Cruising with the kids: Activities for the whole family

Kids in Princess Pelicans
Kids in Princess Pelicans

Traveling with children sometimes poses challenges for parents trying to keep track of multiple pieces of luggage and plane tickets, but on a cruise, the stresses of vacation melt away the instant families step onboard. With countless activities fit for kids of all ages, Princess Cruises makes ocean holidays hassle-free and nothing short of unforgettable.

From outdoor sparkling pools to kids-only zones, cruise ships cater to youthful travelers who have an appetite for fun.

Cruises are built for family memories

Ships cater to groups of travelers, especially families with children. Many staterooms can sleep up to four people, and cribs can be requested pending availability. Additionally, staterooms with private balconies are ideal for families with infants so that parents can enjoy a few peaceful moments outside while their little one takes a nap indoors.

Nearly every restaurant on Princess Cruises has a kid-friendly menu so that even the pickiest eaters can eat to their heart's content. From chicken nuggets to spaghetti and meatballs, kids can munch on their favorite foods before heading to zones built just for them.

Youth centers for the smallest tykes

The littlest kids can hang out with all of their new pals at the Princess Pelican youth center. Created specifically for youngsters between the ages of 3 and 7, this kid zone includes dance parties to the most popular hits, tie-dying parties and pajama movie nights. Even though families will end up going to some of the most famous art museums in the world during a European cruise, the paintings and crafts their little loved ones create onboard will be absolutely priceless.

For slightly older kids, Shockwaves is perfect for kids ages 8 to 12, featuring the latest video games, sports activities and tournaments, as well as "Edutainment" programs where they can learn about science in a fun and pressure-free environment.

Learning on vacation with Edutainment programs

Even outside of school, young passengers with Princess Cruises can participate in fun and informative science lessons during their seaside vacation. With the help of the California Science Center, educators host classes with chemistry and physics experiments like roller coaster building, as well as guided whale watching classes just for kids.

During a shore excursion on an Alaska cruise, preteens can sign up for the National Park Service Junior Ranger Program, during which youngsters can learn about the region's endangered species, glaciers and rugged mountain terrain.

Teen-only lounges

Teenage passengers can escape from their parents for an afternoon and head over to a lounge catered to rockstar lifestyles. Along with dance parties to the latest pop, these young adults can play grown-up with their siblings and close cruise friends as they compete in mocktail tournaments, casino-themed evenings and fabulous teen makeovers.

Girls and boys who want to get special training for their sweet dance moves can also enroll in a hip hop class so they can come back from vacation with the freshest style.

Prepare in advance

To ensure that kids have the most fun during their cruise vacation, parents should try to book the trip when school is out - during spring break or winter and summer holidays - so their children can hang out with as many new friends as possible.