2018 Sea Tales Family Cruise Travel Planner

SeaTales 2018 Family Cruise Travel Planner

by Heidi M. Allison Shane


Policies subject to change without notice, always check with your travel agent regarding pregnancy policies and children age policies prior to booking your cruise.


“The Sea Tales 2018 Family Cruise Travel Planner is a great resource for anyone planning to take their children or grandchildren on a cruise. Not all ships are the same and not all programs are the same so be sure to read through this invaluable guide before you put your money on the line.” - Cynthia Janssens, Former travel editor, The Detroit News, Editor AllThingsCruise.com Credit for these beautiful photos of the destinations, ships and people enjoying their cruise vacations go to Heidi Allison, Author, Publisher and Editor- at- Large for AllThingsCruise.com Dennis Cox, Official Photographer of AllThingsCruise.com Jackie Finch, newspaper reporter, photographer and travel writer Rachel Garrett, Blogger, AllThingsCruise.com & photographer

Cynthia Janssens, Editor AllThingsCruise.com Bob Levinstein, CEO CruiseCompete.com Plus, iStock Photos

Members of the Family Travel Association


2018 Sea Tales Family Cruise Travel Planner

Policies subject to change without notice, always check with your travel agent regarding pregnancy policies and children age policies prior to booking your cruise.


W elcome to the Sea Tales 2018 Family Cruise Travel Planner! We are so excited to share this 2018 revised edition, which offers updated information for the cruise lines, as well as all-new sections to provide you with the most comprehensive guide to family cruising available. You’ll find that the cruise lines have expanded the children’s programs, helping to make this year’s cruise a vacation to remember, and one that they’ll ask for year after year. There are more family-centered activities for every interest—whether

you’re looking for an adrenaline rushes or quiet days basking in the sun on a private island, educational classes or expeditions that visit historic villages, museums and castles. Look for three new sections, which will give you the latest information on family suites, children’s dining, and the interactive experiences the lines offer with popular children’s book and movie characters. With a cruise vacation, the excitement begins as you begin planning … there is so much to explore, and the memories made on your family cruise vacation will remain in the months and years after your return. We’re so pleased to help you begin this journey with the Sea Tales 2018 Family Cruise Travel Planner.

We are sitting in a very unusual bar, staring—just a few feet from us—at a waterhole in Kenya. Numerous zebra are enjoying a cool drink, and I am enjoying the exotic sights and sounds and the fragrances of warm bread and appetizers being prepared…things that I have never encountered before anywhere else on my travels. The sky is utterly black, allowing me to witness millions of stars. It is truly breathtaking, and calls to mind the song, “The Circle of Life,” from the movie The Lion King. Where exactly is this magical wilderness paradise?We are inAmboseli National Park (yes, it’s part of a cruise itinerary), dominated by majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, which rises to over 19,000 feet—15,000 of which are aboveAmboseli’s acacia-dotted grasslands. Local people didn’t think that God, or gods, lived on Kilimanjaro. They thought the mountain was God, and casting your eyes on the still, glacier-topped behemoth, you are able to understand why. Kenya’sAmboseli National Park is famous for its big game, including lions, cheetahs, baboons and large elephant herds that traverse the savannahs in search of watering holes or feeding grounds. We are staying in nearby Campi ya Kanzi , one of the premier lodges inAfrica. Created by Luca andAntonella Belpietro and their Maasai partners, ya Kanzi is nestled in peaceful isolation at the base of the Chyulu Hills—the very Green Hills of Africa that so captivated Hemingway. The highlight of most Kenyan safaris is the world-famous Maasai Mara National Reserve, widely regarded as the best game- viewing park in Kenya. The “Big Five” (lions, leopards, buffaloes, elephants and rhinos) can be spotted here, and more than a million wildebeests and zebras migrate annually to Maasai Mara from the parched Serengeti plains of neighboring Tanzania in the annual “Great Migration.” Our tour also included visits to Maasai villages, where we were able to interact with local villagers. A tribal chief fell in love with the baby wipes I was using on my hands; his wife, who had never seen anything like them, became very disturbed and thought they were magic. In Kenya’s semi-arid, rugged northern region lies the Samburu Game Reserve, a small oasis that is home to many rare animals, including Grevy’s zebras, long-necked gerenuk antelopes, Somali ostriches, and reticulated giraffes. Many Kenyan safaris also visit Lake Nakuru National Park, a relatively small preserve that has been designated as a rhino sanctuary and is considered to be one of the finest places on earth for bird watching.


2018 Sea Tales Family Cruise Travel Planner

Our host for this adventure was Micato Safaris , and our hotel stay began at the Nairobi Safari Club , where my room has a hiding place in the ceiling just in case I need a quick escape (from what, I am not sure.) This lovely hotel oozes old world charm, reminiscent of a time when honored guests went to the bar to delight in appetizers and cocktails before the grand feast. After our visit to Nairobi, we will eventually meet back up with our ship, the Marco Polo, in Mombasa, where sugar sand beaches abound. Each time I arrive at an airport, no matter what the destination, I wonder and daydream about what type of excitement this latest adventure will bring into my life and the lives of accompanying family and friends. How will it feed my senses, my mind, body, and soul? What will I learn? What treasures will I bring home for my family from somewhere like Africa? Perhaps it will be an African mask, created as to allow the wearer to embody the spirit the mask depicts. That’s what I chose on this trip, and my sons loved the exotic carvings I brought them from deep in Africa. The masks are prominently displayed in their homes to this day. Exotic trips to Africa (in this case, actually a pre-trip to my cruise aboard the Marco Polo) aren’t the only memorable excursions I’ve had during my cruise travels. The emergence of “water tourism”—greatly expanded from times when ships were simply a means of transportation from one continent to another—has come a long way in making such memorable excursions attainable to travelers of every age and background.

