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Kids/Family Activities during COVID times…


MattG
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Hi everyone,

We’re about to embark on Anthem in 2 weeks, bringing along 3 kids (2, 3.5, and 5 years old). The wife and I were looking over the Cruise Compass from @CravingaCruise’s amazing live blog, and the wife goes, “Where are all the family activities?”

Not sure what she was referring to, we looked back to an Anthem Cruise Compass from 2 years ago and, sure enough, there are a TON of kids/family activities that aren’t on the current Cruise Compass:

  • Roller skating (SeaPlex)
  • Family Storytime with an Elf
  • Family Digital Photo Scavenger Hunt (there IS a scavenger hunt on the current Cruise Compass, this may be the same)
  • Family Karaoke
  • Family Muffalo Potato
  • Roller Disco
  • Family Crew Scavenger Hunt
  • Family Science
  • Kids & Families Crazy Tag
  • Family Holiday Ornaments
  • Family Talent Show

Now, we know we do still have lots of options (pools, H2O zone, bumper cars for the oldest, Adventure Ocean), but when we look at the above list of things that aren’t happening any longer, it’s disappointing.

Any ideas if these are still happening, just not listed on the Cruise Compass? Any idea if they’re just gone completely, or if they’ll come back when 100% of guests are vaccinated? We’re considering a cruise on Oasis (more family friendly, imho) in October 2022 with another group, and the lack of family-oriented programming might give us pause.

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Also travelling with kids over the holidays (but our kids are older than yours at 12 and 16 year old).  With respect to roller skating, I've heard that it hasn't started up yet due to covid protocols.  (Was hoping that was a UK thing but also not seeing it in the US)

Were the other items under the kids ocean adventure activities?  Or on the main compass for the family to do together?  They do sound like fun.  I think I noticed a general scavenger hunt in the cruise compass but not kid specific. 

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1 hour ago, WannaCruise said:

Were the other items under the kids ocean adventure activities?  Or on the main compass for the family to do together? 

Everything listed was under “Entertainment” on the 2019 Anthem Cruise Compass. There IS a scavenger hunt listed on the current Cruise Compass, we’ll definitely do that one

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4 hours ago, WannaCruise said:

With respect to roller skating, I've heard that it hasn't started up yet due to covid protocols. (Was hoping that was a UK thing but also not seeing it in the US)

 

Considering ships with ice skating are still doing free skate... that wouldnt make any sense. Ice Skating and Roller Skating are basically the same thing

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  • Family Storytime with an Elf
  • Family Holiday Ornaments

These two are special holiday events, maybe they will start doing them after Thanksgiving?  I'm not sure when they normally start doing these.

  • Family Muffalo Potato
  • Family Science
  • Family Talent Show

These were special Ocean Adventure activities that were opened up to parents also participating.  You would seem them listed in both the kids schedule and the normal schedule.  They would also run other sessions for kids only, and you would only see them on the kids schedule.  It's quite possible that due to covid, they are trying to limit the amount of people participating in the kids club right now.

Short answer -- things are different now due to COVID.  Hopefully things open more more next year.

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20 minutes ago, karl_nj said:

You would seem them listed in both the kids schedule and the normal schedule.

Kids schedule, you say? I would love to know where I can find this elusive, magical schedule…

 

20 minutes ago, karl_nj said:

Short answer -- things are different now due to COVID.  Hopefully things open more more next year.

I 100% acknowledge things are different during COVID, especially around the cruise population still unvaccinated. I also know the cruise industry is under hyper-scrutiny and is being super conservative so as not to agitate the CDC and regress in any policies. 
 

My post was a concern about the conspicuous absence of a LOT of family-oriented programming. 

 

Great point on the Christmas-oriented programming. We’re going the week after Christmas, hopefully the pop up. 

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3 hours ago, miloomar said:

Considering ships with ice skating are still doing free skate... that wouldnt make any sense. Ice Skating and Roller Skating are basically the same thing

Agree....that's why I was hoping that rollerskating would start back up when Anthem returned to the US....but doesn't appear so 

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4 hours ago, MattG said:

Kids schedule, you say? I would love to know where I can find this elusive, magical schedule…

 

I have a copy of the teen club schedules from Oasis this past October, but unfortunately I didn't get copies for Adventure Ocean, as my kids are older then yours.

