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Kids Club Reviews


Cruisin' Larry

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I've been on the Disney Magic & although I thought their programs were unbelievable I also thought the kid's program on the Dawn was really wonderful. My daughter actually enjoyed the Dawn's program better. I think she felt rather lost in the Disney Lab (which for those who don't know is for the pre-teen crowd & separate from the younger group). She was allowed to stay with her younger brother on the Dawn & I think that helped. Plus she loved some of the activites which included making paper helicopters & shooting them off the atruim balcony at the guests below. They thought that was hysterical. I have heard others say that it was glorified babysitting & their kids were forced to watch movies all day. We did not experience that at all. I thought the councelors were wonderful. I don't think there are enough activities for the teen group though & they seem to spend most of their time hanging around the elevators.

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My 3 yr old loved the Kid's Crew on the Spirit. She can't wait to go back. She woke up every morning wanting to know when she could go! I went to pick her up at various times and I always saw them doing lots of activities. She is looking forward to our next cruise in April.

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Our girls loved the kids crew on the Dawn and the Crown. They liked the variety of activities and the counselors were so nice- they still remember the counselors names almost 2 years later. We have also sailed Disney and our girls did not like it as much as NCL, thought the club was too crowded and chaotic, and our oldest thought some of the activities too babyish. We will be back on the Dawn in August and the girls are looking forward to the kids club there.

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How and when do I sign up my daughter for the Kids Club? Also what security measures do they have for picking up and dropping off?

 

Usually there is a registration process in the early afternoon of the first day. The hours will be posted on your Freestyle Daily. There is a locked gate in the registration area & you must sign in and out your children when dropping or picking up. When you pick up they will call your children & bring them out to you. I thought it was very secure.

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Most of the games are $.50 to $1 just like in the states. Most of the ships I have been on you can buy a card for any dollar amount and let the kids use it. A lot better than trying to carry cash or coins around. I give my kids a $50 card on the first day and say don't come back for any more.

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Just off the Majesty on Sunday and our 8 year old went every day except port days to the kid's club. She's an expert at children's programs after 21 cruises. Our thoughts on NCL is that they lack the true "keep them busy and happy" program that others seem to do. They tend to turn on the TV for a movie/cartoon they've already seen to kill time. Too few crafts and games. There were no computers for games which is unusual. Most all ships these days have at least a few for the computer wizz kids. We didn't like the way they didn't hold true to the printed schedule they give you on the first day. Our daughter bases her going or not and what time on that schedule and she doesn't like it when they don't do what they say they will do it or not do it when they said they would do it.

They did entertain and keep the children safe although the lack of true faclities for this age group did seem to take the excitement out of going. The younger kids had a true playroom for them. I'd have to give them a C rating over Carnival and Princess. Disney is in a league on their own and should not be compared to the other mass cruise lines. The counslers were young and did a good job and seemed to enjoy their job. That is important in getting participation out of group of strangers every week. Since NCL is a good cruise otherwise (great food!) I would not let this keep us from booking again on NCL but they do have room for major improvement.

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The counselors and programs seemed pretty comparable to our experience on Celebrity Millenium. As previously mentioned, Disney is in a world by themselves, although very crowded, not surprisinginly.

 

The only problem on NCL is that they charge you to use the club on port days. Not sure why that is...but something to keep in mind if your children look forward to their own programs.

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Hi,

 

I am admittedly ignorant about the kids club program. My children are beyond that age...but my sister will possibly be cruising with us on the Majesty and she has a 6 year old. How many hours a day does the kids club operate, and what is the charge for this? Are 6 year olds welcomed in the dining rooms? Thanks!

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I took my nephew, age 9, on his 1st cruise for Halloween 10/05, on the NCL Star. He had a great time. This was my first cruise with a kid. I have been on over 40+. I decided to do the cruise again on 3/29/05 and will take him again. He can't wait. Eventhough he will repeat a lot of the activities, there were a lot of them he missed due to our schedule. I have a ton of cruise experience but not much when it comes to the kids clubs. Oh, except when I have mistakely booked a cabin too nearby :).

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Hi,

 

I am admittedly ignorant about the kids club program. My children are beyond that age...but my sister will possibly be cruising with us on the Majesty and she has a 6 year old. How many hours a day does the kids club operate, and what is the charge for this? Are 6 year olds welcomed in the dining rooms? Thanks!

 

The hours are typically 9-12, 2-5, 7-10 & are included in the price of the cruise. However, it was $5.00 per hour to leave them in beyond the posted times.

 

When we dined it was early in the evening around 5 or 6 & there were plenty of young children in the dining rooms.

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Those are the hours we had on the Majesty. Allows you time to get them out for meals. If you don't want them to eat with you on evening meals like when you might go to Bistro you can feed the little ones at the Royal Cafe buffet on 10 deck for dinner from 6 to 9. There was one night in the kids club they made their own pizza. I believe yours would be in the 6 to 9 year old group which meet mostly in the disco lounge or the other lounge.

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Our son really enjoyed the kid's crew! He was 5-1/2 when we sailed on the Sun in January. A year ago in January, we were on the Disney Magic. So, I was concerned that my son might not enjoy the Sun as much. But even though it's not as big and fancy as the Oceaneer's Club on the Magic, it was more personable.

 

They did some really fun activities with his group, which was the 2-5 year olds. They dressed up like Pirates one day and went on a parade through the ship. They had an 'un'birthday party one night that he really enjoyed.

