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Carnival’s new ship caters to families

SmarterTravel

Family cruising is on the rise, as cruises no longer cater exclusively to the “newlywed and the almost dead.” Carnival has built its newest ship, the Carnival Freedom, with this trend in mind. When the ship launches on March 5, it will offer amenities and activities for family members of all ages.

How is the Carnival Freedom family friendly? Let’s start with its itinerary. The ship will sail 12-night Mediterranean cruises, allowing parents to introduce their kids to Europe without the hassle of changing hotels and packing and unpacking. Kids ages 12 to 17 can participate in special shore excursions hosted by Carnival’s teen counselors, so they can enjoy Europe on their own terms (and give Mom and Dad a break).

Onboard, a 4,200-square-foot play area just for kids features a movie room, an arts-and-crafts center, a padded play area for toddlers, a PlayStation game room, and a children’s library. Kids ages 15 to 17 can hang out in Club O2, a teen lounge complete with dance floor and DJ, a bar serving non-alcoholic drinks, a video game room, and library with teen-oriented books and magazines. Children ages 12 to 14 can also get pampered in the spa with special youth-oriented treatments.

Fun for everyone, but especially families, the Freedom’s top decks feature four pools and a waterslide, as well as an outdoor LED screen for showing movies and concerts. Inside, interconnecting cabins allow families to stay close but not on top of each other.

The design of the Carnival Freedom shows just how much Carnival is targeting the family audience. If you’re looking for family-friendly prices, check Carnival’s website for specials, and book summer airfares to Europe early before prices get higher and flights sell out.

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