children, cruising is the best affordable deal on the travel
The parents can enjoy time to themselves, while the kids enjoy the time
of their lives!
key to a successful cruise is to choose the ship that meets
your family's needs. Look for one with a guaranteed kids' program
that matches your child's age. It should be in full operation for the
and the sailing you've booked. Don't board a ship if the brochure
that the children's program only operates with a minimum number of
are welcome on most ships, but facilities vary. Youth and Teen
(supervised only when 15 or more children are traveling) are usually
supervised by a fun-loving staff. On most ships you'll find
from arts & crafts corners, games tables, movies and splash pools,
to Teen Centers with ping pong tables, juke boxes and all the latest
games. Some ships even offer a toddlers' play area and theater, a
doll's house, a castle, a splash pool, computers, and ice-cream kiosk.
And for teens, special places which are guaranteed to give them the
of their lives. Some ships will offer group
activities from 9:00 am.- 5:00 p.m. when in port for $4.00 per child
hour. From 10:00 p.m.- 1:00 a.m. there may be a $4.00 per child
hour group babysitting charge.
Children ages 2-12
Teens ages 13 to 17
| Arts & crafts
Hall of Fame tournaments
Afternoon ice cream
Videos and cartoons
Back stage tour
Special TV Programs
|| Bop till you drop teen-only disco
The Dating Game
Murder mystery game
Karaoke & lip sync shows
P.T.C. pizza party
activities specially designed to teach them about the
oceans and marine
Family Cruising Tips
Cruise lines are getting better with their kid programs, however they
seem to have them only in session when there is a holiday or during the
summer vacation months. Your best bet is to stick to a cruise
who offers the year round program because they employ people who are
certified in child care, not a college student on a summer break.
- First sitting mealtime is recommended for families who want
so that children may fully participate in the evening youth activities.
- If parents would like to dine alone at second sitting,
in the 24-hour alternative dining restaurant.
- Many of the shore excursions have been planned with family
- Discounted rates for children and "family friendly"
to make the most of your time in port.
- Don't miss the orientation and registration meeting on the
of your cruise. You'll meet the Youth Activities Coordinators and learn
more about the exciting shipboard programs.
- Center staff cannot administer medication, change diapers
- Group babysitting services are available in port between
9:00 a.m. and
5:00 p.m., and at night between 10:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. in the
centers at an hourly rate per child.
- Kids feeling under the weather? Members of the staff will
special by stopping by their stateroom with games and activities to
- Families generally pick first seating for meals, since
late (8:30 pm).
- The longer the cruise (10 days and up), the older the
least likely you are to find many kids (most families can't afford the
cost, or can't leave home for longer periods.)
- A 7-day trip may be best; 3 and 4 day cruises often get a
- Baby sitting is often provided by staff at night at an
- Many ships now offer pizza, hamburgers and hotdogs along
- Check the size and location of the stateroom
- Some ships have cabins that can sleep five; some ships have
- Certain lines allow a teen to have a separate cabin
- Try a short cruise, the first time out
- Check the medical services available
- Some ships bar women in the third trimester of
- Check what documentation for kids is required
- Don't forget to budget for gratuities. (Ask about the
- A final word: as with any trip with kids, you never know
when a case of
pox will alter your best-laid plans! Check cancellation fees, and fees
to change dates; cancellation insurance may be worth the price.
- Check for deals; sometimes kids can sail for free!