Sailing on a Royal Caribbean cruise is a dream vacation that caters to the whole family. From tadpoles to teenagers, the Royal Caribbean cruise ships have created the ultimate vacation experience that keeps everyone smiling. With an endless variety of kid-friendly activities and family-orientated amenities, there is something for everyone in your crew. Let's dive into why sailing with Royal Caribbean is a top choice for families with kids!
Save Green with the Royal Caribbean Kids Sail Free Program!
If you've ever thought that a family cruise vacation was out of reach, we're here to fill ya in on a giant secret. The Royal Caribbean Kids Sail Free program is a game-changer! This program is essentially a budget-friendly way to experience a cruise vacation with the whole family.
So, how does it work? Children ages 12 and under can cruise for free! This applies to select 3-night or longer sailings. For every two adult guests (age 13+) in a stateroom, the kids can hop aboard for FREE! To take advantage of this offer, you will need to book your trip before Dec. 4, 2023. The savings will be applied to the cruise fare at checkout. This promotion applies to select sailings departing between Dec. 1, 2023, through April 25, 2026.
In addition, you snag an extra 30% off for each guest if you book between now and Dec. 4, 2023!
Activities Just for Babies and Toddlers
Royal Caribbean has several ships that appeal to families with babies and toddlers. Ships such as Freedom of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas and Icon of the Seas are particularly well-suited for young children. Onboard, you'll find dedicated play areas and amenities for this age group.
Royal Babies & Tots Program: Most of the Royal Caribbean ships feature nursery facilities for tadpoles 6 to 36 months. The staff is nurturing and specially trained in childcare, so you'll never have to worry. Parent frogs, be sure to take advantage of these supervised play areas to sneak in some adult time or to just enjoy other ship activities sans the kiddos. The nurseries onboard are clean, safe and equipped with toys that are just right for babies and toddlers. Keep in mind that nursery drop-off isn't available on the Adventure, Explorer or Jewel of the Seas. Additionally, there's an extra charge for the nursery which varies by the time of day.
H2O Zone and Splashaway Bay: Swim diapers are typically not allowed in the pools for health and safety reasons. Because of this, H2O Zone and Splashaway Bay are the way to go if you're traveling with a baby or toddler. These aqua parks feature fountains, water cannons and water slides. The size and depth of the play areas are perfect for the youngest cruisers.
Fun and Engaging Youth Programs
Adventure Ocean: Adventure Ocean is the youth program aboard the Royal Caribbean Cruise ships. This dedicated space is divided into specific age groups that provide tailored and age-appropriate activities and entertainment. Just like the Royal Babies & Tots program, the staff is trained to provide a fun and safe environment.
- Aquanauts (3-5 years): Here, kids will enjoy activities including storytelling, puppet shows and even arts and crafts. Tadpoles can conduct science experiments and become Certified Jr. Adventure Scientists. Our budding artist, Lily Frog, loved showing off her art projects when we would pick her up from here.
- Explorers (6-8 years): For slightly older kids, this space fosters creativity and a sense of adventure with scavenger hunts, science experiments and themed parties.
- Voyagers (9-11 years): This age group can participate in activities such as sports tournaments, talent shows and theme nights, just to name a few.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Activities for Tweens and Teens
Royal Caribbean understands the importance of independence and social connections for older kids. On most of the Royal Caribbean ships, 12 to 17-year-olds can find exclusive lounges, clubs and arcades. Equally important, these trendy spaces are designed to provide a space where teens can relax and just hang out. Tad, our resident teen, made several new friends and practically lived in the arcade during our days out at sea.
Several ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet stand out for their spaces and activities suited for tweens and teens:
- Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas: These ships feature teen lounges, and extensive sports zones including basketball courts, zip lines and FlowRider surf simulators. Teens can stay active and healthy at The Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center.
- Symphony of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas: Here you'll find dedicated teen-only areas, video game arcades, rock climbing walls and The Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea.
- Anthem of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas: With bumper cars and a skydiving simulator, these ships cater to the adventurous spirits of tweens and teens. The SeaPlex, a multi-purpose indoor space, transforms into a lively hub for activities such as roller skating.
- Freedom of the Seas and Independence of the Seas: These ships include teen zones with video games, pool parties and sports facilities including a rock climbing wall and mini-golf.
- Navigator of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas: With features like a virtual reality bungee trampoline, laser tag and ice skating, these ships provide entertainment options for teens who enjoy being active.
Spacious and Comfy Family-Sized Staterooms
We know that selecting a stateroom that is both comfortable and spacious enough to fit a family is a top concern. The Royal Caribbean ships have got you covered! There are plenty of stateroom options to accommodate families of different sizes, preferences and budgets.
