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New marine-themed Camp Ocean to replace Camp Carnival

Carnival Cruise Lines
The Camp Ocean space for 'Sharks' (9- to 11-year-olds)
Carnival Cruise Lines unveiled a new marine-themed children's program hinged on the wonders of the sea. Camp Ocean, for ages 2 to 11, will replace Camp Carnival.

The program is set to debut on Carnival Freedom May 24.

More than 200 new ocean-inspired activities will range from educational games such as Sea Creature Discovery, Marine Life Trivia, Under the Sea Mad Libs and Ocean Artifacts Memory Tray to creative arts such as Design Your Own Aquarium, Make Your Own Sailboat, Sea Salt Art and Create a Penguin from Oreos.

Camp Ocean will sport light blue and white underwater-themed spaces for three age categories. Children 2 to 5 will be 'Penguins,' those 6 to 8 are 'Sting Rays' and 9- to 11-year-olds are 'Sharks.'

Distinctive areas and activities have been created for each, from miniature play igloos for the Penguins to interactive gaming stations for the Sharks.

On Carnival Freedom, which begins a multimillion dollar refurbishment Saturday, and Carnival Vista, which debuts in 2016, a new purpose-built Camp Ocean play area will include Party Reef, a shared space that brings each of the groups together, as well as Creative Cove, a breakout room for arts and crafts activities.

'While our current children’s program consistently gets very high marks, we’ve challenged ourselves to exceed expectations with a truly dynamic and diverse program for our youngest guests,' said Mark Tamis, Carnival’s svp guest operations.

Camp Ocean provides travel agents with an exceptional family-friendly feature to market to their clients with children, Tamis added.

To develop the new activities, the company convened a Carnival Play Panel comprised of experts in child education, media and play. Members include Toni Linder, professor emeritus at the University of Denver who consults on child development and education, and George Arthur Bloom, children’s media and programming expert with writing credits for long-time favorites such as 'Magic School Bus,' 'My Little Pony' and the original 'Transformers' television series.

Panel member Matt Brown has been vp of LeapFrog and svp of Scholastic, is an adviser for PBS Kids and currently works as chief gaming officer of Conteneo. Chris Byrne is toy industry veteran and current partner in aNb Media, who also serves as content director for Rounding out the panel is a loyal Carnival passenger and mother of two, April Norris, who serves as an adviser to the brand.

Carnival will also introduce a Badge Challenge as part of Camp Ocean, giving kids the opportunity to earn and collect badges as a memento of their cruise. Badge challenges will include a variety of activities such as trying a new food, making an aquatic towel animal or riding the water slide.

Carnival expects to carry more than 700,000 children in 2014. Another recently announced enhancement to the youth programming is a partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to introduce Seuss at Sea family activities.

The programs for tweens and teens, Circle C (ages 12 to 14) and Club O2 (15 to 17), will continue across the fleet.

The rollout of Camp Ocean will begin aboard Carnival Freedom in May, following a major refurbishment that includes the line’s first Dr. Seuss Bookville interactive reading venue. Camp Ocean will be introduced on Carnival Magic, Carnival Breeze and Carnival Triumph later this year with the balance of the fleet implemented by 2016, including Carnival Vista, set to debut in early 2016.