Family Cruise – Which Cruise Line Has the Best Kid Program?

Family Cruise Kids Club

Now that you have decided to take a family cruise, find out which family cruise line is best for you. The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) reports that over a million kids under the age of 18 set sail with their families last year. And the reason is pretty simple, cruise lines are offering more and more amenities and activities to appeal to children and their families.

CLIA points out that its member lines have put together aboard programs that let families play together, but also programs that provide parents with time alone.

As well, family cruises also offer value, with several CLIA members featuring accommodation that’s tailor-made for families – that includes large staterooms with cordoned-off sleeping quarters for parents and inter-connecting cabins for families with older a sampling of what Celia’s member lines have to offer:

CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES – Family Cruise

Carnival’s Camp Carnival offers activities that divide children into age groups of 2 to 5, 6 to 8, 9 to 11, 12 to 14 and 15 to 17. For the younger set, Carnival ships feature kid-friendly amenities and programs supervised by highly trained youth counsellors. On several of its ships,

carnival cruise line

kids can also enjoy arts and crafts centres, cascading poolside slides, activity walls, indoor climbing mazes and computer labs. As well, Carnival features expanded children’s menus in the dining rooms and poolside restaurants.

CELEBRITY CRUISES – Family Cruises

Each Celebrity’s ship has a dedicated staff of eight to 12 youth counsellors, including one supervisor and one lifeguard. Counsellors are trained in child psychology, child development, education and/or recreation. Age groups are 3 to 6; 7 to 9; 10 to 12; 13 to 15, and 16 to 17. And on all of its ships, there are Celebrity Science Journeys offered. There’s also youth summer stock theater, junior Olympics, magic lessons, treasure hunts and clown parties.

CRYSTAL CRUISES – Family Cruises

A number of facilities on Crystal’s ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, have been designed with young guests in mind. Fantasia has supervised activities, tables and chairs for board games, arts and crafts, giant padded cubes, Sony PlayStation(r) kiosks, and large-screen televisions. Waves is a venue where teenagers canenjoy a video arcade. The line also offers Etiquette Training for Juniors. Additional activities are available during holidays and on selected sailings.

CUNARD LINE – Family Cruise

Both Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2 have nurseries staffed by accredited British nannies. On the Queen Mary 2, age-appropriate programs for children are available in three groups. The Nursery provides cribs and cots for children ages 1-2 years; The Play Zone has activities for kids 3 to 6 years old; and The Zone has programs for kids ages 7 to 10 years.

DISNEY CRUISE LINE – Family Cruise

Disney’s ships Disney Magic and Disney Wonder have dedicated almost an entire deck for children ages three months to 17 years. Oceaneers Club welcomes kids 3 to 7, while the Oceaneer Lab provides activities for children 8 to 12. The Stack on the Disney Magic and Aloft on the Disney Wonder are reserved for kids 13 to 17.

 Family Cruise

Holland America Line’s Club HAL youth program offers age-specific activities for kids and teens. Activities for children ages 5 through 8 could include arts and crafts, face-painting, campout night and candy bar bingo. Tweens, ages 9 through 12, might learn golf putting, have dance parties, compete in on-deck sports events, play arcade games and tie-dye t-shirts. Teens will enjoy the teen disco, dance lessons, arcade games, sports tournaments, play stations, and movies.

MSC CRUISES – Family Cruise

Each of MSC Cruises’ ships feature a designated children’s area, and MSC Sinfonia also offers a Teen Club. Children are under the supervision of  trained youth counsellors who co-ordinate organized games, sports, arts and crafts, and special age-appropriate parties. Activities are organized by age group, with more activities planned during the holiday and summer vacation seasons.

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE

Norwegian Cruise Line ships offer supervised programs (ages 2-5, 6-8, 9-12 and 13-17) with a number of Kid’s Krew venues, including dining areas exclusively for kids, video arcade rooms and teen clubs. NCL America’s new vessel, Pride of America, features extensive recreational opportunities for kids, including 250 interconnecting cabins.

PRINCESS CRUISES – Cruises for Families

Princess Kids has a wide range of activities for children in three age-specific programs, with age-appropriate activities and often separate facilities, for kids 3 to 7, 8 to 12 and 13 to 17. Most ships feature youth and teen centres. Newer ships offer features like a toddler’s play area and theatre, doll’s house, crawl-through castle and splash pool. Larger vessels also offer children’s and teen centres with indoor and outdoor areas or separate areas for each age group.

