NCL kids programs?

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#1
Kauai
151 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Wondering if anyone has thoughts on the NCL kids program? I have a 3 and 5 year old. We recently did RCI and they had a very good program. We are thinking of doing Hawaii with the Norwegian Wind. TIA!
#2
Linden, Calif.
84 Posts
Joined May 2005
We have a 9 year old. We have never cruised with NCL and have one booked this July. I've been told by our travel agent that the programs are really good but I too would like some input from people who have actually been on this CruiseLine with children and have participated in the programs.
#3
Maryland
5,344 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Check out the NCL boards and you will find a tremendous amount of information on cruising with kids. We're taking our kids (2 and 7) in 3 weeks on the NCL Dawn. I've heard the kid crew program is very good.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=107


Also, check out www.ncl.com and you can find out some more specifics.

Happy Sailing!!!
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#4
Minnesota
1,410 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Originally posted by gkeep
Wondering if anyone has thoughts on the NCL kids program? I have a 3 and 5 year old. We recently did RCI and they had a very good program. We are thinking of doing Hawaii with the Norwegian Wind. TIA!
We did Hawaii on an NCL ship - their kids programs are good. BUT, the last time we checked - you can not leave the kids on board while you go into port. Once we tried RCI, and had that opportunity, I would never go back to NCL until the kids were old enough to do all the things we wanted to do. And even then....it was a very nice break for me to be able to leave them on board and go shopping, or go snorkelling.
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#5
57 Posts
Joined May 2005
NCL's kids' program starts at age 2...I am wondering if anyone has any experience using it for kids on the younger end of this range (under 3)? My younger daughter will be 2 years, 9 months when we sail. She is in preschool 3 days a week from 9-1 at home and is happy there but she is used to her teacher.

I mostly want my kids with me while we're on board but I wouldn't mind if they spend one or two hours a day at the kid's club. Elder daughter (nearly 7) is looking forward to it. I'm just wondering if the little guys are interested or not. She is on the clingy side and I'm having trouble picturing her wanting to go off with counselors/kids she doesn't know (and I wouldn't make her do it if it upset her). Did anyone have the experience where their under-3-year-old wanted to stay?

Thanks,

India
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#6
Maryland
5,344 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
India ~ I don't know yet, but I will in a little under 2 weeks. We're taking our kids (7yo DS and 2 yo DD) with us on the NCL Dawn. Look for my review after we get back on the NCL board:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=107

Thanks!
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Proud to have sailed:
RCCL Majesty of The Seas ~ 02/2001 *Very First Cruise*
Pacific Princess ~ 10/2001 * Got Engaged Cruise *
NCL Norway ~ 05/2002 * Honeymoon Cruise *
NCL Dawn ~ 06/2005 * Best Cruise of our Lives ! ! ! ! *
CCL Fascination ~ 09/2005 * Best party, didn't sleep a wink cruise *
NCL Dawn ~ 06/2007 *Better than Ever!!*
CCL Victory ~ 10/2007 *40th BDay Cruise!!*
NCL Dawn ~ 06/2008 * 3rd time's a charm! * Review HERE
CCL Victory ~ 10/2008 * went tooooooo fast!!*
NCL Dawn ~ 06/2009*A different Experience*
NCL Sky ~ 02/2010 *Snow-mageddon Cruise!*
NCL Dawn ~ 06/2010 *3rd time is NOT a charm... 5th time is!*
NCL Gem CTN ~ 2/2011 *One day is NOT enough*
NCL Jewel CTN ~ 2/2011 *Big A^# Cruise! with 11 of our closest friends!*
NCL Jewel ~ 6/2011 *AWESOME once again!!!*
NCL Jewel ~ 4/2012 *10th Anniversary Cruise!!*
NCL Jewel ~ 1/2013 *CTN-Get outta here for a weekend cruise!*
NCL Breakaway ~ 2/2014 *CTN-Just need some time for us cruise!*

