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cruisebunny32

Celebrity Kids Program

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I just returned from the Connie and I figured I would post a review of the Kids program that Celebrity provides. I have not seen much on this topic in the past!

 

Before you board the ship, there is a table for the kids that you must visit. It is for the YEP or Youth Evacuation Program. Your children will recieve a hospital type bracelet with your Muster station Letter. If there is an emergency while your child is in the kids program, they will automatically take them to your muster station and meet you there! That is peace of mind!

 

Later on sail away day, they had an open house so you could check out the Fun Factory and an orientation time. You must fill out a registration form which lists allergies, people who can pick up your child and a password you must use (until they get to know you). They do not allow kids under 10 to leave unless a parent or person you give permission picks up your child. They also have a phone number available if you need to check up on them.

 

The Fun Factory is very colorful and had LOTS of activities for the kids. There is a ball pit and slide area, A TV area, a craft area, a science area and a game area, complete with every board game there is, plus a row of playstations with all the lastest games.

 

It broken up in different age groups 3-6 (shipmates) 7-9, 10-12 etc. My son was in the 3-6 age group, but since there were only 60 kids on board, 42 of them able to attend the fun factory activities, I think that they may have combined the 3-6 and 7-9 groups. They have 13 staff on board, but only a few were there at a given time, since it was a small group. They told us that for spring break they have a week with 400 kids and 600 kids coming up. So I am sure that they enjoyed this week of relaxation! If the child is not 3 AND potty trained, they are not allowed to enter the Fun Factory. They do have toy chests available that they rent out for the week for the smaller kids. They also offer babysitting in the cabin for a fee. This week there were `18 toddlers on board, so they have several family events planned so they could attend as well.

 

Every day is broken up into 3 different sessions. The Fun factory opens each day at 9am and is open till 1am, or til the last child leaves. You could leave them there they whole time if you wish. They will feed them lunch and dinner and snacks. The sessions are 9am to 12noon. 12-2pm is lunch break. If you are in port, they charge $6 per/hour per child for this time period. then 2pm-5pm is the 2nd session. 5pm-7pm is dinner, which is usually free, since you are usually at sea. finally there is a session 7pm-10pm which works out great if you have early seating and you want to do some things on the ship at night without your child. At 10pm starts the slumber party. They wind them down and put them on mats to watch movies. It also costs $6/hour for this time frame. They gave us the first formal night free on our cruise. If you use the mealtimes, they ask that you sign them up ahead of time. For lunch they take them to the buffet area. For dinner they have a pre arranged menu of kids food. I am sure that they would deviate if necessary (since the pizza and grill are open).

 

The sessions all have themes. Pirates, spongebob, disney, be a star etc. They made several crafts and gave them all a backpack and a t-shirt to take home. They also made a video of the kids that they played the last day, but you cannot buy this!

 

My son had a blast! One day we planned to go to the beach and my son opted to go to the kids program instead (he loves the beach). That tell me a lot right there! He could not wait to get to the Fun Factory every day! They give you a daily program in your stateroom each night and he loved it when I told him what was planned for the next day. On the pirate day, they dressed up as pirates, complete with face paint, hats and swords and paraded around the ship. They were so cute! They also dressed up as aliens one time.

 

If anyone has any questions....feel free to ask! I really did not intend for my son to spend as much time as he did there, but it was his vacation, and that is where he wanted to be! It allowed me time to spend with my husband and our friends we traveled with, and I actually got to rest! Imagine that!

 

Enjoy your cruise!

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Hello and thank you for the information!

I will be traveling with my 13 yr old daughter at the end of the month so if there are any parents out there who might have more info about the programs available for the teen-ish kids please let me know! We will be on the Mercury, but I am assuming that the programs are pretty much fleet wide as far as what they offer each age group?

Thanks again!

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Cruisebunny32;

 

Thanks for posting this review of the kids program. Too many families are often guided away from Celebrity because their kid's program is not highly publicized. We also feel the same way you do about their program. Celebrity is a main-stream line that despite what some people on this board admit to , is a family oriented cruise line. Just because there isn't a rock climbing wall or Disney characters does not mean that your child would enjoy their program any less. The counselors do a great job & keep everyone involved with activities. BTW, are you part of the PatC group?

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cruisebunny32: Thanks for the review!!! We have two girls 12 and 16 going on Galaxy with us March 21st and this was a bit of a relief. You always want your kids to have as much fun as you... Well most of the time anyhow! Cheers!;)

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Can anyone tell me about the Celebrity European cruise programs for kids. I've heard they're loaded with "older folks". So much so, we actually cancelled our trip with our 8 year old daughter for this summer on the Millie to the Med. until we found out more info. On the other hand, we heard that in the summer months, the Celebrity European cruise ships are loaded with kids. What's the real story???

 

Thanks.

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cher amie: I don't know much about that program, but they do have one for the teenagers. They had the play stations, they have that dancing game that you see in arcades and also had a Teen Tower, just for teens (on bigger ships). They do have a social on the first night and everyone gets to meet and they kinda do their own thing. We cruised with teens on the Millie two years ago and they made friends that they still email today. I sure they have a blast too, getting away from all those adults!

