My boys are officially tweens. It’s like a knife to the heart. Gone are the days of my cute little babies who needed me all the time. Here are the days of them thinking I’m no longer cool and them wanting to be alone more. This posed a problem recently on a cruise. Now we are cruising with tweens.
We recently sailed aboard the majestic Carnival Vista for 5 nights. My guys have always loved cruising and spending time with other kids their age at Camp Ocean, enjoying breakfast with Dr. Seuss, and being kids.
Now that they are tweens, it’s a new kind of cruise. They aren’t little kids that need a constant babysitter and they aren’t big enough to be roaming the ship alone. It’s really just a challenge of keeping them entertained 24/7 since they can’t be on their phones all the time and you want them to smile and mean it not just sarcastic smirks!
Little Ricky is almost 12. According to Camp Ocean, he’s still a Shark. He’s been DYING to go to Circle C, the hang-out for 12-14-year-olds, but he’s still too young. He wanted me to tell the counselors that he’s 12. Unfortunately, when cruising, they know your exact age from your passport, so there was no fibbing about his age. This was a total let down for him from the start.
Cruising with Tweens
The Carnival Vista is ready for the cruising movie lovers with the cruise industry’s first IMAX Theatre with a three-deck-high screen bringing an immersive cinema experience to sea with the latest Hollywood blockbusters and family favorites, IMAX classics, and IMAX documentary content. The 182-seat IMAX Theatre is part of the Carnival Multiplex, which includes Thrill Theater, a multi-dimensional experience where seats move back and forth and side to side and viewers are sprayed with water and bubbles to make them feel like they’re part of the movie.
And don’t forget about the Dive-In Movies that play nightly on the Lido Deck. From the comfort of your poolside lounge chair, or even the pool itself, you’ll enjoy the most recent blockbuster movies from categories like Comedy, Action & Adventure and Date Night. There’s not only popcorn but blankets!
**There is an additional charge for IMAX/Thrill Theater movies. The cost for first-run movies in the IMAX Theatre is $12.95 for adults and $9.95 for children 12 and under and guests aged 55 and over. The cost for IMAX documentaries and Thrill Theater is $5.50 per person.**
WaterWorks is the largest aqua park in the Carnival fleet highlighted by Kaleid-o-Slide, Carnival’s first inner-tube slide. Riders can zip down 455 feet of exhilarating corkscrew turns enhanced by music and stunning kaleidoscopic effects. And no Carnival water park is complete without the Twister slide, offering 300 feet of high-speed fun.
My guys are thrill seekers, they kept running up and down the stairs to go on these water slides over and over and over and over and over….
With SkyRide, the cruise industry’s first pedal-powered open-air aerial attraction, Carnival has created some of the best and highest outdoor vistas ever offered on a cruise ship. Adventurous riders can climb aboard hanging recumbent-like bikes to cycle their way around the 800-foot suspended track with panoramic views from 150 feet above the sea.
If you look around, the views are amazing! Sounds great, huh? I was SCARED TO DEATH and so was The Nag. Little Ricky wanted to go again! He’s fearless!
SkyCourse is a ropes course that is set high above the ship allowing you to test your fears and challenge your balance. You’re safely strapped in, so no worries of flying off the ship! Little Ricky LOVES the SkyCourse and actually completed it a few times…each time going a little faster. The course features two levels of challenge, and you can increase or decrease the toughness as you go. I was brave until I actually got up there! Again, if you look around, you will be stunned by the gorgeous views…unless you’re like me and just wanted it over with!
SportSquare, a fun-tastic all-ages open-air recreation area with a two-level miniature golf course, a 700-foot-long jogging track, a variety of outdoor fitness equipment, and the new Clubhouse, a modern indoor sports hangout with mini-bowling, ping-pong, sports-themed video games, arcade-style sports games and more. For active boys like mine, SportSquare is a frequent hang-out. Between playing basketball with older kids, grabbing a quick game of mini-golf, or playing SkyBilliards (a pool-like game using mini soccer balls), my guys got their “workouts” in!
I love a good show and sometimes it’s hard to get to the theater when we are on land. Luckily Carnival does not disappoint in the show department! The tweens and I caught America Rocks!, a high-energy show featuring rock anthems by American artists like Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, Styx, and Kiss. The glow stick-waving audience cheered on a rockin’ house band with sizzling guitars, pulsating drums, and a horn section, evoking the feeling of classic rock concerts from back in the days. The Nag was more entertained by the fact that I knew all the songs!
We also saw Flick: The Power of Motion Pictures, a celebration of filmmaking with some of the greatest anthems of all time showcasing songs from popular movies like Footloose, Dirty Dancing, and others. The main character of the show, Flick, takes viewers on a magical journey through different genres of film with stunning theatrical illusions and show-stopping cinematic effects. My tweens were surprised to find that they knew most of the movies and songs in the show.
First off, the word “bar” in the name was enough to make my tweens feel “older.” We would frequent the Library Bar to get in a game of chess when trying to kill time. Thank goodness you don’t have to be so quiet like in a real library…chess can be quite competitive and evoke some strong emotions!
Cruising with Tweens can be challenging if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Just stay focused with a plan to keep them occupied so that their smiles never fade.
GOD SPEED my fellow tween parents!
**We were invited to sail aboard the Carnival Vista, but our experiences and opinions are always our own.**