Super cruiser, Stan Santow, owner of Generations Travel , created the following complete guide to cruise programs for kids. If you're a family cruiser or plan to be one, you'll want to bookmark this one!
For many families, a cruise is the perfect choice when they are looking to travel with their children. Most cruise lines try to lure families into their mega-ships by offering especial programs that promise to keep kids and teens busy during the voyage. The choices are confusing and each cruise line offers different programs for different ages,
What follows is a list of the various offerings from the kid friendly cruise lines. With the emphisas on famlies these programs are constantly changing and evolving. I suggest you use this list mostly as a guide and consult your travel professional for complete and up to date information.
Ages 0-3: Fully equipped nurseries. Program for children as young as 12 weeks old. Pool with special filtration system for toddlers with diapers
Ages 4-7: Free meals with costumed characters. Stage shows showcasing Disney characters.
Ages 8-12: Ocean Quest room with video games and older kids amenities On several ships there is an "Oceaneer Lab", which offers lots of hands-on activities, such as science experiments and mock forensics.
Teens: Ages 13-17 enjoy an area that's just for them. It's designed like your first dorm room and loft apartment – all rolled into one! Teen nigh club includes karaoke, TV, and other fun activities.
Babysitting Services: Yes, $6.00 per hour per child.
Carnival Cruise Line:
Ages 0-3: Youth counselors change diapers when necessary. Program begins at age 2. You can rent strollers for a fee
Ages 4-7: Kids club program for this age range includes video games, art program, and supervise group sport such as dodgeball, and basketball. Kids only dinner at the Lido restaurant on most nights.
Ages 8-12: The year-round program includes a wide range of fun activities designed for three different age groups. All are supervised by staff who are either college educated in a related field or have professional child-care experience.
Teens: Club O2 was designed for teenagers. It includes outdoor activities like: basketball, volleyball, ping pong, pool parties and high-energy dance parties. Many of the ships feature a dedicated lounge designed just for the Club O2 program. These hot spots feature comfy seating, video monitors, a state-of-the-art dance floor and an area to enjoy Coca-Cola products and other non-alcoholic specialty drinks.
Babysitting Services: Yes, $6.00/ hour for the first child and $4.00/hours for any other child. Babysitting services begins after10:00 PM and ends at 1:00 AM.
Ages 0-3: Royal Caribbean Aqua Club includes designed interactive classes developed by early childhood experts at Fisher-Price. Some of these classes are "Musical Inspiration, Mission Accomplished, etc. Parents must participate in some of these activities. Kids program begins at age 3.
Ages 4-7: Activities for this group includes parties, compete for prizes, make kites and masks, even learn to make gummy candies
Ages 8-12: Adventure Ocean Youth Program, specially designed to blend educational activities with just plain fun Kids 9-11 years of age can take a backstage tour, play List-o-Rama and even learn a new sport like Gagaball.
Teens: Young teens 12-14 years of age can play games and sports, join parties and contests They can also hang out at Fuel, our teen-only club; The Living Room, a teen lounge; and The Back Deck, a private outdoor area for teens
Babysitting Services: Yes. Group babysitting available for $6.00 per hour per child
Ages 0-3: Child must be 3 years old to participate in the program. For a fee you can have baby food and diapers delivered to your room Parents must fill out an infant services order form 30 days prior to a North American sailing or 60 days prior to other sailings. Baby supply service fees: diapers, $1 each; a pack of 80 wipes, $5; jars of baby food, $1 each; and refrigerator rental, $2 per day.
Ages 4-7: Children, ages 4-7, can participate in such activities as story telling, fabric painting, indoor games, arts and crafts, drawing contests, ice-cream sundae parties, puzzles, bingo, pirate treasure hunts or a farewell pizza party. Children in the Kid's age group must be toilet trained.
Ages 8-12: Children 8-12 might learn golf putting, have disco parties and theme parties, participate in the award-winning National Park Service Jr. Ranger Program on Alaska cruises, compete in on-deck sports events, compete in scavenger hunts or simply play Ping-Pong with a friend
Teens: Dedicated teen area that resembles an artists' loft and features the Dance Dance Revolution video game and karaoke machines. The Oasis, an outdoor hangout space for teens, which features a waterfall, a wading pool, a juice bar, and lounge chairs
Babysitting Services: Yes. Private babysitting services available for $8.00 per hour for the first child and $5.00 for any additional child.
