The Best Cruise Activities for Kids
Moms and dads who cruise know it’s all about keeping their kids happy and excited during their vacation, whether onboard or exploring a port during a shore excursion. Tailor-made to do just that, these cool concepts for kids make cruising even more special with opportunities to enjoy favorite characters and family brands, as well as experience something new.
Live it With LEGO
Photo by MSC Cruises
For kids who love to build and create, a designated day on each of MSC Cruises is dedicated to all things Lego. The Lego Experience Day gets kids and adults competing in Lego-themed games. Young guests will soar with pride after receiving a Lego Junior Master Builder diploma.
Kids can hug and have their photos taken with the live Lego sailor mascot, Sailor Walkabout, throughout their cruise. MSC Armonia and MSC Sinfonia — and later this year, MSC Opera and MSC Lirica — offer specially designed playrooms that include all sorts of Lego fun.
“Frozen” in the Fjords
Photo by Disney Cruise Line
If you have a kid who’s crazy for Disney’s animated hit, “Frozen,” (and really, what kid isn’t), then this cruise is for you. This summer, Disney Cruise Line guests can meet Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff in Ålesund, Norway, the land that inspired their story.
The Disney Cruise Line Port Adventure is available during Disney Magic’s Norwegian Fjords and Iceland cruises from June through August 2015. During the excursion, Disney guests are invited to a summer celebration at the Sunnmore Open Air Museum, where they meet the famed trio, dance to local musicians and sample Norwegian specialties — including svele, a traditional sweet pancake from the region.
Don’t worry if the fjords aren’t on your travel bucket list, your family can still cruise with Anna, Elsa and Kristoff this summer. Select Disney Magic and Disney Wonder sailings to Europe and Alaska will include meet and greets with the trio, plus much more “Frozen”-themed fun, such as interactive deck parties, scavenger hunts, and even the chance to take on Elsa’s magical powers to make snow and ice to “build a snowman.”
Join the Circus
Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line’s circus workshop, developed through a partnership with Hilario Productions’ Cirque du Jour, teaches kids the treasured skills of circus performers, such as balancing feathers, juggling, plate spinning, and even stilt walking. Children take classes while participating in the youth program. In addition, they can be part of a family circus school and perform in a circus ring with the cruise director as ringmaster. Kids can get acrobatic beyond the circus workshop with the multilevel ropes course on Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway.
Barbie on the High Seas
Photo by Royal Caribbean
On Royal Caribbean cruises, Barbie fans will love the chance to stay in a stateroom decked out with décor that includes a Barbie pillowcase, throw blanket, door sign, toiletries, a Barbie doll, Barbie outfits, and a Barbie bag. Guests also get to enjoy onboard Barbie family activities per cruise, including Barbie Story Time and a Barbie movie.
Explore Castles and More
Photo by Uniworld
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is almost tripling its family-friendly, multigenerational sailings for 2016 because of its success with authentic experiences on and off the ships. On the "Castles Along the Rhine” cruise, for example, kids can take cooking and language classes onboard, explore Marksburg — a medieval castle — and visit Cologne’s Chocolate Museum, which features hands-on exhibits just for kids, as well as the chance to eat some sweet samples. The whole family can explore ports on their own with complimentary bicycle use while traveling on the River Empress along the Rhine from Basel, Switzerland, to Amsterdam.
Learning Made Fun
Photo by Stacey Zable
As part of Princess Cruises’ Discovery at Sea program, guests of all ages can enjoy Stargazing at Sea, an interactive, guided tour of the skies from the top deck of their ship. A stargazing specialist identifies the major constellations and shares stories and secrets about the stars and their folklore. Once kids are hooked on astronomy, onboard libraries offer supplementary resources for more information on the night’s magic in the sky.
Another Discovery at Sea option is the Princess Culinary Academy, where kids get to learn cake decorating from a Princess pastry chef right where all the excitement happens in the ship’s galley. Participants receive a chef’s hat, commemorative apron, photo, and their masterpieces hand-delivered to their cabins to share with their families.
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What's your favorite program for kids?