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Thoughts on Star Princess with kids

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I have 2 competing issues.  First, we'd like to do a longer cruise, not a cruisetour, in Alaska.  That limits me to Princess and HAL (unless you have other recommendations).  Second, the kids will be 10 and 13 and love all the activities on the RC mega ships.  


If you've done Princess with kids after the bells and whistles ships, how was it?  My kids do not like the kids clubs and won't set foot in them.  They just tend to go off and find the activities they want to participate in and have fun together.


I'm worried that on a day 10 Alaska cruise, they will be stir crazy on the sea days.  I'm looking at the Star Princess SFO R/T which has 5 days at sea.  I see that there is a sports court and a pool with no slides.  Beyond the kids club, what else is there to do on the ship for them?  



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Hot tub, swim, cards or board games, go to lectures. Not much for 13 & under.

If you go on Princess or HAL, try to get them to at least try the Kid's clubs. I know Princess has video games they can play. Not familiar with HAL, don't know what they do.

Princess has an excellent reputation for kids.


Just thought of another idea: bingo and trivia.

Edited by JF - retired RRT

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I know your children have said no to the youth programs. On princess the 12 year old would be in the 8 to 12 Shockwaves group  and the 13 year old in 13 to 17 Remix group. From what I have seen youth tend to go to the youth centers and find friends. These cruise groups then tend to hang out and do things together. I have seen them at karaoke, evening trivia games, around the pools, (the Star has an indoor pool), on the ball courts, golf putting, together getting slices of pizza or soft ice cream, entering egg drop contests, cardboard boat contests, all the things youth like to do. There are no wave pools, rock walls, water slides, bumper cars, ice skating on Princess ships. In my opinion if they stay by themselves they probably will wind up hanging with you.

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I agree that if they don't go to the Kids Club to meet others their age they will end up hanging out with you. Princess and HAL ships do not have the adventure activities on board the Royal offers.

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While Royal Caribbean and Carnival are much more geared towards families with kids, you may be ok on a 10 night sailing up in Alaska provided it is in late June, July or early August ... when the majority of the schools are out for summer break.  If in May through early June or the end of August into September, they might be the only kids onboard, though.  We usually go off season and out of SF and really haven't seen many young-ungs around but, I still think there are things onboard that we've done that kids would also enjoy.  


While docked in Skagway, Princess has been having Puppies in the Piazza, which is great for adults and kids alike.  They have a lot of activities in the piazza area, even though at least one is geared towards gambling (horse races), kids would love those ...

and games like ring toss, egg drop and entertainers such as jugglers, etc.  Of course, every sailing has different entertainment but these are some examples.  There are movies on the big screen up on one of the top decks (and it's even been pleasant enough to wrap up and watch movies up there at night).  There is a grill out by that pool, pizza, ice cream ... popcorn at night.  

The Star has an indoor pool and on the top deck of this area, they have ping pong tables and a basketball hoop (not traditional but they can practice free throws).  I can't remember for sure but seems like there is an area for shuffleboard, a sports court and maybe a mini golf (that might be on the Crown class, though).  

If you are lucky enough to get a really good naturalist speaking (Brent Nixon comes to mind), he is not only informative but very entertaining.  Not sure how much your kids would like this but lectures on the wildlife, life in Alaska, geology, totem poles, glaciers, etc are so interesting!  Maybe those are more of adult topics ... only you'd know if your kids are into that sort of thing.  Most of the ships now have on demand tv with some pretty good current movies.  They might enjoy some of the shows in the theater, especially the magic and/or comedy and they usually reserve the more 'adult' comedy for the late show.  

Although many are kind of expensive, there are some fabulous tours the kids would enjoy while in the ports of call in Alaska.  



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