Ecotourism—allowing travelers to discover the fragile and pristine places of the earth—has also grown in recent years, fostering the opportunity for a greater public awareness and promoting better ways to save and protect our global environment for the benefit of future generations. Over the years, my travel companions have been many and varied. They include a member of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, a young artist in St. Petersburg who drew beautiful paintings that hang in my home, famous sculptors fromNairobi, and travelers from all walks of life throughout the world. It never fails to strike me that, while we may all originate from different nationalities and cultures, we all share common hopes, dreams and aspirations that unite us in the truest global sense. The opportunity for global travel has increased the ability of people worldwide to broaden their horizons in every sense of the world. Frommy own experience, some of these personal enrichment opportunities have included, and taken me to…

The Hawaiian Islands , where CaptainWoo of the lovely SS Independence once sent one of the staff to my cabin to awaken my family at 4 a.m. Once on deck, we watched the sunrise illuminate hundreds of majestic female humpback whales, frolicking with their calves. The Panama Canal , aboard the Pacific Princess, where once I travelled with DavidMcCullough, author of “Path Between the Seas.” This book, about the creation of the Panama Canal won the National BookAward in History. Former President Jimmy Carter later said that the treaties that handed over ownership of the Canal to Panama would not have passed had it not been for David’s book. My travels gave me the opportunity to lecture throughout Canada with Lars-Eric Lindblad, a noted environmentalist and a man who pioneered tourism to many remote and exotic parts of the world. I met him as part of the Orient Lines team when they acquired a Russian ice-breaker and refitted it as the Marco Polo, an expedition ship. Lindblad also believed tourism had been responsible for saving many threatened ecosystems and species. In opening remote and exotic areas of the world to tourism, he became widely recognized as a prominent figure of ecotourism. I’ve had the good fortune of experiencing 67 cruise voyages (some of which were inaugural journeys) on such well-known lines such as Princess Cruises , the former Norwegian American Line (owned the Sajafjord and Vistafjord) and American Hawaii Cruises (the only line to carry the American Flag in the last century), Cunard Line , Norwegian Cruise Line , Sitmar, Royal Viking Line, Royal Caribbean Line , Celebrity Cruises , Carnival , Holland America Line and my personal favorite, Regent Seven Seas Cruises .

Policies subject to change without notice, always check with your travel agent regarding pregnancy policies and children age policies prior to booking your cruise.


Table of Contents Introduction - Here’s the Truth About Cruising: Dispelling Some Myths and Finding the Right Cruise for Your Family Chapter I - Top Ten Family-Friendly Cruise Lines Chapter II - Thinking of Taking a Cruise While You’re Expecting? It’s a Great Idea! Chapter III - Baby-Friendly Cruising: Should You Take a Nanny, or Use Onboard Babysitters and Kids’ Programs? Chapter IV - Wonder How You’ll All Make It for Seven Days Together? Ten Great Ideas for Things to Do with Your Children on a Cruise Chapter V - Tips for Parents Cruising with Teens and Tweens Chapter VI - Private Islands Make Fabulous Memories for Families Chapter VII - Family Accommodations—Which Cruise Lines Offer What in the Way of Staterooms and Suites Chapter VIII - Children’s Dining Options Can Be Helpful and Delicious Chapter IX - Your Children’s Favorite TV and Movie Characters Brought to Life on a Cruise Chapter X - “Wow” Activities That Will Thrill Your Children and Transform Your Idea of the Family Cruise Experience Chapter XI - Inside Information on Shore Excursions, the Most Sought-After Cruise Experience Chapter XII - Family Reunions With a Splash: Is a Cruise Right for Your Family? Chapter XIII - Celebrating Milestones: Holidays, Graduations, and Family Reunions on a Cruise Chapter XIV - What’s Your Ideal Cruise Ship Size? Chapter XV - Contemporary Cruises Chapter XVI - Upscale Contemporary Cruises Chapter XVII - Premium Cruises

Chapter XVIII - Ultra-Premium Cruises Chapter XIX - Ultra-Luxury Cruises Chapter XX - Luxury Hotel Barges Chapter XXI - River Cruises Chapter XXII - Expedition Cruises Chapter XXIII - Small Ship Cruises and Lines with Sailing Vessels and Yachts Chapter XXIV - Summary Chapter XXV - About CruiseCompete About the Author : Heidi Allison


2018 Sea Tales Family Cruise Travel Planner

Policies subject to change without notice, always check with your travel agent regarding pregnancy policies and children age policies prior to booking your cruise.


Introduction Here’s the Truth About Cruising: Dispelling Some Myths and Finding the Right Cruise for Your Family Thinking of cruising with your family? Cruises make for an excellent family vacation, but it’s important to plan carefully if you want to find the cruise that’s right for everyone in your clan. The experts at CruiseCompete have done the research for you, covering the entire spectrum of options with information on mainstream lines like Disney , Royal Caribbean , Carnival and NCL , as well as unique alternatives like luxury, river and small ship excursion companies. It’s important to remember that not all cruise lines have children’s programs. Some lines have minimum age requirements for children (and pregnancy policies for expectant parents!), and others don’t permit children to sail at all. If you’re planning a family vacation, pick a cruise line that meets your specific needs, where the kids will be entertained and you can actually enjoy your time on board. It will feel much more like money well spent that way.

