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Kids on a Princess Cruise

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I will be taking my two Grandchildren with me on the Sapphire in August, and am very much looking forward to it as I have heard great things about the childrens programs on Princess Cruises.

Some of it, however, is conflicting.

 

Some have said "Go straight to the cabin and get the Patter first as there is things you will need before going to the Childrens Club"

Others have said "Get straight to the Chidrens Club to register as places are few and far between"

 

Does anyone here have any experience of taking children on Princess cruises......especially the Sapphire?

Are places short?

What is the best course of action on embarkation day?

What paid activites are there to do.....such as Junior Chef at Sea? Any others?

Any activites that are a must do?

Any family activites we shouldnt miss?

 

Anything and Everything kids would be great, thank you so much 🙂

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    You can pre-register online in the cruise personalizer. No need to rush if it's already been done. In your cabin you'll have a patter exclusively for the kids club showing all the activities and times for the week. I honestly don't remember too many paid activities because most everything they do is included. I know my grand daughter did the Jr Chef at Sea and also a cake decorating one they were both a nominal charge and a build a bear (not sure if that was Princess)

 

  I have no experience with the kids club on Sapphire. She's been on the Ruby, Carribbean Princess twice, Regal Princess and other lines NCL and Carnival. All of them she has enjoyed immensely. This year she moves up to the Teen Club and is looking forward to it.

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You don't say what ages your grandkids are - there are three age groups - described fairly well on the Princess website.  Most activities are "included".    

 

As the previous poster said, register them online in the cruise personalizer.   When you board, read the patter for the hours on the first day.   There will be a drop in / registration time when you all go and visit and make sure the paperwork is done, meet the staff, look around etc.    Actual kids club hours start first day evening or next day, depending on timing etc.  

 

The kids club patter is your guide - it will tell you what activities are happening each day, and what hours the club operates each day.    Sea days your kids can just go when they like.   For port days you must register in advance ( sign up the day before) because if all kids are going ashore with their families and noone is registered to stay in the club, they will close the club and the staff will not be there.   

 

As August is a school holiday time the club may be very busy and you may find capacity issues - in that case the kids may have to go closer to when the club opens each time else they may reach capacity and not be able to accept any more kids for that session.  The kids club is open in the morning, then closes for lunch, then open in afternoon, then closes for dinner, then open in evening again so there are lots of opportunities to enter.   For 3-12 year olds: After 10pm is not included - its fee paid per hour until (I think)1 am.   And if you intend them to stay after 10pm you must sign up in advance (sign up that day) so that they can staff the club accordingly. 

 

One or two nights they will offer a kids club dinner - the kids eat in the buffet with the staff in a special section just for them with kids type food ( chickenfingers, hamburgers etc).   Look in the patter for these nights.   We used to have early traditional dining and the kids ate with us in the dining room, then one of us would take them up to the club when it opened, then return and we'd enjoy dessert and coffee after the kids were at the club.   Not sure how that works with the new dining times - you'll have to see what the club hours are.   

 

Our kids have travelled with us on Princess a lot.  They really like it and enjoyed the kids clubs and the other kids they met.  

 

If you are travelling with the grandkids, without their parents, make sure you have proper authorizations for medical care etc just in case.  

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Thank you both for the information.

I think what the other people must have been referring to is places filling up.  I have already registered them on the personaliser, but that doesnt guarantee them a place, does it?

So we have to be there quickly as places are short?

 

 

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Posted (edited)

We recently cruised with our 7 and 5 year old on the Regal.  We preregistered online for the kids club, but when we got there they didn't have the registration, but they had them on their list.

 

There was an open house the first afternoon after boarding, but we were too late and missed it so we just went when we were available so the kids could check it out.

 

We were away during Ontario march school break and there were a number of kids on board, but we never had a problem getting our kids in.  If you plan to leave  them during a port day, registration for those specific days are required in advance so they can plan meals, but regular times are just drop in.  Our kids went a couple times, we just stayed with them as that was the preference of our kids.

 

As for things to not miss ... breakfast with Stanley ($10/person) was fun,  and the kids club family fun fair afternoon was fun as well.  They did a family movie night and had 1 night in the princess theatre that the musical was more family friendly and the show was an hour earlier which was nice.

 

I think our kids would have spent more time there but there were so many other things they were enjoying there wasn't much time really.  With tours during ports, swimming in the pools, and all the eating, it didn't leave a ton of time.

