Ships: Adventure of the Seas | Allure of the Seas | Brilliance of the Seas | Enchantment of the Seas | Explorer of the Seas | Freedom of the Seas | Grandeur of the Seas | Independence of the Seas | Jewel of the Seas | Legend of the Seas | Liberty of the Seas | Majesty of the Seas | Mariner of the Seas | Monarch of the Seas | Navigator of the Seas | Oasis of the Seas | Radiance of the Seas | Rhapsody of the Seas | Serenade of the Seas | Splendor of the Seas | Vision of the Seas | Voyager of the Seas
Year-round and fleetwide, Royal Caribbean offers its Adventure Ocean supervised kids' programs for children ages 3 to 17, divided into Aquanauts (ages 3-5), Explorers (6-8), Voyagers (9-11), Navigators (12-14), and older teens (15-17). All youth staffmembers have college degrees in education, recreation, or a related field. Each ship has a large children's playroom and facilities for teens, with complimentary supervised activities on sea and port days. In general, the scope of the kids' facilities on the Oasis-, Freedom-, Voyager-, and Radiance-class ships far exceeds that on the older vessels, with huge playrooms, and a large, sequestered outdoor deck with ship-shaped play equipment.
Kids' activities fleetwide include movies, talent shows, karaoke, pizza and ice-cream parties, bingo, scavenger hunts, game shows, volleyball, face painting, and beach parties. Internet access is available to Adventure Ocean kids at half-price (25? versus 50? per minute for adults). Several programs also mix learning with play. The Adventure Science program entertains kids with fun yet educational scientific experiments like volcano making and projects that vaguely touch on meteorology and fossils; while Adventure Art, offered in partnership with Crayola, focuses on art projects made with the company's crayons, modeling clay, glitter, glue, markers, and paint. Adventure Theatre exposes kids to theater arts via vocal and physical exercises, and activities that foster creativity. There are also activities geared to the whole family, including mom and dad.
For younger kids (ages 6 months-3 years), RCI has partnered with Fisher-Price on a program of supervised play dates in which babies (6-18 months) and toddlers (19 months-3 years) are invited to daily 45-minute play sessions with their parents in a designated lounge. Offered on all but embarkation day, the interactive dates incorporate music, storytelling, and a variety of Fisher-Price toys to explore physical development, problem-solving skills, cause and effect, and other lessons. In ship cabins, Fisher-Price TV has programming for kids and you can also borrow Fisher-Price toys for kids to play with in your cabin. (By the way, if you don't feel like schlepping your own stuff, you can now preorder organic baby food and Huggies-brand diapers, wipes, and creams for delivery into your cabin when you arrive. Go to Royal Caribbean's Shop Gifts & Gear section at www.royalcaribbean.com.) There's also a morning Stroll & Roll for parents who want to push their infant in a stroller around the ship's jogging track.
For teens, each ship has a teen center, a disco, and a video arcade. The Freedom-class ships, Mariner, Navigator, and Monarch of the Seas, have three teen-only areas, including a dedicated teen Sun Deck. Teen programming hours are daily 9am to 5pm and 7pm to 2am.
Kids' facilities and activities on the Oasis-class ships outshine any others in the fleet, and rank among the best in the cruise biz, with highlights including one of the very few nurseries at sea (accepting kids between 6 months and 3 years), plus nine different play spaces and a huge water park out on deck (also on the Freedom-class ships).
Radiance-class ships and Voyager, Adventure, and Explorer also have a water slide and a kids' pool.
Slumber-party-style group babysitting for children ages 3 and up is available in the kids' playroom nightly between 10pm and 1am. The hourly charge is $6 per child (kids must be at least 3 years old and potty-trained). Private, in-cabin babysitting for kids ages 1 year and up is provided by off-duty crewmembers from 8am to 2am, and must be booked at least 24 hours in advance through the purser's desk; a new Fisher-Price partnership means the babysitter will arrive with Fisher-Price and Mattel toys and games, and play with your child. Upon the parents' return, the sitter gives them a log of what they did together. The cost: $10 per hour for up to two siblings; $15 per hour for a maximum of three. As for the few hours of adult time to enjoy dinner, drinks, entertainment, a workout, and/or spa treatment: priceless.
Alternatively, a revamped Adventure Ocean dinner program is a kind of "get out of parenting free" card for adults, inviting kids to have dinner with youth staff in the Windjammer Caf?, the Solarium, or Johnny Rockets diner (depending on the ship) from 6 to 7pm, then take part in an activities session until 10pm. This is offered on 3 nights of a 7-night cruise and once or twice on shorter cruises. A complete child's menu is provided. At midday on sea days, the new Lunch and Play program invites kids ages 3 to 11 to eat with counselors between noon and 2pm and enjoy movies, cartoons, and playtime (it's $7.95 per kid). New interactive kids' menus (parents, bring your own crayons, though -- on our last cruises, the dining staff didn't have any) have just been introduced, with more healthy choices. Other new stuff includes a kids' section in the ships' libraries and, for the suites, a Mattel board game menu, including Pictionary, Balderdash, and UNO Flash.
Infants must be at least 6 months old to sail. Note that transatlantic, transpacific, Hawaii, and some South American cruises require infants to be at least 12 months old.
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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.