My children prefer the children’s programs to the one’s they experienced on other cruise lines so far. This includes Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian (which they rank second). So, rest assured that your children will have a blast on board.
As they have gotten older, Carnival allows them to sign themselves in/out and that was a major plus for my child, who turned 9 (the age for this) on our last cruise. Of course, as a parent we have RULES around what they can/can’t do on their own. If they sign themselves out, they must always do so TOGETHER, they must only go to get ice cream or pizza (literally one deck down) and return to camp. If they want to sign out to leave, the must call me from the lobby to room phone to let me know, or come directly to the room. If they come to the room and I am not there, they must stay at the room or return directly to camp. This way, I know they are either in camp, having a snack or in the room and there is no way I need to search for them or panic. Now, my children are respectful of our rules, so I allow this, but it’s totally up to you whether you let your children sign themselves out.
One major bonus is that I do not need to wait in line to pick them up. We pre-arrange a time and meeting place (the statue at the pool, one level down, etc).
They also LOVED the night owl theme night programs. For $15 per child, they stayed from when the regular program ended until 1am (I think it went later, but I didn’t want it). They received some goodies each night – drawstring bag, piggy bank, etc. These were by far the hit of the cruise for them.