We are a family of 4 with children ages 7 and 8. We had intended to use the child care activities only a few times during the cruise as we do most everything with our children as it was a family vacation. WE WERE NOT DISAPPOINTED WITH THE PROGRAMS......JUST expected them to accommodate the schedules of children not partying adults!!!!
We hoped to attend an evening show, spend some time as a couple and I had hoped to head to the spa. We were NOT unhappy with this cruise, just making you aware of your limitations if you do take younger children that can not be left alone in a cabin.
Time Schedules would be my biggest issue. Children in K-3rd grade typically go to bed between 7:30-9pm. (few parent alter this by more than an hour even on vacation!!) The majority of families were met were in the ships timezone while ours were one hour later. Our children feel asleep at 7pm during dinner at the dinner table and one was carried to the cabin. No child care in the cabin available till 10pm so we had to stay in the cabin from about 7 till the next day. This made it impossible for us to go to any shows from 8-10 pm as again.....NO CHILD CARE till 10pm. In addition to that they had a disco for 6-8 year old children from 10PM to 1AM. SERIOUSLY!!!!???? I know of no parent who would allow their children up that late and even if they did, the child would be asleep after an active day swimming or playing on their vacations. (again....who are we accommodating here....parents or children)
My other question would be: Why is there no "down time" My kids go to school from 7:50-2:10 and are obviously scheduled during that time. They are NOT scheduled from then till dinner. The ship had no "down time" for kids to watch a movie, play a board game, or just play with dolls/trucks etc. EVERY minute had an activity and that activity either changed on the hour or 1/2 hour. My 8 year old boy went one time and never went back. He just wanted to relax, not be "organized" My 7 year old girl went three times for arts and crafts and dance. All three times there were only 6-8 kids at any given time. These kids are on a vacation after all and as much as scheduling children is SUPER.........NOT ALL DAY!!! (200 kids total on the ship we were told)
We all had a fabulous time on the cruise. I would just like to advise people not to expect any child care and no staff available to watch your child till 10pm. YES.....I did express my concern to the child care staff and got no response.