This guide is designed to kick-start your planning. You’ll find all the information in an easy-to-read format, with brief summaries so you can see at a glance if the cruise line fits your basic requirements, followed by more detailed information about the atmosphere on board, the destinations you can travel to, and the specific children’s programs available for your kids. Let’s begin by dispelling some commonly held misconceptions about cruising. Myth No. 1: Cruises are too expensive for a family vacation. Reality: A cruise is actually one of the best travel values out there. Most cruises include your selected shipboard accommodations, 24-hour cabin service, standard meals in the dining room and/or various buffets, ports of call, and most entertainment aboard the ship. Children’s programs are also included. On some lines, even airfare and transfers may be included. In addition, many lines are now moving toward a completely all-inclusive format , which makes your cruise experience even more streamlined and simple. Even with all these included amenities, a seven night cruise generally costs less than seven nights at a comparable resort. The food alone, breakfast, lunch, snacks poolside, dinner and cookies and milk at a resort add significant costs to a land vacation. Myth No. 2: People only take cruises when the weather turns cold. Reality: Cruise travel is a year-round pastime. Sure, it is a great way to beat the cold, but families also take cruises during the summer months when children are out of school. Regardless of the time of year, you can find the perfect cruise for your family. Cruises to the Caribbean and Bahamas run year-round, the Alaska cruising season runs May through September, Europe runs from April through November, Bermuda runs from April through October, and the Panama Canal runs between September and April. Myth No. 3: You have to have a lot of time for a cruise vacation. Reality: Cruise lengths actually vary significantly to meet personal tastes. They can vary from a quick three-day jaunt to a world cruise that lasts 100 days or more. It all depends on what you want; there’s no shortage of cruise itineraries to meet your needs.


2018 Sea Tales Family Cruise Travel Planner

Myth No. 4: We’ll get bored: there’s nothing to do on a cruise. Reality:

Cruise ships are floating resorts, with plenty of fun for everyone. The flurry of activities on board a cruise ship is amazing; typical activities include shore excursions, water sports, pool activities, fitness centers, live entertainment, casinos, bingo, dance lessons, talent contests, karaoke, wine tasting, rock wall climbing, spas, movies and much more. Most days are spent in exotic ports with plenty to see and do. If you have a special interest, the lines cater to these as well: golfers can play challenging, top-ranked island courses (extra fees may apply), gourmets love the dining, and explorers can find a different adventure in every port. In addition, all of the major cruise lines offer organized programs and camps for children . They can participate all day, or only in specific activities. This provides for both fun family time and a chance for parents to relax on their own. Daycare and babysitting services are also available. Myth No. 5: What if there’s a medical emergency?We’ll be in the middle of the ocean with no medical services. Reality: Virtually every cruise ship has a fully equipped medical facility and staff on board to handle almost any emergency. The cruise lines also have precautions in place if a person has to be evacuated to a hospital on land. If you have concerns, be sure to speak with your travel agent to get specifics on the line’s policies. Some tips: • Be sure to purchase trip insurance. Most lines cover these types of medical emergencies • Prescription medication should be kept close at hand in a purse or carry-on, rather than in checked luggage. Cruise vacationers actually have the opportunity to spend quite a bit of time on land. Virtually every cruise features multiple ports of call, giving travelers a chance to visit beautiful, secluded beaches, vibrant cities, and popular tourist sites, as well as to enjoy breathtaking scenery. Every port offers a unique experience. Ships usually arrive in port early in the morning, allowing plenty of time for shopping, dining, visiting historical sites and exploring the area. Planned excursions , arranged by the ship’s staff or local sightseeing companies, also are available at an extra cost. Myth No. 7: There aren’t any healthy options on board for my family. Reality: While cruises are known for having plenty of food available , cruise lines are very aware of the healthy-eating lifestyles of many cruisers. Every meal offers healthy choices as part of their already extensive food selections, which are prepared under the direction of some of the greatest chefs in the world. Plus, there are plenty of activities on board and off to help people burn away any extra calories during their vacation. Myth No. 8: A cruise ship cabin is claustrophobic; my family will be climbing the walls! Reality: An inside economy cabin does tend to be small and usually lacks a window. An outside cabin (ocean view) has a window or porthole, while a balcony (verandah) cabin has a glass door leading to a balcony that is usually equipped with a small table and chairs. Most ships feature larger suites for those who truly need more space, but realistically, with all the goings- on on board, most passengers spend a limited amount of time in their cabins, and it’s a non-issue. • Carry a written list of medications with dosages, in case your medications get lost. Myth No. 6: Cruise ships spend all their time at sea; we won’t see anything! Reality:

Policies subject to change without notice, always check with your travel agent regarding pregnancy policies and children age policies prior to booking your cruise.


Myth No. 9: We’ll probably all get seasick on a cruise. Reality:

Even if you suffer from motion sickness during car rides or on airplanes, it is unlikely you will become seasick on a cruise ship. Due to their immense size and the stabilizers that all ships are equipped with, you probably won’t notice any motion at all. Some parts of the ocean, however, are rougher than others. If you do get seasick, medications are available on board to get you back on your feet quickly. Myth No. 10: We’ll be completely out of touch and unreachable at sea. Reality: While some people relish the thought of getting away from it all, the cruise industry realizes many folks want (or need) to stay in touch. Cell phone connectivity is standard across the industry, and wireless Internet has progressed in leaps and bounds in recent years. As an example, Royal Caribbean’s 4,180-passenger ship Quantum of the Seas has enough bandwidth that friends and family can follow along on your cruise, watching what’s happening via tweets, Facebook, and other social media posts— even your personal blog, if you have one. These developments are of course a response to passengers’ need to be fully connected while on vacation. It’s a huge leap forward in technology, as historically Internet connections aboard ships have been much slower than on land, and data restrictions are in place. Fees currently range from $15 to $30 a day for unlimited usage. Armed with the facts, you’re ready to start preparing for your family cruise vacation. In these pages, you’ll read about the different types and sizes of ships, what to expect from the lines, what’s included in your cruise , and more. Learn more about the programs, activities, and entertainment on board, as well as what the cruise lines offer for onshore activities. We hope you’ll find all the answers you’re looking for (and learn much, much more!) to get your family cruise vacation kick-started. Happy planning!


