Long considered the party cruise line, Carnival Cruise Lines also makes sure they take care of their non-partiers by continually adding new entertainment, restaurant options, and fun for the younger set — which will soon include Dr. Suess and Seuss At Sea.
The cruise line carries more than 700,000 kids aboard its fleet every year, nearly half of the total number of kids carried by the entire North American cruise industry.
Suess at Sea
Suess At Sea will be part of the cruise line’s fleet of 24 “Fun Ships.” Roll-out begins aboard Carnival Splendor in February 2014 with implementation across the full fleet by 2015, as well as Carnival Vista when that ship enters service in early 2016.
Although the addition of Suess At Sea is geared for children ages 2 to 5, everyone can join in the fun, including an onboard character parade, interactive story time, arts and crafts, and, my favorite, green eggs and ham at special character breakfasts — all featuring favorite Dr. Seuss characters. Special showings of “The Cat in the Hat” and Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” will be shown outdoors on the giant screen of the Seaside Theater on Lido Deck as part of the cruise line’s Dive-In Movies programming.
On Carnival Freedom, undergoing a major refurbishment in May, and Carnival Vista, which debuts in early 2016, Dr. Seuss Bookville, a dedicated Seuss-themed play space will be featured.
Fun Ship 2.0
Carnival Cruise Lines continues to transform its on-board guest experience in other ways too. A $500 million project includes additional dining options, new bars and lounges, and additional entertainment choices. Fun Ship 2.0 includes 14 ships, with the roll-out continuing through the end of 2015.
So, what does this mean to the average cruise passenger? I recently sailed on Carnival Conquest and experienced first-hand the many Fun Ship 2.0 additions to Carnival’s line up.
Food, Glorious Food
In addition to Monet Restaurant and Renoir Restaurant, Lido Deck buffets, and 24/7 room service, there’s poolside dining at Guy’s Burger Joint. Carnival teamed up with restaurateur, cookbook author, and television star Guy Fieri to offer some of the best fresh-off-the-grill burgers and hand-cut fries for its guests.
Just across the way is BlueIguana Cantina. Another poolside dining destination, this restaurant offers three types of tacos with a variety of toppings and three kinds of burritos, plus chips and salsa.
Back on the party side of things, the Fun Ship 2.0 lineup includes four new bars and lounges.
- RedFrog Rum specializes in rum-based frozen drinks and beer.
- Also poolside is the BlueIguana Tequila Bar specializing in tequila-based frozen drinks and Mexican beers.
- Carnival partnered with EA Sports videogames and designed a hangout for sports enthusiasts. Guests can play videogames, watch live sports, and keep up with real-time sports scores. Every day the bar features sports trivia contests and videogame tournaments.
- The Alchemy Bar is Carnival’s vintage-themed cocktail “pharmacy.” Guests can create their own custom drinks as well as choose from the out-of-the-ordinary drinks offered.
- The Library Bar is new too; an intimate cocktail lounge featuring bar service and automatic wine dispensers, ideal for guests seeking a more relaxed and quiet venue.
In addition to more food and libation offerings, Carnival has come up with more entertainment for its guests.
The Punchliner Comedy Club Presented by George Lopez offers two shows: early evening family-friendly and late night adult.
Carnival also created Hasbro, The Game Show, a new series of larger-than-life productions and entertainment activities based on six games: Sorry, Simon Flash, Yahtzee Bowling, Operation, and Connect 4. Participants are chosen from the audience and there are three different editions of the game during the cruise.
There are also new Broadway/Las Vegas spectaculars featuring high-tech LED staging and special effects that set a new standard in seagoing productions.
Photo credits: Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line
Marilyn Jones has been a journalist and photographer for more than 30 years. Specializing in travel and features, her articles have appeared in major newspapers and magazines, and on several websites. She is the mother of three grown children, lives in East Texas, and, in addition to traveling and writing, enjoys gardening and scrapbooking