Summer Camps at Sea for Young Ambassadors of the Environment, Budding Environmentalists, Promising Chefs & Culinary Arts Dreamers
Crystal Yacht Cruises- The 2017 East Africa Safari Program
CruiseCompete/Oceania Cruises Webinar Video Now Available
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CruiseCompete/Oceania Cruises Webinar Video Now Available
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Why Taking Your Kids on a Cruise This Summer- And Enrolling them in the Cruise Line Children’s Programs- Allows The Whole Family to Have Best of Both Worlds
With family vacation planning underway for the summer, there are decisions to be made… Will you have the time - and budget - to plan a vacation for the entire family, plus give your children that “camp” experience that makes for great childhood memories?
The children’s programs are more than a babysitting service; they offer activities and programs that give the very best land-based counterparts a run for their money.
Have a budding environmentalist? Paul Gauguin Cruises offers a “unique program that introduces young travelers (ages 9 to 17) to the extraordinary natural wonders of French Polynesia through direct, hands-on, interactive experiences with marine and island ecosystems.”
Are you nurturing a Chef? Perhaps your child loves to cook and wants to know more about the culinary arts? Holland America has a Culinary Arts Center for Kids, where children can learn to make breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack items in 45-minute workshops.
Below is a sampling of what the children’s programs have to offer… Be sure to click in to read about each program in its entirety, and click here to see a comprehensive listing of all the cruise lines’ children’s programs.
Princess Cruises offers a variety of activities for children aged 3-17, grouped by age. These groups have their own set of age-appropriate activities, often with separate facilities. Princess’s larger ships feature sprawling youth centers with indoor and outdoor areas. To make planning simple, a schedule outlining the next day's youth activities is delivered to your cabin each evening.
The line features activities like ice cream and pizza parties, pajama parties and the opportunity to participate in Jr.CHEF@Sea for younger children, and teens have options like hip-hop dance classes, casino nights, mocktails, and special teen-only dinners.
Read more about Princess Cruises Children’s Program here.
To book a cruise with Princess Cruises, or to find out more about the line, click here.
See more Premium Cruise Line Children’s Programs here.
Royal Caribbean offers nursery programs for children and toddlers ages 6-36 months. Their programs for children are divided into different age groups, ranging from ages 3-17.
Royal Caribbean is home to the DreamWorks Experience, where young cruisers can experience activities such as story time, dance parties, parades, ice shows and aqua shows with characters from the DreamWorks Animation movies.
Kids and teens can enjoy activities like rock climbing competitions, theme nights, and pool parties into the late evening with extended hours in the Adventure Ocean and teen-only spaces.
Read more about Royal Caribbean’s Children’s Program here.
To book a cruise with Royal Caribbean, or to find out more about the line, click here.
See more Upscale Contemporary Cruise Line Children’s Programs here.
Paul Gauguin has a unique program on select sailings- the Ambassadors of the Environment Family Program! It is designed especially for families, and lets parents and children pick and choose from a series of “onboard activities and daily excursions that reveal the natural wonders and rich culture of Polynesia by land and sea. Designed by Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society, the Ambassadors Program is available to children ages 9 to 17 for a nominal fee. Adults are encouraged to join in for the additional cost of the excursions.”
Read more about Paul Gauguin’s Children’s Program here.
To book a cruise with Paul Gauguin, or to find out more about the line, click here.
See more Luxury Cruise Line Children’s Programs here. (Note: most ultra-luxury cruise lines do not offer formal children’s programs, so if these lines are a consideration for your family, be sure to read about their children’s amenities very carefully.)
Click here to see a comprehensive listing of all the cruise lines’ children’s programs.
For more Family Travel resources, please visit https://www.cruisecompete.com/resources.php.
Crystal Yacht Cruises- The 2017 East Africa Safari Program
Crystal is well known throughout the industry for their spectacular shore excurstions, and now Crystal Yacht Cruises allows guests to extend their vacations with an immersive safari adventure.
Here are details, straight from the line:
"Through Crystal’s popular “Extended Land Programs” – multi night excursions that take travelers deeper into a destination, with all the details overseen by Crystal’s expert team – next year’s Crystal Esprit voyages in the Seychelles feature a post-cruise four-day safari through East Africa. The safari offers travelers an in-depth experience amidst the culture and wildlife in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve. Game drives will bring Crystal guests into the habitats of giraffes, lions, elephants, rhinos, cheetahs and other magnificent animals that roam the African plains. From the open plains to the dense bush, an expert director from acclaimed safari operator Micato Safaris will guide and enlighten guests on the animals’ hunting, playing, grooming and social habits as guests observe them in the wild.
For those seeking an all-encompassing bird’s eye view of the expansive African plains, an optional hot air balloon adventure affords just that, with a sunrise liftoff over the Mara Plain. The experience will unveil the complex and spectacular terrain below, illuminated by the colorful sunrise for which the region is famous. Juxtaposed with the grand perspective from the balloon’s altitude is a decidedly more intimate view of the region’s culture, showcased by a personal visit to Maasai Village. During this special encounter with the local village residents, Crystal guests will hear tales of Maasai’s history and also participate in traditional singing and dancing.
