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Family Cruising Discuss family cruising - kids programs, babysitting, infant care, etc.

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Old March 6th, 2001, 12:53 AM
Darlene Darlene is offline
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Default No Kids Program--any advice

We are going on the Royal Princess Athens to Rome trip in May with our six year old. There will likely not be a kids' program as there won't be enough kids on board. Our daughter is very well travelled and has been on two cruises before (both with fabulous kids' programs), but I am a little worried about her getting bored on at sea days. Does anyone have any advice for us?


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Old March 9th, 2001, 11:44 AM
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Default Re: No Kids Program--any advice

I'm the new contributing family cruise editor for CruiseMates.com. My seven year old daughter has been on 10 cruises and has enjoyed them all. However, our last two cruises did not have strong youth programs so she ended up spending more time with us on sea days than on other cruises. On one of them she made friends with a girl her age which really kept her busy. Obviously, if there are other children your daughter's age aboard, help your daughter start a friendship with them so that she'll have someone to play with in the pool, etc.
Luckily, your itinerary should be pretty port intensive so that your daughter will probably welcome the down time on sea days. I always bring lots of compact games and crafts for my daughter in case she does not like a youth program. Here are some ideas: many catalogues (Past Times, etc.) sell books that open up to be medieval castles or Victorian homes, complete with cardboard little people -- easy to transport and fun; a paint brush and watercolor paints are very compact and can be used out on deck on a nice day; bring a series of early chapter books you can read to her; hand-held electronic games; and pre-packaged crafts such as learn to sew kits.
Your daughter is old enough to play on board games with you such as shuffle board and cards which generally are available in the card room.
You may also want to get her a disposable camera so she can document your trip. You can bring a glue stick and look for a small blank book in the ports. Then towards the end of the trip you can have her photos developed on board and help her make a scrapbook of her trip memories.
It sounds like it will work out fine --just shop around for a few, compact special games and crafts for her to do in case there aren't other kids aboard ship. Have fun!
Luisa Frey Gaynor
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Old March 10th, 2001, 11:52 AM
Luisa-Part 2
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Default Re: No Kids Program--any advice

I contacted Princess Cruises regarding whether there'll be a kids' program on your European sailing. While they couldn't give me a definitive answer since we didn't know your departure date, a spokesperson said that chances are good that there will be at least 15 kids aboard in which case a youth program would be held. Last season, Princess carried 2,000 kids in Europe alone!
Just in case the youth program doesn't pan out, however, I'd still bring the small games and crafts discussed in the last email...with kids it always helps to be prepared!
Luisa Frey Gaynor
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