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Mintycake

Cruising with a 9 year old

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Hello!  It's been a long time since we've been on a cruise ship - our last cruise was in 2014.  My husband and I did a few cruises pre-kid and when my daughter was 3/4 years old and we have really only been on Princess.  Now that my kid is a bit older, we are looking at NCL (also because of the great deals).  We're afraid that we're used to Princess (understated, elegant, quiet) and that NCL will not be to our liking - but it also seems like the stuff for kids is way better.

 

As an aside, I'd actually love to do a Disney cruise but I'm not sure if I can justify the cost!  

 

Any feedback/insight is appreciated!  TIA!

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Your 9 year old will LOVE the kid's club...you will have the elegance you would like...everyone is happy!  The "stuff" for kids will take up about 3 hours of your total time on the ship...don't book a cruise for the child...book the cruise for YOU....you're paying...you're the adults, and the kids will be just fine.  No worries.

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We're about to go on our second NCL cruise, and my son is almost 10.  He was 8.5 on the first one.  We've only done NCL, so I can't compare it to others, but he absolutely loved it!  He had so much fun in the kids club every day and wanted to be there all hours it was open.  It was only open for a few hour blocks at a time and would close basically during meal times (I don't remember exactly but I think it closed from 12-2 and 5-7), so he'd hang out there while my husband and I had time just us, then we'd have family time when the kids club was closed.  They had all kinds of fun activities, and they put on a circus show at the end of the week in the theater.  

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The kids club on Princess is excellent, and aside from the more restrictive hours the kids club on NCL was also very strong.  My children were younger (2) when they sailed Princess, but they did love it.  Older NCL ships like the star quite frankly don't have very much for children (although they did have a really nice kids club) so it does depend upon the class of ship.  You should look at the newer princess ships to see if you think they'll have enough for your kids (we've always chosen cruises for the itinerary so we've never sailed newer ships on any line and I can't help you with that decision).

 

Another factor to consider is itinerary.  We took our 3 year old on a Baltic cruise, and there were only 2 sea days.  He came with us on all tours on port days, so he spent most of the two sea days in the kids club and was quite happy there (during the 4 hour closure we ate lunch and dinner, and he swam and explored the basketball court).  On a cruise with few sea days, any ship with a good kids club will probably work well for your family since your child will probably be excited to spend all day in the kids club.

Edited by kitkat343

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On ‎10‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 7:26 PM, cb at sea said:

The "stuff" for kids will take up about 3 hours of your total time on the ship...

what does that even mean? Our kid is with us 24/7 on the cruise... He's been cruising since he was 3 (he is 7.5 yo now).

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Maybe cb meant the fancy stuff for kids on a new ship like bumper cars sound incredible, but realistically you don’t spend that much time doing them?   I’ve never sailed on a newer ship with all those arcade/water park features so I have no idea and cannot advise anyone on those experiences.  We’ve been able to make the older, smaller ships work well for our family, but my kids are younger and the oldest child I’ve ever taken on a cruise was 6 at the time.  

Edited by kitkat343

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I also prefer Princess and took my girls on many Princess cruises when they were little.  I also cruised a lot when I was a kid and there were NO bells and whistles, but we always had a great time.    That said, when my girls were 7 we started cruising Carnival and RCCL because it's nice to have the extras for us all to enjoy together.  First priority is pricing though since really, we'll all have fun no matter what ship we're on.  NCL is a big change from Princess.  I enjoy traditional dining rather than specialty restaurants, and that is not the focus on NCL, but I would sail them again for the right itinerary and price.  

Edited by Kerry's Girls

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My son preferred Princess to Carnival at that age;  the Princess program was more physically active.  He has cruised since 2 and never have we done a ship with tons of bells and whistles - the Sunshine and its SportsSquare has been closest to that definition.  He has always had a great cruise.

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We have cruised Princess the most, but also quite a few other lines, as well as NCL.  Have taken kids on Carnival and RCL.  They loved both cruises and I am sure your daughter will love NCL and that you will enjoy yourself too.

--it's not party, party, party all the time,  and the main dining room is just fine if you don't want to buy specialty meals.  We really enjoyed the Getaway the last two years and the Jewel a few years earlier.  The entertainment is spectacular.

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