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Carnival Cruise Lines - CRUISIN

Children With Special Needs

Carnival’s Camp Ocean Youth Program welcomes children with special needs. Camp Ocean is broken down into specific age groups as follows:

  • Penguins: Ages 2-5
  • Stingrays: Ages 6-8
  • Sharks: Ages 9-11
  • Circle "C": Ages 12-14
  • Club O2: Ages 15-17

Carnival Cruise Lines is dedicated to offering the finest cruising experience for our guests with disabilities and special requirements. A Carnival cruise vacation is perfect for people who have a special need for fun. Carnival ships provide excellent service with a variety of accessibility features to make your voyage an exciting, relaxing and memorable one.


Conditions & and Rules for the Special Needs Program

  • Carnival works with parents or guardians to include all children within the designated age ranges in the available youth programs. Each child’s needs are assessed, on a case by case basis, to determine how she or he can be accommodated and integrated in the program to have a fully and equally enjoyable experience.
  • In order to participate in Carnival youth program activities, the parent or guardian will need to register their child for the program. When registering the child, the staff will work with the parents to determine what special assistance will help aid the youth staff in how to best serve the child while participating in the activities.
  • You can pre-register online through "Manage My Cruise" at www.carnival.com/bookedguest/ once you have a deposit on your cruise. Pre-registration ends 72 hours prior to departure date.
  • You will also be given an alternate special needs checklist, which will help aid the Youth Staff in how to best serve your child while participating in the activities.
  • Parents may choose to have their child move down one age group as an accommodation to a disability. No child who is 18 years can participate in youth programs.
  • Carnival does not provide one on one attention, but the parent or assigned helper may stay and participate in the activities with the child.
  • Parents of children with disabilities will be provided with a phone (if available). Youth programs rules & regulations still apply to all children, in terms of age policy, illness, hours of operation and acceptable conduct (unruly behavior) while in the program.
  • The youth staff may not administer any medication to any individual participating in the youth programs. Additionally, no medications with the exception of epi-pens and self-using inhalers are permitted in the youth programs. If a child requires regular medication while attending, parents/guardians must return to administer the medication.
  • Medical care consent is required to participate in youth programs. Staff members are not to change diapers of children who are older than 5 years old and/or exceeding the diaper weight requirement due to the diaper changing table procedure and safety of child.
  • Due to safety concerns, staff and crew, cannot lift or carry guests. Parents of children who are unable to feed themselves should remain with the child during meal times. Special diets cannot be accommodated for meals served in Carnival youth programs. Kids' menus are subject to change based on availability.
  • If a child with Autism is cruising, the family should meet with Guest Services upon embarkation to receive safety information and accommodations for the safety briefing.
  • For safety purposes, all children 12 years of age and younger are required to wear a wristband indicating their assigned muster station.



Carnival has a guest comment code for children with special needs. The purpose of this code is to give advance notice to the Youth Program counselors on board for children that have a special need that we do not have an existing code for. Guest Access Services will use the special needs code "3" for guests 17 years of age and younger that have pre-identified a special need such as:

  • Autism
  • Down's Syndrome
  • Allergies
  • And other disabilities that Carnival does not have a specific code for

Note: The "3" code is not used for a child who uses a wheelchair, is diabetic, deaf or blind. Carnival already has other existing codes for these disabilities.


Page last updated: Thu Aug 01, 2019
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