It’s not only the 24-hour ice cream and free kid’s camp on board Carnival Cruise ships.
There’s another, potentially life altering reason every kid should take a cruise.
Whether it’s for a stretch of 4, 6, 7, 8 or 10 days, when a child cruises they gain not only the sugary all day chill of a soft serve twist and the friendships formed during full-ship scavenger hunts and late-night camp dance parties but also a familiarity with, understanding of, and geographic lessons courtesy of a worldwide crew of thousands who serve not only as steward, waitress, camp counselor, cruise director and room service deliverer but who also act as a kind of defacto United Nations ambassador program on the high seas.
Maybe it’s Veronica from Mexico whose smile is as pure as the freshly fallen snow you wisely chose to escape. She remembers not only the names of your children but what they love to drink (Mango Madness) and how they like it (hold the grenadine) every time she sees them in the lobby bar. Not all Mexican people are criminals. I mean, obviously, but that doesn’t seem so obvious to everyone these days.
Or it could be Christopher from Chile whose pleasant demeanor greets your children as they enter the long deck 6 hallway and start running off to camp in the morning. He wishes them a great day, every day, and promises a new towel animal after dinner.
Don’t forget about Robert. He’s originally from Romania and he quickly learns that your youngest daughter doesn’t like seeds in her dinner rolls. He is earnest and sweet, and while Robert is just one man from a nation of nearly twenty million, he is opening the door to all of Eastern Europe for impressionable children who’s hearts and heads are still wide open and ready to see all the good, the joy and the love that is in the world despite what the talking heads and anonymous tweets tell their parents every minute of every day.
Interacting with a Carnival cruise crew representing over 50 countries is capable of stripping away the ridiculously ill-informed (at best) and casually racist (at worst) presumptions of adults and, most crucially, help prevent all presumptions from being instilled in the fertile minds of young people.
This is vital because certain political figures in the present and, inevitably and unfortunately, in the future may try to convince us and our soon-to-be-grown-up kids that all people from one nation might be like this, and all from another like that. If your child has experienced life on a cruise ship, however, it is likely that they will know those kinds of sweeping, radically ignorant generalizations are total, absolute and utter crap. They’d know this because they’d have had a woman from Mexico demonstrate kindness all week long, a man from South America take an honest interest in how they were doing, and a detail-oriented Romanian who’s wide, caring smile and charming laugh put a beautiful bow on each day of their vacation.
A cruise, a simple vacation at sea, is an opportunity for children to learn firsthand that good people are good regardless of where they call home and that people from this country or that aren’t monsters or boogeyman or threats.
At the end of it all, being afforded the chance to take a cruise and engage with more people from more countries from all across the globe in a way that’s practically impossible on dry land and in doing so see many myths and false stereotypes fade away is a much sweeter treat than any amount of soft serve ice cream and something worth celebrating with a Camp Carnival Night Owl dance party that rages on way past 1:00 AM.