November 20, 2017

Family Cruises: 5 Picks for On-Board Learning for Kids

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I’ll be honest, I’m kind of on the fence when it comes to cruises. I’ve been on just one cruise, which was to Alaska with my two small kids, nearly five years ago. My primary memories involve bingo and buffet lines. Obviously there is much more to family cruises, so I was pleased to find these five cruises that offer amazingly educational activities on-board for kids. Take a look:

  • You already know that I’m a big fan of the Junior Ranger program that’s run by the National Park Service. So I was delighted to see that Crystal Cruises teamed up with the Junior Ranger program on board the Crystal Symphony this summer as it cruises through Glacier Bay in Alaska (Holland America also does this on Alaska cruises). Park rangers come aboard to lead kid-friendly activities related to the area’s natural history. Kids earn patches and certificates as they would in national parks and historic sites.
  • Look at Holland America for Culinary Arts Center hands-on workshops for kids ages 3 to 14. It’s a fun way for kids to learn basic cooking techniques and kitchen safety. As I noted above, Holland America also offers the Junior Ranger program extension on Alaska cruises as well.
  • Check into Princess Cruises for activities on seasonal sailings from the California Science Center’s “Science on the Seas” program. Coral reef studies, chemical experiments and squid dissection are just a few of the educational activities. Younger kids can learn about endangered species, including humpback whales, white pelicans and manatees, through the Pete’s Pals program. The Junior [email protected] program is another worth checking out for your kids to go behind the scenes in a working shipboard kitchen.
  • For kids ages 9 to 17, Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers the Ambassadors of the Environment program. Kids have hands-on experiences and gain knowledge of marine and terrestrial ecosystems, while stressing the importance of conservation. Kids can enjoy this program on Alaska and Tahiti sailings.
  • Royal Caribbean offers the Adventure Ocean program for kids ages 3 to 17. On-board, kids have the opportunity to perform hands-on science experiments, learn about diverse cultures through art, incorporating specific geographic locations with hands-on art, and explore the theatre arts through vocal exercise and creativity exercises in the Adventure Theatre.

To be honest, while I’ve only been on one cruise and it was kind of ho-hum, now that my kids are getting older, I’m excited to take a family cruise in the next year. Do you have any favorite family cruises? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Comments

  1. I have 4 children ages 1,4,13,14 and we have taken quite a few cruises. First was carnival and the last 7 have been. Disney and I would never do anything but again. The childrens and teen programs are excellent. People say disney is more expensive but I’m not sure. I know disney is the onlt cruiseline that let’s u brings your own drinks. We always bring on the boat with us a case of water and a few bottles of wine. They also offer all soda and juice for free and so is room service, I have heard oother lines charge for those things. They have justy added a new ship andd another comes out next year so they are expanding their destintions. Personally I love disney’s private island and would be happy going just there. Sorrry bout the typo’s I’m on my phone

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