What Luxury Cruise Lines Offer Kids

by Gayle Keck

What Luxury Cruise Lines Offer Kids

by Gayle Keck

Some cruise lines — Disney, for example — are known for their kid-friendly ships. And while the luxury lines don't have dedicated year-round kids facilities, they do offer special programs during peak family travel periods — such as holidays and school breaks —  in some cases on on the most family-friendly itineraries. Sure, you can bring a nanny to entertain your children on board, but if you want the line to help entertain your children, read on for the details on their special programs.

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Crystal Serenity / Crystal Cruises
Seven Seas Mariner in Alaska
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1. Regent Seven Seas

Program: Club Mariner

Regent offers their youth program on select itineraries, usually those cruising to Alaska and the Mediterranean. Since the ships don't have designated kids clubs like family-oriented ships do, the program is housed in card rooms and conference rooms, and a maximum of 20 children can participate. Trained counselors lead the kids in games, crafts, and movies.

The Details: The minimum age for sailing is 1 year, but the children's programming is offered for kids age 5 and up. Kids are divided into groups, age 5-8, 9-12, and 13-17. 

Program: Club Mariner

Regent offers their youth program on select itineraries, usually those cruising to Alaska and the Mediterranean. Since the ships don't have designated kids clubs like family-oriented ships do, the program is housed in card rooms and conference rooms, and a maximum of 20 children can participate. Trained counselors lead the kids in games, crafts, and movies.

The Details: The minimum age for sailing is 1 year, but the children's programming is offered for kids age 5 and up. Kids are divided into groups, age 5-8, 9-12, and 13-17. 

Crystal's cookie decorating class
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2. Crystal Cruises

Program: Junior Activities

During holiday voyages and many summer sailings, Crystal offers this program with dedicated areas for kids and teens. Hours vary, depending on the number of kids on board, but activities may include games, sports, exercise, movies, fashion shows, pool games, and pizza making. There's also a Junior Cruiser's menu in the dining room. 

The Details: The minimum sailing age is 6 months, and the line may restrict the number of children under age 3. Junior activities are designed for kids age 3 to 17. Babysitting services are available for kids age 1 and older with an extra fee.

Program: Junior Activities

During holiday voyages and many summer sailings, Crystal offers this program with dedicated areas for kids and teens. Hours vary, depending on the number of kids on board, but activities may include games, sports, exercise, movies, fashion shows, pool games, and pizza making. There's also a Junior Cruiser's menu in the dining room. 

The Details: The minimum sailing age is 6 months, and the line may restrict the number of children under age 3. Junior activities are designed for kids age 3 to 17. Babysitting services are available for kids age 1 and older with an extra fee.

Snorkeling with Paul Gauguin's youth program
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3. Paul Gauguin Cruises

Program: Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program

On selected sailings, Paul Gauguin offers this oceanography-focused program, which was designed by Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society and comes with an extra fee. Trained naturalists entertain children with scavenger hunts, snorkeling trips, crafts, games, hikes, and educational lectures. 

The Details: The program has been created for older kids, age 9 to 17. The minimum sailing age is 1 year, and the line may restrict the number of children per sailing.

Program: Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program

On selected sailings, Paul Gauguin offers this oceanography-focused program, which was designed by Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society and comes with an extra fee. Trained naturalists entertain children with scavenger hunts, snorkeling trips, crafts, games, hikes, and educational lectures. 

The Details: The program has been created for older kids, age 9 to 17. The minimum sailing age is 1 year, and the line may restrict the number of children per sailing.

Silver Galapagos
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4. Silversea

Program: A Youth Counselor

Silversea doesn't cater to kids with a full-fledged program, but Silver Spirit, Silver Whisper, and Silver Shadow each have a dedicated youth counselor on board from mid-June to late August. The line will also arrange for a youth counselor if they notice an unusual number of children on a particular sailing, typically during holidays.

The Details: Depending on the ship, the minimum age is 6 months to 1 year, and Silversea may limit the number of children under age 3. Kids must be between the ages of 6 and 17 to participate in programs with the youth counselor. Children under 8 years old are only permitted to participate in shore excursions and use shuttles if vehicles are equipped with a safety harness and child seats, which is not guaranteed. Kids under age 6 are not allowed aboard Zodiacs used by the line's expedition ships for shore excursions.

Program: A Youth Counselor

Silversea doesn't cater to kids with a full-fledged program, but Silver Spirit, Silver Whisper, and Silver Shadow each have a dedicated youth counselor on board from mid-June to late August. The line will also arrange for a youth counselor if they notice an unusual number of children on a particular sailing, typically during holidays.

The Details: Depending on the ship, the minimum age is 6 months to 1 year, and Silversea may limit the number of children under age 3. Kids must be between the ages of 6 and 17 to participate in programs with the youth counselor. Children under 8 years old are only permitted to participate in shore excursions and use shuttles if vehicles are equipped with a safety harness and child seats, which is not guaranteed. Kids under age 6 are not allowed aboard Zodiacs used by the line's expedition ships for shore excursions.

Seabourn Odyssey's watersports marina
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5. Seabourn

Program: A Youth Counselor

Seabourn's ships aren't family-oriented, either, but they do add two youth counselors in July and August. Activities are arranged for different age groups, with art projects, trivia games, and pirate-themed scavenger hunts for younger kids. Tweens and teens can do karaoke, play ping pong, and challenge their new friends to Wii games projected on a big screen. There are also pizza parties, movie nights, and special tours of the bridge for all ages.

The Details: The minimum sailing age is 6 months to 1 year, depending on itinerary. Youth programs are open to children ages 5 to 17.

Program: A Youth Counselor

Seabourn's ships aren't family-oriented, either, but they do add two youth counselors in July and August. Activities are arranged for different age groups, with art projects, trivia games, and pirate-themed scavenger hunts for younger kids. Tweens and teens can do karaoke, play ping pong, and challenge their new friends to Wii games projected on a big screen. There are also pizza parties, movie nights, and special tours of the bridge for all ages.

The Details: The minimum sailing age is 6 months to 1 year, depending on itinerary. Youth programs are open to children ages 5 to 17.

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