Forget the myth of cruising being for the 'Blue-Rinse Set". Cruising is the ultimate multi-generational holiday experience and the Pacific Islands are the perfect destination for some floating family fun. Aleney de Winter has done the research to give you the lowdown on 3 of the best 2012 Pacific Island Cruises.
This 12 Day Cruise to Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu departs Sydney October 2012.
This newly refurbished 2680 passenger liner takes in the best of the Pacific with a variety of onshore tours offering families the opportunity to experience everything from fiji's flying foxes to zipping around on zodiacs in Noumea.
The Carnival Spirit is one big, floating family playground! Kids big and small will love Carnival Waterworks with a twister slide and Splash Park with a giant tipping bucket waterfall. Carnival Thrill Slide has a 22 metre drop and might just be the world's steepest slide at sea!
If the kids fancy a break from water action, they can putt away at mini golf, make a new friend at the Build-A-Bear program or play a game of touch footy on the sports court.
There's a range of age-appropriate activities on offer at the Youth Club with Camp Carnival for ages 2 to 5 and 6 to 11, Club 02TM for ages 15 to 17 and Camp Carnival Night Owls which feature children's parties, late-night activities and babysitting services.
Meals are included and you can chose from international cuisine at La Playa Grille or opt for The Empire Restaurant for a broad menu that includes fresh Australian seafood. For prime steaks head to Nouveau Restaurant and there's also a deli, cafe, sushi bar and 24-hour Stateroom service plus 24-hour pizza and ice-cream!
From AUD $1419 for an interior, quad occupancy room.
This 10 Night South Pacific Gems Cruise departs Sydney from January 12, 2012.
This 2000 guest superliner will sail pristine waters to stunning destinations in New Caledonia, Vanuatu and the Loyalty Islands. Whether on land or sea, the good times never stop rolling for mum, dad and the kids on this cruise! Onboard, is the two-deck high Broadway Melodies showcasing Broadway-style productions, rejuvenating spa treatments to be enjoyed, the Casino Royale, a wide array of dining options with delicious menus, lounges, bars and complimentary kids and teens programs and special events.
Families can enjoy swimming and sporting activities on the main pool deck and for the adventurous, there's Rhapsody's famous 30 metre rock climbing wall. Adventure Ocean is a free onboard activity program for kids with Royal Babies catering for little ones 6 to 18 months, Royal Tots (18 to 36 months), Aquanauts (3 to 5 years), Explorers (6 to 8 years) and Voyagers (9 to 11 years). Older kids aged 12 to 17 can hang out with friends in their own lounge or head to the teen-only dance club. Activities include shipbuilding regattas, talent shows, scavenger hunts, movies, book hire and supervised kids-only dinner nights.
Meals are included and the main dining room, Edelweiss spans two decks and offers an extensive a la carte menu, live music and spectacular views. There are three other venues offering casual dining including Windjammer Cafe and Solarium Cafe and for an additional cost you can enjoy a cappuccino, sundae or ice cream at Cafe Latte-tudes.
From AUD $1629 per person twin share.
Visit Royal Caribbean
This 9 Night Cruise to Vanuatu, New Caledonia and the Isle of Pines departs Sydney from August 5, 2012.
This 1950 passenger liner is packed from bow to stern with family friendly fun and the Sunshine Melodies itinerary ensures just as much fun onboard as onshore. Optional shore excursions include buggy off-road adventures, rainforest and plantation horse riding and a visit to the 50 metre Cascade Waterfall in Vanuatu; talcum-like beaches fringed with tall, narrow pine trees on the Isle of Pines - perfect location to snorkel, swim or just laze on the beach - or join the Natural Aquarium shore excursion to Oro Bay to snorkel up close with amazing marine life!
The Pacific Jewel has a raft of activities to please the whole family including aerial acrobatic performances from Pacific Cirque, musical and theatre performances, audience participation game shows, karaoke, comedy clubs and new release movies on the big screen. Free kids and teens programs are divided into age-appropriate clubs: Turtle Cove for ages 3 to 6, Shark Shack for 7 to 10 year olds, HQ for ages 11 to 14 and HQ+ for 15 to 17 year olds. Childminding is also available after 10pm for a nominal fee.
There are six onboard dining options including the fabulous Salt Grill by Luke Mangan, La Luna, contemporary Asian delights, Waterfront a la carte dining room, Plantation Bistro and a yummy Chocolate Cafe - plus a choice of eight different bars and lounges!
Prices start from AUD $4259 for an inside cabin for two adults and two children under 13 years of age.
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