FAQ: Cruising with the Kids
Leave your worries behind as you set sail on an adventure the whole family will love
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What is the minimum age to cruise?
Minimum age requirements:
Guests must be at least 6 months of age at the time of embarkation and at least 12 months of age for trans-ocean crossings and remote itineraries.
Cruisetours: The minimum age for escorted cruisetours is 5 years.
Guests under the age of 21 need to travel in a stateroom with a guest 21 years or older who will assume responsibility for them during the cruise. For family groups booking multiple staterooms, the minimum age for each guest is 16, provided they are traveling with a parent or legal guardian. Unfortunately we are unable to accept group reservations for student or youth groups that do not meet our minimum age requirements.
What travel documents do I need to bring for my child?
Passport requirements: Travel document requirements For U.S. and Canadian citizens
WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT ALL GUESTS TRAVEL WITH A PASSPORT.
Documents for guests under the age of 18:
Several countries require special documentation for children traveling with only one parent or with neither parent, and these requirements can change without notice. Many foreign countries require a single parent or guardian to bring a permission slip for the minor to travel abroad. It’s your responsibility to ensure you have the proper documents for all of the countries you’ll visit. Please verify requirements with the consulates of these countries prior to your cruise.
What other supplies should I bring for my children?
Here are some recommendations:
- child's airline tickets or e-tickets
- child's passport, visa and other proof of citizenship
- notarized statements from spouse/ex-spouse if traveling alone with kids under 18
- notarized forms if traveling with grandchildren/kids under 18 who aren't your own
- pediatrician's name and phone numbers (daytime and emergency)
- child’s ID card (optional)
Medicines & sundries
- child's prescription drugs or other important medication (in carry-on bag)
- Children’s Benadryl
- antibiotic cream
- anti-itch cream
- children's anti-diarrhea medication
- Children's Tylenol, Advil, Aleve and/or aspirin
- sun protection – sunscreen, sunburn gel, hat
- antibacterial hand sanitizer
- children's insect repellant
- infant/child's thermometer
- drops/antibiotics for eye and ear infections
- diapers (Parents are given special waste bags for diapers, which are removed daily from cabins.)
- baby wipes
- diaper rash ointment
- Ziploc bags (many for diapers and other messes)
- sippy cups and plastic bottles (keep one in your carry-on)
- baby formula
- portable crib if needed
- stroller: umbrella strollers are most convenient
- diaper bag
Other handy items
- small flashlight
- favorite stuffed animals, toys and travel games
- inflatable swim aids
What is there for kids and teens to do with and without supervision on board?
Our Camp Discovery youth centers offer many activities. Entertaining ages 3 and up, recent programs have included: theme parties, video game tournaments, science workshops, karaoke, art projects and games suitable for all ages. We keep children engaged with age-appropriate activities and playing with similarly aged peers.
Family activities include festivals, entertainment, Discovery at SEA experiences such as Stargazing, dining events and,of course, Movies Under the Stars®. Each cruise may have slightly different programs. Please contact us with any questions or reservations for specific childcare and family activities.
What movies are shown? I’m selective about what movies my kids watch.
We get it. In The Treehouse and The Lodge, kids only see G- and PG-rated movies. At The Beach House, teens view G, PG and PG-13 rated films. Stateroom TVs air a variety of films and feature a family channel with G, PG and PG-13 content, available on most sailings. Movies Under the Stars® entertains with family-friendly movies during the day and evening hours as well. Check out your Princess Patter once on board for a complete list of movies to be featured on your voyage.
Will my family like cruising?
Definitely. Taking a cruise is an adventure for family members of all ages: The range of onboard activities is sure to please your toddler, teenager and mother-in-law alike. There are activities and dining options for the most adventurous and the simplest eater in your household. You can choose to be as active or relaxed as you feel like that day. And there’s entertainment for everyone, from Movies Under the Stars® to Broadway-caliber musical productions. On a cruise with Princess you have experiences to share as well as the opportunity and space to do your own thing.
What about “me time” for adults?
We want parents to enjoy their vacation too. Which is why we offer group complimentary babysitting in Camp Discovery during the day, and for a small fee, also in the evening hours. Parents can explore our Vegas-style casino, nightclubs, the Lotus Spa® and The Sanctuary – a haven just for adults featuring a pool, cabanas and a spa-inspired menu.
Can my kids go on shore excursions with me?
