, jolly Seuss parade through the ship led by The Cat in the Hat and $5-a-person "Green Eggs and Ham" breakfast. Other for-fee fun that parents can join: a Beary Cuddly Workshop, during which you customize a bear or other stuffed animal. Cost varies according to outfits chosen, but a special St. Jude Children's Research Hospital bear is $19.99, with proceeds benefiting the hospital.
Camp Ocean (Deck 11) is divided into groups. Penguins are two to five; Stingrays six to eight, and Sharks are nine to 11. Kids can check into camp for free from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on sea days. Dinner can be taken with parents or with other campers. When Breeze is in port, Camp Ocean opens earlier. A nice touch: Campers and their parents can use the camp as a relaxation area while they wait to disembark.
Part of Camp Ocean is used as a drop-off area for kids under two. Gates are unlocked and locked by staffers for security. Babysitting for these tots costs $6.75 hourly per child, plus a 15 percent gratuity.
Age-appropriate activities in the colorful play area might include playing Mr. Potato Head, decorating T-shirts, LEGO castle building, movies, arts and crafts, Twister and bowling, Wii games, bingo and girls-against-boys trivia.
The older Sharks do lots of video gaming, have their own scavenger hunt, play mini-golf and might even have a talent show.
Kids can take their meals with their peers, or parents can pick them up. Parents can also join kids for a scavenger hunt and other fun.
Group babysitting with video games, board games and movies is offered through Camp Ocean from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. nightly. The "Night Owls" program is open to every child up to age 11. The fee is $6.75 per hour per child, plus 15 percent gratuity. More than a few times, staffers have had to launch a shipboard search for partying moms and dads who've lost track of time.
Around the ship, kids' menu options abound (think mac and cheese and chicken tenders). Cribs and high chairs, but not diapers, are available.
Tweens and Teens
Twelve- to 14-year-olds hang out at "Circle C" (Cruise, Chill, Connect), tucked away on Deck 4. There's a mini dance floor, lounging nooks, video games ties to flat-screen TVs and ultra-mod cushy orange chairs shaped like bananas. Activities typically start at noon on sea days, 4 p.m. on port days, and might include dodge ball, dancing, fitness tournament, karaoke, a cookie and smoothie social, a "rave party" and water slide race. Kids, who are free to come and go, take a dinner break until 8:30 p.m. Closing time is as late as 1 a.m.
Club O2 provides a spot for the high school set aged 15 to 17 to meet and mingle (no adults or kids allowed) over karaoke, pool parties and dances. The clubhouse on Deck 4 resembles a nightclub, with dance floor and giant flat-screen TVs. A bar serves non-booze concoctions. The schedule is more relaxed in the afternoons, but amps up at night with X-Box tourneys, glow-in-the-dark parties and DJs spinning current hits.