Carnival Vista offers nearly 30 dining and bar venues showcasing diverse flavors from around the world
From authentic Asian delicacies and a New England–inspired seafood eatery to light bites with a Cuban flair, the new Carnival Vista offers an exciting and flavorful array of international dining choices
Complementing the delicious fare is a wide variety of bars, lounges and watering holes including the line’s first on-board brewery.
With a comprehensive selection of eateries, Carnival Vista features several exclusive outlets that are only on board the line’s newest, largest, and most innovative ship, including Seafood Shack, modeled after roadside seafood stands that dot the New England coast, and expanded versions of Bonsai Sushi and Cherry on Top offering both indoor and outdoor seating.
International flavors take center stage on Carnival Vista, taking guests on a culinary journey around the world. Ji Ji Asian Kitchen offers a taste of the Orient; BlueIguana Cantina features fresh Mexican cuisine and a tortilla-making machine; Cucina del Capitano brings the flavors of Italy on board; and Fahrenheit 555 is a classic American steakhouse.
Several bars also serve a light menu that perfectly pairs with a cocktail or brew. Havana Bar offers authentic Cuban pastries, sandwiches and other bites while guests at RedFrog Pub & Brewery can enjoy Caribbean-inspired pub fare like grouper fingers, Jamaican-style chicken wings and more, in addition to the three different craft beers brewed on board.
Dining venues and bars featured on Carnival Vista include: (Click here to see the full list)
- BlueIguana Cantina – Open for breakfast and lunch, BlueIguana Cantina serves authentic tacos on fresh-made tortillas and made-to-order burritos that can be personalized by diners at an extensive salsa and toppings bar.
- Bonsai Sushi — Bonsai Sushi has been expanded on Carnival Vista to offer cooked-to-order items like Shrimp Tempura, Chicken Katsu, Omakase (Chef’s Choice) and various noodle bowls, complementing a variety of sushi, sashimi and bento boxes.
- Cherry on Top — For those with a sweet tooth, Cherry on Top serves up ingredients mixed by hand and made to order. Cool concoctions include a base of ice cream and at least four toppings, from whipped cream and hot fudge to Oreo cookie pieces and pineapple chunks. Additionally, when guests order Brownie Buoy – hand-selected by kids at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – a donation is made to the hospital.
- Cucina del Capitano — A celebration of Carnival Cruise Line’s deep roots in Italy — all of the fleet’s captains are Italian — Cucina del Capitano serves up a variety of Italian favorites family-style.
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A Date With a Turtle: Snorkel, Sail and Dine with the Turtles
Up To 75% off Shore Excursions!
First things first--turtles are guaranteed on this tour. You will experience them. Sail over beautiful waters, observing gallant Hawaiian green sea turtles elegantly navigating the waters. You'll want to dive right in with them to enjoy paradise together. Good thing is, you can! Every guest is provided with a snorkel, safety vest, and snorkeling gear. After a brief safety overview, snorkel away in the same playful waters as the turtles!
Of course, you're going to get hungry. Luckily, an onboard lunch buffet just so happens to be included on this tour! Build your own sandwiches with meat, cheese, and vegetarian options. Chips, fruits, cookies, and unlimited non-alcoholic beverages complete the package. You do, however, receive two free bar drink tickets per adult ($1/beer, $2/mixer extras).
Book this breathtaking and tummy-satisfying Oahu shore excursion for a memorable Hawaii experience. Go back home feeling rejuvenated, refreshed, and renewed!
Cost: $139.00 per person; children under 3 are free.
To find out more about this excursion, please visit
then select Hawaii/Oahu.
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Up To 75% off Shore Excursions
CruiseCompete links you to third-party shore excursion providers, giving you access to premium shore excursions at substantially lower prices. Enjoy a more intimate cruise tour experience away from the crowds.
Be confident in your choice with 24/7 support for travelers, a full refund if you miss your shore excursion due to itinerary changes or weather, and guaranteed return to your cruise ship.
Visit the CruiseCompete Shore Excursions page here.
2016 Family Friendly Cruise Travel Planner [PDF] or Online book
While there is a perfect cruise vacation for everyone, not every cruise line is the ideal match for every family. Some lines have minimum age requirements for children (and pregnancy policies for expectant parents!), and others don't permit children to sail at all. In addition, while a line may allow children to sail, it’s not a given that the line has specially designed children’s programs in place.
With these things in mind, determining the best cruise line for your family takes careful research, preparation and planning. The travel experts at CruiseCompete have composed the “2016 Family-Friendly Cruise Travel Planner,” which details every aspect of the family cruise vacation experience.
The “2016 Family-Friendly Cruise Travel Planner” is designed to kick-start your cruise vacation planning, and covers the entire spectrum of options with information on mainstream lines like Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line, as well as unique alternatives like luxury, river and small ship excursion companies.
All information has been compiled in an easy-to-read format, with brief “at-a-glance” summaries to see if the cruise line fits your basic requirements, followed by more detailed information about the atmosphere on board, the destinations you can travel to and the specific programs available for children.
Take a look! 2016 Family Friendly Cruise Travel Planner [PDF] or Online book
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Weddings at Sea
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