Absolutely. Discovery™ and Animal Planet™ tours are good places to start. Every excursion designates appropriate age ranges, as well as the level of activity to be expected. If you’d rather explore on your own, your children can stay on board at Camp Discovery, and utilize our complimentary Camp Discovery kids programs.
How do I coordinate with others in our travel party if we’ve booked separately?
Friends and family often travel together, so this is a common concern. The first thing to do is to call 1-800-PRINCESS or your travel consultant to link your group’s reservations. Secondly, be sure to use our Princess@Sea app to communicate on board via text messaging for supreme convenience. For MedallionClass ships, you’ll be able to locate your group anywhere on the ship using your personal device through our OceanCompass app.
How can I plan a birthday (or another celebration) on board?
Let us know about your special occasions in your Cruise Personalizer, and we’ll prepare a festive welcome aboard note. You can also order celebration packages there, everything from fun gifts to unique experiences on board, even themed stateroom decorations. If the celebration is for one of your children, notify the Camp Discovery staff, and they’ll be happy to collaborate with ideas.
Is there a dedicated space for kids?
Our youth and teen centers entertain ages 3 to 17. Our pools and sports courts are both child- and family-friendly spaces to be experienced together.
What is available per age group and what are the rules around signing in and out?
- Ages 3-7: Camp Discovery
*Children must be at least 3 years old and toilet-trained.
*Children ages 3–7 must be signed in and out by a parent or person legally authorized.
- Ages 8-12: The Lodge
*Parents can grant their children the ability to sign themselves in and out.
- Ages 13-17: The Beach House
*Teens aged 13–17 can come and go as they please.
Note: Children younger than 3 can explore our centers with an adult.
Who operates the youth centers?
Our team of experienced youth counselors undergoes stringent background checks and must be recently certified in CPR and basic first aid. They’ve also undergone training focused on caring for children with special needs. In case of a true medical emergency, onboard medical staff are just a phone call away.
What if I want my kids of different ages to be in the same program?
We’ll do our best to accommodate your wishes, however we prefer children to participate in the programs for their specific age group. Our rooms and activities are designed specifically by age, and we want your children to get the most from their time with us.
Can adults visit the youth centers?
We’re happy for parents and others to join in the fun. In fact, we offer an open house event on embarkation day for loved ones to take a peek at all the fun. For the safety and security of our young guests, we only allow adults in our centers who have children participating in the program. If the center is full, we may ask parents to come back at another time.
How do I pre-register my child for the youth program?
It’s simple. Register through your Cruise Personalizer, or you can come directly to the youth center to meet the team. We look forward to showing you around and telling you about our program. FYI: Participation in our program cannot be guaranteed, especially on cruises with lots of families, but we’ll make every effort to include everyone we can. Hours of operation are subject to change.
Where can I find a schedule of activities for kids?
In your stateroom welcome packet with the Kid’s Patter. Review and plan away!
What about safety concerns?
Identification may be required for parents or other authorized adults to sign out 3- to 7-year-olds. Youth centers feature CCTV, and entry is restricted to staff, children and their parents.
Where can families eat together on the ship?
There are plenty of casual dining options in the Horizon Court, World Fresh Marketplace and International Café. More formal options are also available any time in the main dining room. If you are in a hurry and are eating in the main dining room, please mention this to your waiter and they will accommodate a ‘quick service’ request.
Are there children’s menus or other foods for children?
Children’s menus are offered in main dining room. Pizza, burgers and ice cream can be found at various dining locations. Complimentary jarred stage 1 & 2 baby food is available, if requested in advance via the Cruise Personalizer. Additionally pureed, pureed fruits or veggies can be prepared in the main dining room.
Beverages on us:
- main dining room and Horizon Court/ World Fresh Marketplace at breakfast only: apple, orange, cranberry, pineapple, tomato and prune juices (excludes freshly squeezed orange juice)
- all-day offerings: lemonade, milk and chocolate milk
- complimentary on ships in Alaska in the main dining room and Horizon Court/World Fresh Marketplace: hot chocolate
Get a booster chair and/or high chair:
- Request on board with restaurant staff.
- High chairs and booster seats are available in the main dining room, specialty dining restaurants and Horizon Court/World Fresh Marketplace on all ships. Quantities are determined by ship size and dining capacity and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- Neither high chairs nor booster seats may be reserved ahead of time.
Is there babysitting available on board?