2018 Sea Tales Family Cruise Travel Planner

Chapter I Top Ten Family Friendly Cruise Lines

CruiseCompete believes that every family can have a world-class cruise experience, whatever the size of their family and whatever their interests, budget, and needs. We have researched thousands of reviews from travelers on every ship and cruise line. These reviews gave us deep insight into every cruise line, ship, and destination in this book. After tabulating all the reviews, we discovered which family-friendly cruise lines really stood out. This chapter looks in detail at the top ten—the best of the best. 1. Royal Caribbean International – Upscale Contemporary 2. Disney Cruise Line – Premium 3. Norwegian Cruise Line – Upscale Contemporary 4. Princess Cruises – Premium 5. MSC Cruises – Upscale Contemporary 6. Celebrity Cruises – Premium

7. Holland America Line – Premium 8. Carnival Cruises – Contemporary 9. Crystal Cruises – Ultra-Luxury 10. Cunard Line – Ultra-Premium

#1: Royal Caribbean International Minimum Age: Six months (twelve months for transatlantic, transpacific, Hawaiian, select South American and other selected cruises.) Children’s Programs : Extensive Babysitting : Yes Tickets: www.cruisecompete.com/lines/royal_caribbean_cruises.html

New for 2018: Royal Caribbean no longer sails to Arabian Gulf. Royal Caribbean has added cruises to Cuba. Royal Caribbean has made slight changes to the wording of their minimum age policy. Overview Royal Caribbean ships are resort cities at sea, offering the most varied and best-quality entertainment for the entire family of any cruise line around. Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or uninterrupted tranquility, these ships have it all. Try rock climbing, ice skating, or surfing 200 feet above the waves. Melt away land-based stress with a massage, build a scrapbook, or simply relax poolside. Royal Caribbean offers the ultimate in dining experience ambience, and variety, from casual to sophisticated, cupcakes to canapés. World-class entertainment is available around the clock, from Broadway musicals, to the DreamWorks Experience, to ice skating spectaculars, to casinos and live comedy, as well as music, bars, clubs, and more.


2018 Sea Tales Family Cruise Travel Planner

Children will never be bored thanks to the complimentary Adventure Ocean® Youth Program. The programs are packed with totally awesome stuff for babies, teens, and kids in between: everything from pajama nights and science experiments to scavenger hunts and theme parties. Royal Caribbean International cruises are best for families both with and without children, active couples, and singles of all ages who love the fun of large ships and diverse onboard activities. Even if you never left the ship, you would feel you had an amazing vacation. Destinations Alaska Asia Australia / New Zealand

Bahamas Bermuda Canada / New England Caribbean Cuba Europe Hawaii Pacific Northwest

Panama Canal Repositioning South Pacific

Transatlantic Transpacific Minimum Age

Children must be at least six months old as of the first day of the cruise. However, for transatlantic, transpacific, Hawaii, select South American and other selected cruises and/or CruiseTours, the infant must be at least 12 months old as of the first day of the cruise/CruiseTour. For the purposes of this policy, any cruise that has 3 or more days consecutive at sea will require infants to be 12 months old on the first day of the cruise/cruisetour. Babysitting The Babies and Tots Nursery offers parents a drop-off option in the daytime and evening, where their children can be left in the trusting care of trained professionals for an hourly fee. Also for a fee, Sitters at Sea offers babysitting services, both in a group setting and individually in parents’ staterooms. Children must be at least a year old for eligibility. Kids and teens can enjoy activities late into the evening in the Adventure Ocean and teen-only spaces. An hourly rate applies after 10 PM. Pregnancy Policy Royal Caribbean International cannot accept guests who will have entered their twenty-fourth week of pregnancy at any time during the cruise. All guests are required to sign a health questionnaire at check-in to ensure they are aware of our pregnancy policy. A physician’s “Fit to Travel” note is required prior to sailing, stating how far along (in weeks) a guest’s pregnancy will be at the beginning of the cruise and confirming that she is in good health and not experiencing a high-risk pregnancy. The “Fit to Travel” note should be faxed to the Access Department at 1-954-628-9622. Please contact RCL at 1-866-592-7225 or at special_needs@rccl.com if you have already booked a cruise or cruise tour and do not meet this requirement.

Policies subject to change without notice, always check with your travel agent regarding pregnancy policies and children age policies prior to booking your cruise.



