A family fun day gave us an insight into cruising life for kids on Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas. Happy and occupied children make for a relaxed holiday for parents and we found there’s plenty to keep the kids entertained on a ship like Voyager of the Seas.
For well-travelled parents, it’s easy to underestimate the fascination a cruise holds for kids before even setting foot on the ship. Miss 8 was interested to watch the food and drink being loaded for the 3000 passengers and asked lots of questions about the logistics of the ship. Once onboard her eyes were wide with wonder at the world of restaurants, shops and entertainment inside and on the decks of the ship.
Not long after arriving we were greeted by Princess Fiona from the DreamWorks’ movie Shrek. Voyager of the Seas is home to some of our favourite DreamWorks characters from Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda. There are character parades, photo opportunities and even breakfast with the likes of Po, Alex and Princess Fiona.
Miss 14 is an ice skater and was amazed to see an ice rink on the ship. Guests can take a spin on the ice or watch the professionals perform in the shows.
Kids club programs are divided into age groups, with no-one missing out:
- Aquanaut program 3-5 year olds (children must be fully toilet trained to participate in this program)
- Explorer Program 6-8 year olds
- Voyager Program 9-11 year olds
Babies and toddlers can attend open playgroup sessions, which include art, music and games. There’s even a toy lending service if there isn’t room in the luggage for all the toys that keep babies and toddlers happy at home.
Teens have their own space with appropriate games and opportunities to socialise with their fellow passengers.
The ship also offers activities for children of all abilities. Families are encouraged to consult with staff regarding any special needs that their children may have in order to identify activities that are appropriate for their child and any possible modifications.
Above deck there are activities to burn energy and challenge, including the Flowrider where kids (133cm and above) can body board and kids (148cm and above) can Flow board. The staff make it look cool and easy, but judging by the many that took to the boards after the demonstration, it takes some work before this level is achieved!
Rock climbing is available to children 6 years and up. There’s a basketball court, undercover table tennis tables and mini-golf course.
On a super-hot day in Sydney the pools were the big drawcard for our kids. They loved watching music videos on the giant screen while relaxing in the spas. The ship supplies life jackets for little ones if they are not competent swimmers, but keep in mind children need to be toilet-trained. No swim nappies are allowed in the pools.
After a swim, it was time for lunch. The ship has a grand main dining room, but there is a restaurant to suit every taste. I can imagine Johnny Rockets being popular with our kids, with a jukebox at every booth!
This is just the entertainment on the ship to keep the kids happy while cruising to the ports. The shore trips offer new experiences and the chance to engage in different cultures.
Whether you are looking for time together as a family or your kids are itching for some independence, cruising offers the best of both worlds.
– Julie Jones is the creator of Have Wheelchair Will Travel, where she combines her skills as an ex-travel consultant with her life and experiences as a mother to her daughter AJ and son BJ, who has cerebral palsy.