NCL provides details about the new fleet-wide youth programs including sports, creative arts and family activities.
Norwegian Cruise Line held a naming contest for its new youth program for the forthcoming Project Breakaway class of cruise ships to be introduced in April 2013 and April 2014. After thousands of entries were received, they have settled upon "Up2You" as the official title for the new ships.
We at CruiseMates feel the name is in keeping with the entire Norwegian "Freestyle" concept we already know and love. The program is broken down into two separate groups: "Splash Academy" for the new Youth program and "Entourage" as the new moniker for its revitalized Teen program. The grand prize contest winners are Misty Horning of Princeton, Kentucky who first submitted "Splash Academy" and Lili Kabelitz of Sag Harbor, New York who first submitted "Entourage." Each will receive a seven-day Caribbean cruise for a family of four. Within the younger "Splash Academy" program, individual titles were also created for the four age groups: Guppies for ages up to 2; Turtles for ages 3 to 5; Seals for ages 6 to 9; and Dolphins for ages 10 to 12.
Those who submitted the winning names for the individual age groups listed above will each receive a $100 American Express gift card.
The new and enhanced curricula will highlight team building for developing children's interpersonal and confidence-building skills. Activities are tailored specifically to each age group.
Both Splash Academy and Entourage will feature a different theme every day. These will include pirates, space cowboys, jungle themes or circus life – with a new surprise for each individual age groups with a variety of themed activities daily.
For teens, bowling tournaments, soccer challenges and dodge ball under the stars are just a few of the active offerings. There is also a chance for the whole family to play along with a variety of sports including dodge ball, sports court fun, tug-of-war and King's Camps' family challenges.
The new youth and teen programs will focus on creative activities as well as more sporting events – offered through a partnership with King's Foundation and Camps, a U.K.-based organization that provides high quality sport and activity programs designed to make a positive impact on children. A highlight of the program is a circus school to be created in partnership with Hilario Productions Cirque du Jour, a New York-based company that specializes in teaching real circus skills to children.
The King's Foundation and Camps will place specific emphasis on sports including soccer skills, physical challenges and icebreaker action games.
Creative arts also play a big role in the program. With a focus on theater and the arts, young cruisers will have the chance to participate in puppet shows, mini improvisational acting classes and the ability to act out their favorite spy or survivor in themed activities such as Superspy Mission Impossible and Desert Island Adventures.
Hilario Productions Cirque du Jour will also be offering circus workshops for the whole family to teach a variety of skills such as balancing feathers, juggling, plate spinning and even stilt walking. Classes will take place within the youth program as well as a family circus school performed in a circus ring, hosted by a ringmaster.
Hilario Productions Cirque du Jour was established by a team of performers from the famed Ringling Brothers, so kids and parents will learn from some of the best circus entertainers in the business.
Other Activities on Tap
Additional family offerings will include cupcake decorating; pizza making; several family game shows such as Family Charades; Family Deck Party; and a special Family White Hot Party.
Splash Academy also offers activities for cruisers under three and their parents who can enjoy sensory play classes with their babies. This will feature "Wee Can Too" organic art products. Another fun event includes parent and baby "Rhyme Time" where a storyteller recites popular nursery rhymes featuring puppets and "Motion in the Ocean," for parent and baby mini workouts.
Norwegian's youth counselors all have degrees or equivalent credentials in child care and/or sports education. The company recruits staff with leadership qualities who can serve as positive role models. The counselors will continue the practice of adopting cute, catchy nicknames which the children enjoy.
Roll Out to the Fleet
The new enhanced youth and teen programs have already been launched on Norwegian Gem (as of last February) and are currently being rolled out to all the ships in the Norwegian fleet.
Splash Academy and Entourage are currently available on Norwegian Gem and are rolling out to all of Norwegian's ships. Launch dates are as follows: Norwegian Jewel on April 21; Norwegian Star on May 6; Norwegian Dawn on May 25; Norwegian Epic on May 27; Norwegian Pearl on June 17; Norwegian Jade on June 30; Norwegian Sky on July 16; Norwegian Sun on July 24; Norwegian Spirit on August 14 and Pride of America on August 25. Norwegian Breakaway launching in April 2013 will also feature the new youth and teen programs.