Carnival Freedom’s European Cruises: The Ultimate Family Vacation

Families today are seeking interesting vacation options that offer exciting and rewarding experiences. And European cruising — which combines the opportunity to explore centuries-old cities with amenities and conveniences of a “floating resort” — offers the ideal all-ages vacation.

Carnival Cruise Lines’ new 110,000-ton Carnival Freedom caters to families with activities and facilities for all ages on two different European itineraries.

The 2,974-passenger SuperLiner debuts March 5, 2007, with a nine-day Mediterranean voyage, then begins 12-day Mediterranean and Mediterranean & Greek Isles cruises March 14.

“Families have moved beyond summer road trips toward sharing enriching cultural experiences,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. “A ‘Fun Ship’ cruise to Europe enables families to enjoy the region’s art, architecture and cuisine, then return to the familiar shipboard environment with its specialized programs for children and teens.”

Expansive Play Area

A 4,200-square-foot play area anchors Carnival Freedom’s “Camp Carnival” program. The facility is divided into five areas: “movie room” featuring kids’ favorite films and cartoons, arts-and-crafts center, “soft play area” for toddlers, a gaming area with Play Station 2 consoles, and library of children’s books.

“Camp Carnival” play area activities emphasize music, reading, art, geography, science and physical fitness.

Teen Amenities

Teens have an on-board place to call their own in the 1,800-square-foot “Club O2.” Designed for ages 15 to 17, the facility includes a dance floor, DJ, state-of-the-art sound and lighting, non-alcoholic specialty drink lounge and game room. A library offers teen-oriented books.

Children ages 12-14 and their parents can enjoy body and beauty treatments on port days in Carnival’s YSPA youth spa program. Carnival’s teen shore excursions provide counselors to accompany kids ages 12-17 on “just-for-teens” experiences on European voyages.

Family Amenities

Kids and adults alike will enjoy Carnival Freedom’s four swimming pools and 214-foot-long “Twister Waterslide.”

“Carnival’s Seaside Theatre” entertainment center features a 270-square- foot poolside screen displaying movies, concerts and other programming.

Parents, grandparents and children can participate in such multigenerational activities as arts and crafts, “family water play” and make- your-own-sundae sessions.

Carnival Freedom offers dozens of interconnecting staterooms for large families or family gatherings, with discounts for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom.

Babysitting will be available at an hourly rate in the children’s playroom after 10 p.m. Strollers, bouncy seats, travel swings and GameBoy portable gaming units can be rented.

Kid-friendly dining options include children’s menus, 24-hour pizza and ice cream, a turn-down service providing cookies at bedtime, and the “Fountain Fun Card,” which provides unlimited soft drinks for a one-time fee. Children can also dine with the youth counselors on Lido Deck.

Cruising the Mediterranean, Greece, Turkey

Carnival Freedom debuts March 5, 2007, with a nine-day Mediterranean voyage from Venice then launches 12-day “Grand Mediterranean” and “Mediterranean & Greek Isles” cruises March 14, 2007, operating round-trip from Rome (Civitavecchia).

Twelve-day “Grand Mediterranean” cruises visit Naples, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Venice, Italy (two-day call); Messina, Sicily; Barcelona, Spain; Cannes, France; and Livorno, Italy. Twelve-day “Mediterranean & Greek Isles” cruises include Naples, Italy; Rhodes, Greece; Izmir (Ephesus) and Istanbul, Turkey; Athens (Piraeus) and Katakolon, Greece; Livorno, Italy, and an overnight call in Rome (Civitavecchia).

More than 80 shore excursions and a variety of pre- and post-cruise Rome land stays are available.