Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

How to Keep Your Kids Happy on a Cruise

by Doug Baker | March 8, 2016
the Flow Rider on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas
Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas cruise ship
Allure of the Seas has a park in the middle. Photo: Timothy Baker
central park Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas cruise ship
Growing trees at sea is hard, but Royal Caribbean has managed to do it. Photo: Timothy Baker
Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas cruise ship
Central Park is a mid-ship oasis of calm, at any time of the day or night. Photo: Timothy Baker
kiddie pool Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas cruise ship
The ship has pools for kids... Photo: Timothy Baker
hot tub Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas cruise ship
And the ship has pools for adults. Photo: Timothy Baker
Boardwalk on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas cruise ship
There’s always something going on at the Boardwalk—including free donuts in the morning and free hot dogs in the afternoon. Photo: Timothy Baker
surfing the Flow Rider on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas
The surfing staff is highly experienced at teaching beginners how to enjoy the Flow Rider. Photo: Timothy Baker
Flow Rider on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas
Doug’s surfing lesson paid off. Photo: Timothy Baker
Flow Rider staff show on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas
Even if you yourself don’t want to try the Flow Rider, you can enjoy the spectacle. Here, the surfing instructors put on their own show. Photo: Timothy Baker
Royal Promenade on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas cruise ship
Among the eateries and bars on the Royal Promenade are Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and Guess boutiques. Photo: Timothy Baker
The Aqua Show features acrobats in a modern circus-like atmosphere. Photo: Timothy Baker
Aqua show on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas cruise ship
The Aqua Show stage, as viewed during a rehearsal. The diver (at top left) is jumping off a 60-foot-high platform. Photo: Timothy Baker
Ice show on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas cruise ship
The “How to Train Your Dragon” Ice Show Photo: Timothy Baker
friendly officers on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas cruise ship
Officers aboard Allure of the Seas pose with King Julien, the lemur from Madagascar. Photo: Timothy Baker


Hi. I’m Doug. I’m 12 years old, and I just took my 12th cruise. It was on the Royal Caribbean ship Allure of the Seas. If your kids are 9 to 14 years old, and you want to be sure they have a great trip and don’t complain, here are the things onboard that you should do with them because they will enjoy them the most.

The Aqua Show: It will make your jaws drop. Divers dive off tiny platforms higher than the Olympics’ highest platform. They dive into a small pool that is only 11 feet deep. It will stun you.

The Flow Rider: It is a surfing and boogie-boarding simulator. Even though the lines are super-long, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Izumi: It is a super-funny hibachi dinner. The chef started out saying, “Hi, I’m Ryan, and I will be your fake Japanese chef today.” He cooks in front of you and says things like, “These eggs came all the way from…yup, you guessed it… Kentucky.”

The Ice Show: The ice rink has many shows—like How to Train Your Dragon and Monopoly. It has many jokes for adults and kids. You will probably end up talking about it all through dinner.

Central Park: Central Park is a nice place to relax. It is always very calm there. It has great restaurants. Nobody knows that you can even go there for breakfast: The Park Café has bagels with different flavors of cream cheese and toppings, and you can get them to take out and walk around the ship with.

The pools: There are 7 pools and 12 hot tubs—and that doesn’t include the pools and hot tubs that only parents can go in. Some hot tubs have huge TVs so you can watch a sports game. Each pool has its own theme and is equipped with a soft-serve ice-cream machine. There are pools for all ages. There are no water slides, but there’s a water volleyball court.

The Boardwalk: The Boardwalk is a place to go with your family and have fun. There’s a carousel, an arcade, a ring toss, a bean bag toss, a Johnny Rockets, a hot dog stand with all different kinds of hot dogs, a candy shop, and an all-night buffet that Mom and Dad didn’t even know about. There’s a zip-line above the Boardwalk but, once you’ve done the Labadee Flight Line, it’s not very exciting.

The Royal Promenade: It’s a huge shopping mall in the middle of the ship with a floating bar that goes up and down three decks. There’s a parade there on the last night of the cruise. It has shops like Kate Spade (parents might want to know that).

The ship’s staff: The officers and crew are very nice. If you ask them to do something, they’ll do it. They’ll even play ring toss with you. They are very loyal and don’t get mad. Overall the staff is much nicer to kids than the staff on most other ships.

Be a smarter traveler: Use Wendy’s WOW List to plan your next trip. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter @wendyperrin, and sign up for her weekly newsletter to stay in the know.


Panama: Plan Your Trip!

by | June 18, 2018

Travel Tips

The Next Great Places: Where to Go Instead of the Usual Suspects

by | January 22, 2018

COVID-19 Travel

How I Choose Hotels for Road Trips During Covid

by Wendy Perrin | September 11, 2020

Family Travel

Family Trip Strategies for Covid-Era Travel

by Brook Wilkinson | July 18, 2020


The Countries That Are Open to U.S. Travelers and What You’ll Find There

by Brook Wilkinson | September 25, 2021

COVID-19 Travel

Every State’s Coronavirus and Travel Information

by Billie Cohen | June 28, 2021

COVID-19 Travel

If You Have To Fly in a Pandemic, Here’s Where to Sit on the Plane

by Wendy Perrin | July 5, 2020


  1. Jack Colgan

    I’m really enjoying you and your brother’s advice on cruises. I’ve never been on a cruise before but I have been to a hibachi dinner before at a regular restaurant. They are so much fun and have THE best food. They are great at communicating with the guests too.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>