Although my wife and I have not traveled with children on cruises, we were very fortunate to meet and talk to a number of parents who did bring their children on the cruise with them as well as go on kid friendly cruises, the most notable one offered by Disney.
What we learned was that there are a number of activities for children of all ages. I will do my best to cover all the basis here on what exactly there is to do for your children, including those hard to keep satisfied teenagers.
The cruise ships I have been on have a nice selection of kid friendly programs. For the younger children, you can enroll them in a kids clubs (they are called different things on different ships, but for our purposes here, I will call them a kids clubs). These are more for the younger, 5 to 10 crowd. These clubs are supervised by extremely friendly, polite and courteous hosts. They take good care of the children, making sure they are occupied with a lot of arts and crafts and from what I have been told, a lot of educational programs.
They do a good job of mixing education and fun, a nice combination that you want to hear about, especially if you are parent that worries about what they are doing when you are not around.
One of the most fun surprises was when the children, who were enrolled in the kids program throughout the week, dressed up as pirates and put on a small show for the adults during dinner. It was very enjoyable, and the cruise crew did a great job getting the kids ready in such a short period of time.
So what about those teenagers? Well for starters, most cruise ships have arcade style game rooms. Most are equipped with everything from air hockey to pool tables (on some ships), to a wide variety of video games and other electronic gadgets and gizmo`s. If you are a parent (or a teenager) who may not like the electronic options, most cruise ships have rooms where you will find all sorts of board games, chess boards, checkers, puzzles and literally hundreds of other items to stay occupied.
If you (are lucky enough) have a child that loves to read, no problem with that either. Most cruise ships have wonderful libraries, with a lot of books to choose from.
Even with all the games, electronics and books, if you still have a child that wants more, that is not a problem. On the top deck, you will find miniature golf, volleyball, basketball courts, and some cruise lines offer rock climbing walls, with the newer mega ships offering body surfing on-board! How cool is that!
Other activities for kids include, on some ships, an ice-skating rink, scuba and swimming lessons, bingo for kids and of course, the pool.
Needless to say if you have children and still want to go on a cruise, there is plenty for you and your children to do. At the beginning of every cruise, the cruise director will tell everybody, one of the best things you can do on a cruise, is “to get involved.” If you want to have a great time, you and your kids need to get involved with these activities. It will make the cruise vacation more enjoyable for both you and your children.
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