Cruise Kids Clubs: What You Need to Know

Cruises for kids are fun for all with the cruise kids club.
Fairytale Hall at the Oceaneer Club on the Disney Wish

Most major cruise lines provide care for younger passengers with cruise kids clubs, where your tiny tikes can play with other kids and enjoy guided activities while you get to take a break from parenting for a day. While many of these clubs are quite similar, there are some important differences between the different cruise lines that are worth considering when planning cruises for kids. From the more immersive environments of Camp Discovery on Princess Cruises, to the less restrictive “all-ages” approach on Disney’s ships, we’ll go over the different kids clubs on some of the biggest cruise lines and what makes them each unique.

Adventure Ocean on Royal Caribbean

First up in our list of cruise kids clubs, we have Adventure Ocean, the complimentary, award-winning youth program from Royal Caribbean. This kids club separates kids and teens based on their ages, so they can participate in age-appropriate group activities with each other. These groups range from the Royal Babies & Tots program which is for ages 6 to 36 months, all the way up to the Voyagers group for ages 9 to 12. Younger kids will conduct cool experiments and earn the title of Certified Jr. Adventure Scientists, while older kids will take part in activities that will teach them things through edutainment. In addition, teens can hang out in teens-only spaces where they can come and go as they please, which provide fun activities late into the night. This age specialization makes Royal Caribbean stand out as one of the most well rounded cruises for kids of all ages.

Splash Academy and Entourage on Norwegian Cruise Line

Another cruise line that offers quality cruises for kids is Norwegian Cruise Lines, which has two complimentary cruise kids clubs, one for ages 3 to 12 called Splash Academy and one for teens ages 13 to 17 called Entourage. The younger kids here will be supervised by a youth staff that will lead them in creative play and active games. The teens on the other hand get to hang out at the coolest teen lounge at sea or dance at their own dance club at night, and will enjoy video games, movies, arts, music, and sports while they are here. If you are looking to enjoy a date night without your little ones, you can leave them at the Late Night Fun Zone for a small fee and know that they are in good hands.

Camp Ocean on Carnival

For anyone looking for cruises for kids who are very young, you should know that Carnival is the only major cruise line to offer complimentary care for kids as young as 2 years old. Camp Ocean seeks to bring all the best parts of summer camp out to sea, with activities like arts and crafts, songs, games, toys, dancing, movies and video games. Your kids will be grouped by age and given cool marine-life labels — “Penguin” for ages 2 to 5, “Stingray” for ages 6 to 8, and “Shark” for ages 9 to 11. When it’s mealtime at this cruise kids club, kids get their own menu and are served camp classics like mac & cheese or chicken nuggets. They also provide late night care after the sun goes down for an additional fee.

Camp Discovery on Princess

Cruises for kids can be very different experiences depending on which line you sail with, and Princess Cruises takes a more immersive approach to cruise kids clubs with Camp Discovery, where kids, tweens, and teens can enjoy specially crafted themed environments based on their age. The youngest kids will go to The Treehouse, a bright and whimsical forest-themed environment with fun woodland characters. Kids 8 to 12 will stay at The Lodge, which is inspired by the great outdoors and offers sport activities and cozy hangout spots. Finally, The Beach House is a place for teens to socialize in a contemporary, beach-themed area. These different areas provide a place for guided activities and fun exploration for kids of all ages.

Oceaneer Club on Disney Cruise Line

Disney is probably one of the first cruise lines that you think of when planning cruises for kids, and they happen to have a unique approach to entertaining kids. Unlike other cruise kids clubs, participation in activities is based on interest and maturity instead of their actual age. This means that if you send siblings who are of much different ages, they don’t have to be split up for activities, making it a great option for bigger families. The Oceaneer Club is inhabited by many iconic Disney characters that will delight younger kids with character-driven performances and special storytelling sessions, as they will enjoy larger-than-life play areas with fun interactive activities. Tweens get their own spot to enjoy high-tech entertainment on flat-screen TVs, computers, and video games, while teens can partake in teen-only dance parties and karaoke, so there is always something for everyone.

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