2018 Sea Tales Family Cruise Travel Planner

Children’s Programs Infants and Toddlers (0–3 years)

Royal Caribbean International offers Royal Babies® and Royal Tots® interactive playgroup sessions developed by early childhood experts at Fisher-Price®. Each 45-minute session, held on one of the onboard lounges, offers activities that make playtime learning time as well. Children (3–11 years) Royal Caribbean offers a complimentary, award-winning Adventure Ocean® Youth Program for children. Divided by age group, it offers everything from pirate parties and a Jurassic Jr. exploration of dinosaurs, to science experiments and dance parties, to scavenger hunts, sports tournaments, talent shows, and video game tournaments. With the DreamWorks Experience, young cruisers will enjoy fun activities such as story time, dance parties, parades, ice shows, and aqua shows with characters from the DreamWorks Animation movies. Every member of the youth team has extensive education and experience working with children. Children must be 100% toilet trained and diaper and pull-up free. Tweens and Teens (12–17 years) Royal Caribbean recognizes that teens are also getting a vacation, not just being looked after. They provide both pre- planned events and a teen-only lounge and nightclub where the older kids can just hang out with people their own age. Pre-planned events include rock climbing, sports competitions, BBQs, movie nights, talent shows, pool parties, karaoke, and even a YSpa with feature services just for teens, including an Acne Attack facial, Beach Babe deep conditioning hair treatment, and the Sole Mate pedicure. #2: Disney Cruise Line Minimum Age: Six months for most sailings; twelve months for certain destinations Children’s Programs: Extensive Babysitting: Yes Tickets: http://www.cruisecompete.com/lines/disney_cruises.html New for 2018: • Disney Cruise Line now sails to Bermuda • Disney Cruise Line has added Marvel’s Superhero Academy and Star Wars Command Post on board select ships Overview For a line that’s focused on kids and their families, and which offers comfortably casual cruise experiences, Disney has created elegant, modern ships with features that can be appreciated by young and old alike. The oversize staterooms can accommodate a family of four (some family cabins hold six); all have bathtubs (a must for little kids), TV, hair dryers and safes; and about 40% have verandas. Some cabins have the luxury of an added half-bath. As might be expected from Disney , the children’s programs are exceptional at every level, from the nurseries to the teen options. There are hands-on science programs, high-tech interactive programs, treasure hunts, and just about everything to amuse, entertain, and enrich young passengers. Depending on the ship, older kids might get video games, listening stations, smoothie bars, and even outdoor hot tubs. The technology throughout the newer ships—high-speed computers, motion sensors and LCD screens—is so dazzling that adults, too, are drawn to the interactive “art” and the “magic” floors.

Policies subject to change without notice, always check with your travel agent regarding pregnancy policies and children age policies prior to booking your cruise.


Disney has wisely created adults-only areas (restaurants, lounges, clubs, and spas) on all ships, as well as on the line’s private island, Castaway Cay. The Disney Dream, for example, has a section called The District, which encompasses several lounges and nightclubs and caters to adults in the evening. As the passenger list is composed mostly of families, the adults-only areas are generally pleasantly uncrowded. Disney cruises are best for anyone who loves the magic of Disney and wants a big-ship cruise experience rich with activities for the whole family. They’re perfect for family reunions and multigenerational families who understand and appreciate the Disney product. Destinations Alaska Europe Mexico Panama Canal Transatlantic Minimum Age Your child needs to be at least 6 months of age on the day of sailing for most itineraries. The minimum age for transatlantic and Panama Canal itineraries is 1 year of age on the day of sailing. Babysitting Care for children from six months to three years of age is available at the It’s a Small World Nursery. Pregnancy Policy Women who have entered their twenty-fourth week of pregnancy as of their embarkation date will be refused passage due to safety concerns. Neither a physician’s medical statement nor a waiver of liability will be accepted. In addition, Disney Cruise Line cannot be held responsible or liable for any complications relating to pregnancy at any stage. Children’s Programs Infants and Toddlers (0–3 years) It’s A Small World Nursery - It’s a Small World Nursery, a delightful nursery for young children located on Deck 5, midship on the Disney Dream, Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, and Disney Fantasy, is a themed space inspired by the classic Disneyland Resort attraction (with original artwork by Mary Blair) that provides care for little ones aged six months to three years. It’s a Small World Nursery is available at an additional charge and must be reserved in advance: $9.00 per hour for the first child and $8.00 per hour for the second child in the same family. Children (3–11 years) Disney’s Oceaneer Club A children’s activity center located on Deck 5, Midship, Disney’s Oceaneer Club is the perfect place for kids to dress up as their favorite princess or hero, play computer games and enjoy a wide variety of supervised themed activities throughout the day. Disney’s Oceaneer Club includes four distinctly themed play areas, computer banks with child-friendly computers, a reading area, a small stage for games, multiple televisions, play structures, and a giant TV screen. Bahamas Bermuda California Coast Canada and New England Caribbean Disney’s Castaway Cay


