2) Do you have to sign-up in advance for the activities in the kids clubs for each time you will use it. My daughter will be 8 on the day we sail and my sun 11. This is spring too. Any pitfalls/advice on how they handle a larger volume of kids?
3)Any one have a sample schedule of activities for the kids?
4) Does Princess try to discourage kids in the dining room? We got our pre-cruise documents and it kind of sounds like they recommend we feed the kids dinner early in the buffet so they can show up at 7pm for kids activities.
Just FYI we did a 4 day Carnival cruise a few years ago during spring break. I heard there were 800 kids on the ship. I did not notice any misbehavior or out of control kids on that ship. I would think it would be a more likely problem on Carnival based on the party reputation. I am surprised at the posts about problems with kids. Mine were way more behaved in the dining room on the ship than at home. I think it was because we were eating with strangers.
Susan, We were on the Carribean Princess in October. They do have kids menus, plus the buffets. Once you are on board you can go to the kids club and register your children. There are different clubs for different age groups. Once they are registered you are set for your entire vacation. Occasionaly they may have the children sign up for special activities, just so they have an idea about how many children are coming. When you arrive in your room there will an itenerary just for the children. My daughter just turned thirteen and she loved the teens club. We never saw her, and she was kept busy all the time. She still keeps in touch with the friends she made. As far as activities the have many games inside the club, also craft such as t-shirt painting, ice cream parties, scavenger hunts, dance lessons, etc,,, I am not too sure on other age groups. I also never heard anyone discourage taking the kids to the dining room, in fact the teens club actually ate together there on night. If you need any more info, I'd be glad to help.
Kids Menu has the following; spaghetti, hot dog, hamburger, macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, fish sticks and the Love Boat Volcano, that is a hot, fudge sundae with bananas.
When you get in your cabin you will have a daily schedule for the kids program waiting for you for both kids. You also will have to attend an orientation meeting the night you sail. They have them at 2 different times so you donít feel like you have to rush to the first one. There they will explain the program and have you sign the release forms. The kids programs are really great on Princess. You kids age group do a lot of science and the sea projects, they earn prizes, that can be anything from a sticker to a backpack. They all get a Princess shirt to color or paint.
They donít discourage kids in the dining rooms. I choose personal choice because it works out better for us not having to follow the schedule of having to be ready at a certain time. Both my kids participate in formal night and love the glitz of getting dressed formally. Here is a link to an eBay store that has great formal kids clothes. http://stores.ebay.com/Butterflyxc-I...isplayZ2QQtZkm
Do you know how strict they are on ages. My daughter will be a few weeks short of 3 years on our sailing date and I would really like for her to be able to paricipate in the programs. Do you think we would be able to just say that she was 3? Or is there a check of birth certificates, etc.?
Heidi, Unfortunatly they will know she is not 3 long before you get onboard. When you do your pre-cruise documentation you must have her true birthdate or she won't be able to get on the ship. This is for security reasons, not to be a pain in the butt. Your only shot is to go to the Kids Zone for sign up with the two children and explain, face to face with the director. I would hope that they would allow her sign up.
Good luck and happy sailing,
For the 8-year old, I seem to remember that Princess allows you to let them check themselves in. We had the personal choice dining...our 8-yr old ate with us the first night, then did the buffet or pizza the other nights. Since she has cruised several times before and knows how to behave aboard ship, we had no qualms about going to dinner whenever we wanted, knowing that she would check herself in promptly at 7 (she really loved the kids programs).
We took ours on the Dawn Princess over spring break and were surprised at how few kids there were (maybe 20 in each age bracket). This could have been because it was a 10-day cruise rather than a 7-day. The nice thing is that all age groups (ours were 8, 14, & 17) were allowed to take a bridge tour. I've had exactly two bridge tours, both before 9/11, but they're unavailable for adults since then.
A schedule of kids activities will be placed in the box outside your door every night along with the newsletter (Princess Patter) so you can easily see what the next day's activities will be. I'd be happy to send you jpegs of those, but it will have to wait until my wife gets back in town next week as I have no idea where she put them. If you want to email me at dana at logicsmith dot com, I'll scan some and send them late next week.
One reason Carnival doesn't have too many problems with kids any more is that they have very visible security officers wandering about at all hours.