And any copies I do have are on the older side of things, from a few years ago, so they are likely not relevant in the current covid climate.  Maybe Matt has some.

 

4 hours ago, MattG said:

I 100% acknowledge things are different during COVID, especially around the cruise population still unvaccinated. I also know the cruise industry is under hyper-scrutiny and is being super conservative so as not to agitate the CDC and regress in any policies. 
 

My post was a concern about the conspicuous absence of a LOT of family-oriented programming. 

 

Yes, I do agree with you. But there is a conspicuous absence right now of a lot of programming for all age groups.... e.g. Quest, Oasis class garden tours, C&A party for anyone under diamond plus, etc.

I was just trying to point out that if Adventure Ocean is severely limiting occupancy right now due to Covid, it's unlikely they are going to run "open house" events in that space.

 

 

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We just got off Mariner of the Seas two days ago (4 kids ages 13, 10, 8, 8), and there were little to no "family activities" on board except one or two trivia activities in the morning or "take and make" craft types of things.  

We registered for Adventure ocean upon boarding and were given ONE HOUR, yes one little teeny hour to book for AO. We were told to check back frequently, which we did.  Finally on the third day they were no longer taking reservations and opened it up to "first come first served." Be warned though, parents were vicious trying to get their kids in to AO.  I was appalled at their behavior cutting in line, arguing, crowding.  Not worth it.  

We did have an amazing time together on the ship and the staff was amazing as usual, but I felt bad for them having to deal with such self entitled people.  We mostly hung out by the pool and had fun doing all the sports deck stuff like rock wall, water slides, etc.

We two more cruises booked in early 2022 and if things don't change we will cancel.

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Just got off the Sailing of the Anthem OTS. I can confirm that there is no roller skating at the sea plex. I was told its due to covid protocols. Bumper cars is sill available. My kids who are 5 & 7 really enjoyed that. However make sure to book as early as possible. Unfortunately it is true that I did not see too many kid's activities. Also be aware that the north star now has vaccinated only times and that you will have to  book a time that is for everyone. This was one of the most annoying things as there were already limited complimentary times available, but then to also try to find on that was open to everyone was nearly impossible. The tip I got from the staff at the north star was to get up before 8 am on a port day and book through the app. As they release both complementary northstar ride for both vaccinated only and everyone at 8 am. Majority of the kids activities where more of the demo type activities. The sea plex staff still did a good job on trying to organize soccer goal competitions for different age groups as well as basketball shooting competitions. 

My only tip would be to get to the port early for testing. Also make sure to bring a snack and something to keep the kids entertained as test results won't be available for about 30 to 45 minutes at best. 

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1 hour ago, leesam82 said:

Just got off the Sailing of the Anthem OTS. I can confirm that there is no roller skating at the sea plex. I was told its due to covid protocols. Bumper cars is sill available. My kids who are 5 & 7 really enjoyed that. However make sure to book as early as possible. Unfortunately it is true that I did not see too many kid's activities. Also be aware that the north star now has vaccinated only times and that you will have to  book a time that is for everyone. This was one of the most annoying things as there were already limited complimentary times available, but then to also try to find on that was open to everyone was nearly impossible. The tip I got from the staff at the north star was to get up before 8 am on a port day and book through the app. As they release both complementary northstar ride for both vaccinated only and everyone at 8 am. Majority of the kids activities where more of the demo type activities. The sea plex staff still did a good job on trying to organize soccer goal competitions for different age groups as well as basketball shooting competitions. 

My only tip would be to get to the port early for testing. Also make sure to bring a snack and something to keep the kids entertained as test results won't be available for about 30 to 45 minutes at best. 

Thank you for all of this. We’re hoping for the best, and preparing for the worst 😆

 

The extra details (V* vs E times at North Star, 8am release times for activities) is super helpful. We have an 11:30am check-in time, and have a 3-ish hour drive to get there. We’re preparing for the extra 45 minutes waiting for the test. 
 