Yes. We offer our complimentary Camp Discovery kid’s programs between the hours of:
- 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
- 1:00 PM to 10:00 PM
- 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
We also offer nighttime group sitting in our youth centers from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. for children ages 3 to 12. The price is $5 an hour per child.
Do you have childcare while the ship is in port? We do, and it’s complimentary! Just drop the kids off, and we’ll take care of them and feed them lunch. Pick up is a 5pm each day. Early/late excursion? No problem; we’ll open early or stay late to accommodate you.
What if there’s an emergency at sea?
Rest easy: Your crew is fully trained to respond to emergencies, following strict protocols. If the issue is medical, there’s a fully operational clinic on board, equipped to treat more than just seasickness. Youth staff members are certified in CPR and basic first aid and have experience accommodating everything from allergies to special needs.
Do onboard pools have age or height restrictions?
Parents must supervise their children at all times when using the pools, as there are no lifeguards on duty. Because of U.S. public health restrictions, children in diapers, even swim diapers, may not use the pools.
Do you have safety floatation devices for the children who are unable to swim?
No, but parents are welcome to bring their own inflatable safety floating devices appropriate for their child’s age and weight.
How can I communicate with my kids on board?
On Princess MedallionClass™ ships, we offer tracking that lets you know where your child is at any time, thanks to the complimentary, wearable device known as the OceanMedallion™. On other vessels, we can provide pagers upon request for parents with young children. For older kids, Princess@Sea messaging works great.
Are there age restrictions in general on the ship?
Yes, children must be accompanied by an adult when:
- They’re under 18 and want to use the spa, sauna or steam room
- They’re under 16 and want to use the fitness centers
Guests must be at least 18 to:
- Receive body treatments in the spa. (Other services are okay, if a parent accompanies them).
- Play in our casinos
- Visit the night club after 11 p.m.
Take note, we’re mindful of the drinking age for the places we sail, which is:
- 21+ in the U.S.
- 20+ in Japan
- 18+ in Europe, Australia, China and Singapore
What if I've forgotten something?
Of course! We’re happy to accommodate special arrangements before you embark or while on board the ship. If you want to request certain items, i.e. a portable crib, please call 1-800-774-6237 (1-800-PRINCESS) or visit your Cruise Personalizer in advance. Many items, such as high chairs and boosters, can be requested once on board by calling the purser’s desk. (Quantities are limited.)
Can I purchase baby supplies on board?
We recommend buying baby supplies before embarking on your voyage. Only some ships have diapers/wipes on board for purchase. Jarred baby food, Stages 1 & 2, can be requested in advance through your Cruise Personalizer. Fresh pureed fruits and vegetables can also be requested in the main dining rooms.
Who should I inform if my child has special needs?
Simply go to your Cruise Personalizer. Under “check in,” click on the “accessibility & dietary requirements” tab. Dietary restrictions and food allergies can be added in Cruise Personalizer or sent to email@example.com. Additional needs can be addressed by using the “accessibility request tab” and clicking on “mobility questionnaire.” You may also email the Access Office at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
When registering for our Camp Discovery Youth and Teen Programs, please add any information you feel would assist our staff in accommodating your child. As part of the registration, there is a section to complete regarding allergies, special needs, medical conditions and more.
Who should I inform about my child’s allergies or medical condition?
Also in your Cruise Personalizer, under “check in,” click on “accessibility & dietary requirements.” Click on “dietary requirements.” These notations will notify all restaurants on the ship about food allergies, and special accommodations will be made to keep your family safe. For your added peace of mind, our onboard medical facilities are staffed by full-time registered doctors and nurses. In addition to twice-daily office hours, they are available 24 hours a day in case of an emergency.
How do I reserve a crib?
Call 1-800-PRINCESS to reserve ahead of time, or request one from your cabin steward once on board. Cribs are provided on a first-come, first-serve basis. You are always welcome to bring your own travel crib.
Who should I inform if my child has special needs?
Go to your Cruise Personalizer, and under “check in,” select the “accessibility & dietary requirements” tab. Dietary restrictions and food allergies can be added here or sent to email@example.com. Additional needs can be addressed by using the “accessibility request tab” and clicking on “mobility questionnaire.” You may also email the Access Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When registering for our Camp Discovery youth and teen programs, let our youth staff know of any medical, special needs and/or allergies, and we will make every effort to accommodate them. Please be advised that youth staff may not offer one-on-one supervision or administer medication.
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