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Camp Ocean and birthday while on board


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I know over the years I've seen this asked before and could search, but the boards are fairly slow due to no cruising so I figured I'd ask myself.  It's been almost 4 years since we've been on Carnival as well.  We are looking (and hoping) to cruise at the end of August.  Our youngest will turn 9 on the last full day on board.  Do they use embarkation age for the camp groups?  Is it flexible what group he could go in?  TIA!

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So while their website does not explicitly state this for each age group it does say "If your child is turning 2 years old during your cruise they are welcome to join our Penguin® group," That being said, if they are willing to allow a toddler to 'move up' in age in order to participate if their birthday is during the cruise, I can't see why they wouldn't make the same exception for a child that is a bit older. I'd ask and explain once you board, I'm sure they would not have an issue with that sort of accommodation. 

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10 minutes ago, tm_aw_love said:

So while their website does not explicitly state this for each age group it does say "If your child is turning 2 years old during your cruise they are welcome to join our Penguin® group," That being said, if they are willing to allow a toddler to 'move up' in age in order to participate if their birthday is during the cruise, I can't see why they wouldn't make the same exception for a child that is a bit older. I'd ask and explain once you board, I'm sure they would not have an issue with that sort of accommodation. 

 

Thanks for finding that.  I did look through their FAQs and probably skipped right over the Penguin stuff.  He'd do good with either age.  He's older than most kids in his grade as his bday was near the cutoff so we held him until the next year.  But he has a 16 year old brother so he can hold his own with older kids too!  Usually before cruises I get him all excited and find pics and videos of the area he'll be in in the kids' camps and then saw he will be on the edge of the two groups this time.  

 

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They will automatically be enrolled in the age that they are on embarkation.  You can go and speak to the staff and they can sometimes move them up.  I believe it depends on how many kids they have that week.  My youngest son was a few months away from Circle C about 4 years ago and the youth director let him move up when we went to speak with her on embarkation.  She warned him that he had to behave to stay and he was so happy that they let him move up, he was an angel in fears that he would be moved down.  

 

My oldest son was turning 18 during the last cruise we had booked.  It enrolled him in Club 02 even though half way through the voyage he was technically no longer eligible (I am sure he wouldn't have been kicked out).  He was so excited about his last time in the program.  We were scheduled to embark March 28, 2020 and then I don't have to tell you what happened 😞  He was so sad he never had one last chance for Club 02.  

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13 hours ago, cdm289 said:

They will automatically be enrolled in the age that they are on embarkation.  You can go and speak to the staff and they can sometimes move them up.  I believe it depends on how many kids they have that week.  My youngest son was a few months away from Circle C about 4 years ago and the youth director let him move up when we went to speak with her on embarkation.  She warned him that he had to behave to stay and he was so happy that they let him move up, he was an angel in fears that he would be moved down.  

 

My oldest son was turning 18 during the last cruise we had booked.  It enrolled him in Club 02 even though half way through the voyage he was technically no longer eligible (I am sure he wouldn't have been kicked out).  He was so excited about his last time in the program.  We were scheduled to embark March 28, 2020 and then I don't have to tell you what happened 😞  He was so sad he never had one last chance for Club 02.  

That stinks he didn't get to go one last time!  My teen hasn't enjoyed the last couple cruises' teen groups as much.  Last one on NCL he didn't really hit it off with anyone to hang out with.  He will be 17 on this one and I hope he does find some vacation friends to hang with.  

 

This cruise is the last week in August. We normally go around then and there aren't as many kids on board as so many schools have started back already.  I guess it'll be a surprise if we even get to cruise and what group he may end up in!

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You might want to consider that when the cruise ships start sailing again hopefully vaccination proof may be required. Since children under 16 can't be vaccinated, even if the parents are you may not be allowed to cruise with your kids.

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On 1/17/2021 at 10:16 AM, Djptcp said:

You might want to consider that when the cruise ships start sailing again hopefully vaccination proof may be required. Since children under 16 can't be vaccinated, even if the parents are you may not be allowed to cruise with your kids.

