Winter Sun Escapes! Including NEW Last Minute Reductions with Marella & P&O - BOOK ONLINE TODAY!

25 free things to do on a Carnival cruise

10 May 2017

Patio Pool

Updated June 2019

To describe Carnival Cruise Line in a nutshell, all we really need to say is that they are all about fun for all, all for fun. Whether onboard or offshore, Carnival ensure that the fun-loving holiday spirit keeps flowing...starting as soon as you step onboard for the Sail Away Party. Boasting some of the largest ships at sea, you'll never be caught short of something to do - what's more is that so much is included! We summarise some of the best free things to do below.*

Family fun onboard Carnival

Sail Away Party

Carnival know how to get the vacation going right, and by right we mean a Sail Away Party. These events are full of energy and if you aren’t in the holiday spirit before, you will be afterwards.

Water activities

Mid ship pools are a great place to relax and watch the big screen or on most Carnival ships, there’s a second pool catching the breeze at the aft of the ship. Waterworks, the onboard waterpark will have you and the kids showing nothing but exhilaration on your faces as you zoom, splish and splash the day away.

Dive-in movies

Settle in for a night at the cinema from the comfort of the poolside lounge chairs or even the pool. With movies of different themes such as action, comedy and date night and plenty of blankets and popcorn to go round, we wouldn’t recommend you pass up a starry evening under the stars.


Ever thought you could say that you went on a bike ride high above deck on a ship? This is only possible on Carnival Vista. Open to all of the family; why not compete against each other as you zip safely around the suspended course that’s equipped with an epic view.


How are you with heights?  The onboard ropes course is a fun way to take on a challenge you wouldn’t come across in everyday life. Of course you’ll be safely strapped in, so why not test your abilities and brave the SkyCourse.

Hasbro Game Show

Put your gaming skills to the test in an onstage competition against other cruisers. With games such as CONNECT 4 BASKETBALL, SIMON FLASH and OPERATION SAM DUNK, have fun teaming up with the family to win great prizes.

CLUE: The Murder Mystery

Like the original but with a seafaring twist, the ship is your gameboard and the suspects have come alive. To play, just collect your free CLUE Case File and visit the scheduled events onboard to see the story unfold as you cruise. The captain is offering a unique reward to the all important answer, whodunit?

Lip sync battle

Carnival will provide the choreographers, music, lighting, probs as well as back up dancers to help you defeat the competition as you channel your inner idols. Think you have what it takes?


A great day activity for mini-golfers, big or small; mini-golf courses are available on all Carnival ships.

Ball games

Nothing like the sea breeze as you take part in a game of basketball, volleyball or dodgeball!

Stage productions and comedy shows

Designed to razzle and dazzle, the crowd-thrilling stage shows feature a host of talented performers including singers, musicians and dancers. Enjoy performances such as Latin Nights, Divas and the arena-shaking Epic Rock. Also on offer is The Punchliner Comedy Club, with stand-up acts from the pros who know how to instill a little laughter to the evening. Come along with the family for a more PG performance or adults can enjoy some not so PG performances later into the night.


Always a popular event, trivia is fun for all the family.

Activities for kids & teens

Camp Ocean

Designed for 2 -11 year olds, Camp Ocean has enough to keep even the most restless of children occupied for the duration of the cruise. Placed into supervised age-appropriate groups, campers can enjoy activities ranging from Musical Icebergs to Pirate Game Night and Marine Life Trivia.

Seuss at Sea

Exclusive to Carnival, the fantastical world of Dr. Seuss comes to life onboard select ships. Seuss-A-Palooza Story Time, Seuss-A-Palooza Parade and Dr. Seuss Bookville are all included for everyone’s enjoyment. Join the characters you love in a spirited procession as you stream down the deck and let the kids spend the afternoon at Dr. Seuss Bookville for story time or quiet time – the shelves are filled brim for hours of fun reading!

Kids’ party time

As soon as you set onboard it’s party time on Carnival, and this doesn’t have to be any different for the kids. Carnival arrange for the kids to get to know each other straight away with a Welcome Aboard Party. They’ll also get a send-off to remember with a Farewell Party.

Teens’ party time

For many teens, part of the fun of a holiday is meeting new friends to hang out with. Carnival makes sure that there are plenty of parties in the social calendar including the Red Carpet Party, Mexican Fiesta and Dress to Impress Party.

Club O2

On top of the dedicated teen parties, 15 – 17 year olds actually have their own club to hang out in. Watching movies, listening to music, joining karaoke sessions and more can be enjoyed here.

Teen & kids digital play

Just like a great holiday, gaming allows players to briefly escape real life, but it’s not the antisocial kind of activity it can be thought to be. The separate teen & kids’ digital play areas allow them to play, cooperate, compete and most importantly have fun together.

Activities or the adults

Adult-only retreat

You don’t have to sacrifice blissful adult retreats in order to make sure you book a cruise with exceptional kids' facilities onboard. Well-appointed with hammocks, day beds and more, the adult-only retreat is the perfect place to reconnect with your partner, read your holiday picks or simply do absolutely nothing at all.

Cooking demonstration

If you love the food onboard then why not learn from the chefs themselves as they perform an hour long presentation (taste tests included). Make sure to get there early as this event fills up fast!

Art exhibitions, seminars and games

Take the Art 101 lecture series to increase your spectrum of knowledge of the vibrant world. From enlightening seminars to art games, you'll be sure to leave more enriched about art than ever before.

Mixologist competition

Do you have your own signature concoction or just see yourself as the queen or king of cocktails? Why not test the competition; winning cocktails will be available to enjoy at selected bars throughout the ship!

Fitness centre & sky fitness

For anyone not wanting to leave their fitness routine on land, the well-equipped centre is a great place to let out some steam while you have all of this extra time on your hands. And on selected Carnival ships, there’s Sky Fitness outside on the top of the ship, where you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more perfect backdrop for a workout…


Carnival’s resident DJ’s will be playing the latest hits as well as the golden oldies guaranteed to have you out of your seat. When the bars close, you can be sure the nightclub stays open till the early hours. Make sure to come along on a themed night!

Dance classes

If you’re going to be partying in the nightclub till the early hours, you might want to take advantage of the complimentary dance classes to smooth out those rusty moves and put you in the dancing mood.

More about Carnival | Cruises with Carnival

*Some activities are only available on select Carnival ships, if there are any activities of particular interest, please check with the sales agent before booking.

Most recent articles:

Speak to a Cruise expert 0203 848 3600