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#7
10 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
we did carnival in april with 2 1/2 yr old daughter and 6 1/2 yr old son. Both were with us all day and then went 4 night to kids dinner and camp till 9ish the other nights they ate with us (early seating) then we took them to camp for a few hours. They both enjoyed themselves and we got some adult time to see show, casino,. Have a good trip I am also wondering about NCL and Hawaii>>>>>>>>>>
#8
416 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
We cruised Hawaii with NCL in 2004 and thought the kids program (on the Star) was the worst we had experienced. My daughter is really well behaved and quiet and very easy to please, so it was shock she hated the program. The facility was nice and the kids pool attractive, but the counselors could not have cared less. They parked the kids in front of videos every child in American has seen twenty times (Harry Potter, A Bug's Life, etc.) Two nights in a row, they parked them in front of the SAME video. One night the kids had to play the "Quiet Game" and sit perfectly still and silent for 20 minutes. One boy disrrupted and the entire group had to be quiet again for 15 more minutes. The entire week not one of them introduced themselves to me or my daughter, yet on the last night, they sure put on a big smile and passed the tip jar. My husband and I had a wonderful cruise and, on our own, we would have loved the Star, but never NCL with kids again!!!!Hey, it's my kid's vacation, too and she deserves to have fun!
#9
2,221 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
We just returned from the NCL STAR and thought the kids program was great. All of the counselors had "candy" names, like Sugar or Kit-Kat. And while the kids did watch a video during each of the sessions, it was only one thing out of MANY things that they did. For instance, during the Jungle Session, they watched Jungle Book, had their faces painted like animals, and did an art project.

We felt it was a well-balanced time of quiet and active activities.

We were also impressed by the fact that the counselors worked really hard to try and make my 2 yr old comfortable. She attended a session on the first night, then would scream like mad whenever we tried to take her back. On the last session, where the kids make t-shirts, they even gave her one, even though she hadn't attended. and her brother had. We thought that was nice.

Lastly--there is a FABULOUS ball pit/climby thing in the Kids Club, where the kids could run/scream/jump--which was great for burning off their excess energy.

We would give a thumbs-up to NCL's Kids Club.
#10
93 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
We just returned from the NCL Spirit on 6.11. I have a 2 year old and an 11 year old that went with us. The Kids Crew staff will have an open house during the first day of the cruise. For us it was from 5:30-7pm on Saturday. We left Seattle at 4pm on Sat. Our 2 year old missed the open house due to a very late nap. After the open house, the center is 'parents free' meaning you are asked not to go inside. Our guy also does a mothers day out two days a week, but he is home with me the rest of the time. We tried twice to drop him off and he freaked out both times. It just was not enough time with the staff to get comfortable. I went in with him both times and kept getting looks from the staff due to the parent free zone, but I paid for the cruise so they dealt with it. He made it about 20 minutes both times before the tears started. On the second attempt I counted 16 kids, 2-5 year olds, with 2 staff members. I asked if a staff member would go get my daughter, 11, and calm him down since she was also at the center at the same time. I was told they like to keep the age groups seperated for a number of reasons I told my daughter to check in on her brother and the second time she did just that until we were paged. They will give you a pager to change a diaper or if some other issue comes up.

My daughter loved the program. I also thought the staff was very good. For our little guy it just did not work out.
#11
Houston, TX
156 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
We just returned from the NCL Sea. I have a 2 yr old and 5 yr old. They both loved the kid's club. My teen was less thrilled. I have the 2-5 yr old daily schedules if you are interested in seeing them.

Cristin
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#12
46 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
This was the best vacation of my life. We took our 2 daughters.. 2 1/2 and 1 year. My 2 1/2 yr old LOVED the kids crew. She doesnt go to day care so I was worried about how she would do. The kids crew team was awesome. The class area is adult free but they let the parents of the 2-5 yr old ease them in. My daughter wanted me to go to class with her so I would go in, sit at the edge of the class and watch for a min or so. The one teacher would start her on an activity and the other teacher would walk over and block her from seeing me so I could leave without her noticing. My daughter was potty trained before we went on the cruise but she became DEATHLY afraid of the toilets on the ship... they are very loud. So I was very lucky that NCL allows non potty trained kids in their program. The beeper was great for giving me peace of mind. I think my daughter spent about 40 hours in the kids program. When we would get off the ship for port calls she would beg me to stay on board and go to her class! We have been home a week and she is still asking to back to her class. On the last night she was hugging her teachers and telling them how much she was going to miss them. Aisha and Keri were fantastic! There wasnt much for my 1 yr old to do. There is a small area by the pool with some toys but it is outside and can be cold and wet. My 1 year old spent most of the cruise in the stroller being pushed around the ship!
#13
Maryland
5,344 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by Mmeindia
NCL's kids' program starts at age 2...I am wondering if anyone has any experience using it for kids on the younger end of this range (under 3)? My younger daughter will be 2 years, 9 months when we sail. She is in preschool 3 days a week from 9-1 at home and is happy there but she is used to her teacher.

