Freestyle Family Fun (Part 3)

| Tuesday, 05 Mar. 2013

NCL's youth programs offer lots of options for the younger set, so that they can have their very own customized vacation experience apart from mom and dad's.

NCL Kids' Crew Youth Program Details (Continued) According to Stephanie Cornish, Youth Program Director of NCL Dawn, with the continuous hours, most parents do pick up their children to feed them lunch and dinner. However, she noted that there are some parents who do not and thus she gets in snacks daily for the kids to eat in case they are not picked up in a timely manner for meals. Once per cruise, youth counselors take all kids in the youth program for dinner at the buffet.

NCL, though, still charges an hourly fee for kids in the youth room on port days until 7 p.m. I thought this was unusual though for a few reasons. First, most other cruise lines do not charge an hourly daytime fee for participating in youth programming on port days. Also, since the line is going out of its way to extend its sea day hours from 9 a.m. to 10:30 non-stop (which in turn, increases the line's youth counselor expenses), I'm surprised they're not going the extra mile by having free port programming in the youth room.

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Pirates of Bermuda   Lively Ship Paintings Make for Fun Photos

In the past, parents had to sign up their kids ahead of time for port programming in the youth room, but with 2.0, they can come and drop off their children whenever they decide. The fee is $5 per hour for the first child and $3 for any additional siblings on port days.

Another Freestyle 2.0 change in regards to children's programming is that youngsters 10 years and older can now sign themselves out of the youth program. In the past, children had to be 13 years for self sign out. The new stipulations are that children 10 and over have to have their parents' permission at the beginning of the cruise for self sign out and they have to have been in the youth programming for at least two hours (or have a parent come get them) in order to leave. According to Cornish, this cuts down on having 10 year olds running in and out of the program on a whim and also helps parents know where their child will be for at least the first two hours of their youth program stay. I think these changes and stipulations are wise moves on NCL's part and should be considered by other cruise lines.

"Overall, the parents' and kids' reception to 2.0 has been very positive," said Cornish.

Continue Article >> NCL Kids' Crew Highlights (Part 4)

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