Princess Cruise Line:
Ages 0-3: Children under the age of 3 are allowed to visit the Youth Center, if accompanied and supervised by a parent at all times. No supervised program for children under 3.
Ages 4-7: Arts and crafts, Disco dance, movies and cartoons. Exclusive Kids Only Dining, Video games, edutainment programs
Ages 8-12: Activities includes scavenger hunts, Karaoke and talent shows. Afternoon ice cream or pizza parties, Hall of Fame Tournaments, Shipboard Olympics, T-Shirt coloring. Pajama parties and Theme parties.
Teens: Princess offers teen-age passengers a wide range of activities such as: teens-only dance parties, the Dating Game, T-shirt painting, sports tournaments, Karaoke and talent shows, Casino night, pizza parties, mocktails, hip hop dance classes, and teen dinners. It also has a teen only area in most of its ships.
Babysitting Services: Yes. Group babysitting services is from 10:00 PM to 1:00 AM at a cost of $5.00 per child
Ages 0-3: No programs for children under 3.
Ages 3-7: Art and craft activities, Educational activities in collaboration with the World Wild Life Foundation, etc.
Ages 8-12: Supervised sports and dances. Talent show
Teens: Tattoos and body painting, sports such as basketball, volleyball and ping pong. Mss and Mr Teen Election, teen party, etc.
Babysitting Services: No. Kids club ends at 11:00 PM.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Ages 0-5: Program begins at age 2. Activities include storytelling & painting, developmental activities, age-specific games and activities with the parents.
Ages 6-9: Children's pool area, pizza making party, games & parties, crafts & classes
Ages 10-12: Sports activities, team-building challenges, games & parties, video arcade.
Teens: Teen Disco, Sports, video arcade, movies and parties
Babysitting Services: Yes, The "Late Night Party Zone" is offered nightly from 10pm-1am. The charges are $5.00 per hour, per child, and $3.00 per hour for each additional sibling in the same immediate fa
mily. Charges are applied directly to your onboard account. Sign up is 8pm the evening prior to the desired "Late Night Party Zone". All parents with children participating on the kids club are required to carry a beepers while on the ship.
Celebrity Cruise Line
Ages 3-6: (Ship Mates Program) Children participating in organized X-Club events must be age 3 and fully potty trained. However you can accompany your child to the Fun Factory or any organized activity. Toddler Time is also offered to allow the parents of toddlers and their children to interact with other children their age. Activities include: Theme Parties, Treasure Hunt, T-shirt Decorating, Talent Show, Arts & Crafts, Dancing and Musical Games, Play Stations, Cartoon Trivia, Ball Pit, Ship Tours, Movies, Ice Cream & Pizza Parties
Ages 6-9: (Celebrity Cadets) Activities include: Theme Parties, Relay Races, Team Trivia, , Arts & Crafts, Play Stations, Movies, T-shirt Decorating, Fitness Activities, Ship Tours, Talent Show, Outdoor Games, Ice Cream & Pizza Parties.
Ages 10-12: (Ensigns) Activities include: Pool Olympics, Scavenger Hunts, Karaoke, Talent Show, Theme Parties, T-shirt Decorating, Sports Activities, Team Challenges, Initiative Games, Movies, Play Stations, Late Night Pizza Parties.
Teens: Ages 13-17 (Separated in two groups 13-15 & 16-17 under the Admiral's T program) Activities include: Theme Parties, Scavenger Hunts, Teen Late Night Dancing, Pool Olympics, Sports Tournaments, Team Trivia, Karaoke, Talent Show, Play Stations, Fitness Activities
Babysitting Services: Yes, both private (in room) or in group. Group babysitting services cost $6.00 per hour, per child from 10:00 PM to 12:00 AM. (Complementary in the last day of the cruise) Private babysitting cost $8.00 per hour, up to two children in the same family.
For additional information on any cruise line Kids Program, contact Generations Family Vacation & Cruise. Email us at FamilyVacation@email.com or call us at (269) 273-8127 or (616) 638-5553