Carnival Makes Big Update to Youth Programs Regarding Vaccinations

Parents of kids planning to sail Carnival this summer just received some news that they should be happy about. A recent change to the protocols posted on Carnival’s website shows a significant change to eligibility for its youth programs, including Camp Ocean — the kid’s area on the ship.

Camp Ocean is popular with parents and kids as a dedicated space for children of all ages to hang out and play. Kids get their own area to play supervised while parents are able to drop children off and enjoy the cruise on their own.

However, due to Covid protocols, Camp Ocean and the other youth programs for older kids have operated differently than before the pandemic. Specifically, Carnival required children to be vaccinated to participate, as shown by the old rules listed on Carnival’s website:

Camp Ocean old requirements
The previous protocols emphasized that children had to be vaccinated to participate in Carnival’s youth programs. New changes make no mention of a vaccine requirement.

The vaccine requirement for the programs was despite Carnival allowing some kids to sail without the shot if they were granted one of a limited number of exemptions aboard each cruise.

Now, however, the rules appear to be loosening. Carnival is constantly tweaking its onboard protocols, and a recent update shows no mention of vaccines to play in Camp Ocean or the Circle C and Club 02 areas designed for older kids: 

The new rules for Camp Ocean and other programs have no mention of a vaccination requirement as they did before, although kids 12+ are required to be vaccinated to board.

Note that the new notice doesn’t specifically say kids no longer need the vaccine to enter Camp Ocean or other youth areas. However, previous language that directly mentioned these spots were open only to “fully vaccinated children” has now been removed.

We’ve reached out to Carnival to confirm the eased vaccination policy and will update when we hear more.

With more families planning to sail during the busy summer season, removing the vaccine requirement would open up the youth programs to a much larger number of children.

Even so, Camp Ocean still isn’t back to what it offered before the health crisis. Specifically, Carnival mentions that it is still not allowing kids under five years old to be dropped off in the area. Before the pause in sailing, the area welcomed kids as young as two years old.

So if you are a parent planning to sail with a smaller child anytime soon, just know that you’re still going to be on full-time duty during your vacation.

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