The kids are alright

Cruising offers a unique travel experience for the entire family. Ships have become giant playgrounds filled with amazing activities from race car tracks to surf pools. And there are plenty of supervised programs to keep the kids busy while the parents relax.

Royal Caribbean International

The famous brand is known for its innovative features such as surfing and sky-diving simulators, bumper cars and arcade games. Guests can experience these rides and activities on ships sailing from Singapore including Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas. You can zipline from one end of the ship to the other, watch divers leap from platforms 18 metres in the air or ride on a real carousel. Royal Caribbean’s partnership with DreamWorks Animation means fun parades and activities. It would not be out of the ordinary to see Shrek wandering past the buffet, or Po from Kung Fu Panda practising his moves at one of the themed dance parties. From the age of six months, children can be looked after in the nursery. Visit royalcaribbean.com

Princess Cruises

While Princess is known for being more suited to sophisticated adults, the line has really upped the ante in its offerings for younger cruisers. The reimagined Camp Discovery, formerly The Fun Zone, includes The Treehouse for three to seven-year-olds and The Lodge for eight to 12-year-olds. Shark Hunters investigates the marine life of the Caribbean through an interactive scavenger hunt and Alaskan Explorers is a hunt for clues to learn about the region’s animals and people. Animal Planet and the California Science Center have also struck up a partnership with Princess to create informative and fun programs for kids. For the little chefs and artists, there is cake decorating and craft activities. The teens also have their own areas, including Club 1820 (for 18 to 20-year-olds). Visit princess.com

Dream Cruises

Asia’s newest premium line is not just for adults – its ships are suitable for children of all ages. Genting Dream, which is homeported in Singapore and sails to a number of destinations around Southeast Asia, has activities for the entire family including a waterpark with waterslides, a rock-climbing wall and a ropes course where the daring can test their fear of heights navigating around obstacles mid-air. The cruise line also has a dedicated kids’ clubs for children of all ages. If parents want to take a break, there’s also a babysitting service. Visit dreamcruiseline.com

Carnival Cruise Line

The family fun brand sails two ships in Australia if you’re visiting the region, Carnival Legend and Carnival Spirit. The line is also adding another family favourite ship to its offering – the new Carnival Splendor – which will be bigger than her two sisters. The ships have cool features including Dr Seuss characters and the Green Thunder, one of the fastest and steepest waterslides at sea. There is also a marine-themed club called Camp Ocean with more than 200 activities including arts and crafts. Carnival also has some amazing ships sailing in the Caribbean. Carnival Vista has a twin-track suspended bike course, a water park, mini golf and dance room with DJ. Babysitting is available for a small fee. Visit carnival.com

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line has spectacular ships sailing the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Alaska, United States, Asia and now Australia. On the new Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Bliss there is a two-storey go-kart track and a laser-tag course that will definitely keep kids of all ages entertained. Norwegian Breakaway, homeported in New York, has a partnership with the popular kids’ TV network Nickelodeon. Young cruisers can play with characters such as Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants. For a little bit of extra pampering, the line also offers kids a special Nickelodeon Bedtime Kit, which includes a themed blanket, pillowcase, night light and evening turndown. Visit ncl.com

Disney Cruise Line

On the line’s larger ships, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, the 1,340-seat Walt Disney Theater spans three decks and shows nightly Disney musicals. Kids love the spectacular fireworks show on Pirate night and the 233-metre AquaDuck waterslide. Even meal times are brought to life with the Animator’s Palate containing upwards of 100 wall-mounted LCDs so kids can experience dining under the sea. Disney’s Oceaneer Lab has themed activities and games for three to 12-year-olds. And the Oceaneer Club has Toy Story characters as well as a Monster’s Academy area inspired by Monsters, Inc. For teens, there is the Vibe club, which is a cool hangout for movie screenings, dance competitions and karaoke sessions. Visit disneycruise.disney.go.com

P&O Cruises Australia

If you’re travelling to Australia, P&O has one of the largest fleets in region specifically catering for the family market. Pacific Dawn, Pacific Aria, Pacific Explorer and soon, the new Pacific Adventurer, sail from Sydney, Brisbane and Fremantle. The popular P&O Edge Adventure Park features 20 different activities utilising various parts of the ship including the funnel for rock climbing, plus a zipline from one end of the ship to the other. There are also kids’ clubs with fun supervised activities – Turtle Cove for children aged two and above (must be toilet-trained) and Shark Shack for seven to 10-year-olds, as well as activities tailored for teens. Visit pocruises.com.au

Celebrity Cruises

The premium contemporary cruise line is perhaps better known for attracting older cruisers, but that shouldn’t stop the kids from having fun. The Millennium Class consists of four ships – Celebrity Millennium, Summit, Infinity and Constellation – which have kid-friendly and designated youth areas, including the Fun Factory for kids aged three to 11 years and the X-Club teens aged 12 to 17 years. The ships’ crew organises tournaments and themed nights for children as well as scavenger hunts and movies during the day for both kids’ clubs. Babysitting services are also available. Visit celebritycruises.com

MSC Cruises

One of the best things about MSC Cruises is that kids under the age of 12 sharing a cabin with their parents travel for free. Family and supervised activities, entertainment and social events are tailored for four age groups in the kids’ clubs, and there’s an aqua park and waterslides. The MSC Babycare Service looks after children aged between one and three years, and there is even a laundry service for babies up to six months. Once during every cruise, the MSC team hosts a special event called the LEGO Experience, an entire day dedicated to the building blocks. MSC Cruises even has a program for single parents travelling with kids, the All In One package, and every restaurant on MSC ships has a dedicated kids’ menu. Visit msccruises.com

The kids are alright

Cruising offers a unique travel experience for the entire family. Ships have become giant playgrounds filled with amazing activities from race car tracks to surf pools. And there are plenty of supervised programs to keep the kids busy while the parents relax.

