At almost 5 years of age, this was the first time —aside from daycare and preschool when she´s been able to choose to either go to a party or hang out with her parents. Guess what the little princesa chose? Yep, the parties. Every.single.night of our 7-day Mediterrean cruise aboard the Norwegian Epic she would ask to please be allowed to go to that night´s Splash Academy themed party. They were that much fun. The permissive parents that we are, we just couldn´t say no to her staying up till 10 pm without us because we knew she was having a blast and this was a unique experience for her.
Your child doesn´t have to be a party lover like mine to have a blast aboard a cruise. We discovered that ships like the Norwegian Epic have really put in a lot of effort recently to make sure everyone in the family no matter their age — gets to have an exceptional experience.
5 Ways To Entertain Kids on a Family Cruise
#1. Water Play to the max! When I was telling my girl about our upcoming cruise, I showed her a picture of the Epic and she went wild when she saw the colorful and huge waterslides in the pool area. That´s all she could talk about and couldn´t wait to try. Unfortunately, the first one she tried was a bit too fast for her, but she had barely reached the required height. So the slides are definitely something older kids will love and do again and again. For younger kids, there are plenty of fun splash areas and pools with all sorts of water play for them to go wild.
#2. The Kid´s Club and all-day activities. On board some Norwegian Cruise Line ships you´ll have the chance to sign up your kid to their Splash Academy and Entourage programs. Splash Academy is for younger kids and Entourage is strictly for teens. Both are led by Youth Coordinators who go to extremes to keep kids entertained and immersed in pure fun. There are also activities and dance parties for the whole family to rock it together.
#3. Rock climbing and sports. If your child is active and adventurous, they can sign up for some rock climbing on a wall or take part on the many sports activities offered for kids all ages.
#4. Bingo. Yes, I said Bingo! The Norwegian Epic had Bingo every afternoon and they allow kids to play for free with their parents. Meaning, if you have a kid with you, you get an extra game that could payoff. An entertaining way to spend some time together, for sure.
#5. Dinner shows and entertainment. If you can convince your child to hang out with you and not on their own at one of the Splash Academy themed parties, then you can take them to any one of the class-act shows onboard the Norwegian Epic. My girl loves to sing and dance and be on stage, so I love any chance I get to have her watch a show. The options here included Blue Man Group, Legends In Concert and the Cirque Dreams & Dinner, amongst others.
As you can tell, there´s just so much to do for kids on a cruise that my best advice is for you to be mentally prepared that they –and you!– won´t get much sleep! They will, however, rack up the memories, make plenty new friends and even learn new skills. All that wrapped up in an exciting cruise package.
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Check out the forthcoming book I co-authored, Bilingual is Better: Two Latina Moms on How the Bilingual Parenting Revolution is Changing the Face of America.
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