 

Enjoy your cruise!

Edited by ceci3

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The very first cruise we ever did was a spring break on the Diamond Princess with our then ten year old twin boys.  There were 800 children on board that ship,  but when you own some of them it doesn't matter so much.  I can tell you everyone had a ball.  We took gramma and she stayed in their cabin across the hall,  we had a balcony.  The boys had a ball,  made friends,  they could come and go from the kids club,  we gave them walkie talkies to keep in touch with us.  They had the run of the ship.....within reason.  While Princess might not have the ice scating,  water parks,  gocart racing,  rock climbing walls that other lines have our boys did not know what they didn't have at that time and loved it.   Now we enjoy sailing with no kids until grandchildren come.  I'm sure this will be the start of wonderful family vacations to come.

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Not sure if this is still the way it works, but one thing I didn't see mentioned was the option to allow your child to sign in and/or out from the clubs. When our son was young, we always took him and picked him up. As he got older, we gave him permission to sign himself in only. Later (I think he was 11 or twelve), we gave him permission to sign himself out as well. This allow him with a group of friends to go explore the ship and get something to eat (think cookies). He understood as long as he behaved, he would continue to get this benefit. Never had a problem.

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I have two daughters, both teens now, but they have cruised almost yearly since they were one.  Princess has a fantastic children's' program.  There are generally three age categories, but it sometimes depends on how many kids there are.  We have been on a late season Alaska cruise with 12 kids and spring break cruises with over 700.  Depending on their age, they can be allowed to sign themselves in and out, or you can require designated adults to sign them in and out.  Younger ones have to be signed in and out.  They are extremely careful with your kids and the rooms for the younger kids are secure.   Make sure you preregister on the cruise personalizer.  One word of caution - depending on their age difference, they may not be in the same club.  They will sometimes let an older sibling step back one age group and sometimes not.  I recommend heading to the children's area shortly after getting on the ship.  No need to run at all, but sometime during the first day.  We usually grab lunch and then head over to make sure they are checked in and get to meet the people before it gets crazy.  Most shore days do not have kids activities, other than paid babysitting.  Sea days will see the clubs open during the day and they are always open at night.  Keep a close eye on the hours, as they often close as meal times and the kids must leave.  They also have a group dinner at least once, sometimes more.  The is a great time for the parents/grandparents to hit a specialty restaurant.  My daughters still keep in touch with friends they made on cruises.  They will have a great time.

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I think I’m nearly that you are concerned with the clubs reaching capacity I would be surprised if there was any kids club that was full and had no spots for your grandkids.  Sign them up online and get over there to introduce the kids when you get a chance. 

They may or may not enjoy the programming - so much stuff to do with you! My kids have cruised every major line and never actually spent a moment at the clubs.  Even though I registered them every time.  They love the action of the ship and hanging out in the public spaces with us.  

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The number of children in each age range is sometimes controlled at the booking stage with cruise lines. This is certainly true of P&O ex UK and I suspect Princess would be the same.  It would be ridiculous to sail with an extraordinarily large number of children.

 

Regards John

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Didn't do anything online for my grandkids on a summer 😎 cruise to new england/ canada .  The ship was full of kids...had no problem😃

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Thank you everyone for your replies.

 

Put my mind at rest that we dont have to run as fast as we can to get them signed in at the clubs.....we shall take it slower now then 🙂

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Something not mentioned is a few weeks before sailing call Princess and ask how many children are booked and they can tell you the numbers for each age group.

 

Like everyone else our boys 9 and 11 both loved the club on the Crown.

 

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Honestly I can't remember ever running to Kids' Club although I'm sure we dropped by on the first day. I'm pretty sure our first stop was to the bar! I am not sure of the age of your grandchildren but can tell you our 20 year old kids grew up cruising and loved Kids' Club. In fact when they were 17, they begged me to book a cruise so they could go to Kids' Club one last time before aging out.

 

A good tip from my daughter is to make sure the kids go to the very first activity and get there when it starts. After that, the "groups" have already been formed and even though everyone is friendly, it is a little harder since the kids already know each other. The kids will still have fun but for some of the shyer kids, it might take a little longer to feel part of the group. It's not a big deal if your grand kids can't make the first activity, but it will make things easier.

 

And then they will beg you when they are 17 to book one last cruise before they age out! 

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