Family Cruises – What are the benefits

With the amazing increase in popularity of cruising, it’s no secret that cruising has become hugely popular with families. The number of children onboard is growing steadily, and more than 2 million kids younger than 15 sailed on cruise lines in 2013, according to the Cruise Lines International Association. Yet, despite the great strides made by cruise lines in accommodating children onboard, choosing the best cruise for your family is still complicated. Where once it was a struggle to find ships that were kid-friendly, the challenge now is wading through the bevy of activities, kids clubs, and child-themed activities of the newer ships offer to determine which cruise ships are best for your youngsters. Cruising from Australia the main competition is between P&O, Carnival and Royal Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean

Ships: Radiance of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s award winning Advenure Ocean Youth Programme and a host of onboard activities ensure your kids will have the time of their lives. It’s family time, and it’s all included. Please find below some of the highlights of their family program.

THE DREAMWORKS EXPERIENCE – Exclusive shows, parades, dining and photo opportunities for the whole family with characters from DreamWorks® Animation

FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT & ACTIVITIES – Be entertained with Broadway style shows, rock wall, FlowRider surf simulator, mini-golf, iceskating and swimming pools.

ADVENTURE OCEAN – Our Youth Staff have developed age-appropriate curriculums to engage and entertain kids and teens of all ages: Aquanauts 3 – 5 years, Explorers 6 – 8 years, Voyagers 9 – 11 years, Teens 12 – 14 years, Teens 15 – 17 years

FAMILY-FRIENDLY DINING – With My Family Time DiningSM, our expedited dining service, your kids (ages 3 – 11 years) are served their meals and then picked up by our Adventure Ocean staff so you can enjoy the rest of your dinner.

ROYAL BABIES & TOTSSM NURSERY – Our littlest guests (ages 6-36 months) can enjoy specially designed programmes whilst being cared for by trained professionals.

P&O Cruises

Ships: Pacific Jewel, Pearl, Dawn, Eden & Aria

P&O have a wide variety of daily activities designed just for kids. Their Kids Club program has been designed with help from childhood experts, and they limit the number of children onboard so nobody ever feels left out. At meal time, even the fussiest feeders will love the kids’ menu options, family share platters in the Waterfront Restaurant, and the kids’ only dinner every night at Plantation Restaurant. The kid’s clubs Turtle Cove and Shark Shack are open until 10:30pm and provide a late night child-minding service until 1am while tweens and teens can enjoy the features of HQ & HQ+ until 1am each night. So date nights and downtime are ready when you are.

For those after a serious dose of adrenalin, P&OEdge, the largest adventure program at sea is now onboard Pacific Jewel. That means you can climb, swing, jump and race your way through the ship. Whether you’re ascending high above the Big Screen, climbing up the aft tunnel or flying around the atrium you’ll see Pacific Jewel like never before!

Carnival Cruises

Ships: Carnival Spirit and Carnival Legend

Carnival Cruises are fun ships for kids and parents. They are the only ship cruising from Australia with water slides for all ages. The Green Thunder is the steepest waterslide at sea If you’re up for freefalling and being whipped around at up to 65 kilometres per hour you’ll have a blast. If you’re not, take a deep breath, and get ready for the ride of your life.  A new addition to Carnival is the Seuss at Sea. The littlest ones, and their families, will enjoy an all-new, extra-special experience as the fantastical world of Dr. Seuss comes to life around them.  Enjoy a special onboard character parade, interactive story time, arts & crafts activities, character breakfast and more, featuring their favourite Dr. Seuss characters. Seuss at Sea truly brings your child’s favourite books to life.

Camp Carnival offers tons of activities designed for children in three different age groups: 2 to 5 years, 6 to 8 years, and 9 to 11 years. Carnivals counsellors, each with education or childcare experience, are on the clock making sure everyone in the small groups of kids is having fun. When it’s mealtime, kids get their own menus, with faves like mac & cheese, chicken nuggets, and more. And when the sun goes down, we offer Night Owls (fees apply) so kids get to stay up late having fun, while their parents also enjoy themselves well into the night.

www.cruiseoffers.com.au

 

Two new ships for P&O Cruises

P&O has announced that they will welcome two more ships, making it the largest fleet of cruise ships home ported year round in Australia. The additional ships will transfer from Holland America Line in November 2015.

New_P&O_Ships

The announcement is an emphatic statement about the leadership of Carnival Australia, confidence in the Australian cruise market and reaffirmation of P&O Cruises’ status as Australia’s iconic ‘home brand’ cruise line.

“This is a very exciting development for the Carnival Group, P&O Cruises and for our teams who have worked so passionately and effectively to build the business and the cruise category. This move signals that the next generation of P&O Cruises is about to commence.” said Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia, operator of P&O Cruises.

Both ships are of a similar mid-range size to the three existing P&O Cruises ships, Pacific Dawn, Pacific Jewel and Pacific Pearl.

“The ships will be intimate but offer space, comfort and style giving passengers more destinations to choose from, more onboard experiences to indulge in and more reasons to cruise,” said Senior Vice President P&O Cruises Tammy Marshall.

Having a five-ship fleet will give P&O Cruises greater flexibility in its increased offering of short break cruises, traditional cruises to the South Pacific and exciting new destinations such as Papua New Guinea and Asia.

The additional ships, which will transfer from the Holland America Line, will deliver much needed capacity in the world’s fastest growing cruise market.

Last year, the majority of Australia’s 800,000 cruise passengers travelled with P&O Cruises. Increasing by 130% in the past 5 years, the industry is on track to carry 1 million passengers a year by 2016- four years earlier than forecast.

“This further fleet expansion is entirely appropriate for P&O Cruises, the shipping line that pioneered cruising from Australia more than 80 years ago and has set the pace for the industry ever since,” Ms Marshall said.

Visit www.cruiseoffers.com.au for the latest P&O specials and itineraries.