If you plan to cruise with some energetic kids and worry they won’t have enough to do while the ship is at sea, choose a ship with a kids club. Not all cruise lines have special clubs for kids, but those that do offer terrific activities that go beyond simply keeping kids busy; special play and learning experiences can create wonderful cruise memories.
Disney Cruise Line draws on Disney’s cast of beloved characters to add fun and a little glamour to its kids' club. In addition to classic characters like Mickey Mouse, kids can meet favorites from the Marvel Universe, Toy Story, Frozen, and Star Wars. The Oceaneer Club has games, scavenger hunts, and dress-up activities for younger kids. In the Oceaneer Lab, older kids enjoy cooking classes, science experiments, and lessons in drawing and animation. There are separate areas dedicated to tweens and teens, too.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Splash Academy provides age-appropriate activities for kids 6 months to 12 years. There are soft play spaces where parents can get down on the floor with their age-3-and-under darlings. Preschoolers love arts and crafts and storytime, while school-age kids can enjoy video games, sports, and scavenger hunts – and even learn circus skills, like plate-spinning. Norwegian ships also have a special place for teens, called Entourage, with a dance floor, foosball tables, gaming stations, and DJ simulator.
Princess Cruises adds some education to the mix of activities at Camp Discovery with hands-on science experiments, based on the MythBusters TV show. At The Treehouse, kids ages 3 to 7 make crafts, listen to stories and climb to hang out in a padded treehouse. At The Lodge, kids ages 8 to 12 play in a Northwoods-style cabin that’s equipped with foosball and gaming stations. Like other cruise lines, Princess knows teens need their own space, and they’ll find gaming stations, air hockey tables, and a dance floor in the Beach House.
The use of onboard kids clubs is usually included in your cruise fare. The clubs are always supervised by qualified youth staff. Younger children may need to be signed in and out by their parents or guardians, but older kids and teens can usually come and go as they please. Many of the clubs have some evening activities, too, like group dinners, parties, and movie screenings. Some kids clubs even offer special kids-only shore excursions.
Ask Anita, your professional travel advisor, for more information about cruise lines with great kids clubs.
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