2018 Sea Tales Family Cruise Travel Planner

What makes Disney’s Oceaneer Club even more magical is an endless supply of toys and games, an open seating area for arts and crafts, and ongoing Disney movies. Mats for naps are also available. Children are invited to partake in a wide range of delightfully themed activities available at Disney’s Oceaneer Club. While some activities are recommended for certain age ranges, participation is based on a child’s interest level and maturity—not age. As a result of this, siblings and friends aged 3–12 can play together without restriction. Although subject to change, activities at Disney’s Oceaneer Club may include: Disney’s Once Upon a Time - Bartleby the Bookmaker leads the kids through the art of bookmaking and wows them with his very special talent: When he reads the books, he makes the characters come to life! Puzzle Playtime with Mickey and Friends - Mickey Mouse and his pals stop by to play some of their favorite games with Disney Cruise Line’s youngest cruisers and their families. Tinker Bell’s Talent Show - Tinker Bell has come from Pixie Hollow to Disney Cruise Line to help young cruisers discover their Fairy Talents and to give them the opportunity to shine. You can register your child for Disney’s Oceaneer Club either at the terminal or on board the ship. Upon boarding the ship on embarkation day, both children and parents must check in at the front desk at Disney’s Oceaneer Club. During this confirmation process, parents will fill out final paperwork and children will receive a wristband indicating that they are part of Disney’s Oceaneer Club. During the registration process, parents are invited to tour the facility, meet the counselors, and learn more about the many activities offered. Children aged 3–12 with special needs are welcome at Disney’s Oceaneer Club. Simply let the counselors know in advance and they will accommodate you as best they can. Marvel’s Avengers Academy – Aboard the Disney Magic you can let your young crime fighters help with special missions and operations—Avengers’ style. Marvel’s Superhero Academy – Aboard the Disney Wonder, Disney Magic, and Disney Fantasy. Master the mystic arts with Doctor Strange! Use immersive gaming and interactive portals to unleash your inner strength, become an Avenger and learn the true meaning of super powers! Star Wars Command Post - Aboard the Disney Fantasy Battle the Dark Side! Train with Jedi or X-Wing pilots, connect to legendary spacecrafts via an interactive “holotable” and combat First Order Stormtroopers face-to-face! Star Wars: Millennium Falcon play area is new aboard the Disney Dream. This play area features arts, crafts, broadcasts of Star Wars Rebel, and computer stations with games from the Disney XD show, Star Wars Rebel. Mickey Mouse Club - A fun space where kids can make crafts, enjoy games, and play with Goofy Gears. Dining at Disney’s Oceaneer Club - Children are invited to enjoy lunch and dinner at Disney’s Oceaneer Club. Royal Court Tea Aboard the Disney Fantasy - This special activity is offered during 7-night itineraries aboard the Disney Fantasy. Enjoy a royal teatime that includes visits from Disney Princesses. Disney’s Oceaneer Lab —a children’s activity center located at Deck 5, Midship aboard the Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, Disney Magic, and Disney Wonder—is the ideal place for children to play and learn while at sea thanks to the plethora of imaginatively themed activities and games available daily. Disney’s Oceaneer Lab is a play space designed for children and dedicated to adventure and exploration. It’s an ideal location for children ages 3 to 12 years of age to play, featuring a seemingly endless supply of toys, games, and Disney

Policies subject to change without notice, always check with your travel agent regarding pregnancy policies and children age policies prior to booking your cruise.



2018 Sea Tales Family Cruise Travel Planner

movies. It is a space for educational experiments with a variety of supervised activities throughout the day. There are individual computer stations, and in addition it is the staging area and starting point for a ship-wide quest game, in which young explorers gather and decipher clues during an exciting adventure around the ship. Disney’s Oceaneer Lab is designed with delightful amenities, including: • A stage in the main hall where kids can hear stories of great expeditions and star in their own swashbuckling plays. • A 103-inch plasma screen, which displays Disney movies and interactive animated characters, including Disney’s mischievous animated alien Stitch, whose unrehearsed, real-time antics are sure to bring laughter. • A workshop and laboratory where kids concoct crazy experiments, stretch their culinary skills, and participate in other hands-on activities. Children are invited to partake in a wide range of delightfully themed activities available at Disney’s Oceaneer Lab. While some activities are recommended for certain age ranges, participation is based on a child’s interest level and maturity—not age. As a result of this, siblings and friends ages 3-12 can play together without restriction. Although subject to change, activities at Disney’s Oceaneer Lab may include: Monsters, Inc Open “Mike” Night – Mike Wazowski and the other monsters of the Disney•Pixar film Monsters, Inc. have lost their voices and are unable to collect kids’ laughter to power Monstropolis. It’s up to the kids to put on a comedy show for their parents so they can save Monstropolis from certain doom. Get the Hook! – Captain Hook’s favorite dress hook has been stolen and the kids must help him find it and catch the culprit. Led by Detective Clue and featuring site-specific crime scenes, their three-day search for clues will take them all over the ship as it sails the sea, culminating in a reward from the Captain himself. Super Sloppy Science with Professor Make-O-Mess – Professor Make-O-Mess is a world-famous scientist who is known for performing the sloppiest science experiments around. Now teens can partake in some educational fun as the professor offers some hands-on training that will surely having them laughing and learning. Dining – Children are invited to enjoy lunch and dinner at Disney’s Oceaneer Lab. Parents should note that children have the ability to move back and forth between Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab during most operating hours to experience activities. Youth activity counselors will be on hand to direct children. The workshop and laboratory connect Disney’s Oceaneer Lab to Disney’s Oceaneer Club. Themed Spaces – Branching off the Oceaneer Lab’s main room are several themed play spaces: Media Room – Children can kick back and relax in bean bag chairs and watch movies, play video games, or even read a book. Animator’s Studio – Designed as a working animation studio, this room allows children to create original, hand-drawn art or learn how to sketch their favorite Disney characters. With the help of a youth counselor, kids can even design and bring to life computer-animated characters. The Wheelhouse – This space is all about technology, featuring numerous computers and large, high-definition LCD screens. Here, young technophiles can compete in a unique Pirates of the Caribbean game exclusive to DCL. Sound Studio – This interactive area is dedicated to children who appreciate music and want to create it. Craft Studio – Children seeking a more tactile artistic experience can escape from technology to this creative studio and create hands-on arts and crafts projects.

Policies subject to change without notice, always check with your travel agent regarding pregnancy policies and children age policies prior to booking your cruise.


Tweens and Teens (11–17 years) Edge, a tweens-exclusive space located at Deck 13 inside the Forward Funnel aboard the Disney Dream and the Disney- Fantasy, as well as on Deck 2, Midship aboard the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder, is a scenic spot where kids ages 11 through 14 can play videogames, watch television, listen to music, surf the Internet, and partake in various activities with kids their own age. Vibe, a teens-exclusive space located at Deck 11, Midship aboard the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder, and Deck 5, Forward aboard the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy, is a hip hotspot featuring an indoor lounge and breezy sundeck where teens aged 14 through 17 can listen to music, watch television and play videogames inside—or catch some rays and splash it up out on deck.

