Last summer, I took a Transatlantic cruise on the NCL Jade. I saw families, with children, enjoying themselves during several consecutive days at sea! How did this happen? It was the Jade youth programs to the rescue!
The NCL Jade is all about family-friendly cruising. It offers activities for each member of the family as well as family activities.
The Splash Academy and Entourage youth programs, give children the opportunity to have fun with new friends throughout their cruise. They give parents the added cruise value of complimentary programs.
Youth programs hours are 9 AM to 12 PM and 2 PM to 5 PM and 7 PM to 10:30 PM.
Splash Academy’s youth programs are held in well equipped, modern, comfortable recreation areas. Children participate in age appropriate activities lead by a professional staff. All staff members are multilingual, and have an educational background in child development and recreation services. Programs are held in Splash Academy designated areas that are spacious, attractively decorated, and filled with learning materials, toys, and play equipment.
NCL Jade Splash Academy and Entourage Groups:
The Guppies group is for ages 6 months to 3 years. Parents may bring their children to the Guppies Playroom, where they can interact with their babies and toddlers. The Guppies Playroom is equipped with books, building blocks, and toys.
The Turtles group serving ages 3-5 years. Programs take place in the Splash Academy recreation areas and include arts and crafts, games, sensory play, and storytelling. Children also participates in parades and treasure hunts.
The Seals group offers programs for ages 6-9 years. Seals programs are held in the Splash Academy recreation areas. Activities include Circus Skills and Shows, theme nights, painting, sports and games, parades, treasure hunts, and video games.
The Dolphins provide activities for ages 10-12 years. Programs are in designated Splash Academy recreation areas. Activities include Circus skills and Shows, scavenger hunts, sports and team building, theme nights, and video games.
Entourage is the teens group for ages 13-17 years. Teens socialize with other teens their age in supervised teen centers around the ship. They play video games, seeing movies, enjoying music, and sports.
A Late Night Fun Zone is available from 10:30 PM to 1:30 AM. The Fun Zone is a fee based program at the rate of $6 per hour for the first child, and $4 for each additional child, per hour.
Children participating in Splash Academy, joined their parents for lunch and family activities from noon to 2 PM.
From 5-7 PM, the family came together for dinner and made an evening of family activities including shuffleboard, volleyball, board games and table tennis. Some of the children returned to the Splash Academy and stayed from 7 to 10:30 PM. Splash Academy evening activities included movies, group games, and video games.
While the children enjoyed being out with new friends, some parents went to the theater. Many listened to live music in one of the several lounge areas. Others enjoyed a romantic dinner for two at one of the several specialty restaurants.
After the Atlantic crossing the NCL Jade visited ports in Europe. Children who wanted to stay on board and participate in Splash Academy programs where able to do so. A small, per child, fee covered the cost of supervision during meal times. They had lunch and dinner with other campers and staff. This service enabled parents to take a several hour shore excursion. They were able to enjoy port time knowing that their children were well cared for, and having a good time.
Parent Response to The NCL Jade Youth Programs
The parents I spoke with on the cruise had high praise for NCL Jade youth programs. The shared that they initially had reservations about an Atlantic crossing cruise. They wondered how they would keep their children active and amused during the several continuous days at sea. Parents were delighted that they got to enjoy many daily activities on board, while their children participated in Splash Academy.
Parents were also complimentary of the activities they got to share as a family following the Splash Academy lunch and dinner breaks.
During mealtime, children shared happy stories about new friends, fun activities and what they were going to do next in the youth programs.
Time past quickly for the children and their parents. Memories were made, and email addresses exchanged with promises to keep in touch after getting back home.
The Jade fills long sea days with activities that make families feel they were in a resort at sea.
Goodbye for now!
P.S. If you are thinking of a Transatlantic cruise, please give me a call and we can plan your trip together. My services are complimentary.
On August 4th I will post, “Mature Cruisers Prefer Mid-size and Small Cruise Ships”