I mostly want my kids with me while we're on board but I wouldn't mind if they spend one or two hours a day at the kid's club. Elder daughter (nearly 7) is looking forward to it. I'm just wondering if the little guys are interested or not. She is on the clingy side and I'm having trouble picturing her wanting to go off with counselors/kids she doesn't know (and I wouldn't make her do it if it upset her). Did anyone have the experience where their under-3-year-old wanted to stay?

Thanks,

India
India ~ just got back from the Dawn with my 2yo DD and 7yo DS and I must say that I was VERY impressed with the Kids Crew on the Dawn. Both kids absolutely LOVED going there. So much, in fact, that I dropped them both off there more often than I had originally intended. The place is very, very secure and they take safety very seriously. All day long they had organized activities like games, arts n crafts, songs, etc. The Captain came and met the kids one day. They had a night out for parents there (we dropped them off at the NY Deli and the counselors fed the kids while my DH and I had dinner at Cagneys). One day I was in the casino, playing slots right near the entrance when I heard childrens' voices. I turned around to see all the 2-5 yo kids walking through the ship singing "A Pirate's Life For Me." And, they were all dressed up like pirates (with face paint and everything!). I brought home the Kids Crew schedules for the week. When I am able to scan them in (along with my Freestyle Dailies), I will post them up on my web site:

http://community.webshots.com/user/richardsjlsg

I was also impressed with the T Rex Kids Pools. There are 4 of them, 3 with water slides and none over 4 feet. My DD (2) cried when I dropped her off, but she stopped withing a minute or 2. That's her MO anyway. She cries for a minute almost every morning when I drop her off at day care. The counselors give you a pager for the little ones. So, if they cry for an extended period of time, they'll page you. I never got paged once. Your kids will absolutely love it there!!!

Happy Sailing!!!
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Clinky!!

Proud to have sailed:
RCCL Majesty of The Seas ~ 02/2001 *Very First Cruise*
Pacific Princess ~ 10/2001 * Got Engaged Cruise *
NCL Norway ~ 05/2002 * Honeymoon Cruise *
NCL Dawn ~ 06/2005 * Best Cruise of our Lives ! ! ! ! *
CCL Fascination ~ 09/2005 * Best party, didn't sleep a wink cruise *
NCL Dawn ~ 06/2007 *Better than Ever!!*
CCL Victory ~ 10/2007 *40th BDay Cruise!!*
NCL Dawn ~ 06/2008 * 3rd time's a charm! * Review HERE
CCL Victory ~ 10/2008 * went tooooooo fast!!*
NCL Dawn ~ 06/2009*A different Experience*
NCL Sky ~ 02/2010 *Snow-mageddon Cruise!*
NCL Dawn ~ 06/2010 *3rd time is NOT a charm... 5th time is!*
NCL Gem CTN ~ 2/2011 *One day is NOT enough*
NCL Jewel CTN ~ 2/2011 *Big A^# Cruise! with 11 of our closest friends!*
NCL Jewel ~ 6/2011 *AWESOME once again!!!*
NCL Jewel ~ 4/2012 *10th Anniversary Cruise!!*
NCL Jewel ~ 1/2013 *CTN-Get outta here for a weekend cruise!*
NCL Breakaway ~ 2/2014 *CTN-Just need some time for us cruise!*

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#14
Hazlet, NJ
136 Posts
Joined May 2000
Just a quick question to add to this thread. We are sailing next February on the NCL Sun, leaving on the 25th. Our son turns 2 on the 26th, the day after we sail. Do you think they'll give us a hard time with getting him into the kid's program?
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vllygrrl in Hazlet NJ
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#15
Maryland
5,344 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by vllygrrl
Just a quick question to add to this thread. We are sailing next February on the NCL Sun, leaving on the 25th. Our son turns 2 on the 26th, the day after we sail. Do you think they'll give us a hard time with getting him into the kid's program?
They are very strict about age restrictions. But, since he will be 2 during the cruise, you shouldn't have a problem. Likely, they will ask you to sign up after midnight just so that all the t's are crossed and i's dotted, so to speak.

Happy Sailing!!!
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Level 11 Geezle Treasure Master
Charter Member, H!jackers Society
Clinky!!