#3: Norwegian Cruise Line Minimum Age: Six months (twelve months for voyages of three days or longer) Children’s Programs: Extensive Babysitting: Yes Tickets: http://www.cruisecompete.com/lines/norwegian_cruises.html

New for 2018: • Norwegian Bliss coming in 2018! It will carry over 4,000 passengers and will feature family-friendly dining and activities like the largest go cart race track at sea, an aqua park, and so much more! • NCL now sails to Cuba • NCL has changed their rates for Late Night Fun Zone to be a per session rate instead of a per hour rate. Overview Norwegian Cruise Line revolutionized the industry in 2000 when it introduced “Freestyle Cruising,” which allowed passengers greater freedom to dine when they like (with extended restaurant hours), where they like (with a number of alternative venues), with whom they like (with open seating), with freedom to dress as they please (with a “resort casual” dress code at night), and other relaxations of the usual cruise ship procedures. One of the most appealing freestyle elements is Norwegian’s disembarkation procedure, which is far more relaxed and pleasant than is usual on other large vessels. Moving to create one of the industry’s youngest and most modern fleets, Norwegian eliminated some of its older ships and added four Jewel-class ships between 2005 and 2008. But the biggest step forward was made with the new F3-class design of the Norwegian Epic and the Norwegian Breakaway, which have more than twenty dining venues (with electronic reservation systems), luxury villas, interconnecting cabins, family-suitable suites, multi-purpose indoor and outdoor spaces, huge waterparks, bowling alleys, champagne bars, ice bars, solo cabins (the first in the industry) and superior live entertainment. At a time when air travel is becoming increasingly unpleasant, especially for families, Norwegian offers departures from a number of US homeports, including New York, Seattle, New Orleans, Boston and Tampa. Also appealing: the line often advertises excellent discount deals, such as $99 children’s fares and complimentary onboard credits. NCL is the only cruise line that offers year-round Hawaii cruises. There is so much to see and do aboard Norwegian’s newer ships: Latin-inspired dance productions by Burn the Floor,


2018 Sea Tales Family Cruise Travel Planner

world-class magicians, really good comedy shows, fireworks at sea, a “hot” ice bar, and a wealth of dining options to satisfy any foodie. There’s generally a surcharge for specialty dining and reservations are required (savvy passengers, hit the electronic reservations ASAP to avoid disappointment!). Regardless of the event or dining venue, no one is ever required to put on formal dress; resort casual is fine for restaurant dining and the usual shorts and flip-flops are okay for almost everything else. Norwegian ships feature full-service Mandara spas, which also offer popular specialties like teeth whitening. Typical clientele includes a mix of age groups, such as the usual mature travelers, but also young families and couples, both straight and gay. Most travelers are American, but also include other English speakers from the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Norwegian cruises are best for adults and families who want a fun and lively cruise experience where there are few rules or fixed schedules. They’re also good for solo travelers who don’t want to pay a single supplement. Destinations Alaska Asia Australia and New Zealand Bahamas and Florida Bermuda Canada and New England Caribbean Cuba

Europe Hawaii Mexican Riviera Pacific Coastal Panama Canal South America Transatlantic Minimum Age

Infants sailing on board a Norwegian vessel must be at least six months of age at time of sailing. However, for voyages that have three or more consecutive days at sea, infants must be at least twelve months old at time of sailing. Babysitting Norwegian doesn’t offer babysitting, but instead offers Group Sitting Services for children aged 3-12 every night from 10:30 PM to 1:30 AM, and on port days while the ship is docked. Parents are encouraged to sign up in advance for both services. If no children are signed up or dropped off by 11:30 PM for the nightly service, the youth center will close for the evening. The fees are charged to your onboard account. Pregnancy Policy NCL will not accept guests who will have entered their twenty-fourth week of pregnancy by the time their travel with NCL concludes. A statement from the expectant mother’s doctor (letterhead form required) stating her due date and fitness to travel must be sent to NCL’s Access Desk ( accessdesk@ncl.com ).

Policies subject to change without notice, always check with your travel agent regarding pregnancy policies and children age policies prior to booking your cruise.


Children’s Programs Infants, Toddlers, and Children (6 months–12 years) Splash Academy for Kids

This program is specifically designed to engage active and creative kids aged six months to twelve years old. Whether it’s learning to juggle at circus school with Cirque du Jour (presented by Hilario Productions), working on arts and crafts projects, or getting the high score on WiiU, there’s plenty of fun for everyone throughout the ship.

The Splash Academy operates from 9 to 12pm and 2 pm to 5 pm and 7 pm to 10:30 pm on at Sea Days; and from Port Arrival Time to 10:30 pm on port days; and 8pm to 10:30 pm on embarkation day. The transition from Splash Academy to Late Night Fun Zone begins a t 10:30 PM. Late Night Fun Zone cost is $24.00 USD per session for the 1st child, $20.00 USD per session for the 2nd child. Fees are charged to the guest’s onboard account. There is a 15 minute transition time between Splash Academy and Lite Night Fun Zone offered before charges are applied. Hours of Operations Port Day: Port Arrival Time – 10:30 p.m.
 Sea Days: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m./2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m./7:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
 Teens (13–17 years) Entourage for Teens Play a pickup game of soccer. Take part in a theater or fashion workshop. Dive into an interactive pool party. There’s so much to do around the ship, and your teens can choose whatever activities they like. Sporting Activities NCL has over 20 interactive sports on ship that encourage teamwork, bonding, and confidence building, including: basketball, ultimate Frisbee, rounders, and triangle ball. Themed Events Between watching scary movies for vampire night and singing your favorite pop songs while playing an air guitar at a nighttime pool party, there’s something exciting happening every night. Teen Center Chill in the teen lounge with flat-screen televisions, WiiU, air hockey, foosball, and more. Then dance the night away to the beats of the video jukebox.


