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

 

Explorer of the Seas coming to Australia

Royal Caribbean International has announced the addition of Explorer of the Seas to its Australian-based fleet. The Explorer of the Seas is the second of five in the Voyager-class series that started with Voyager of the Seas in 1999. The Explorer of the Seas will boast a wealth of facilities, activities and entertainment and put it “head and shoulders” above its Australian competitors.

Upon its arrival in Australasian waters in Nov 2015, the 3,800-passenger Explorer will join sister ship Voyager of the Seas as the largest cruise vessels sailing in the southern hemisphere. The new ship will replace the departing Rhapsody of the Seas, which leaves Australian waters after eight consecutive seasons. Explorer’s maiden season in Australia will consist of sailings to ports in Australia, NZ and the South Pacific, along with Singapore repositioning cruises. The ship will also feature a range of Royal Caribbean innovations including Australia’s first ‘FlowRider’ onboard surfing simulator, “virtual balcony cabins”, ice skating and of course the signature Royal Promenade.

Explorer and Voyager will make an historic rendezvous in Sydney Harbour on 28 Nov 2015.

Visit www.cruiseoffers.com.au for all of the latest specials.

Royal Caribbean to base Voyager of the Seas in Sydney

Royal Caribbean Cruises has just announced that its “megaliner” Voyager of the Seas will be based in Asia and Australasia from 2012 – including a five month season based in Sydney from November 2012.

The 3840-passenger vessel will also cruise in China between June and October 2012, and will be the fifth Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited ship sailing in the region in 2012/13 – alongside Rhapsody of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas, Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Millennium.

“There are clear opportunities in the China and Australia markets, which are key areas for Royal Caribbean International’s global development,” said CEO Adam Goldstein at a press conference in Shanghai.

Royal Caribbean Australia MD Gavin Smith said the positioning of Voyager down under “demonstrates our company’s tremendous belief in the future of this region and we are extremely honoured to shape the future of cruising in Australia”.

Voyager of the Seas has 1556 staterooms and will introduce a host of innovations including its ‘Royal Promenade’ indoor main street, an ice rink, skating track, golf simulator and inside cabins with a view.

She will operate 12 New Zealand, South Pacific and Australian itineraries ranging from one to 18 nights, sailing from Sydney and Fremantle.

Royal Caribbean said the cruises were due to open for sale early next month.

Visit www.cruiseoffers.com.au for more information.

Celebrity Millennium to cruise in Australia and Asia in 2012

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines has just announced the 2012 deployment of Celebrity Millennium, which will operate a series of Asian itineraries, visiting Australia on her way to Singapore during the previously announced down under deployment of Celebrity Solstice.

The 2158-passenger Millennium, which has previously spent several seasons cruising in Australia, will offer repositioning cruises from Hawaii to Sydney and from Sydney to Singapore, with the vessel fresh from an “extensive refurbishment” scheduled for April 2012 which will see the addition of 107 new AquaClass staterooms.

The Hawaii-Sydney sector will coincide with the November 2012 solar eclipse, while the vessel’s newly announced Asian season includes eight 14-night cruises from Singapore and Hong Kong, with ports of call including Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Halong Bay.

Millennium’s new 2012/13 Asia itineraries will open for sale on Saturday 09 April.

For all prices and itineraries visit www.cruiseoffers.com.au