We are considering going on a 10 day Christmas cruise on the Grand Princess w/ our 4 year old daughter. She has been on a 5 day and loved it and really wanted to go again. HOwever, I'm wondering if 10 days is too much - would she get bored w/ the kids program and everything. Does anyone have any experiences to share?
Also, I've been reading that the average passenger age is older on Princess...is this true? Would the fact that it be a holiday cruise change this?
Lastly, our other choice is a 7 day cruise (Christmas again) on the Explorer of the Seas (RCI) would this be a better fit?
Frankly, my daughter has only been on 7 day cruises and she's always very sad when they're over. (She's been on 17 cruises and started when she was 2 yo.) So, I don't see a problem w/10 day cruise. Princess will have more kids on the holiday cruise so that's not a concern. Explorer, however, is a great ship for families and my daughter loves RCCL's youth program.
LEt me know what you decide.
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
I think for the kids programs and having more kids onboard, I'd look into Explorer of the Seas. Royal CAribbean's "Voyager" class ships are just wonderful for cruising with kids/families.
We were on a 7-day cruise with our 4yr old son in April, but preceeding the cruise we spent 3 days doing theme parks in Orlando. On the last day of the cruise both my 4 yr old and 6 yr old didn't want to do the last evening session of Adventure Ocean, but when I reminded them of the planned activities they changed their minds. That's the first time ever, on any cruise, that I could see they were getting a little tired and I can only attribute it to a very active 10-day vacation. I probably would try a 7 day before doing a 10 day cruise to see how she does with that. The extra 3 days won't be worth it if your daughter gets tired and cranky.
We just returned from a 7 day cruise with 4 children. My younger children (ages 3 and 6) were sad when it was over, while my older children (10 and 11), couldn't wait to get home! I think it just depends on the child.
We took our son on a 7-day (Celebrity Horizon) a year and a half ago when he was barely 3yo (it was one week after his bday). He ADORED it (although even though he was "old enough" for the kiddie program, he was too shy for it and spent the whole cruise with us) and has been begging to go on "the big boat" ever since.
Last week I booked us on a 10-day on the Dawn Princess for October. This time he's well-seasoned by attending preschool and he's looking forward to the special "no grownups allowed" places/things he gets to do this time. At 4.5yo, I think he'll probably want to split his time up between spending time w/ the other kids and spending time w/ mommy and daddy (but of course only time will tell for sure!)
I think that if a kid loves a 5-day, they'll love a 10-day. If you think it will be "too tiring" for your 4yo, then just take it easy a couple of the days... spend a port day just playing on a beach instead of doing an excursion, or keep her with you poolside for a day at sea instead of doing the kiddie program.
We were on a Princess cruise a few years ago and were shocked at the average age of the people on board. We are in our 50's and were definitely the "young punks" on board. I don't recall seeing one child. Many, many of the passengers had wheel chairs or walkers. It was a wonderful cruise, however, the food was fabulous, lots of things we haven't gotten on other ships. The service great, but much more subdued that on other ships we've sailed. No dancing and singing by the waiters. This cruise went through the Panama Canal and was in January so maybe the location had something to do with the age of the passengers, but again, we have never felt so young!
Previous poster, you are kidding right? We took our first Princess cruise 5 years ago , we were mid thirties, and definately not out of place. It was a 7 day on the Grand. We actually saw no "walkers"!
We just cruised on the Golden this last April and it was the same.
There were kids, families, and lots of mid agers( 35-55) , and yes some " seniors.
I can assure you that there will be lots of kids on the holiday cruise so don't worry.
As for "dancing waiters" the poster is correct, they don't do that on Princess. I didn't miss it even the tiniest bit( it's one of the things that we didn't like about our Carnival cruises) . To each his own.
We just came back from a 9-day with our 4-year old daughter (and 8 yo son). She had a great time and was never bored. Probably depends a lot on the child, the ship and the itenarary. My daughter loves beaches and pools, so the RCL Voyager going to the Eastern Carribean was a good choice.
BTW, highly consider Explorer. RCL's kids programs are very good and there are different things happening every day - even on a 9-day. The facilities on Voyager class ships are huge for the kids. And the staff are really wonderful.
Nowegian Dawn, 9/03
RCL Voyager of the Seas, 9/24/04
RCL Voyager of the Seas, 10/7/05
RCL Explorer of the Seas, 10/6/06
Our 5&6 year olds LOVED our 11-day cruise; they cried when they realized it was over and we had to go home. Frankly I enjoyed having fewer children in the kids programs for the longer cruise (7 day cruises get hundreds of children vs. dozens on the 10+ day cruises) because it felt more "safe" to me, my kids weren't overwhelmed by the masses, they got to know their counselors better, I felt like they were less likely to get lost in the crowd since they tend to be shy, etc. We were on the Celebrity which has a similar reputation to Princess in having older passengers, but we had enough families and folks our age (37) to feel right at home. I enjoy the older passengers and the elegance and class that they bring to a cruise line. I'd stick with Celebrity or Princess.