9 Kids Tips For Maximizing Carnival Cruise Fun

kids Carnival cruise tips sunset

Kids Tips for Maximizing Your Carnival Cruise Fun

by Junior Editor

Hi, I’m Junior Editor, here with some tips for kids cruising Carnival. In this article, I’ll be going over how to maximize your fun in 8 different places and 1 specific day on Carnival ships.

Embarkation Day:

Embarkation day is a pretty chaotic day – but most people like to relax, because it’s tiring to be an adult, especially when traveling to a cruise port. As a kid, you can use this opportunity to take advantage of the lack of crowds, and get to all the places that are normally just a little too crowded, for example, the pools, or maybe the arcade. 

kids Carnival cruise tips embarkation day


The arcade is one of my favorite places on Carnival ships. With its psychedelic neon lights, 80’s feel, and addictive games, you can easily find yourself practically blowing away money. (probably your parents’) But, it’s totally worth it, especially if you find some of the games that pay the highest tickets, such as the Raw Thrills style game in which you shoot targets with Nerf guns, which can be found on Carnival Miracle, Carnival Panorama, and more. Use said tickets for prizes that you can get from the ticket exchange centers, to keep, or as great presents for friends at home.

kids Carnival cruise tips Arcade


The waterworks section includes waterslides, buckets full of water, and more! Before your cruise, make sure to check the height and weight requirements to ensure that you fit them. Use quiet days such as port days to your advantage, so you can have the waterworks all to yourself. On some cruises, (I’m not so sure about Carnival) varied venues close, and depending on which cruise line you’re cruising, this may be the case for the waterworks too.

Even the crew members need a break!

Everyone is sure to have a great time on the waterslides. Sometimes it’s a good idea to wear a rashguard, because the seams of the slides can scrape up your back a little, so always have one packed.

kids Carnival cruise tips waterworks Green Thunder
Carnival Miracle – Waterworks (Green Thunder)

Pools and Hot Tubs:

The pools and hot tubs are a great place to relax, for kids and adults. I would once again recommend using quiet days to your advantage. Pools can be extra fun on windy days, or when the boat’s rocking, because it turns them into a sort of wave pool. Hot tubs are great on cold or windy days, to keep you warm. Even on hot days, where they become a sort of sauna for heating you up even more. Don’t be afraid to attend any of the events at the pool/hot tub area either, such as live movie showing at nighttime (Movies Under The Stars), contests with prizes, etc.

kids Carnival cruise tips Pools

Cherry On Top:

Cherry On Top is the main candy store on Carnival Cruises, and one of the best tips is to always pay attention to what’s going to satisfy you – quality over quantity, and some people have different tastes. Don’t buy too much on your first visit. Try some different things from the bulk candy bins, then go back for more once you decide what you like.

Don’t be afraid to try something new either, Cherry On Top has lots of great stuff for Jelly Bean fans, Harry Potter fans, and Harry Potter Jelly Bean fans! (Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans). Cherry On Top commonly has other merchandise pertaining to ducks, Dr. Seuss, and more! 

Sports Venues:

Sports venues such as the basketball court, jogging track, Sky Course, Sky Ride, Sky Greens, Clubhouse, (and more depending on which ship you set sail on) are a great place to go for a bit of exercise, or just to relax and spend a minute to take it all in. Sky Course and Sky Ride are really high up, which provides an awesome view.

For Sky Course and Sky Ride, be sure to wear close toed shoes. You’re allowed to take a camera (like a GoPro) onboard, or you can leave your belongings in the free lockers nearby. The Sky Course and Sky Ride tend to be more quiet on embarkation day, so hit these spots on that first day (after lunch maybe) for some uncrowded fun.

This is a great place to make friends with the crew – they’re friendly, welcoming, and ready to help!

Sky Greens is a great place to relax and play a bit of mini golf. Maybe hit a ball or two off the edge of the ship by accident, try for a hole in one on every level, or just play how it’s meant. Again, quiet days are the best time to visit here, though it always presents a great time.

Kids Carnival cruise tips Skyride
Carnival Panorama – SkyRide


Staterooms have a ton of potential, depending on the stateroom and what you brought. Tablets and phones are always great if you’re bored. You can also make use of the camera on a phone, which normally comes equipped with stuff like time-lapse, slo-mo, and a few more options. Feel free to make a whole movie, or use a stop-motion app to create a short film! Now, beds also have a lot that you can make use of – pillows and blankets, which you can use to make pillow forts, etc. Sometimes, your stateroom steward will provide your room with a different towel animal every night! Great characters for your short movies.

Food Venues:

Food venues such as the buffet and various dining rooms are a great way to try something new. Food venues on Carnival ships always give a great time, especially at my favorite from the Panorama, Bonsai Sushi! Serving a variety of Japanese culinary delights, it’s a great place for sushi, ramen, or even omakase, (respectfully letting another decide what is best) which lets the chefs decide for you. The staff at Bonsai are always welcoming, and it’s easy to make friends. 

Kids Carnival cruise tips Cherry On Top
Carnival Panorama – Cherry On Top

At Fahrenheit 555, you can gobble up some tasty steak, followed by a Nutella pizza or various other fun desserts. The buffet’s great for lunch and breakfast, serving pastries, oatmeal, cookies, sandwiches, and really whatever you want. The buffet is always better when it’s less crowded, so it’s best to come on quiet days. At the main dining rooms, find something you like. There’s always something on the menu for everyone. You’ll have the same staff at your MDR (main dining room) if you choose traditional dining, so don’t be afraid to make friends with them. if you have anytime dining, it’s fun to meet new servers every night, and learn about their lives and interests.

Kids Club:

The kids clubs are always different, and they always offer something for everyone. The kids club is awesome for making friends and doing all kinds of activities with them, sometimes including video games, scavenger hunts, sports like gagaball, card games, crafts, food making parties and more! Don’t feel shy! Be sure to head up there on embarkation day to meet the staff, and see what the activities will be like that week.

kids Carnival cruise tips kids club
Carnival Miracle – Club 02

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Sheri and her family are cruise content creators focused on providing practical tips and advice to new and seasoned cruisers. CruiseTipsTV’s audience enjoys following Sheri and her family as they travel the world by ship creating travel films. Sheri has visited destinations like Japan, Mexico, Alaska, Europe and the Caribbean, and has experienced 33 cruises on 6 cruise lines. She was named one of Porthole Cruise Magazine’s 10 Travel Influencers Changing How We Vacation in 2018 and 2019. Sheri has been quoted in the New York Times, CNBC, Forbes, Prevention, and Business Innovator Radio. Her YouTube Channel, CruiseTipsTV has over 87,000 subscribers and 17 million views.