MSC has gone all out across the fleet when it comes to kids, with link ups with Italian baby company Chicco as well as LEGO. It also has a popular mascot -- Doremi -- who visits the kids club and make impromptu appearances across the ship. The line also highlights shore excursions suitable for the whole family and will advise of a minimum age.
The kids club, or more accurately, clubs, as there are several, are located on decks 11 and 12. The youngest kids (babies to six year olds) have two rooms at the front on Deck 11; the elder kids are at the aft on Deck 12. As on most cruise lines, kids must be registered on the first day, they are presented with a wrist band which they keep on the entire cruise and they must be signed in and out. All the kids clubs open at 9 a.m. on port days (9:30 a.m. on sea days) and formal programing ends at 10 p.m., with breaks for meals.
Baby Club (Deck 11): The Baby Club is open for babies from six months to 36 months and is sponsored by Chicco, which means there is a huge variety of free baby stuff -- diapers, wipes, formula, bottles -- even a selection of cots and seven strollers, which parents are welcome to turn up and use (you can't pre-book). It's a lovely soft play area with brightly-colored soft tiles, age-appropriate toys and cots for naps and a dedicated wash area. It is open from 9 a.m. to noon, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Mini Club (Deck 11): Next door is the LEGO-sponsored Mini Club for kids aged three to six years old, which is designed in bright LEGO colors with lots of LEGO bricks and has plenty of natural light. As well as the LEGO, there are plenty of age appropriate games, a basketball hoop, books and fun programming which includes dancing, dressing up, scavenger hunts and arts and crafts.
Junior Club (Deck 12): At the aft of the ship you'll find more kids' facilities, this time for the seven to 11-year-olds. They also get a LEGO-themed room with age-appropriate toys and games, and get to do sports, dressing up, arts and crafts, treasure hunts and other fun activities.
Young Club (Deck 12): This is for the 12- to 14-year-olds and operates in a slightly different way from the younger kids' clubs, with more video games and less programming. It generally operates in the afternoon when in port, and all day when at sea. Facilities include foosball, TVs, video games, lounge chairs and a dancefloor. Sometimes the Young Club will decamp to the Teen Club on Deck 6 if there are not many kids on the ship.
As part of the refurbishment/stretching kids also got their own Doremi Spray Park on the top deck, with slides, water cannons and lots of interactive splashing about.
From 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. there is a 10 euros per child per hour charge for use of the kids' clubs; free otherwise.
Teens (15- to 17-years-old) get a pretty good set up down on Deck 6 in their own private room adjacent to a games arcade, which includes Guitar Hero and numerous other video games. The Teen Room has a pool table, sofas, Wii and PlayStations and large TVs. Their programming is pretty light touch, again afternoons only (except on sea days) and will include generation games, battle of the sexes, PS4/X-Box contests, dancing and sports competitions including mini-golf and ping pong.