Proud to have sailed:
RCCL Majesty of The Seas ~ 02/2001 *Very First Cruise*
Pacific Princess ~ 10/2001 * Got Engaged Cruise *
NCL Norway ~ 05/2002 * Honeymoon Cruise *
NCL Dawn ~ 06/2005 * Best Cruise of our Lives ! ! ! ! *
CCL Fascination ~ 09/2005 * Best party, didn't sleep a wink cruise *
NCL Dawn ~ 06/2007 *Better than Ever!!*
CCL Victory ~ 10/2007 *40th BDay Cruise!!*
NCL Dawn ~ 06/2008 * 3rd time's a charm! * Review HERE
CCL Victory ~ 10/2008 * went tooooooo fast!!*
NCL Dawn ~ 06/2009*A different Experience*
NCL Sky ~ 02/2010 *Snow-mageddon Cruise!*
NCL Dawn ~ 06/2010 *3rd time is NOT a charm... 5th time is!*
NCL Gem CTN ~ 2/2011 *One day is NOT enough*
NCL Jewel CTN ~ 2/2011 *Big A^# Cruise! with 11 of our closest friends!*
NCL Jewel ~ 6/2011 *AWESOME once again!!!*
NCL Jewel ~ 4/2012 *10th Anniversary Cruise!!*
NCL Jewel ~ 1/2013 *CTN-Get outta here for a weekend cruise!*
NCL Breakaway ~ 2/2014 *CTN-Just need some time for us cruise!*

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#16
OMEMEE ONTARIO
168 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
I have a couple of questions. We will be on the Spirit Jan 29. Our kids are 5 & 10.

Does anyone know what the kids centre area times are?

Also some people say you can't leave the ship with your kids at the centre and some say you can. Does anyone know for sure whether or not you can do this on the Spirit?

Any info you have would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Jackie
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JACKIE
#17
Ohio, USA
483 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
Originally posted by EXBRIT
I have a couple of questions. We will be on the Spirit Jan 29. Our kids are 5 & 10.

Does anyone know what the kids centre area times are?

Also some people say you can't leave the ship with your kids at the centre and some say you can. Does anyone know for sure whether or not you can do this on the Spirit?

Any info you have would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Jackie
Jackie,

We were recently on the Jewel and I believe the policy is the same for all NCL ships - you CAN leave your kids at the center and leave the ship as long as your kids are potty trained.

The center is open every evening 7-10 pm (free) and for a $5/hour fee from 10pm-1am. During the day it is open and free on sea days but paid on port days. If you don't want to come back to the ship for lunch on port days they take your child to the Garden Cafe for lunch.

Rada
#18
Midwest
214 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
Rada,
I posted on the other Disney/NCL thread too. I'm curious for future cruise planning. Can the kids go in the kids club if they're over 2, but not potty trained? I have a 2.5 yr. old now, who is not yet potty trained, but am also expecting our second child and am anticipating traveling with both of them down the road.

Also do you have to pay full fare for the 2 year old?
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#19
3,722 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Just off NCLA POAm in Hawaii. DD is 10YO and an experienced cruiser. We were busy in port every day so she only participated in the kid's program in the evenings.

On the POAm, there was a no-fee am program, a fee afternoon group baby sitting, and a pm no-fee program.

DD really liked the 10-12YO evening program. There were several other girls (mostly BOYS though) and there were two 20-something female counselors. Each night had a theme and lots of different activities.

It is a bit more low key than the RCCI program. The activities are a bit more sedate on NCL (more female counselors on NCL, more male counselors on RCCI?). It was less structured and scheduled than either RCCI or Princesses - NCL had a theme for the night with a description of what the activities would be, but not each event scheduled down to the quarter-hour.

DD has liked all of the kids programs (she's participated since she was about three), but I think that the NCL more closely matched her personality - a bit more low key, less stress on competative games.
#20
Ohio, USA
483 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
Originally posted by mruhaak
Rada,
I posted on the other Disney/NCL thread too. I'm curious for future cruise planning. Can the kids go in the kids club if they're over 2, but not potty trained? I have a 2.5 yr. old now, who is not yet potty trained, but am also expecting our second child and am anticipating traveling with both of them down the road.

Also do you have to pay full fare for the 2 year old?
I kind of answered on the other thread...

Yes, kids that are not potty trained can participate, but the NCL staff don't change diapers so you are given a cell phone and get a call when a change is needed.

Yes, we paid 3rd person fare plus port fees, but the 3rd person fare was much smaller than the full fare.

Let me know if you have more questions. You may also want to read my "Back from the NCL Jewel with 2 year old" thread on page 2 of this forum.

Cheers,
Rada