And vice versa.
That private time is a key ingredient in a new "Night Owls" program at Carnival Cruise Lines. The idea is to give children more nighttime "fun memories" – and parents more time alone -- while Carnival youth staffers entertain kids in play rooms.
Three types of Night Owls parties are offered at least once on each Carnival voyage, whether a journey of three days or 16 days. Among the activities are video games, sports, arts and crafts, movies, pizza parties and toy giveaways.
Meanwhile, the ships will continue to offer babysitting from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., but Carnival is bumping the price from $6 per child per hour to $6.75.
The new Owl Jams parties, aimed at children ages 2-11, will run 10 p.m. to midnight and cost $13 per child, plus tips. Fun 'Til One parties, aimed at 6- to 8-year-old olds, will last from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. and cost $20 per child.
And Fun at Sea…Til 3:00 parties, aimed at kids 9-11, will run 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. At the end of these late shindigs, "participants are escorted to their staterooms after the party," a Carnival release says, and the bill will be $33 per child.
These parties are in addition to the cruise line’s other kids programs, which close down at 10 p.m.: Camp Carnival (for 2- to 11-year-olds), the free Circle C (for 12- and 14-year-olds) and Club 02 (for 15- to 17-year-olds).
Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen said the cruise line has offered occasional late-night parties for kids before "but nothing as fleet-wide and dedicated as this."
He said he wasn’t sure how many families would take advantage of the new offering, but he noted that the line’s 23 ships carry 670,000 children yearly. Since late May, he said, all 23 Carnival ships have phased in the new late-night party schedule.