Royal Caribbean International today announced new fleetwide programming for cruise vacationers, expanding services and activities that cater to families with children as young as six months old. The new program includes enhancements to Royal Caribbean’s award-winning Adventure Ocean youth program, which will help families traveling with children enjoy a fulfilling and stress-free vacation. As a leader in innovative family vacations, Royal Caribbean provides enriching and entertaining programs that appeal to children of all ages, while providing options for parents and grandparents that contribute to a more carefree family vacation.
“Royal Caribbean’s new family programming will offer greater convenience for parents and give family members more opportunities to connect with each other on a cruise vacation,” said Lisa Bauer, senior vice president, Hotel Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “We have conducted extensive research and sought the feedback of our guests to identify ways to enhance the family cruise vacation. By keeping up with the evolving vacation needs of parents and children, we are delivering what guests want and at a value not found elsewhere.”
New Dining Options for Kids
Royal Caribbean International has enhanced the cruise line’s dining experience to further cater to parents and children for a more enjoyable cruise vacation all around. My Family Time Dining aims to help kids complete dinner within 45 minutes, freeing parents to enjoy coffee and desert at their leisure. Once seated, kids will enjoy expedited service and be immediately served. Available only during the first seating in the main dining room, kids registered in the complimentary Adventure Ocean youth program and My Family Time Dining will be met by Adventure Ocean counselors at the main dining room entrances at 6:45 p.m. and be escorted back to the Adventure Ocean spaces for ongoing evening activities, while parents can continue to enjoy their dinner.
Expanding on the cruise line’s focus to provide healthier onboard dining experiences, Royal Caribbean’s new children’s menu will include Vitality options and be presented on playful, brain-teasing placemats designed by Fisher-Price for kids up to age seven, and a more mature interactive menu for kids age 8 -13. Similar to adult menus in the main dining room, the new children’s menu will include selections that focus on healthful cooking and wholesome ingredients, and can help families begin and continue practices for a healthier lifestyle. My Family Time Dining and children’s menu options will be available fleetwide in July 2009.
Lunchtime, also, no longer means a break from the fun for kids. Available immediately, Royal Caribbean’s Lunch and Play option provides children, ages 3 – 11, a nutritious meal with their new friends in the middle of the day on days at sea. For a service charge of $7.95 per child, Lunch and Play provides Adventure Ocean kids with lunch, movies, cartoons and play time between noon and 2 p.m. under the supervision of Adventure Ocean counselors. Parents registering their kids for Lunch and Play will pre-select items for their kid’s lunchbox, from options such as a salad or ham and/or cheese sandwich; a fruit salad, banana or apple; a cookie, serving of potato chips, granola bar, or vegetable sticks; and a beverage of fruit punch, milk, or water.
New Royal Babies and Royal Tots Programming
New programs for Royal Babies (ages 6 – 18 months) and Royal Tots (ages 18 – 36 months) will provide a wider breadth of activities and services to guests sailing with young children, adding to the already popular Fisher-Price playgroup program. Parents traveling with infants and toddlers can now pack lighter for their cruise with Royal Caribbean’s Babies 2 Go program, where parents can order organic baby food and diapers, wipes and creams by Huggies – the world’s leading diaper brand – for delivery to their staterooms upon their arrival. These baby essentials can be ordered online through Royal Caribbean’s Gifts & Gear section at RoyalCaribbean.com starting March 23.
In the mornings, Stroll & Roll will dedicate the jogging track to guests with infants in strollers, where parents and infants can continue their exercise regimen together. During the day, Royal Tots can create early childhood memories at four new Crayola Beginnings workshops. During each 45-minute session, parents and their children enjoy story-time with an Adventure Ocean counselor, and use Crayola Beginnings products to create the toddler’s first works of art. Themed sessions include My Colorful World (introducing the concept of colors); Families Have Fun (introducing the world of coloring); Let’s Explore the Sea; and Our Big, Big Ship.
A treasure chest of Fisher-Price toys is available to families during their stay in the Fisher-Price Toy Lending Program, comprising a collection of developmental toys specifically created for infants and toddlers, ages 6 – 36 months. Parents can borrow and exchange toys for a new activity every day to help growing minds learn through play.
Parents can enjoy a little time away from their children with complete peace of mind through Royal Caribbean’s Sitters at Sea, created by Fisher-Price – an in-stateroom babysitting service for guests with infants, one year old and above. A Royal Caribbean staff-member will arrive equipped with Fisher-Price toys and Mattel games, and engage and entertain the young cruisers until their parents return. Parents will need to reserve a sitter at least 24 hours in advance and complete a checklist that includes information on where they will be, when they expect to return, bedtime routines and particular preferences for each child. Upon their return, parents will be presented a log of the child’s activities with the babysitter, including books read, games enjoyed, food consumed, and when the child was put to bed. Service charges for Sitters at Sea are $10 per hour for up to two children; and $15 per hour for 3 or more children.
Children also can create a personalized plush toy souvenir with their parents in a fun activity with Royal Caribbean’s new Pets at Sea. Guests can choose from a collection of animals and more than 20 outfits and accessories to create and bring home a new pet from their cruise vacation, no quarantine required! Pets at Sea will be available fleetwide in May 2009.
Where Kids Want to Be
Kids and teens can enjoy activities into the late evening with newly extended hours in the Adventure Ocean and teen-only spaces. Scheduled programming will now run everyday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. (extended from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
Young cruises also have their own book nook aboard every Royal Caribbean ship. The Adventure Family Library is a section within the onboard library, which offers classic and popular family titles in a variety of languages (based on the ship’s itinerary) and a comfortable reading area for kids to relax and delve into a book, individually or with a parent. In the evenings, Royal Bedtime Stories invites the whole family to the Adventure Family Library to enjoy a bedtime story and lullabies. Children are encouraged to dress in their pajamas and enjoy a cookie or two with milk, while an Adventure Ocean counselor reads from one among a variety of popular storybooks.
Family Time with Mattel Board Games
Through a partnership with Mattel, Royal Caribbean International offers guests a wide array of popular games for the whole family. Younger cruisers in Royal Caribbean’s Adventure Ocean program can enjoy a variety of Mattel games, including titles such as 20Q; Apples to Apples; Piranha Panic; Rhino Rampage; Scene It? Nickelodeon Edition; and UNO.
Family play sessions led by activities staff include games such as Skip-Bo Get Together; Scrabble Scramble; and UNO H2O (held poolside). These live versions of popular Mattel games provide an opportunity for anyone in the family to compete with other families in active and fun games. Mattel board games also are stocked in the card room, where guests can accept an impromptu family challenge. Additionally, guests in suite category staterooms may request Mattel board games off a menu in their suite, for enjoyment in the privacy of their stateroom. Titles include Balderdash, Pictionary Man Game, Snorta, UNO Flash, and games featured in Adventure Ocean.
As a consistent innovator, Royal Caribbean is currently the only cruise line with dedicated teen spaces aboard every ship across the fleet. Onboard areas such as The Living Room teen hangout, Fuel or Optix teen discos, and The Back Deck sun-deck for teens give young cruisers ages 12 – 17 their own space to create new friendships and relax with their peers. Younger cruisers, ages 3 – 11, have scheduled and supervised activities all day long in three age-tiered curricula: Aquanauts, ages 3 – 5; Explorers, ages 6 – 8; and Voyagers, ages 9 – 11. All Adventure Ocean counselors are college graduates, with a degree in education, recreation or a related field.