Stateroom Options: Royal Caribbean stateroom options include interior, oceanview and balcony staterooms. The room size configurations range from 298 square feet all the way up to 2,766 square foot suites.
Accommodating Larger Families: Spacious family staterooms are a must for larger families. Many of the interior staterooms can accommodate up to six guests. These rooms feature innovative layouts and amenities such as multiple sleeping arrangements and pull-out sofas.
Interconnected Rooms: If you still think your crew will need a bit more space, interconnected rooms are a frogtastic option. These rooms, usually with a connecting door, allow everyone in your family to stay close while still having their own separate space.
Suites and Special Accommodations: Royal Caribbean offers suite options that provide added luxury and space. These posh accommodations are ideal for families that are looking for an extra level of comfort and exclusive amenities. Some suites come with expanded living areas, larger balconies, as well as additional perks such as priority boarding and personalized concierge services.
Additionally, accessible staterooms are available for guests with mobility and other disabilities. These rooms include wide doorframes and a five-foot turning radius in all the sleeping, bathroom and sitting areas.
Comfort and Convenience: Each stateroom comes standard with basic amenities. These amenities include ample storage space, an in-room HD TV, an in-room safe, a hair dryer and toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner and body wash. If needed, cribs, Pack 'n Plays, bottle warmers and high chairs are available upon request.
Flexible Dining Schedules
The "My Time Dining" and "My Family Time Dining" are two flexible dining experiences onboard any Royal Caribbean cruise. "My Time Dining" is for adults and families who prefer the freedom to dine at different times each evening. This option allows you to choose when you want to eat, make reservations or just simply walk in when you're ready to dine.
On the other hand, "My Family Time Dining" is designed for families with children ages 3 to 11. When you arrive at the main dining room, the staff will ensure that your kids will receive and eat their meals within 40 minutes of sitting down. Once the kiddos are done eating, the staff will then escort them to the evening's Adventure Ocean activities. Parents, this means that you get to remain in the dining room and enjoy dessert and coffee at your leisure! (Can we please take this service home with us?)
Kid-Approved Dining Options on a Royal Caribbean Cruise
Diverse Culinary Offerings: On any of the Royal Caribbean ships, you'll find a variety of dining options. We know firsthand what it's like to travel with picky eaters. The buffet-style Windjammer Café is always a safe bet simply because there are so many options! For breakfast, they serve made-to-order omelets, pancakes, waffles, bacon, eggs, cereal and fruit. At lunch, there's a delicious spread of soups, salads, sandwiches, pizzas, burgers and fries.
Specialty Restaurants: For kiddos with more adventurous palettes, be sure to dine at one of the specialty restaurants. These eateries feature international dishes and upscale cuisine. And as an added bonus for parents — kids ages 5 and under eat free at all specialty restaurants!
Main Dining Room: Even in the main dining room, there's a dedicated children's menu that includes standard kid fare. The menu includes options such as macaroni and cheese, pizza and chicken nuggets. Similarly, the Cafe Promenade, Johnny Rockets, Sorrento's Pizza, Park Cafe, Dog House and El Loco Fresh offer quick and delicious bites for families on the go.
Room Service: Room service is a great option for families! This comes in handy when your little ones need to rest or if you want a more relaxed meal in the comfort of your stateroom. And the best part — room service is toadally complimentary.
Royal Caribbean's Private Island CocoCay
One major highlight of a Royal Caribbean cruise is paying a visit to CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's very own private island. This tropical destination is perfect for families! In fact, Royal Caribbean has given it the moniker of "Perfect Day at CocoCay." Many of the Royal Caribbean Bahamian and Caribbean itineraries make a stop here. To view the itineraries that include a stop at CocoCay, visit our Royal Caribbean booking page.
Family Adventures: From lounging on the beach to various shore excursions, you'll never get bored at CocoCay! Furthermore, your perfect day might include renting snorkeling gear or going on a guided kayak tour. Tad and Lily can't stop talking about our Stingray City excursion, during which we swam with the stingrays! So dreamy. For the adventurous ones in the group, there are options such as jet skis, parasailing and even zip-lining.
Family-Friendly Amenities: A visit to CocoCay includes complimentary meal options. Quick bites are available at the Chill Grill and Snack Shack. These spots are ideal for hungry kids. Furthermore, complimentary lounge chairs, umbrellas, beach towels and cabanas (additional charge) are perfect for hanging at the dedicated family beach areas. There are even more options for families to include beach games, sports activities and Captain Jill's Galleon water play area.
And there you have it — all the frogtastic reasons we love sailing on a Royal Caribbean Cruise with kids. And now your family can experience the joy of cruising with the Royal Caribbean Kids Sail Free program. So, when will you be setting sail? Leave a comment below!