 

pbk: Hello again, we cruised with you on the Millie! I remember your daughter loved the program also. Yes, I am part of the Pat C group, but they are currently cruiseing on the Summit, we cruised separately this year. Hope things are going well. We rebooked on the Connie for next spring!

 

Qualicom: Glad I could relieve your fears. That is why I posted a review, for people like me who had a little knowledge, but never experienced it myself. My son had so much fun! He can't wait to cruise again!

 

Robin G: I am sure they have similar programs in Europe and the Med. They have the big beautiful facility and the staff, so I am sure they continue. I don't know how many kids are on board, but I am sure since it is the summer months that many do travel. The small group this time was nice, they got more 1:1 time with the counselers, who are college age girls and boys. They eat that up! Check out the Celebrity website, click on the carribean, and the Connie and do a virtual tour of the facility, you get a feel for what is there!

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I guess no one else has any questions about the kids program. I know I had a ton, so I figured I would bump this up again for anyone who needs the info!

 

Happy cruising!

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We are looking into our first Celebrity cruise a year from now -- next April 2006. We're thinking about the 14 day roundtrip from LA to Hawaii. I would be very, very grateful if anyone doing that cruise this year would comment on the kids club. I guess my worry is that the long itinerary may mean there aren't many kids aboard, even though it is Spring Break. My daughter will be 10 and loves arts & crafts, games, etc. I just want to be sure that she will have a good time, too (We know we will love the Summit!)

 

 

Thanks!

 

If anyone has the kids program schedule for the Ensigns for the 14 day Hawaii trip, I would jump for joy!

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cruisebunny - thanks for the great info.

 

We are cruising for the first time on Celebrity on the Infinity this November on the 14 day Hawaii roundtrip from San Diego with two kids - ages 6 and 8. We were also wondering if there would be many children on this cruise being it a 14 day one and it's during school. Was wondering how many kids would be on this length of cruise?

 

Also, we are concerned about the eating arrangements. We've heard that there is nothing open during the dinner time other than the dining room. What if you don't want to take the kids to the dining room and don't want room service - is there other options? We have cruised with Princess and they have a wonderful buffet that's open all the time. Seems that there isn't such a thing on Celebrity. Is there a special kids menu in the dining room?

 

If anyone has any information it would be greatly appreciated.

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Also, we are concerned about the eating arrangements. We've heard that there is nothing open during the dinner time other than the dining room. What if you don't want to take the kids to the dining room and don't want room service - is there other options? We have cruised with Princess and they have a wonderful buffet that's open all the time. Seems that there isn't such a thing on Celebrity. Is there a special kids menu in the dining room?

 

If anyone has any information it would be greatly appreciated.

 

I don't think you have the correct info on dinner... I have heard eveything is available- pretty much around the clock- pizza, burgers, pasta- and where the buffet is in the morning, they turn that into casual dining (still have waiters- but don't have to be dressed fancy). Yes, there are kids menu options in the dining room and I hear they really try to cater to them to try and get their meals out promptly. :)

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Can anyone comment specifically on the kids' program on the Horizon to Bermuda? (My children are 4 & 8.) Are kids' programs set up while we are in port in Bermuda as well? We're cruising in early June...anyone know if there tends to be lots of kids or just a few for that time & destination?

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[QUOTE=shakotah]cruisebunny - thanks for the great info.

 

We are cruising for the first time on Celebrity on the Infinity this November on the 14 day Hawaii roundtrip from San Diego with two kids - ages 6 and 8. We were also wondering if there would be many children on this cruise being it a 14 day one and it's during school. Was wondering how many kids would be on this length of cruise?

 

Also, we are concerned about the eating arrangements. We've heard that there is nothing open during the dinner time other than the dining room. What if you don't want to take the kids to the dining room and don't want room service - is there other options? We have cruised with Princess and they have a wonderful buffet that's open all the time. Seems that there isn't such a thing on Celebrity. Is there a special kids menu in the dining room?

 

If anyone has any information it would be greatly appreciated.

 

Shakotah,

 

We have sailed twice on Millie and Constellation with a 10/11 year old daughter and a 13/14 year old son. While they were not the itinerary you were on, I understand the kids programs are basically the same on all the Millenium class ships. We found the kids program to be great. As far as dinner goes, the kids program actually set up a special dinner for those kids who wish. They dine in the informal dining area on the pool deck. My daughter elected to do this on most nights. She then would go with her friends, and then on some evenings show up at our table in the dining room (2nd seating) to have desert with us.

 

There were lots of kid friendly dinner options (pizza, burgers, etc) as well. Our teenage son elected to dine with us in the dining room most evenings, and the maitre d learned of his love of creme brulee on the 1st night, and for the rest of the cruise, he had his special serving of creme brulee waiting for him when desert was served.

 

The kids had something to do at just about any time (except for 2 hours at lunch time). They had a blast at the island party night, and danced more than most of the adults. On the last evening they produced a talent show in the small theater. They definitely felt Celebrity's program was better than NCL and my daughter actually thought it was on par with Disney.

