A few years ago during the holiday season, about a week before Christmas, my (then) four-year-old daughter told me that the only thing she wanted for Christmas was a house for her dollies. That...
Freedom of the Seas: Cruising with Kids
Cruising with kids can be a challenge. Are they going to have fun? Are the parents? Today we will take a look at cruising with the little ones on Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas.
Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas is packed with activities and entertainment options for the kids beyond the obvious ship features like the H2O Splash Zone, mini golf course, and rock climbing wall.
DREAMWORKS MOVIES & CHARACTERS
DreamWorks movies are featured throughout the ship, including a dedicated channel on your stateroom TV, 3D viewing parties, and poolside screenings.
Through Royal Caribbean’s partnership with DreamWorks Animation, families can experience character parades, meals, and appearances. Character breakfasts are complimentary and served in the main dining room. (Reservations are required.)
CRUISING WITH KIDS: THE BARBIE EXPERIENCE
One fun feature we discovered is that Barbie is now on board the Freedom of the Seas. As part of the Adventure Ocean® Youth Program, girls (and boys) can enjoy complimentary Barbie features such as Barbie Movie Night, Barbie Story Time and other themed activities, plus Barbie movies on their stateroom TVs.
The Barbie Premium Experience is exclusive to Royal Caribbean and is available on all of their cruise ships for girls ages 4-11. It includes a Barbie Stateroom Package with take-home gifts, tiaras and teacups party, mermaid dance class, fashion designer workshop, and live fashion show.
If your child fancies themselves a pastry chef, cupcake decorating classes are available at the Cupcake Cupboard.
For a fee, kids are able to participate in a fun cupcake decorating class. All supplies are provided, and the results are deliciously cute!
The Freedom of the Seas has a full arcade room full of games for the kids (or adults) to play.
Your kids will have a blast playing air hockey, skee ball, racing games, and much more.
The ImaginOcean team puts on the best puppet show I’ve ever seen perfect for cruisng with kids!
Black lights make the characters look like they’re really floating under the sea. The staff does an incredible job telling the story of some fishy friends off on an adventure together, complete with songs and jellyfish dancing. Levi and I were both impressed with the production quality and sheer fun of their performance.
ADVENTURE OCEAN PROGRAM
Royal Caribbean’s Adventure Ocean program is complimentary and available year-round for kids ages 3-17. Kids are separated by age group to keep activities relevant to their development level:
- Aquanauts: 3-5 years*
- Explorers: 6-8 years
- Voyagers: 9-11 years
- Teens: 12-14
- Teens: 15-17
*Younger children must be fully potty trained. No diapers or pull ups are allowed.
The Adventure Ocean activities are supervised by youth staff members that all have 4-year degrees in Education, Recreation, or a related field and at least 3-5 years experience working with children age 6 months – 17 years. The program uses an “Edu-tainment” model to incorporate learning with structured and free-play activities.
Family activities where children and parents participate together are also scheduled throughout the cruise. Sample family activities include talent shows, scavenger hunts, and sporting events. Talk about making cruising with kids easy!
ROYAL BABIES & ROYAL TOTS
The Freedom of the Seas offers their Royal Babies (6-18 months) and Royal Tots (18 months – 36 months) programs for younger travelers. This drop-off childcare option is available for an hourly fee and includes developmentally appropriate activities and a close staff-to-child ratio. Fisher-Price has partnered with Royal Caribbean to develop playgroups for parents and children in this age range to experience quality time together throughout their cruise.
One of the features I think is brilliant is the Fischer-Price Toy Lending Program. Parents are able to check out a bag full of toys for the baby or toddler to play with in their stateroom. Once their child has tired of those toys, they can return and exchange them for a new activity every day.
Jen is the Minneapolis writer & professional loudmouth behind Life With Levi, a site with a humorous take on balancing life as a working mom. She is a natural community builder and uses social media to create powerful engagement between her readers and brands that can help make their lives easier. At least, that’s how she prefers to explain her Facebook and Twitter addiction.
When she’s not at the office, you can usually find her building forts with the kids, starting pillow fights, or planning her next family adventure.