Cruising NCL with kids is an amazing experience. The NCL Epic is a great ship for families and multigenerational trips. Here are some wonderful things about cruising with kids on this ship.
Youth Programs – NCL’s Youth Program is divided into groups: Guppies (ages 6 months to 3 years), Splash Academy (ages 3 – 12 years), and Entourage (ages 13 – 17 years). The Splash Academy is further divided by age: Turtles (ages 3 – 5 years), Seals (ages 6 – 9 years), and Dolphins (ages 10 – 12 years). On the NCL Epic, there is not a nursery for the Guppies (this is only on the NCL Escape), but there is a Guppies Room that is open for free play during most hours and some play hosted by a member of the youth staff.
In the Splash Academy, kids will have arts & crafts, scavenger hunts, circus skills, video games and more. Kids are kept within their age groups within the club, so if you have children traveling together that are in different age groups, they will probably not be able to play together.
Kids are given a band to securely check in and out of the Splash Academy (adults picking up must be on the approved list and provide the correct verbal password). Older kids (10+) may, with the guardian’s consent, be given the option to check themselves in or out on their own. If your child has a special situation, you may be given a phone so the Splash Academy can reach you if the need arises. For example, my youngest faints at the sight of her own blood and we were in prime tooth losing age, this is something I had to let caretakers know about. We were given a mobile phone each time she checked into the club.
In the Entourage, teens can check themselves in and out. They have video games, movie, music, games, and even a dance club all to themselves. (There is youth staff supervision).
Staterooms – The mini-suites on NCL Epic are perfect for families. There is a pull out sofa with a bunk above that pulls out from the ceiling to easily accommodate a family of 4. There is also plenty of storage in the cabinets and luggage easily fits under the bed. The staterooms have a split bathroom design, with the sink in the stateroom and the toilet and the shower each behind their own door. The doors are frosted for privacy but are see through enough to let light through. There are plenty of connecting staterooms, multi-room suites and even some 2 bedroom suites located near the Splash Academy. Haven suites also come with access to the Haven, a private sanctuary only available to Haven guests. The Haven has its own pool, lounge, pool, fitness center, and sundeck. There is also a concierge to help with dining reservations or any other requests you may have while onboard.
Dining – NCL Epic offers two main dining rooms, Manhattan Room and Taste. In addition, there are many other specialty dining locations like Wasabi (a sushi bar), and Le Bistro (a French café). There are also other complimentary, quick service locations, making dining with children easy as there is something everyone likes. We alternated between the buffet and O’Sheehans for breakfast and lunch, and our youngest discovered she LOVES chicken wings. With all of the variety on board, no one will ever go hungry! And best of all, kids 12 and under eat free from the kid’s menu at the specialty dining locations. If you are lucky enough to take advantage of one of NCL’s special offers for the specialty dining package or beverage package, you won’t have to worry about any extra charges. If Mom and Dad have the beverage package, you can purchase a non-alcoholic drink package for the kids for $5.50 per person, per day (ages 3 to 12). Kids get a refillable cup that they can use all around the ship for fountain drinks.
Entertainment/Activities – NCL has plenty of activities for families all day long! The Epic has 3 waterslides, a bowling alley, water minigolf, a sports court, a climbing wall, and more. Cirque Dreams offers a fantastic dinner and a show that will amaze kids of all ages. During the day, there are trivias, family karaoke, towel folding demonstrations and so much more to keep everyone occupied. Please be aware that bowling does require additional payment and has an age restriction of 6 and up. There may also be height/weight requirements for other activities.
Splash Spectacular – My favorite part of sailing with my kids on NCL cruises is the Splash Spectacular. All week, kids learn “circus tricks” like plate spinning, scarf juggling, and more. On the last sea day of the cruise, parents are invited to view Splash Spectacular in the Epic Theater. The kids are brought in by the Youth Staff to perform a “circus” for you. The 3 to 5 year olds have face paint, and ears and tails to look like tigers. The older kids have varying face paint depending on their act. There are even some clowns to entertain between acts. Be sure that your kids visit the kids club during the week during Circus Practice and again on the day of the Spectacular. This is a not to be missed event!!
NCL cruises are all about family! Let’s plan your family’s getaway today! Email me at Amy@TravelWithTheMagic.com or you can find me on Facebook. You can also call me at 1-800-670-4312, ext 129. I can’t wait to plan your MAGICAL vacation!