Finding Serenity at sea with kids

As ships become more and more family-friendly, cruise lines have answered the need for dedicated areas that are no-go zones for kids.

In these zones, the furniture tends to be a little nicer; there may be lounge beds instead of chaises. The hot tub or pool is blessedly child-free. Names for these spaces connote Zen peacefulness. Princess Cruises, for example, has the Sanctuary. Royal Caribbean has its Solarium. On Carnival Cruise Line, it’s Serenity.

The Serenity on the Carnival Sunrise is where I escaped to after dropping my kids at Camp Ocean for the morning. The Sunrise’s two-deck, dedicated Serenity section might seem oddly positioned on Deck 11 forward, adjacent to the kids’ clubs. But for parents, it’s a bonus: Just drop off the kids, walk out the side door, and there you are.

(The other adults-only zone on the ship, the Cloud 9 Spa, is also forward, making Serenity a quick hop from the fitness center or massage bed.)

Carnival’s Serenity decor runs to wicker-style furniture and blue-padded loungers. There is a dedicated Serenity bar and a hot tub in the area’s starboard section. A special, grown-ups-only cocktail menu, with options by the glass or the pitcher, was just the thing for someone on vacation from life and children.

The only problem I see with attractive spaces like Serenity is that they can get crowded quickly. I was fortunate to find an open lounger each time I dropped by.

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