Traveling with children in a cruise is an exciting and memorable experience for both the parents and the kids. The large ship becomes a fun playground with the wide open seas as backdrop. Such an experience can thrill kids as well those who are kids at heart. Cruise lines must have noticed the need to accommodate growing families, and so it is likely that your cruise line already offers babysitting services onboard. On top of that, many cruise packages include entertaining activities for children under 18.
Luxury cruise companies like Celebrity Cruises offer babysitting services with premium hourly fees. Parents can choose between babysitting services in a playroom or inside their own stateroom. Because this service requires special attention from a trained staff member, cruise companies usually require prior arrangement for this service; a 24-hour notice is often needed.
Aside from babysitting services, there are other kid-friendly activities to enjoy on board. These luxury cruise companies hire a team of child experts such as doctors and nutritionists to develop fun and healthy activities that can influence a healthy lifestyle in an exciting and entertaining manner. There are also parent-children bonding activities designed for to make the cruise experience memorable. Activities usually last for between 2 to 4 hours, which is a good timespan for both parents and kids. To make the experience delightful and convenient for everyone, most of these organized activities require prior permission from an adult.
Some cruise liners have VIP programs with exclusive privileges for its members. While there are different programs catering to different age groups, young children are often required to be potty-trained before accommodating them into the program. Some programs allow non-potty-trained children as long as they are supervised by an adult.
Other cruises such as the Disney Cruise lines are designed specifically for children. Children from 3 months to 3 years will enjoy the themed nurseries with colorful designs in a soothing environment. The area is divided into 3 zones: an acclimatization zone to help children adjust to the nursery, play zone for the educational activities, and nap zone for a peaceful and quiet resting time. Because of the exclusivity of the nurseries, reservations can be made as far as 120 days in advance. To be assured that the children get the best care as possible, these cruise lines require parents to prepare the necessary care package for their children, often including infant formula, diapers, extra clothes, and any other special food that they may require.
Some Caribbean cruise lines like the Royal Caribbean International have facilities reserved for children. Arcade games, hands-on science activities, and play groups keep children entertained – which is good for the parents, because mental and physical activities exercise the child’s mind and body. There are also off-shore exploration activities for kids and teens on a Royal Caribbean-owned private island. Parents will appreciate the presence of youth counselors in the cruise ship who are certified in education and experience in dealing with children of different age groups.
Cruise vacations are one of the most popular family-bonding trips. If we based the success of such trips on the number of smiles on children’s faces, it is no surprise why different cruise lines offer different kid-friendly programs that can match (and even surpass) the competition.