Royal Caribbean International

The famous brand is known for its innovative features such as surfing and sky-diving simulators, bumper cars and arcade games. Guests can experience these rides and activities on ships sailing from Singapore including Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas. You can zipline from one end of the ship to the other, watch divers leap from platforms 18 metres in the air or ride on a real carousel. Royal Caribbean’s partnership with DreamWorks Animation means fun parades and activities. It would not be out of the ordinary to see Shrek wandering past the buffet, or Po from Kung Fu Panda practising his moves at one of the themed dance parties. From the age of six months, children can be looked after in the nursery. Visit royalcaribbean.com

Princess Cruises

While Princess is known for being more suited to sophisticated adults, the line has really upped the ante in its offerings for younger cruisers. The reimagined Camp Discovery, formerly The Fun Zone, includes The Treehouse for three to seven-year-olds and The Lodge for eight to 12-year-olds. Shark Hunters investigates the marine life of the Caribbean through an interactive scavenger hunt and Alaskan Explorers is a hunt for clues to learn about the region’s animals and people. Animal Planet and the California Science Center have also struck up a partnership with Princess to create informative and fun programs for kids. For the little chefs and artists, there is cake decorating and craft activities. The teens also have their own areas, including Club 1820 (for 18 to 20-year-olds). Visit princess.com

Dream Cruises

Asia’s newest premium line is not just for adults – its ships are suitable for children of all ages. Genting Dream, which is homeported in Singapore and sails to a number of destinations around Southeast Asia, has activities for the entire family including a waterpark with waterslides, a rock-climbing wall and a ropes course where the daring can test their fear of heights navigating around obstacles mid-air. The cruise line also has a dedicated kids’ clubs for children of all ages. If parents want to take a break, there’s also a babysitting service. Visit dreamcruiseline.com

Carnival Cruise Line

The family fun brand sails two ships in Australia if you’re visiting the region, Carnival Legend and Carnival Spirit. The line is also adding another family favourite ship to its offering – the new Carnival Splendor – which will be bigger than her two sisters. The ships have cool features including Dr Seuss characters and the Green Thunder, one of the fastest and steepest waterslides at sea. There is also a marine-themed club called Camp Ocean with more than 200 activities including arts and crafts. Carnival also has some amazing ships sailing in the Caribbean. Carnival Vista has a twin-track suspended bike course, a water park, mini golf and dance room with DJ. Babysitting is available for a small fee. Visit carnival.com

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line has spectacular ships sailing the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Alaska, United States, Asia and now Australia. On the new Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Bliss there is a two-storey go-kart track and a laser-tag course that will definitely keep kids of all ages entertained. Norwegian Breakaway, homeported in New York, has a partnership with the popular kids’ TV network Nickelodeon. Young cruisers can play with characters such as Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants. For a little bit of extra pampering, the line also offers kids a special Nickelodeon Bedtime Kit, which includes a themed blanket, pillowcase, night light and evening turndown. Visit ncl.com

Disney Cruise Line

On the line’s larger ships, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, the 1,340-seat Walt Disney Theater spans three decks and shows nightly Disney musicals. Kids love the spectacular fireworks show on Pirate night and the 233-metre AquaDuck waterslide. Even meal times are brought to life with the Animator’s Palate containing upwards of 100 wall-mounted LCDs so kids can experience dining under the sea. Disney’s Oceaneer Lab has themed activities and games for three to 12-year-olds. And the Oceaneer Club has Toy Story characters as well as a Monster’s Academy area inspired by Monsters, Inc. For teens, there is the Vibe club, which is a cool hangout for movie screenings, dance competitions and karaoke sessions. Visit disneycruise.disney.go.com

P&O Cruises Australia

If you’re travelling to Australia, P&O has one of the largest fleets in region specifically catering for the family market. Pacific Dawn, Pacific Aria, Pacific Explorer and soon, the new Pacific Adventurer, sail from Sydney, Brisbane and Fremantle. The popular P&O Edge Adventure Park features 20 different activities utilising various parts of the ship including the funnel for rock climbing, plus a zipline from one end of the ship to the other. There are also kids’ clubs with fun supervised activities – Turtle Cove for children aged two and above (must be toilet-trained) and Shark Shack for seven to 10-year-olds, as well as activities tailored for teens. Visit pocruises.com.au

Celebrity Cruises

The premium contemporary cruise line is perhaps better known for attracting older cruisers, but that shouldn’t stop the kids from having fun. The Millennium Class consists of four ships – Celebrity Millennium, Summit, Infinity and Constellation – which have kid-friendly and designated youth areas, including the Fun Factory for kids aged three to 11 years and the X-Club teens aged 12 to 17 years. The ships’ crew organises tournaments and themed nights for children as well as scavenger hunts and movies during the day for both kids’ clubs. Babysitting services are also available. Visit celebritycruises.com

MSC Cruises

One of the best things about MSC Cruises is that kids under the age of 12 sharing a cabin with their parents travel for free. Family and supervised activities, entertainment and social events are tailored for four age groups in the kids’ clubs, and there’s an aqua park and waterslides. The MSC Babycare Service looks after children aged between one and three years, and there is even a laundry service for babies up to six months. Once during every cruise, the MSC team hosts a special event called the LEGO Experience, an entire day dedicated to the building blocks. MSC Cruises even has a program for single parents travelling with kids, the All In One package, and every restaurant on MSC ships has a dedicated kids’ menu. Visit msccruises.com