NCL Vs. Carnival kids camp programs ages 4&6

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#1
NYC
215 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
I ask you, the experts for advice.
We are looking to book a family cruise. We have two boys 4 & 6.
The ships we are looking into are the following:

Carnival - Miracle or Pride
NCL - Jewel, Gem or Dawn

We are looking for feedback on how the two lines compare in regards to thier kids programs. So if you have any experiance with the onboard camps with kids around the same age as our's, your feedback will help a lot.


Thank you.
#2
Connecticut
2,638 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
My son was 5 on our most recent cruise on NCL Spirit (although he has also been on Dawn and Jewel as well) and Carnival Triumph. We have traveled w/ under 200 kids on board and over 800 on board.

He much prefers NCL's kids program. They will frequently do parades around the ship, face painting, pizza making, cupcake decorating, color t-shirts, prince and princess party, treasure hunt. They take them to the shows in the evening.

NCL Kids Club (this may change with the new program) did not close down in the middle of the day for lunch and dinner but CCL does. I could pick him up and feed him when he was hungry not when the kid's crew felt he should eat b/c they were closing.

On CCL he frequently called me to come pick him up b/c he said he was bored- it seemed they did not have as many organized activities/projects planned. He said it was more like free play.

The counselors seemed equally as friendly on both ships
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#3
Montgomery County, Maryland
3,439 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
We took our 2 year old on to the Pride. & He loved it!

Baltimore is an easy drive down from NYC, if that matters. At that age, my son was still in diapers & we had a box of diapers, etc. that we were happy to drive to the port rather than having to fly...
#4
209 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
We have been on the NCL Jewel (kids ages 6&8), Carnival Valor (7&9) and NCL Sun (8&10). In general they liked NCL better. My experience was that Carnival was more structured than NCL and my kids liked that better. They did more silly games on NCL and less project type of activities. As a parent, I liked the hours on NCL - they are open all day on sea days but they are closed when the ship is in port.
#5
127 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Just an observation from experience...NCLs kids clubs group by age (2-5 and 6-8). This did not fly with my 4 and 6 year olds as they wanted to play together. They only looked forward to Free play times (not many) so they could play together (they are only 18 months apart and super close.)
#6
328 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
we did ncl dawn in 11/2011 and just got off carnival legend a few weeks ago.

NCL: Other than a problem we had initially with the kids club supervisor (which was fairly quickly addressed with a quick call to the cruise director) I found their program to be excellent. Unlike carnival that closed every day, they were pretty much always open. They had a theme for each day and did tons of activities within that theme. The counselors really interacted with the kids and played and joked with them a lot. In general it just seemed like tons of fun with lots and lots of activity. All the counselors were very happy and high energy.

Carnival: My dd also enjoyed the carnival kids program but it was a more independant play and a LOT more watching TV. The counselors were all very nice but didn't seem to be as interested in the kids. My other big complaint with carnival was that they didn't stick to their own schedule. For example, they'd have an activity set for 1:30-2:30 that my dd was interested in but when we'd arrive to participate find that they'd already done it. Or, we'd return to pick her up at 2:30 to find they never did the planned activity with no clear explanation as to why

So, like I said, my dd enjoyed both programs but by the end of the week at carnival she was getting bored whereas even after 10 days of NCL she couldn't get enough.

ymmv
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#7
328 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by koalagurl
Just an observation from experience...NCLs kids clubs group by age (2-5 and 6-8). This did not fly with my 4 and 6 year olds as they wanted to play together. They only looked forward to Free play times (not many) so they could play together (they are only 18 months apart and super close.)
carnival does this too. In fact there was one dad who was very, very angry on the first day of the cruise to find out his two boys, who were only a year apart, were in different age groups and couldn't be together.
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Coming Up:
March 2017--Princess ??--Mexican Riviera 10 nt

Cruise History:
November 2016 NCL Jewel-- Mexican Riviera 5 nt-- repeat Thanksgiving cruise
March 2016 NCL Escape-- Eastern Caribbean 7 nt-- Waterslides baby!!
November 2015 NCL Jewel-- Mexican Riviera 7 nt-- Thanksgiving with friends
December 2014 NCL Epic-- Western Caribbean 7 nt--waterfalls and stingrays and dolphins, oh my!
August 2014 Celebrity Summit--Bermuda 7 nt--tropical storm diverted us to Nassau instead
February 2014 Carnival Inspiration--Baja Mexico--4 nt last minute girls trip

December 2013 Celebrity Eclipse--Southern Caribbean 14 nt New Year's Cruise!
January 2013 Disney Fantasy--Western Caribbean 7 nt
February 2012 Carnival Legend--Western Caribbean 7 nt
November 2011 NCL Dawn--Southern Caribbean 11 nt
March 2011 Celebrity Millenium--Southern Caribbean 10 nt
September 2010 Carnival Legend--Western Caribbean 7 nt
Sometime in 1989 on a ship I cannot recall--Alaska 7 nt
Total: 100 days at sea!!
#8
Visalia, CA
293 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Bumping this thread up as I'm curious to see if there are any new comments comparing NCL and CCL's kids programs.

We will be sailing with 6 & 8 yr olds so I'm assuming they will be able to stay together but now trying to figure out which camp/program is better.

Looking to compare NCL Star to CCL Miracle.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
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