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I am sure they will have a kids program on a 14 day cruise. They have the room and the staff. Don't know that there will be that many children, but you never know. I am sure your kids will enjoy themselves, even getting some 1:1 time with the counselers.

 

They have special itineraries for each of the age groups, all have a little something different. You get them in your cabins the night before.

 

Like someone said, yes there is a casual option for dinner in the cafe area. You do have to reserve your spot and there is a gratuity of something like $2 per person.

 

Yes, there is a special kids menu at dinner. They have hamburgers, hotdogs every night, sometimes pizza, and another entree, like chicken, turkey, steak. They also have appetizers like fruit and a soup option. My son did the fruit every night and loved it. They usually bring out his dinner while we are having our soup and salad. He was fine. He really enjoyed the dinners in the dining room and the waiter and asst waiter really catered to him with special things he requested.

 

The kids can also eat lunch and dinner with the program. They take them to the cafe for lunch and dinner. The dinner even had a menu. One night we went to the specialty restaurant, and my son ate at the kids program and they had his favorite...chicken nuggets.

 

 

As far as the smaller ships like Horizon and Zenith, of course the kids room is much smaller, but they do have programs similar to what I described. I am sure any child would have a blast!

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RPHNC:

 

My understanding is that the children's program is cruise line wide not different for the various ships and itins. Each ship has a kids club and the activities will be pretty much the same as well as the dining arrangements. Obviously a longer trip will have more variety be cause they have more days to fill.

 

We took our daughter on the Galaxy when she was 4, the second week of September. There were only 17 children on board and I only ever saw about a half dozen in the kids club. We lucked out because 4 of them were 3-4 year old little girls. The attention Hannah received was amazing. The Camp Counselors are there anyway and the less kids the more personal attention your child will get. At the end of our cruise Hannah wanted to hug each and every one goodbye.

 

Honestly, she enjoyed the Galaxy program MORE than the Disney Magic kids club this past September. Let me put it this way: on the Galaxy she woke up every morning begging to go to the kids club, was upset when I picked her up at noon for lunch and a little nap and wanted to eat dinner with her friends rather than in the fancy restaurant with Mommy and Daddy. After dinner we always checked on her to see if she wanted to lay more or go to the show with us - which do you think she chose? On Disney she never stayed in the kids program for more than a half hour at the time (she kept paging me to pick her up!), she was bored, and every time I picked her up they were parked in front of a giant screen watching a movie. And she ate with us in the dining room every night.

 

In my opinion, the Celebrity program is top notch!

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Jennifer--

Thanks for your input! I've only heard good things about Celebrity's kids program, so I'm sure my kids will have a blast!

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Bambi

 

That is a very interesting story about the kids program on Disney. The prices on Disney are much higher as well. Thanks for the imput. I probably won't sail on anything more than Celebrity, but I can pass along the info to friends!

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Thanks for posting such a thorough review. :)

 

Does anyone have personal experience with the Fun Factory on the Century? I noticed that it is on one of the lower decks, and has no windows. Is this how it was on your ship? Do you think the room size is the same or smaller than on the Connie (did I read the Century in your signature?).

 

Thanks!

Carol

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We been on various Celebrity ships with our 3 children about 10 times over the years and kids loved it every time. Destination really does not matter - if it's during school holidays kids will be there of all ages. As far as my kids, they loved most lover age programs. When they got to mid teens they mostly went there to meet kids of their age and not to participate. We are going to be on Baltic cruise this summer with our 9 year old and she can not wait to get to the Fun Factory.

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We sailed the Century 2 years ago....and I have to say my kids absolutey

loved the kids program. Yes the room is small.....but only the younger aged group stays there. The older kids (6 or 7 and up) meet at different places around the ship. Sometimes the library sometimes the cafe'...it will say on the program where they are meeting and what time. I thought this was great because they get to experience the ship...not just one room. Don't get me wrong they do have play time in the funfactory too.....but most of the time it is a scheduled activity ( treasure hunt ect...) not just open play time. I think this keep the kids more interested and wanting to go back again and again.

 

Nancy

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Thanks for your kind reply, Nancy. :)

 

I feel better knowing that kids seem to really enjoy themselves. I can't wait! Our cabins are on the same floor as the Fun Factory (I didn't plan it that way). But perhaps it may work out to be quite convenient?... :rolleyes:

 

Carol

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Thanks for the great info on the children's program. We are planning our next cruise for 2006 and I want to go on a different line other than Carnival. We have two young boys and I know how much they love the camp carnival which is often talked about on the boards. This is the first celebrity thread I have seen regarding children. The ships we are looking at is Mercury, Summit, or Infinity. (We still have time to make our minds up :rolleyes: )

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We took our Grandson's on their first cruise on the Infinity last May (we take them on their 2nd cruise this May) and they loved the Fun Factory. In fact when I went to get them to take them to the pool for a swim they made me wait till they finished playing (current activity). Both love to swim and be in the pool so that shows how much they enjoyed the Fun Factory!

 

This year we are on Princess so will see how their Kids Program stacks up against Celebrity.

 

I have definitely made both Grandsons into cruise lovers!

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