The best thing about cruising with kids? You can bet you’ll never hear those dreaded words “I’m bored!” For kids of all ages, cruises provide a seemingly never-ending choice of activities and entertainment, so you’re free to enjoy some well-earned “me” time. And when you do crave good quality family fun, there are great activities all ages can enjoy.
Here are five cruise lines your kids will be begging you to book
Jump onboard a Carnival Cruise ship during the school holidays and you’ll really earn the title of “Best Parent in the World Ever”. They are known as the “Fun Ships” for nothing! Carnival Cruises offers year-round children’s programs on all its ships, but the one with the biggest family focus is Carnival Legend. Massive waterparks with the gigantic Green Thunder waterslide, giant family games like Yahtzee, shows and entertainment are guaranteed to create an unforgettable cruise experience for the whole family. In fact, there are at least 45 activities for families over 12 decks!
Kids will love: Seuss at Sea. If the mention of a green eggs and ham breakfast with the Cat in the Hat makes their face light up, Carnival has the cruise for them! Carnival has teamed up with Dr Seuss Enterprises to bring families the best in entertainment, including special themed breakfasts, story times and more.
Adults will love: Admit it, you’ll love the Green Thunder waterslide too! Once you’ve worked up an appetite, the Nouveau Restaurant is Carnival’s award-winning restaurant where there’s prime dry-aged Australian beef with your name on.
When it comes to families, P&O Cruises knows how to keep everyone entertained! There are four age-specific Kids Clubs, which are fully supervised by experienced crew and included in your fare. The best part is there are loads of activities to share too, whether you challenge your kids to a game of laser tag or watch their faces light up during a live circus show. There are also spacious inter-connecting rooms designed especially for families and large groups. In Australia, P&O Cruises has five ships to choose from, with cruises sailing from every mainland state.
Kids will love: The P&O Edge Adventure Park, Australia’s largest at-sea adventure park. Kids will be amazed by all the fun activities, while older kids can zipline across the deck and climb the aft funnel. And on Pacific Dawn, there’s even High Ropes and Walk the Plank!
Adults will love: The Oasis, an exclusive child-free retreat. Choose your sumptuous day bed and indulge in a few hours of complete and utter relaxation.
Please keep in mind that P&O limit the number of kids allowed on board!
Rock climbing? Tick. Ice-skating? Tick. Having photos taken with their favourite DreamWorks characters? Tick, tick, tick. Everything your kids ever dreamed of on a cruise holiday can be found onboard Royal Caribbean cruises. The line offers a fun-packed program for kids of all ages, from six-month-olds up to teens, as well as a huge array of activities and entertainment for all ages – including rock-climbing walls, 3D movies, ice skating shows and much more. On certain ships, families can spread out in staterooms designed for up to six passengers.
Kids will love: The DreamWorks experience. Little cruisers (and big cruisers!) will be awe-struck by the exciting parades, shows, 3D movies and meals where they can meet their favourite characters from animations like Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar and Shrek. Meanwhile, big kids will love the rock-climbing wall, ice skating rink and the Flowrider surf simulator on Voyager of the Seas.
Adults will love: The expedited kids dining for ages 3 to 11. Kids are whisked off for an evening of activities so you can enjoy an intimate meal at your own pace.
The great thing about Princess Cruises is that they focus on entertaining the older kids just as much as little ones. From hip-hop dancing and DJ skill to makeup and facial classes, even the scowliest teenager won’t be able to stop smiling on a Princess cruise. While you’re catching up with friend in the bar, kids will be in their element with pizza and mocktail nights. And while you’re getting ready for a night of music and magic, kids can don their best attire for the formal dress-up balls. Princess Cruises has also partnered with the Science Channel and Discovery to bring a wide range of new experiences, including “Stargazing at Sea” and “Shark Week at Sea”.
Kids will love: Dedicated youth and teen clubs. They have their own space to hang out, complete with the latest video games, movies, table football, jukeboxes and games.
Adults will love: Chocolate Journeys, a new onboard premium chocolate experience. Indulge your taste buds with chocolate-inspired creations from a world-famous chocolatier, Norman Love, as well as chocolate spa treatments, chocolate and wine tasting, chocolate beverages, chocolate cooking demonstrations…need we go on?
EVEN MORE CRUISES LINES KIDS WILL LOVE…
Holland America Line
It may not have the cutting-edge adrenalin-filled attractions of the other lines, but Club HAL is packed with fun activities that kids will love, such as swim parties, sports competitions, karaoke and pyjama parties. And teens can enjoy a whole deck of their own, The Loft, complete with nightclub parties, pools and juice bars.
Step aboard the Queen Mary 2 to give your kids the royal treatment. High teas and family balls are on the agenda. And there’s also an onboard planetarium for budding stargazers.
Celebrity Cruises has won awards for its youth programs, and it’s easy to see why. “Toddler Time” is a dedicated space for parents and kids under three, while the Fun Factory keeps cruises aged between 3 and 11 fully entertained from 9am to 10pm every day. Meanwhile, teens get their own exclusive hangout with super-cool activities and events.
So there you have it…enough cruise inspiration for every school holiday from now to graduation! Discover the wide range of cruises for the school holidays, departing from ports all around Australia, and book today!
Important to know that activates listed in this post are not available on all vessels. Please ask about the available activities before you make a booking!