RADISSON SEVEN SEAS CRUISES – Family Cruise

Radisson Seven Seas’ Club Mariner children’s program caters to children age 6 to 17 and is offered on select voyages. To better accommodate families, Paul Gauguin now boasts 28 triples in categories C, D and E. There are 25 state-rooms on Seven Seas Navigator that can accommodate children.

ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL – Family Cruise

Royal Caribbean’s Ad-venture Ocean Youth Pro-gram offers five age-appropriate groups for kids that include a host of programs. Adventure Science blends science experiments with wacky entertainment. Adventure Art by Crayola gives kids the chance to try their hand (or hands) at a variety of crafts. Sail Into Story Time combines a story hour with activities and projects. Adventure Family offers kids and their parents the chance to spend quality time together with a host of activities. The line’s Freedom of the Seas, offers six different family-focused cabin categories specially designed to accommodate larger families.

Information provided by CLIA
If you are traveling with very young children, check out our tips for cruising with babies and toddlers.

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Cruising with the Mouse – Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruises

AquaDuck Water Coaster on the Disney Dream

There’s magic in everything that team Disney touches and the Disney cruise line is no exception. Michael Eisner himself commissioned a talented group of ship designers, cruise experts and Disney creators to produce cruise ships that would appeal to adults and children of all ages. The result was two nearly-identical ships, Disney Wonder and Disney Magic.

The ships are distinctively Disney, with the famous mouse silhouette prominently placed on the smokestacks and appearing frequently throughout the ships. That’s not all; a fifteen-foot statue of Goofy is the figurehead on Disney Magic while Donald Duck adorns the front of Disney Wonder.

Of course, cast members masquerade through the ship in costumes of the famous Disney characters. Disney art is featured on the walls and images of Disney characters appear everywhere. Disney excels at promoting everything Disney so expect on-board shops to be full of Disney memorabilia.

Disney Cruise Line offers three, four, seven and ten day cruises that sail from Disney’s own Port Canaveral near Orlando to popular spots in the Caribbean, including St. Maarten, Nassau, Antigua, Cozumel, St. Thomas, Grand Cayman Island, St. Lucia, and Key West. All cruises stop at for a day at Castaway Cay, a private island developed by Disney solely for the enjoyment of Disney Cruise Line passengers.

The cruise can easily be combined with a stay at Walt Disney World; passengers can stay at Disney World for several days before or after a cruise for one price that includes transportation on, what else, a Disney bus to or from Port Canaveral.

Disney Cruise LineAnd with the latest technology, tourists check in only once and the key card issued to them unlocks both their hotel and stateroom doors.

As expected, this Cruise Line caters to children with activities for all age groups all day long. In fact, more than 15,000 square feet of ship’s real estate is devoted to children. Teens have a private area of the ship dedicated to their interests that offers video games, movies, and a place to listen to CD’s. Supervised teen sports are also available.

Disney Cruise Lines provides quality night-time entertainment in a 977-seat theatre each evening with, of course, a family orientation. While other cruise lines mimic Las Vegas entertainment, Disney entertainment is similar to shows at Disney World.

As might be expected, there is no casino on board the Disney ships. However, adults can find evening entertainment in a number of lounges and nightclubs.

A special feature of the Disney cruises is the dining arrangement. Dinners are served at 6:30 and 8:30 pm in one of three family dining areas. Over a three day period, a passenger will have dinner in a different restaurant each night, thus getting to experience the unique ambiance of each one.

For a $10 cover charge, those wishing to avoid family dining can opt to eat at the up-scale adult-only restaurant, but only after gaining sought-after advance reservations.

If you or your children adore everything Disney, you will certainly enjoy this cruise.

 

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Disney Cruise Line

 

Cruise Review

Disney Cruise Line – Disney Wonder – Kids Loved It! from Susan Stramball, Florida, USA

My family of four just returned from the Disney Wonder in April. My husband and I have cruised once before with Royal Caribbean, but it was the first cruise for my 9 year old daughter and 14 year old son. We are from Florida and we only did the 4 night cruise portion and did not combine it with the Disney World land portion.