 

The hours are more limited but for us it was fine. The best part is after dinner. It's a great time for my husband and I do spend a little time together and for our son to have fun with the kids. During the day we usually would do things together with our son.

 

The Kid's Crew was open 7 pm - 10 pm every day and you could sign up for 'babysitting' if you were going to pick up by 10:00. After 10 it was $5 or $6/ hour. On sea days they had activities from 9am - 12 noon and again from 2 pm - 5 pm. And on port days they did offer baby sitting during the day, but you had to sign up the day before and there was a charge for that. I think the same hourly rate as the after 10 babysitting.

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Just off the Majesty on Sunday and our 8 year old went every day except port days to the kid's club. She's an expert at children's programs after 21 cruises. Our thoughts on NCL is that they lack the true "keep them busy and happy" program that others seem to do. They tend to turn on the TV for a movie/cartoon they've already seen to kill time. Too few crafts and games. There were no computers for games which is unusual. Most all ships these days have at least a few for the computer wizz kids. We didn't like the way they didn't hold true to the printed schedule they give you on the first day. Our daughter bases her going or not and what time on that schedule and she doesn't like it when they don't do what they say they will do it or not do it when they said they would do it.

They did entertain and keep the children safe although the lack of true faclities for this age group did seem to take the excitement out of going. The younger kids had a true playroom for them. I'd have to give them a C rating over Carnival and Princess. Disney is in a league on their own and should not be compared to the other mass cruise lines. The counslers were young and did a good job and seemed to enjoy their job. That is important in getting participation out of group of strangers every week. Since NCL is a good cruise otherwise (great food!) I would not let this keep us from booking again on NCL but they do have room for major improvement.

 

 

It is amazing what you say about Disney, well not amazing, I think the amazing thing is the number of families I have worked with that actually prefer NCL and RCI kids programs to Disney. That's what is amazing. As for NCL or any other line, I think the programs are different on different ships just like the restaurants etc. I would guess the program on say, the Sun would be better than on some of the older ships. The time of the year makes a difference as well. Glad you enjoyed your cruise and hope NCL makes changes in the program, at least on the Majesty. NMNita

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The biggest difference is that Disney has the area full of play things. Majesty had none for the 6 to16 age group since their small playarea was taken up by the less than 5 group. Disney and others seem to have more activities, more crafts, better movies than Majesty or any other NCL ship we have been on. It does vary from ship to ship and counslor to counslor. And the amount of kids any given week varies also which can help or hender a program. Because Disney is set up as a kid friendly ship all over it's not fair to put their program in comparsion with all the others out there including NCL. Hard to beat Mickey popping up at any area of the ship or having afternoon tea with Wendy. Riding the elevator with Chip and Dale would thrill any small child.

For example on RCL, they had the children go around the ship dressed like pirates and sung songs to the adults. NCL did not do this. NCL rates high on their pillow fight night.

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The biggest difference is that Disney has the area full of play things. Majesty had none for the 6 to16 age group since their small playarea was taken up by the less than 5 group. Disney and others seem to have more activities, more crafts, better movies than Majesty or any other NCL ship we have been on. It does vary from ship to ship and counslor to counslor. And the amount of kids any given week varies also which can help or hender a program. Because Disney is set up as a kid friendly ship all over it's not fair to put their program in comparsion with all the others out there including NCL. Hard to beat Mickey popping up at any area of the ship or having afternoon tea with Wendy. Riding the elevator with Chip and Dale would thrill any small child.

For example on RCL, they had the children go around the ship dressed like pirates and sung songs to the adults. NCL did not do this. NCL rates high on their pillow fight night.

 

 

Actually of the ships I have eithre toured or actually cruised it seems some of the Carnival ships have the best play areas, of course the ships are huge, maybe that's why. I am not a Carnival fan, but the play area on the Legend was awesome. By the way, no costumes, but on the Sea last November they did have the kids going up and down the stairs as if they were marching, they were also singing but I was never quite sure what it was all about. This was on 2 different occassions. The costumes would have been a real added treat!!! NMNita

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I can't compare the Sun to any other NCL kids' program, since this was our first with them. But, when we were booking an NCL cruise, I looked at the deck plans of the ships and decided that we wanted to go on one of the newer ships, since their was a definite difference between the the kid's club area on those and on some of the older ships. Some of the older ships appeared to have a small room on one of the lower decks that was designated for the kids and it almost looked to be an afterthought.

 

We found that the counselors on the Sun did stick to the schedule pretty well. In fact, I thought more so than DCL. We tend to look at the schedule and select specific things that our son wants to participate in. On the Sun, this seemed to work out well. Maybe in part since the hours were more limited. On the Magic, we would frequently go for a particular event and find that when we went back to pick up our son they were just starting the activity that he went to do. I think with their club going all day long, things slide in the schedule more.

 

True, our son likes seeing the characters on the Disney ship and the club and lab areas are amazing. But, I think he enjoyed the personalized attention on the Sun and for the amount of time he spent in the club, he had a great time with the activities.

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The last cruise we went on from NCL, the kids club cost $5an hour per child when you were in port and we were in port every single day. So our children did not go to the kids club except for one evening. So don't be fooled by all the wonderful things they say about the kids club, ask when the kids club is in session. Most are not in session if you are in port, unless you want to pay. Our children were so excitied about all the fun things they listed, and did not get to do any of them. This summer we are trying another cruise, hopefully it will be better. Good luck.

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