We’re hoping the novelty of the ship, plus pools, plus people-watching for climbing/Ripcord/Flowrider, plus SeaPlex, plus Adventure Ocean is enough to keep us busy for a week. “We Will Rock You” and Spectra’s Cabaret would be a bonus, in addition to any kids activities added mid-trip. 
 

We’re already looking at doing the same trip but on Oasis in October, and am super jealous of the AquaTheater, Boardwalk, Splashaway Bay, Studio B (show and open ice skating), and amplified Adventure Ocean. Something to look forward to!

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1 hour ago, MattG said:

 

Thank you for all of this. We’re hoping for the best, and preparing for the worst 😆

 

The extra details (V* vs E times at North Star, 8am release times for activities) is super helpful. We have an 11:30am check-in time, and have a 3-ish hour drive to get there. We’re preparing for the extra 45 minutes waiting for the test. 
 

We’re hoping the novelty of the ship, plus pools, plus people-watching for climbing/Ripcord/Flowrider, plus SeaPlex, plus Adventure Ocean is enough to keep us busy for a week. “We Will Rock You” and Spectra’s Cabaret would be a bonus, in addition to any kids activities added mid-trip. 
 

We’re already looking at doing the same trip but on Oasis in October, and am super jealous of the AquaTheater, Boardwalk, Splashaway Bay, Studio B (show and open ice skating), and amplified Adventure Ocean. Something to look forward to!

I highly recommend we will rock you it actually kept both of my kids entertained. Spectra's cabaret was a big miss with the younger one as he didn't care for the visual effects. Even though there were not a ton of organized activities both of my kids did have a lot of fun. On warmer sea days we did the outdoor pool and colder sea days the indoor. 

One thing I did forget to mention is that the pools have a capacity limit that is enforced by the life guards just keep that in mind when your family is heading to the pool. 

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19 minutes ago, leesam82 said:

I highly recommend we will rock you it actually kept both of my kids entertained. Spectra's cabaret was a big miss with the younger one as he didn't care for the visual effects. Even though there were not a ton of organized activities both of my kids did have a lot of fun. On warmer sea days we did the outdoor pool and colder sea days the indoor. 

One thing I did forget to mention is that the pools have a capacity limit that is enforced by the life guards just keep that in mind when your family is heading to the pool. 

How many in the pool at once?  How long do you get in the pool?  Does this form a long line?  We are booked on the holiday cruise so can see the pool being a bit of an issue (but at the same time, glad they keep some kind of capacity for our own safety).

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I was just on Independence of the Seas. A smaller ship, but less family oriented activities. I don’t think I’ve seen less kids on a cruise ship. I’m assuming because they can’t get vaccinated/extra tests required. But when I walked past adventure ocean there were always kids in there. 
 

i saw older kids and teenagers by the slides, sky pad, and flow rider, and sports courts. We did have ice skating too and the pools and hot tubs were busy. There are a lot of vaccinated only areas (which was basically kid free zones) on board

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8 hours ago, Livtocruise said:

I was just on Independence of the Seas. A smaller ship, but less family oriented activities. I don’t think I’ve seen less kids on a cruise ship. I’m assuming because they can’t get vaccinated/extra tests required. But when I walked past adventure ocean there were always kids in there. 
 

i saw older kids and teenagers by the slides, sky pad, and flow rider, and sports courts. We did have ice skating too and the pools and hot tubs were busy. There are a lot of vaccinated only areas (which was basically kid free zones) on board

They were all on Liberty of the Seas.  1000 kids is the number we were told.  about 3000 passengers total...so 1/3 were kids.

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20 hours ago, WannaCruise said:

How many in the pool at once?  How long do you get in the pool?  Does this form a long line?  We are booked on the holiday cruise so can see the pool being a bit of an issue (but at the same time, glad they keep some kind of capacity for our own safety).

I think the number was 10 or 12 guests in the pool at any given time. The only time i really had to wait was at the indoor pool on a sea day returning to Bayonne and it was really cold outside. The lines are never more than a few guests long every time my family and I were at the pool. 

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