Norwegian Cruise Line is great for families, thanks to parent-child activities, ships with water parks, climbing walls and other active pursuits, and its Splash Academy kids program.
What It Is
Norwegian's youth programs offer complimentary kids' club for children ages 6 months to 12 years, with Splash Academy specifically for the 3 to 12 year old set. The overall youth program offers a parent-child play space and activities for the littlest cruisers and drop-off activities for kids starting at 3 years old. Brightly colored play areas are stocked with toys, games, arts and crafts, video games and big-screen TVs for watching movies.
Youth programming is divided into four sections:
Guppies (6 months to 3 years): The Guppies room is an area for babies and toddlers, where parents can have a safe space to play with their little ones. Once or twice a day, youth staff lead age-appropriate “Guppies-hosted” activities and games. This is not a drop-off program,; parental supervision is required for both open room and hosted activities. Norwegian Escape also has a Guppies Nursery, where little cruisers can be dropped off, for a fee.
Splash Academy, Turtles (3 to 5): Preschoolers can enjoy activities like arts and crafts, storytelling and treasure hunts.
Splash Academy, Seals (6 to 9): School-age kids do more sports and games, play on Wii and PlayStation consoles and paint.
Splash Academy, Dolphins (10 to 12): The oldest kids in Splash Academy participate in scavenger hunts, themed nights, sports and video game competitions.
Children in the Turtles, Seals and Dolphins groups can learn circus skills (plate spinning, scarf juggling, devil sticks) and participate in an end-of-cruise Splashtacular Extravaganza circus show.
Splash Academy is generally open from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., though timing varies based on itinerary. On sea days, it closes for lunch and dinner, but on port days, it remains open (though fees apply for parents who want youth staff to supervise their kids during mealtimes). After 10:30 p.m., Splash Academy hosts the Late Night Fun Zone until 1:30 a.m. Hourly fees apply for enrolling kids in this after-hours group babysitting program.
Regular Splash Academy programming is complimentary. Port day meals cost $6 per child, per meal. Late Night Fun Zone costs $6 per child, per hour; $4 per hour for each additional sibling.
The Guppies Nursery on Norwegian Escape costs $20 per two-hour time block; $16 for each additional sibling. The fee increases to $24 ($20 per additional child) per time block for late-night drop-off after 11 p.m. Guppies Nursery closes at 1:30 a.m.
Norwegian Cruise Line's Splash Academy is available fleetwide, though facilities vary by ship. Only Norwegian Escape offers the Guppies Nursery.
See photos of Splash Academy on Norwegian Escape.
--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor