When it comes to fun cruising, nobody does it better than Carnival Cruises. The folk at Carnival have dedicated themselves to creating cruise experiences which keep you excited, intrigued and engaged from the day you embark to the moment you step off the ship at the end of your holiday. This dedication has resulted in Carnival's widespread recognition as the "fun" cruise line, but what exactly does that mean for cruisers who step aboard the Carnival Spirit or Legend? We take a look at the initiatives and innovations which have firmly established this line right at the top of the fun foodchain.
Fun Ships 2.0
Carnival Cruises has gone far beyond just providing entertaining activities to keep passengers happy: they've built the fun into the cruise ships themselves. Over the last few years, Carnival has been overhauling their vessels to turn them into "Fun Ships 2.0". One of the latest ships to undergo this transformation is the Carnival Spirit. The Spirit is well known to Aussie cruisers, having been based Down Under for some years now, and came out of drydock late last year with a bunch of upgrades designed to provide the finest in food, fun and entertainment for the modern Carnival cruiser.
The BlueIguana Cantina is a new Mexican-style casual eatery that allows cruisers to modify burritos and tacos to their heart's content - best of all, these packets of deliciousness are included in the cruise fare!
The Alchemy Bar isn't your average cocktail bar. Give Carnival's œmixologists a few quick guidelines and they'll create a masterpiece designed just for you. Not only are the drinks delicious, the process of picking out the ingredients is super fun.
Some of the Fun Ship innovations are a little less flashy but still make a huge difference to the cruising experience. For example the two pool areas are now divided with walls to provide separate spaces, each with their own vibe. Whether your idea of a fun time at the pool involves pumping party tunes and plenty of activities or merely unwinding in a casual environment, Carnival ensures that you can cruise your way.
Fun in the Sun
Onboard waterparks aren't exclusive to Carnival Cruises, but you'd be hard pressed to find a line that has embraced the potential of a cruise ship waterpark as enthusiastically as Carnival. Kids will love WaterWorks, Carnival's epic watery playground, but they certainly won't be the only ones diving into its thrills and spills.
While some play in shallows and enjoy the less extreme slides, daring cruisers can brave the legendary Green Thunder, the steepest slide at sea. The tension mounts as you wait for the floor to drop away beneath you until down the hatch you go, shooting down the pipe at up to 65 kilometres per hour. Even the most hardened daredevils are sure to get a buzz from the Green Thunder - it is without a doubt one of the must-have experiences aboard a Carnival ship.
If that sounds just a tad too intense for you, don't worry: the competitive nature of the Speedway Splash or the slightly slower paced Drainpipe allow you to enjoy the fun in the sun without the Green Thunder's extreme adrenaline spike.
Waterparks are far from all that Carnival has in store for kids. In fact, the Fun Ship 2.0 upgrade has introduced even more ways for children to have a great time.
Replacing Camp Carnival, the new kids program Camp Ocean has its own beautifully designed, marine themed space. The bold lines and fun patterns set a playful tone for a place in which kids can jump onto video games, watch movies, play with toys or just chill out with a book on one of the many beanbags. It's not just about self-directed fun at Camp Ocean either: Carnival crew have plenty of age appropriate activities in store for young cruisers.
There are few children (or even adults, for that matter) who are immune to the charms of Dr Seuss - the catchy rhymes and wacky characters are instantly memorable and have provided hours of entertainment for many a child. That's why Carnival Cruises have introduced Dr Seuss at Sea, to give kids the chance to get up close and personal with some of their favourite characters and stories. Story times, parades, photo opportunities with the classic characters and a special breakfast with actual Green Eggs and Ham (They will like it, Sam I am!) means that there's never a dull moment young Dr Seuss fans.
Naturally while the kids are having a great time in their area, parents get the chance to make the most of their freedom, whether that means indulging in a refreshing poolside drink, strolling along the deck with ice cream cone in hand (ice cream and pizza are available 24 hours a day!) or treating themselves to a luxurious spa treatment.
Of course, it would take far more than one article go into all the different kinds of fun to be had aboard the Carnival Spirit and the Carnival Legend, but hopefully it's enough to pique your curiosity about this amazing cruise line.
Carnival cruises destinations from Australia include the South Pacific & New Zealand.