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Best cruise activities for kids onboard

Dance contests, toys, books, movies, arts & crafts, sports competitions, special pools, water slides – there are practically endless options onboard to keep the little ones entertained. 

Thankfully, cruise lines are more than accommodating to family cruisers. Hundreds of kid-friendly activities are available now. 

To help you plan your cruise holiday, Cruise Passenger has compiled the list of available programs and activities for kids in different age groups on some of your favourite cruise lines. 

Carnival Cruise Line Australia

Whether you’re cruising with a toddler or teenager, Carnival offers activities or kids of all ages. Kids and adults alike can join in the fun with all-ages activities like waterslides, movies by the pool or onboard sports like basketball and mini-golf.

There’s also kids-only activities with Carnival’s kids club options:

  • Kids age 2 to 8 can enjoy Seuss at Sea, Zumbini, Build-a-Bear Workshop, or Seuss-a-palooza Story Time.
  • Older kids age 9 to 11 can stay active during sea days by joining the SportSquare, Camp Ocean, SkyRide, SkyCourse, or Twister Slide.
  • Teens age 12 to 17 can hang out at Club O2, Dive-In Movies, or catch a flick at IMAX.

Luckily, most activities are included in the price of your cruise and are available on most Carnival Ships. 

There are some activities that do cost extra though. These include IMAX, ZSpa, Thrill Theater, or Video Arcade. 

Celebrity Cruises

While you may not think of Celebrity as a kid-friendly line, there are many opportunities for kids to have fun and make new friends aboard Celebrity ships. 

Most Celebrity Cruise ships feature Camp At Sea – an onboard entertainment centre and program designed for kids three to 17 in different age groups. 

  • Supervised by experienced youth staff, “Shipmates”, from three to five, have the chance to learn new art skills, camp songs and meet other kids their age
  • “Cadets, travellers between six and nine, can learn the basics of sailing, have movie nights and even onboard campouts
  • “Captains”, aged 10 to 12, can meet other pre-teens through scavenger hunts and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs
  • Teens aged 13 to 17 can join the Teens Club, offering silent discos and video game tournaments

With more than 500 activities to take part in, the schedules varies in every sail depending on the interests of kid passengers. 

From arts and recreation to science and technology, Celebrity Cruises cover many forms of hobbies and subjects. This will make sure that your kids will be engaged during the duration of your cruise. 

Disney Cruise Line

It’s no surprise that Disney ships are a favourite amongst kids. But beyond its well known branding, the cruise offers a multitude of activities onboard. 

  • Kids aged three to 12 can join the Disney Oceaneer Club where they can interact with iconic Disney characters, or take part in the Oceaneer Lab where they can learn through activities and games
  • Just for tweens, there’s the Edge where they can meet other cruises, play games and do arts and crafts
  • Teens can go to the Vibe Club where they can watch movies, play games, enjoy arts & crafts, and more.

Selected Disney ships hold “special days at sea” where popular characters join the fun. For example, Marvel Day at Sea will feature the appearance and performance of the Avengers – Captain America, Spiderman, Thor, and more. 

And while the kids are enjoying their time with newfound friends, parents can relax in the spa, get a cooldown in an exclusive pool, or just chill in the bar. 

MSC Cruise Line

MSC Cruise Line is known for its LEGO® Experience On Board, a special event in every MSC cruise with the whole day dedicated to fun LEGO activities for the entire family to enjoy. 

  • Kids and Teens Clubs are available from ages 0 to 17, filled with age-specific activities such as music and rhythm activities, arts and crafts, sports tournaments, dance contests, and more.
  • MSC’s baby and toddler services, let you entrust your kids to onboard care specialists while you wind down and enjoy the cruise.

If you’re looking for something a bit extra, you can also buy an extra “Fun Pass” for access to MSC’s Amusement Area extras. Depending on the ship, this can include Formula Racer, VR games, bowling and even an onboard flight simulator.

Norwegian Cruise Line

From cupcake decorating to dodgeball, there are many things to do while you cruise.  Your kids will never forget their cruise days with Norwegian Cruise Line. 

The “Splash Academy” offers four age brackets for play on board:

  • “Guppies”, aged six months to three years including sensory play, music and colours(Unfortunately it’s currently unavailable)
  • “Turtles”, aged three to five years, can join in on arts and crafts, storytelling, treasurehunts and even an onboard circus school
  • “Seals”, aged six to nine, can do more advanced Circus skills, join theme nights, sports, parades and more
  • “Dolphins”, the oldest group available from 10 to 12, can take part in similar experiences to the Seals, just designed for a slightly older crowd

If your kids are older than 12, not to worry. Music jams, improv classes, movies, parties and sports are available to teens onboard.

Kids can learn to juggle at Circus School in Splash Academy and teens have the coolest themed parties in Entourage, NCL’s onboard youth club.  

Princess 

Princess Cruises has a variety of kid-friendly activities, so your little ones will find the holiday extra fun. 

In partnership with Discovery™, Princess has developed engaging new youth programming and wonder-filled centers designed for young passengers dubbed Camp Discovery. Activities are themed around popular shows like Mythbusters and Animal Planet features.

  • “The Treehouse”, designed for kids aged three to seven, offers activities and programmes in a whimsical play centre inspired by the forests
  • “The Lodge”, for kids eight to 12, can hang out in the mountain-themed centre with sports, activities and games, including air hockey and ping pong
  • “The Beach House”, aimed at teens 13 to 17, can chill out in the beach-themed lounge, join parties with mocktails, join dance classes or watch movies under the stars

Babies and toddlers aged six months to two years are welcome to attend Camp Discovery activities if they’re with a parent

The whole family can enjoy the Reef Family Splash Zone that features an interactive splash pad with a giant whale. 

P&O Cruises Australia

Known as a family friendly cruise line, P&O offers a host of activities that are catered at spending time with your kids, and others that they can enjoy all on their own.

The onboard kids club groups activities into four age groups, where there’s something for everyone:

  • Turtle Cove, 2-5
  • Shark Shack, 6-9
  • HQ, 10-13
  • HQ+, 14-17

Activities include arts and crafts, sport, music, video games and movies.

Onboard activities for kids of all ages – including the kids at heart – include waterslides, slacklines, and even the chance to “walk the plank”.

Royal Caribbean

Every RC ship offers special activities for kids for all ages, with specialised youth groups including:

  • Aquanauts (3-5), the little onboard scientists who get to conduct experiments
  • Explorers (6-8), who can join in the fun with themed parties
  • Voyagers (9-12), can take part in activities designed to make learning cool again

If your kids are younger than three, there is an onboard Royal Babies (6-18 months) and Royal Tots (18-36 months) programmes with activities designed just for them.

During sea days, the ship hosts epic experiences such as glow-in-the-dark laser tag battles and plunging down the Ultimate Abyss that is bound to boost your adrenaline.

FlowRider® surf simulator is another popular kids area aboard Royal Caribbean.  

 

 

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