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Given that yesterday we focused on the various bars featured on the Carnival Horizon, it seems only fair that we dedicate a little time to those who aren’t actually old enough to enjoy them. That’s right, we’re talking about the wee ones today, and looking at what Carnival’s newest ship has to offer them. And being that “family fun” is sort of this line’s middle name, the answer is: lots of stuff.
Where To Take Your Thing 1 and Thing 2
We’re not sure exactly why, but kids and water go together like peanut butter and jelly. And not just little kids… we’re talking about the overgrown ones, too. This ship takes the water park that was so popular on the Carnival Vista and cranks the fun up a notch by adding some of Dr. Seuss’ favorite characters. So far, Horizon is the only ship in the Carnival fleet whose water park features Dr. Seuss creations, but we wouldn’t be at all surprised if that changes in the months to come.
Here, you can choose between the Cat’s Hat slide (which is over 400 feet long) and the Fun Things slide, named after those infamous troublemakers, Thing 1 and Thing 2. While the Fun Things slide is smaller than the Cat’s Hat slide, it’s also quite a bit faster.
Back down on the deck, you’ll also find a great WaterWorks area with a splash zone featuring more ways for your kid to get wet than you even knew existed. There’s also a bucket which periodically dumps 150 gallons of water on those below for reasons some of us will never quite understand, although it undeniably delights the squealing and soaked crowds.
Of course, there is also the main pool area, which is a big draw for families. Yes, it can get crowded, and yes, you’ll see chair hogs.
Parents should be advised that while Carnival does have “pool attendants,” they are not actually lifeguards. It is the responsibility of parents to keep an eye on their own offspring, and supervision is outright required for those under 13.
Where to Work off That Energy!
If you don’t mind dealing with the aftereffects (read: sugared-up kids), Cherry on Top is always a favorite spot to stop for candy and custom-made desserts. (We can’t get off any ship featuring this venue without at least three — or maybe five — handmade ice cream sandwiches.)
Another great place that families are drawn to like leaves to the gutter on your roof is the SportSquare complex. And why not? If you want to do it, it’s going to be found here. There’s mini-golf, basketball, foosball, ping-pong, billiards, Twister (yes, Twister!), shuffleboard and of course, the SkyRide (although be warned: your young ones must be at at least 54 inches tall in order to ride the highway in the sky. Don’t get them prematurely excited if, when you get on board, they aren’t going to be tall enough to enjoy it.)
Now, we know this is a family vacation and you no doubt want to spend as much time as possible with your loved ones. But let’s face it: you probably wouldn’t mind ditching them for a while, too, right? (It’s okay to admit… you’re amongst friends). Well, while you’re enjoying all the adults-only activities (which we’ll cover in Part 7), there are kids clubs which will keep the tots entertained. And as with most major cruise lines, they’re broken down by age group. Camp Ocean is for kids 2-11, Circle C handles those 12-14, while teens from 15-17 hang out at Club 02.
One of our very favorite kid-friendly onboard entertainment options is the fun-for-all-ages Hasbro: The Game Show. We recently watched three kids trounce three adults in a game of Connect Four (played on a ginormous backdrop with different colored basketballs serving as the chips usually used in the game). Get there early, make some noise and maybe you’ll get picked to go up on stage and have some fun.
Something To Do Around Every Corner
Feel like taking in a movie? You’ve got options, including the (for fee) IMAX theater or the (free) Dive-In movies shown most nights by the pool. Keep an eye on the Fun Times newsletter (or the Carnival Hub app, which we can’t recommend enough that you download either before leaving home or once you’ve boarded) to find out where the Fun Squad will be hosting events like the Gotcha! game or the Jenga-like Carnival Tower.
In fact, the Fun Times can really be your best friend. We like to bring a few highlighters — a different color for each member of our traveling party — and then, each night, mark the events we want to make sure to hit tomorrow. This is a really fun activity for the kids, as it makes it feel like they have a say in planning at least part of their vacation.
Read our past entries:
- Day 1: Getting Ready For Your Cruise
- Day 2: Free Eats
- Day 3: Specialty Dining
- Day 4: Entertainment
- Day 5: The Bars