Freestyle Family Fun

| Tuesday, 05 Mar. 2013

NCL Freestyle Cruising is not just for adults. Family members of all ages can share in the fun to be had on the amazing ships of NCL Cruises.

With its past focus on the myriad, flexible dining options offered aboard ship, one might think that NCL's Freestyle cruising is just for adults. However, after a recent cruise aboard Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Dawn from New York to Bermuda with my six-year-old son Ethan and 14-year-old daughter Alex, we can truly say that there is plenty of family fun when kids and parents set sail aboard a Freestyle cruise.

Just prior to our cruise, NCL unveiled its Freestyle 2.0 amenities. These range from daily late afternoon snacks for suite guests to more comfortable bedding and even informational workshop/lectures through the newly formed NCL U. A few of these amenities directly affect families, including extended hours at NCL Kid's Crew youth programming. (For more information see section "Youth Program Details" below.)

Top Spots for Family Interaction The Norwegian Dawn is especially family friendly since it has the action-packed T-Rex children's pool area and a huge jungle gym inside the youth room. Ethan was often in a quandary as to whether he wanted to be dropped off at the T-Rex Kids' Centre (youth room where free play time on the jungle gym occurred daily in addition to the vast array of organized activities) or swim and slide under my supervision at the T-Rex Kids' Pool area at the back of Deck 12.

click on pictures below for larger images:

Extensive Kids Pool Area   More of the "T-Rex" Pool Area

The T-Rex pool area was an excellent use of space. With a playful dinosaur theme, children and parents enter the area by walking under a fake cave structure where four children's sized pools and a Jacuzzi await them. Two of the pools have spiral water slides (kid-sized); another is larger with 2 feet of water; and the fourth is a tiny splash pool with a mini slide for toddlers. Luckily, there are a number of chairs set up for parents watching their little ones splash and slide.

Additionally, there is a pool about four feet deep right (next to the deep main Oasis pool) which is perfect for kids too. There is a steep climb down a ladder to this pool and built in benches along the edge of the inside of pool for parents to relax while watching their child.

Two other spots that Ethan and Alex enjoyed are Sprinkles Ice Cream bar which is located right by the Oasis pool and features free soft serve and hard ice cream. They also frequented the video arcade which is located by the youth and teen rooms.

Family Activities for All Ages There are many family activities that parents and children will enjoy together other than the pools. Two were set up by the youth programming department: family pizza making and the Amazing Race. The former was held in the buffet area whereby children were given a piece of baked pizza dough and got to put on their own sauce, cheese and fixings. The activity was very well received, enough so that I suggest they have more than one station to put the fixings on because there was a long line.

The Amazing Race was a type of scavenger hunt which had Ethan and me running all over the ship and then back to the youth room where we would receive the next clue. Although the instructions were not very clearly presented at the beginning, I really got into it especially when I saw how enthused Ethan was about running back to the youth room each time after we found a clue.

Continue Article >> More Family Activities for All Ages (Part 2)

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