This section is ADVENTURE OCEAN:
We traveled with our children, currently ages 6 and 15. Previously, our youngest has had experience in the 3-5 year old group on Explorer and Mariner and the 6-8 year old group on Navigator. Our oldest has been in the 12-14 year old group previously on Explorer, Mariner and Navigator -- this cruise was her first experience in the 15-17 group.
On the first day, there was an Adventure Ocean Open House from 1p-4p for all age groups. There was really only 2 or 3 Adventure Ocean (AO) staff there and all you could do was look around and ask a few basic questions.
The real information was given at the Adventure Ocean Welcome Aboard Presentation for ages 3-11 at 8:15pm in Studio B (this is for parents and kids). After the presentation, from 8:50pm – 10pm, is when you needed to return to the Adventure Ocean facilities on Deck 12 to sign all the waivers and medical release forms so that your child could be dropped off for activities the remainder of the week. FYI – if you hang out for a little bit the AO staff does a cool volcano science experiment and the kids get to help. There are no drop-off activities for kids 11 and younger on Day 1.
For the 15-17 group, their teen-only information session was from 8:30-9:00 in Optix (the teen night club). The 15-17 group continued to have activities until about 1am on the first night.
HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE 6-8 GROUP:
Dinner with AO staff at Johnny Rockets (no charge) Monday, Tuesday and Friday (Monday and Friday were formal nights)
Monday afternoon – Circus of the Seas in the Promenade
Pirate Parade thru Promenade and dining room (late seating) on Wed. night (9:15pm)
Friday – pajama party night (and yes your child can do the dinner at Johnny Rocket’s in their PJ’s so you don’t have to come pick them up and change them between dinner and the PJ party activities.)
Saturday morning – talent show in Maharajas lounge.
Lots of the 6-8 year olds took advantage of the Late Night Party Zone at $5 per hour from 10pm-1am. They even had a special wall with a Polaroid photo of the kids in the “1am club”. Our son never made it that late, but when we’d pick him up between 12-12:30 there were always at least 10-15 kids there. (They combined the 6-8 and 9-11 gruops in the 9-11 room for late night).
For the 15-17 group, there were definitely more activities offered than I had expected, but my daughter said that some of the activities just never happened. Things she participated in and enjoyed were the late-night ice skating party for teens from 11p-midnight on Day 2 (parents need t sign a waiver ahead of time), the nightly dance parties in Optix, the teen dinner in the Windjammer on Day 4 (there’s also one on Day 6). Other activities included a Famous People Photo Hunt, a late night pool party, teen rock climbing…There were other advertised events, like a toga party on Day 4, that my daughter said were never mentioned by the AO staff even though there were kids in Optix at the time the event was scheduled to begin. There was no mention, either verbal or written, of a teen curfew. The AO staff often hung out with the teens in Fuel until nearly 2am. In fact, instead of the teen activities having a specific ending time on Compasses it said until “wee hours.”
Back to the younger kids, my son did enjoy on one of the sea days the Adventure Beach pool area located behind the AO facility on Deck 12. The water slide was open daily for about 3-4 hours and the general kids’ pool are was open from 9a-6p. We only went there one day because I was kind of grossed out by the woman who had her young baby (maybe about 10 mos-12 mos) in the pool in a regular diaper – even though there are signs everywhere saying no diapers of any kind in the pools). From then on I took him swimming in the main pools during times when most others were off the ship in port.
I mentioned this in another part of my review, but I’ll re-state it here: We had a great beach day in Costa Maya at Tapas Bar in Majahual. We had an Oceanside table and the water was calm and shallow enough that my 6 year old kept himself entertained in the water for the entire 3 hours we were there. They even had an “ok” unisex single-stall restroom facility. In Cozumel, we had a great time playing mini-golf – go to the flagpole downtown and walk 2 blocks inland.
Any questions, feel free to ask!!