2018 Sea Tales Family Cruise Travel Planner

Policies subject to change without notice, always check with your travel agent regarding pregnancy policies and children age policies prior to booking your cruise.


#4: Princess Cruises Minimum Age: Six months or twelve months, depending on destination Children’s Programs: Extensive Babysitting: In-cabin babysitting is not available on any ship. Tickets: http://www.cruisecompete.com/lines/princess_cruises.html

New for 2018 • Princess has made slight change to the working of their pregnancy policy.

• Princess is in the process of updating their children’s program. Camp Discovery is taking the place of The Fun Zone. This programs debuted in October 2017 on a few ships and the roll out of the new program will continue through 2018 and be fleet wide by April 2019. • Princess offers Club 1820 exclusively for passengers from 18 to 20 years old. Overview A good slogan for Princess might be: “Have It Your Way,” for the line has a fleet of different ship styles, sails itineraries all over the world, and successfully blends traditional cruise elements with more modern amenities. For example, the line has set seating, and also offers “Anytime Dining.” The entertainment mix includes traditional Vegas- style revues, talent shows and comedians, not to mention “Movies Under the Stars.” The dining mix (which varies by ship) might include a New Orleans–style café or an Italian restaurant. The three-deck Piazza, a relatively new feature that’s being expanded to older ships, includes a 24-hour café, a wine bar and Alfredo’s pizza, as well as shops and a performance venue. Princess ships have casinos, nightclubs, discos, and kids’ clubs. All have Lotus spas and fitness centers that offer yoga and other classes. Some spas feature alternative therapies like acupuncture; the newer ones have such medi-spa options as Botox and other fillers. Depending on the ship, activities might include art auctions and all kinds of classes, some of which carry a fee: computer technology, photography, ceramics or cooking. The newest (Royal Class) ships have expanded piazzas, SeaWalks (glass-enclosed walkways), and Princess Live! (an interactive TV studio). Princess sailings include both formal nights (one for 7-to-13-night trips) and smart casual nights. Formal means a tuxedo or dark suit for men and gowns, cocktail dresses, or fancy-pants suits for women. “Smart casual” means pants and open- neck shirts for men and dresses, skirts, or slacks and sweaters or blouses for women. T-shirts, shorts, and halter tops are not allowed in the dining room, and shoes are required. Back in “the old days” of cruising, friends and family were allowed to come aboard with passengers, perhaps to share some champagne and small treats before sailing. That sweet custom ended, but Princess revived it with the “Bon Voyage” experience, which allows guests to come aboard for a tour and lunch with wine. The package, which runs about four hours, costs $39 and is a nice way to share the cruise experience. (And if any guests decide to take a cruise after sampling the experience, that $39 can be applied to the price.) Depending on the ship, fellow passengers can include family groups, couples, singles or mature travelers. On the big or mid-size ships, you’ll find the broadest mix. Princess Cruises’ smaller ship, Pacific Princess—has fewer features that appeal to families and sail longer itineraries to more exotic ports, so it attracts older travelers.


2018 Sea Tales Family Cruise Travel Planner

The mid-size and big ships are best for couples, families, multi-generational groups, and singles who enjoy an active environment and want many itinerary choices. For mature travelers who want a small-ship experience with few children, longer itineraries and off-the-beaten-path ports, the Pacific Princess is a good choice. Destinations Alaska Asia Australia and New Zealand California Coastal Canada and New England Caribbean

Europe Hawaii Japan Mexico

Panama Canal South America

South Pacific World Cruise Minimum Age

The minimum Passenger age is 6 months on Alaskan, Canada/New England, Caribbean, European, Mexican and Panama Canal cruises, and 12 months on all other cruises to places such as Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the Indian subcontinent, South America, the South Pacific, Hawaii, Tahiti and transatlantic and world cruises. The minimum age for escorted cruise tours is five. Babysitting There is no in cabin sitting available. But Princess now offers Late Night Group Kidsitting for children ages 3 to 12 years is offered in the Youth Centers from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am for a charge of $5.00 per hour per child, except on Pacific Princess. Kids can relax and watch movies or play games with their friends while mom and dad have a relaxing night out. Pregnancy Policy Pregnant women are not allowed to sail if they are entering the twenty-fourth week of their pregnancy by the last day of the cruise. All pregnant women are required to produce a physician’s letter stating that mother and baby are in good health and fit to travel, and asserting that the pregnancy is not high-risk. The letter must also include the estimated date of delivery calculated from both last menstrual period and ultrasound (if performed), and may be faxed to the Fleet Medical Department’s confidential fax line at 1-661-753-0121. Children’s Programs Infants and Toddlers (0–3 years) Children under the age of three are welcome to visit the Youth Center, if accompanied and supervised by a parent at all times. Children (3–12 years) All vessels, with the exception of the Ocean and Pacific Princess, have dedicated Youth Centers and Teen Lounges. These two vessels offer youth programs when twenty or more children, aged 3–17, are traveling on a given voyage. Youth Centers The Youth Centers are staffed by entertaining and experienced counselors, all of whom are dedicated and trained to make sure your kids are having the best vacation ever. Activities are tailored to age group:

Policies subject to change without notice, always check with your travel agent regarding pregnancy policies and children age policies prior to booking your cruise.


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