Kids Activities & Kids Clubs
More families are discovering that cruising keeps everyone happy. Parents can hang out with the kids, doing fun activities together, but kids can also meet other kids on board and make new friends. Cruise ships are heaven for young ones of all sizes – read on to find out just how far kids’ activities and clubs have come along.
Little adrenalin junkies
P&O Edge Adventure Parks – found aboard Pacific Aria, Eden, Dawn, Jewel and Pearl – are billed as Australia’s largest adventure parks at sea. Each ship’s activities vary, but they can include abseiling down the ship’s aft funnel, walking the plank, flying across an 80-metre-long zip line, bungee-trampolining, racing a friend up a cargo net, climbing a ladder to the ship’s bow and playing a game of laser tag. The ships also have basketball and tennis courts, and a stock of board games.
Several Royal Caribbean ships include a range of free activities such as the FlowRider surf simulator, rock-climbing wall, bumper cars, ice-skating rink and mini-golf. Kids can also go crazy with water guns and interactive geysers in the H2O Zone water park.
Carnival ships feature Green Thunder – the steepest waterslide at sea. On board Disney Dream (which cruises to the Bahamas from Florida) and Disney Fantasy, the AquaDuck waterslide includes a scream-inducing four-deck drop.
Let imaginations run wild
During pirate party nights on board Disney Fantasy, kids both big and small can be transformed into pirates of the Caribbean (Fantasy cruises the Caribbean from Florida). Kids on board Fantasy can also take part in a royal tea party where they meet Disney princesses.
Several Royal Caribbean ships (including Voyager of the Seas that sails Australia) include the DreamWorks Experience. Kids can have their photos taken with favourite characters such as Shrek and Fiona, and head to the 3D theatre to watch movies such as How to Train Your Dragon.
Join the club
All P&O ships boast four age-specific kids’ clubs. Turtle Cove, designed for two- to six-year-olds, offers a play centre, arts and crafts, theme nights and talent shows. Activities at Shark Shack, for seven to 10-year-olds, include scavenger hunts, computer games, jewellery-making lessons and plenty of Lego. At HQ, the 11 to 14-year-olds can play video games, watch movies and sing karaoke. Older teens can hang at HQ+, which offers them the chance to make their own movie while aboard the ship.
Royal Caribbean’s three kids’ clubs are available for kids aged three to five, six to eight, and nine to 11. There are also teen-only spaces and a late-night party zone. Select ships feature a nursery that looks after babies six months and older for an hourly fee. Babysitters can also come to your stateroom to look after kids aged one and older for an hourly fee.
On Royal Caribbean ships, there’s an early and speedy dinner service for kids aged three to 11 – after they finish eating, staff take them to enjoy other activities so parents can linger over their dinner at leisure. On P&O ships, the Waterfront restaurant offers special kids’ menus. There’s also a kids’ dinner each night in the Plantations restaurant that includes a visit from kids’ club mascots TC and Skipper.