Cruising with Kids
featured on Select Norwegian Cruise Line Ships - Copyright
Norwegian Cruise Line.
Cruising with kids has become more popular than ever. Many
cruise lines offer supervised activities for children of all age
groups. Traditionally, kids are grouped by age: 3-6 years old,
7-12 and 13 to 17 (although it can vary by cruise line). For the
younger ones, there are games, coloring, story time, face
painting and more. For the 7-12 years olds, there are pizza
parties, sports battles, games and movies. The 13-17 years olds,
can enjoy social events including scavenger hunts, sporting
games and dances. These are just some of the many activities
available. For a more comprehensive list, please check he
individual cruise line's website.
Below are some tips for cruising with kids.
Although most cruise lines have kid's programs, Royal Caribbean,
Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) lead the pack with the
most activities and usually attract a large amount of children.
Most of the upscale cruise lines do not offer a children's
program and if they do it is usually only on select voyages.
Most cruise lines children's program will only accept children 3
years of age or older and the child must be potty trained. There
is one exception - NCL - which will accept the children 2+ years
- if the child is not potty trained, NCL will provide you with a
pager so you can come back and change your child.
On the days at sea, there is usually activities for the children
in the morning, afternoon and evening. The evening session ends
at 10:00 PM but additional activities are available after hours
for an additional charge (usually $5.00 per hour, per child).
While in port, normally, the children's program activities do
not occur until the ships are at sea again.
Although my kids love the kids program, I have spoken to
numerous parents who stated their kids either did not like the
activities or did not want to leave their parents. I recommend
bringing additional activities and small games to keep the kids
occupied. There is usually a game room onboard the ship, where
you can borrow board games to fill the down time. The pool, hot
tubs and ping-pong tables also serve as a great distraction.
Food and drink cannot be taken off ship. At breakfast, take an
extra bagel or a box of your child's favorite cereal to the
cabin for a snack before or after returning from shore.
Most cruise lines have a children's menu at dinner - but do not
offer them to you unless you ask. The kid's menu do not change
and offers the standards - macaroni and cheese, hot dogs,
chicken nuggets, french fries and pasta for example.
The sun can be very strong. Be sure to bring ample sun screen
and the correct SPF rating for you child. Apply the sun screen
frequently to prevent sun burn and skin damage.
Remember 3rd and 4th passengers, sharing a cabin with two full
paying adults, .travel at a reduced rate.
The items above provide tips on having a successful vacation
when traveling with children. The items mentioned above are
generalities. We strongly recommend checking the cruise line's
websites to confirm the information above and learn more about
each specific cruise line's policy and kid's program offerings.
The link below takes you to our Cruise Index Page where you can
find links to individual cruise line websites.