The ship is spectacular to see and my kids were really excited once we were checked in on-board. We signed the kids into the Oceaneers Program the first afternoon. We had to fill out a questionnaire, including whether they would be allowed to check themselves in and out, and then we met with one of the counsellors and got our pager.

Our cabin was wonderful; we booked an outside cabin with a veranda. It was a little cramped inside for our family of four, but it was nothing we could not live with. It was nice to have the balcony for great scenic views and fresh air. My husband and I would sit out their at night and watch the ocean after the kids were in bed.

We enjoyed the dining rotation and found the food to be enjoyable. Not the best we have had but definitely decent and no one went hungry. There was enough variety for the kids to choose something they wanted every night including my youngest who is a picky eater. The service was very good in the dining room. We heard some other tables complaining but our staff was excellent.

The shows were all a lot of fun for our whole family, even the kids really got into them. We didn’t do much else in the evenings, we were all pooped!. My 14-year-old enjoyed the teen group at Common Grounds. He did both of the teen-only shore excursions and found friends to hang out with on the ship.

My 9-year-old liked the kids’ program at Oceaneers’ Lab and also found a couple of new friends to lounge with on-board.

I will not go into the shore excursions because there are many you can choose from and comments will vary on what you decide to do. We did enjoy the ones we did although some can be a tad expensive.

We did enjoy Castaway Cay very much. There is tons to do for kids of each age and even a private beach for adults only. We had great weather that day and really enjoyed some R&R on the private island.

My youngest daughter was a little seasick the first few days so we gave her the over the counter medication we had brought with us and she was fine for the rest of the trip.

Overall we really enjoyed it. The kids has a blast and it was nice that there were so many activities for them so we could have some adult time without them also. I would do it again with the kids.

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Family Cruise Vacation Article: Family Get-Together for Fun

Family Cruise Vacation FunThis family cruise vacation article will fill you in on how a family cruise is a perfect getaway with loads of fun and excitement for everybody. Whenever you have kids bored with the usual stuff amusement parks, theater and all and your spouse needs a change, plan a cruise. You will get addicted to it. Family cruise is a sure shot way to drive away boredom.

A movie to watch, a relaxing massage, snooker game.anything, you just name it. You have many activities to choose from, actually that is the most difficult part- to decide what to do. Family cruise is one of the healthiest entertaining ways to enjoy your vacation with your family and cherish the memories forever. You will find selective activities and tailor made services for all of you. You just need some planning.

Start planning your family cruises, by defining your budget. Once you know your budget look for cruises that fit into your budget. After short listing, the cruises look for the facilities and services they are offering along with the nature and types of activities suitable for children.

You of course want them to enjoy the cruise so there should be sufficient provision to keep them happily occupied. If you have very young children, make sure cribs and babysitting facilities are available. While for a bit older children loads of activities like dancing classes, escorted tours, parties, games and contests are planned.

Every cruise has its own bag of goodies for children. Keep your children’s age in mind when you are going through these activities.

Some family cruises do not allow infants or pregnant women on-board. Check at the time of booking whether infant care and baby-sitting facilities are available or not. Keep ample stock of the things your baby might need like baby food, diapers, as you might not find them on-board.

While embarking on a family cruise, make sure there are proper medical facilities are available for emergencies. Also, make enquiries about fees for cancellation or changing dates for the trip, in case any such need arises. It is better to check latest information about the cruise schedule on the cruise’s website.

A week-long cruise is perfect for families and you are sure to find more families joining the fun.

One of the popular family cruises is a Disney cruise. With many special facilities and fun filled activities to occupy young and old alike, Disney cruise is a perfect setting for fun, fun and more fun. You have a club and lab for kids, Flounder’s reef nursery for your babies, a coffee-house, specially designed programs in film making and photography plus interesting teen outings along with live shows.

Another interesting family cruise is the Carnival Cruise with its special fun ships. The fun ships have special entertainers, Karaoke parties, teen makeovers and art & photography classes, water slides, ship tours for children etc.. There are special camp carnivals for different age groups.

There are specially designed virtual reality machines in the entertainment complex along with disco and video arcade. There is a playroom with loads of toys and electronic games.

Family cruises are joyous occasions for the family where they can spend some quality time with one another. Simply put, are great places to unwind and enjoy.

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