Family Fun Activities on a Cruise Ship

08.01.10

imageYou won’t be hard pressed these days to find a cruise line that caters to kids. In the last 10 years or so, a growing number of cruise companies have included the little ones on their activity agendas. Some cruise companies have even integrated the concept of babysitting services so that mom and dad can enjoy a moment to themselves while onboard. Taking a cruise with the whole family is an excellent idea, and lest you think cruise vacations are expensive and are not for kids, think again. In fact, families can benefit from substantial discounts and yes, kids are most welcome. Your ship captain will be delighted to have them onboard. A cruise vacation for the kids can be considered an “off-the-beaten path” activity, an exciting alternative to riding in the car for long hours while the children’s patience is tested. On a ship, the distractions and activities are endless. You’ll never hear them ask, “when are we going to see land, dad?” Wonderful Whales

Kids — no matter what age — love animals. And they don’t get to see whales everyday. So Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, is a big treat for the kids, and mom and dad too. Castaway Cay is in the Bahamas, and all Disney cruises make a stop here. It’s called the “giant whale-dig site.” While kids stand in awe of the whales, mom and dad can relax with a massage in one of the cabanas.

Biking

While in Castaway Cay, Disney offers bike rentals so the whole family can explore the island. This is a great way to tame the kids’ soaring energy levels.  By exercising, they can release some of that pent up cabin fever and get to bed early.

Rock Climbing

Royal Caribbean International offers onboard rock climbing activities for the whole family. Ask about their Freedom of the Seas cruise vacation and their rock climbing activity in particular. This is another great way for the kids to release their energy and let loose.

A Bit of Classroom Education Known for their Alaska cruise destinations, Prince Cruises have different ways of entertaining families. On their Grand, Diamond and Coral class ships, the crew offers  a fun, supervised program for kids. If you want to give your kids the opportunity to learn some exciting facts about oceans and marine life, Princess Cruise offers captivating educational programs that the kids will love. While in Alaska, they can also listen to nature experts and rangers talk about the history of Alaska, the development of glaciers, native culture and dog sled races.

Treasure Hunts On your way to Hawaii? You may want to catch a flight to Honolulu and then take the Norwegian Cruise Line. Book the whole family on their Pride of Hawaii cruise vacation. This particular cruise is known for being family oriented. On the agenda: sports competitions, magicians and treasure hunts. There are also playrooms and teen hangouts. On this cruise, your children will also have the option to work out in the gym, sign up for dance lessons, or play basketball. Here’s a bonus: if your children are under two years old, they travel free.

Spa Treatments Many believe that the only way mom and daughter can bond is to have a manicure together. Carnival Cruise Lines offers manicures and several other programs that bring families together. The cruise ship offers spa and beauty treatments for kids aged 12-14  called the youth spa program.

Talent Shows For parents who have artistically inclined children or kids who love to dance and sing, Carnival Cruise Lines offers karaoke and talent shows. What better way to encourage your budding star? Imagine his or her thrill of competing live with other kids onboard?

Cruising with Kids on the Mediterranean Take advantage of Carnival’s family fun tours, which have just been recently included in some of their Mediterranean destinations. A few examples of these fun tours include a cultural expedition on a private yacht headed for Turkey’s Bosphorus, where children and parents can enjoy magnificent views of palatial buildings and ancient temples. Another tour goes to Ephesus in Izmir (supposedly one of the seven wonders of the world). If your kids are into steam engines, one tour has a museum stop for those who want to have a look at one of Europe’s largest collection of steam engines.

Snorkeling

If you or your kids admire the work of Jacques Cousteau, you must take the Paul Gauguin, Ambassadors of the Environment cruise, hosted by Regent Seven Seas Cruise Line. The company has joined hands with Ocean Futures Society of Jean-Michel Cousteau (son of Jacques Cousteau) to offer ecological tours that include day and night snorkelling and a journey to Moorea with an anthropologist. Your budding little oceanographers are sure to get a thrill out of this underwater exploration.

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