Kids' Play Areas in Cruise Terminals

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Family Cruises
Cruising with kids? Best Family Cruise Advice
Cruise Critic's Family Cruising Resources
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 05:03 AM.
654 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Several cruise lines have added kids' play areas to their embarkation terminals, including Carnival (Miami), Costa (Barcelona and Savona) and Royal Caribbean (Fort Lauderdale). Have you ever tried any in-port kids' facilities? What do you think? Please let us know!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Erica Silverstein
Senior Editor, Features
Cruise Critic
3,517 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I've never seen a kids play area. On my 4 cruises through Florida cruise ship terminals, I've never had to sit and wait around. I don't really see how they are filling a need.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Previous Cruises

49 nights with RCCL, 7 nights with Carnival, 11 nights with Disney, 14 nights with Princess, 45 nights with HAL
Fredericksburg, va. USA
84,249 Posts
Joined May 2001
We've never had enough of a wait to warrant kid's stopping to play...sure, you may have to wait in a line for a short time, but it does keep moving....
Atlanta, GA
1,083 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
Really? I never knew or have seen that. I will look on my next cruise in Dec.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Norwegian Escape 12/2017
Empress of the Seas (Cuba) 11/2017
Carnival Vista 12/2016
Anthem of the Seas 3/2016
Freedom of the Seas 11/2015
Quantum of the Seas 11/2/2014 Transatlantic
Liberty of the Seas 12/2013 Mexico
Carnival Breeze 6/2013 Eastern Caribbean
Disney Dream 9/2012 Bahamas
Carnival Destiny 11/2011 Eastern Caribbean
Celebrity Millennium 10/2011 Eastern Caribbean
Norwegian Epic 4/2011Western Carribean
MSC Splendida 11/2010 Mediterranean
Celebrity Summit B2B 3/10 & Southern Caribbean
Celebrity Summit 4/10 Southern Carribean
RCL Oasis of the Seas Inagural 12/09 Labadee Extravaganza
Norwegian Jewel Southern Caribbean 11/08
Zuiderdam Alaska 7/07
Mariner of the Seas Western Caribbean 9/05
Dawn Princess Ultimate Caribbean 12/04
See review here:
Serenade of the Seas Hawaii 05/04
Carnival Glory Western Caribbean 11/03
Carnival Victory Western Caribbean 11/02
Adventure of the Seas Southern Caribbean 02/02
Norwegian Sea Bahamas12/01
Celebrity Century Eastern Caribbean 08/00
Regal Empress Eastern Caribbean 6/97
Emerald Seas Bahamas 7/91
3,173 Posts
Joined May 2005
We have never seen these new kid areas. We have almost always walked right up, checked-in, and boarded immediately. Our kids would rather play onboard!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Crown Princess, Cape Horn SA Jan 2017; RCI Brilliance OTS, W. Med, Jul 2016; Regal Princess, E. Carib, Apr 2016; Celebrity Reflection, E. Med, Jul 2015; Celebrity Reflection, W. Carib, Apr 2015; Celebrity Silhouette, Italy/Adriatic, Jul 2013; Celebrity Silhouette, E. Carib, Apr 2013; Century Diamond, Yangtze River, Jul 2012; Celebrity Solstice, W. Carib, Apr 2012; HAL Eurodam, Baltic, Jul 2011; RCI Liberty OTS, W. Carib, Apr 2010; HAL Noordam, W & E Med, Jun 2009; RCI Brilliance OTS, Panama Canal, Mar 2008; RCI Grandeur OTS, NE/Canada, Jul 2007; RCI Radiance OTS, W. Carib, Nov 2006; RCI Radiance OTS, Alaska, Aug 2006; Carnival Liberty, W. Carib, Nov 2005; RCI Explorer OTS, E. Carib, Sep 2001; Regal Princess, E. Carib, Nov 1993

Travel-related posts from my blog:
898 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
My last cruise we had to wait a long time to board (there was a customs problem and the disembarking from the previous cruise took till 2 pm). We would have loved a place for our son to play. We ended up putting him in a stroller and driving him around in circles for an hour as it was too crowded to let him walk/run around. I also had one other previous cruise that had a long wait and, although we didn't have a child at the time, it would have been hard to entertain a child during the long wait. I think it is a great idea, although fingers crossed we will never have to wait long enough again to need it.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Next Cruise
NCL Sun - June 17, 2013 (Alaska)

Previous Cruises
NCL Spirit - February 27, 2011 (Mardi Gras time!!!)
Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean - November 2009
RCCL Jewel of the Seas - Panama Canal - January 2009
Carnival Destiny - Southern Caribbean - May 2008
Carnival Elation - Bahamas & Grand Turk - December 2006
RCCL Serenade of the Seas - Southern Caribbean - February 2005
RCCL Navigator of the Seas - Western Caribbean - March 2004
Carnival Paradise - Exotic Western Caribbean - April 2003
Carnival Tropicale - Southern Caribbean - February 1993
18,838 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
We haven't been lucky enough to see one yet.

Great idea though! It's tough enough listening to "Are we there yet?" when starting out any vacation with kids. But to have to sit and stare AT the ship and they can't get on yet, that's just plain torture for some kids.

At least this will give them something to do to make the wait go faster and take the pressure off the parents. Kudos to those cruise line terminals!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
NCL Breakaway 11/26/17
RCI Enchantment of the Seas 05/20/16
RCI Anthem of the Seas 11/8/2015
RCI Allure of the Seas 5/4/14
Norwegian Getaway PreInaugural 1/27/14
NCL Breakaway PreInaugural 5/8/13
NCL EPIC 11/24/12 - Ewes Baby!
RCI Enchantment 8/3/12 - Addicted to BERMUDA!
NCL Gem 10/2/11 - Back to Bermuda!
RCI Enchantment of the Seas 5/28/11 - Bermuda
RCI Grandeur of the Seas 9/11/10
Carnival Triumph 6/7/09
RCI Independence of the Seas 2/1/09
Disney Wonder 09/11/08
Carnival Sensation 08/07
RCI Freedom of the Seas 5/07
Carnival Elation 11/06
Disney Magic 2/05
NCL Norway 6/02
RCI Sovereign of the Seas 9/98
RCI Sovereign of the Seas 9/97
Kids club schedules and children's menus