It might be too late to sign your kids up for summer camp at the beach or mountains, but you can do the next best thing: Sign them up for a kids’ camp at sea.
Most cruise lines offer complimentary activities that are fun and educational, tailored to the age of the child.
Princess Cruises, for instance, is currently rolling out its new Camp Discovery, in conjunction with Discovery Communications. The program features youth centers and lounges such as the Treehouse, which serves ages 3 to 7, and the Lodge, geared to kids 8 to 12. The Beach House, for teens, includes parties, movies, competitions and dance classes.
The new beefed-up youth program is currently available on Grand Princess, Caribbean Princess, Majestic Princess and Regal Princess, with other ships in the fleet adding the activities through 2019.
Carnival Cruises also has a camp-like program called Camp Carnival. Kids are split into three different age groups: 2 to 5 years old, 6 to 8 and 9 to 11. Activities include arts and crafts, dancing, movies, toy-time and video gaming; at mealtime, kids get their own menus, with faves like mac & cheese and chicken nuggets.
Disney Cruise Line has a trio of clubs dedicated to kids, including the Oceaneer Club for the younger set and Oceaneer Lab for teens. The “It’s a Small World” nursery is also available.