That's possible, of course.  It'll be one of a dozen bridges we will cross if we are lucky enough to get to it! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

There is flexibility, yes. My recommendation is to NOT pre-register him online, as that would automatically put him into the age group associated with his current age (at embarkation). Not sure if pre-registering would've made it harder for him to switch out once on board. It can't hurt to not pre-register, at any rate! Then, on embarkation night, go to the kids camp he WANTS to be in, explain the situation to a camp counselor, and get him signed up.

 

We cruised with friends who had a son that turned 12 on debarkation day! She didn't register him online (which would have automatically stuck him in Camp Ocean), went to Circle C with him as soon as it opened, introduced him to a camp counselor, and got her son registered there, no problem. This was on the Panorama, Christmas 2019. Good luck!! 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/27/2021 at 7:27 PM, heckledtrio said:

There is flexibility, yes. My recommendation is to NOT pre-register him online, as that would automatically put him into the age group associated with his current age (at embarkation). Not sure if pre-registering would've made it harder for him to switch out once on board. It can't hurt to not pre-register, at any rate! Then, on embarkation night, go to the kids camp he WANTS to be in, explain the situation to a camp counselor, and get him signed up.

 

We cruised with friends who had a son that turned 12 on debarkation day! She didn't register him online (which would have automatically stuck him in Camp Ocean), went to Circle C with him as soon as it opened, introduced him to a camp counselor, and got her son registered there, no problem. This was on the Panorama, Christmas 2019. Good luck!! 

Thanks for the info!  My gut is that it'll be best to keep him in the younger group.  From our limited experience there are 1) usually more kids in the younger groups 2) the camp staff seem to have more planned activities and interaction with the younger kids and 3) he's one of the older kids in his grade for school as his bday is near the cutoff so he's used to being with younger kids.  He also has still good friends that are 2 years younger than he is from preschool. 

At this point he'd probably be content to hang out with a rock and a stick if we can cruise!  

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They do use age at embarkation. My son had a birthday onboard & they still had him listed at his "starting age". It didn't change his camp group on this particular trip either way (he turned 10 & the sharks are 9-11). 

 

You can ask onboard to move your child up to the next group. If there is enough room, they will usually accommodate. My daughter was moved up at her request a couple months before her birthday. The counselors told us they will usually do it if they can, but on some summer & spring break cruises sometimes they can't because there are so many kids the camps are packed out. Space could be an issue with distancing rules when cruising resumes, but it pays to ask on the first day when camps are open for registration.

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14 hours ago, Drose716 said:

They do use age at embarkation. My son had a birthday onboard & they still had him listed at his "starting age". It didn't change his camp group on this particular trip either way (he turned 10 & the sharks are 9-11). 

 

You can ask onboard to move your child up to the next group. If there is enough room, they will usually accommodate. My daughter was moved up at her request a couple months before her birthday. The counselors told us they will usually do it if they can, but on some summer & spring break cruises sometimes they can't because there are so many kids the camps are packed out. Space could be an issue with distancing rules when cruising resumes, but it pays to ask on the first day when camps are open for registration.

How was the shark group?  Did he have fun?  My oldest is 16 now and was 10 on our first cruise but it was a while ago and he had a same aged cousin there too.  I know the older the groups go, the more the staff lets the kids decide what to do and sometimes you get a bunch of shy kids (like mine!) who just shrug their shoulders at figuring out what to do and they don't do anything.  LOL  9-11 is probably still a good group though with more "direction" from the staff.  This trip is the last week of August so there won't be a lot of kids, if it even happens.  

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20 hours ago, Freckle53 said:

How was the shark group?  Did he have fun?  My oldest is 16 now and was 10 on our first cruise but it was a while ago and he had a same aged cousin there too.  I know the older the groups go, the more the staff lets the kids decide what to do and sometimes you get a bunch of shy kids (like mine!) who just shrug their shoulders at figuring out what to do and they don't do anything.  LOL  9-11 is probably still a good group though with more "direction" from the staff.  This trip is the last week of August so there won't be a lot of kids, if it even happens.  

He's always loved the sharks group. Sailed in that age range about 3 times. They give them a decent amount of direction while still giving them some freedom to choose their activities. 

 

We've sailed last week of August a few times & there's usually a decent number of kids still. Less than in July, but still pretty full camps. That's still summer break here in NY.

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