Cruises these days are offering more and more for your family. They are attracting families with kids of all ages and activities geared directly to certain age groups. With more than just arcades and all-you-can-eat ice cream machines, kids are having the time of their lives!
More cruise lines are developing themed kids programs packed with activities to keep them happy. Norwegian Cruise Line has teamed up with Nickelodeon, Royal Caribbean with DreamWorks and we have all heard about the great things happening on board Disney Cruise Line ships.
According to the Cruise Line International Association, 25% of cruisers sail with children and most cruise lines offer plenty of activities for kids. They go on to say that if kids love swimming, sports and movies cruises are a great value too.
Camp Carnival is an awesome program offered by Carnival Cruise Lines for kids 2-15. There are four different age appropriate programs. These are in addition to the ‘fun ship’ onboard experiences like water slides and even laser tag.
- Toddlers enjoy arts & craft, bingo, sponge painting, cartoons, sing-a-longs, and drawing contests.
- Juniors have beach parties, puppet shows, cookie decorating, painting and outdoor games.
- Intermediate play video games, hip hop dance class, scavenger hunts, photography and talent shows to look forward to.
- Teens have a pool party, volley ball, pizza parties, ping pong tournaments, talent shows, and a special teen lounge just for them.
Royal Caribbean has a similar program for kids. Royal Caribbean has packed their ships full of really fun things to do for all ages like rock climbing walls, ice skating rinks and basketball courts. They also have water parks and a super cool surf park onboard!
The counselors are usually college educated or have certificates in childhood education and experience working with kids. Many times there are pagers for the parents in case their child needs them. Special care is taken to ensure your little ones (or not so little anymore) have a great time.
Plan time to play in the wading pool with them, you will have plenty of photo opportunities. Take your older ones on shore excursions with you to take in the local culture. The best memories are made together no matter what their ages are.
Proper planning and preparation will help you create a great time for your family. Most cruise ships allow kids on board, but not all have programs for kids to enjoy. Be sure to check with a travel agent and find out which cruises offer something that would work for your family’s needs.
Check out the size of the cabin and whether you will want or need to have a second cabin to accommodate your family. Look in to the food menus and see if there are foods that your picky eater (we all have one) will eat, or better yet, is there a children’s menu?
Since cruises offer something for all ages, families can have fun together or the kids can have fun with their age group leaving you to relax or have adult time. Plan to have set time with the kids and without so you don’t get burnt out. You are on vacation to relax after all!
Our guest author, Valaney Martin, works at CreditDonkey, where she helps pick the best travel credit card for families. She loves cruises and enjoys seeing the little ones having fun. Before your next cruise, compare introductory offer credit cards at her blog to find deals for your next trip.