Costa neoRomantica for Families
I cannot sing the praises of this ship highly enough when it comes to accommodating families with children and teens. Because my cruise sailed during a school holiday, there were hundreds of children and teenagers onboard. While this could be cause for alarm for adults without children, it was actually a pleasant experience. The children's animation staff coped admirably with the added number of kids.
The Squok Club is the line's name for its children's program. It's divided into Minis (ages 3 to 6) and Maxis (ages 7 to 11). Activities were scheduled in blocks from 9 a.m. to noon, 3 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to midnight. The children's room was far too small (though it is filled with fun, colorful stuff) to contain the number of children, so counselors improvised with excursions around the ship, using public rooms during off-hours for children's activities. (The line also offered staffed activities for children between 3 and 11 during port calls, so parents could take excursions without their children.)
Teenagers were divided between juniors (12 to 14 years) and seniors (15 to 18 years). There were socials and contests scheduled for this group, but the teens seemed happiest just hanging out with each other around the pool, in the video arcade or in one of the public rooms. (I never saw a rowdy teenager.) It was heartening to see young people enjoying a cruise. It made me believe there would still be cruisers in the future. (I went on my first cruise when I was 14 and was hooked for life.)