Celebrity Constellation for Families
On our early-June sailing, there were 18 passengers younger than 18 (of 2,000 total), but during school holidays or summer vacations, there may be 250-plus children onboard, according to one youth counselor.
Celebrity breaks down kids' groups into Shipmates (3 to 5), Cadets (6 to 8), Ensigns (9 to 11) and Admirals (12 to 17). During peak family cruising seasons, teens are further broken down into 12 to 14 and 15 to 17. Toddlers (under 3) are permitted in Fun Factory only with parental supervision.
Celebrity Constellation's Shipmates' Fun Factory children's area -- located on Deck 11 -- features all manner of toys, a bank of video games and draped area for movie-watching. There's an adjacent splash pool, ball pit and climbing apparatus. (Under 3's can use the facilities with parental supervision.) Teens also have their own venue, the Tower, a super-cool, cylindrical, windowed structure that sits atop Deck 11 and features a mini-pool table, flat-screen TV and video games.
Age-appropriate activities are scheduled for each grouping. The youngest cruisers might enjoy fingerpainting or making a cowboy hat, while older kids might participate in sushi-making demos and hip-hop dance classes. Other activities include scavenger hunts, Rockband play and group sports activities. During sea days, there are scheduled activities from about 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. On port days, there are activities from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., but lunch (on port days) and dinner (each evening) parties from noon to 2 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m., respectively, are $6 per hour per child (for 3- to 11-year-olds). Nightly slumber parties, from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., are also $6 per child, per hour, with an immediate surcharge for late pick-up (free on the last day of the cruise).
A small arcade, adjacent to the Fun Factory, features the typical mix of gun battles, car-racing and excruciating "use a robot claw to grab a prize" games. In a generous touch, each kid is given 30 minutes of free arcade play to rid crime from the streets of Tokyo, hunt big game and drive souped-up Mustangs.
Babysitting is available in the Fun Factory on port days from noon until 2 p.m. and in the evening from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. for a fee of $6 per hour per child. In-cabin babysitting for children 12 months or older is subject to availability. Fee is $19 per hour for up to three children in the same family.
Parents with young children need to bring formula, diapers and wipes, but there are extra supplies onboard, should they run out. Strollers are not available for rent, so passengers should bring their own.