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Old 03-06-2013, 08:08 AM   #1
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Help with fun things for your kids to do on the Fantasy....

Hi everyone I was hoping to get some ideas for fun things my 9 yr old son can do while on the Eastern Fantasy cruise that we have coming up soon on our sea days.

We have been on DCL before and he isn't too keen on the Kids clubs so any other ideas of things your kids did outside the clubs that they had a great time doing would be great.

Also any suggestions on excursions that your kids really enjoyed at this age would be great too, we are on the St Thomas/San Juan Eastern..

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Old 03-06-2013, 08:50 AM   #2
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My 9 year old DD did not want to spend time in the club on our cruise last year, nor is she big on sitting by the pool. I'm a little nervous about the 3 sea days as well! She does love Disney movies, so she'll hang out on a lounge chair if there is something good on the Funnelvision. And of course there are the pools (although they'll be super crowded), the Aquaduck, mini golf, shuffleboard, etc. We plan to see a couple of movies this time (Oz, The Great and Terrible, for sure) and may see a matinee of one of the shows if offered.

I'm hoping that DD will meet some girls her age and give the club a try this time, but I'm not counting on it. My plan is to go in with her for a couple of activities during open house time. Also, we plan to seek out more activities around the ship than we did on our 4-night Dream cruise -- things like bingo, karaoke, family crafts, etc. There are a lot of these types of activies listed in the Navigator, but we didn't have time for many "extras" on the shorter cruise.

The plan is to do some of the activities together, but sometimes one of us will take DD so the other can lounge by the pool. I have to keep reminding myself that our whole day doesn't have to be scheduled, the way it is at home!

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Old 03-06-2013, 08:52 AM   #3
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There's the crazy golf and the Midship Detective Agency games - they are not available on the classic ships so this may be something he would enjoy.

Also, there is the arcade and aquaduck - our DD had a lot of fun on that!
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:42 AM   #4
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thanks for the ideas....Also what excursions did everyone take their 9yr olds on?

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Old 03-06-2013, 11:47 AM   #5
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There's lots of activities, specially on sea days for families. Trivia, Bingo, etc. Or catch a 3D movie in the theater...
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:50 AM   #6
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$.02 here but even if the kiddos don't like hanging out in the clubs they should definitely go for the "meet and greet" stuff at the beginning where they are more likely to meet someone. Our DD 11 and DS 12 have always flowed in and out of the clubs based on who they meet and whats going on at that time. A LOT of friendships are forged on that first day in the clubs so I'd gently nudge them towards at least those events. Enjoy!
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ctc917 View Post
thanks for the ideas....Also what excursions did everyone take their 9yr olds on?

I don't have a 9yr old (or any kids, for that matter), but my DW and I did an "on your own" thing that may or may not be appropriate, depending on your kids' interests.

In St. Martin, in Grand Case on the French side, there's this parfumerie that offers perfume-making classes. It's not exactly cheap (~$100/person, and you have to take a not-exactly-cheap taxi to get there.) What you get is a crash course in scents and perfumes and colognes, and then the opportunity to make a cologne or perfume of your own. The owners provide some basic guidance, then turn you loose in the lab with their 300 assorted scents and essential oils. You can work on your scent pretty much until you're happy with it and decide that's what you want to go with, however long that takes (typically about 2-3 hours total.) The nice part is that you're not stuck with what you start with. If it's just not working, you can start over.

You walk out of the experience with a bottle of perfume/cologne that you created, a bottle of your favorite perfume/cologne that they have in stock, another souvenir of your choice, and a small selection of soaps and such that they sell. It's actually a nice goody bag.

Is this appropriate for kids? That depends on your kids. You *have* to keep notes during this process, because they need to know the ratios in order to make a full bottle. The proprietor mentioned to us that one of the most intriguing and complex perfumes he'd encountered was concocted by a 12-year-old girl, who basically took the basics she'd learned and just ran with it, adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that and not relying on preconceived notions. Her scent ended up with over 20 different component scents (most adults only include 6 to 8, by comparison. I think mine had 12.)

On the other hand, it's likely to be too much for young kids or kids who get bored by this sort of activity.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:07 PM   #8
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:16 PM   #9
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My son was 8.5 during our cruise, and is an only child. He reluctantly went to the kids club when we had Palo reservations, and he enjoyed being there during the "open house" time when we could all go together, but he really wasn't a huge fan. That being said, he wasn't bored on the ship for a second.
Sea days had matinee shows, which we went to, then went swimming/aquaduck at night instead. We did golf, played basketball, went to movies, visited with characters, played mid-ship detective...lots of things that didnt involve the kids club.

Edited to add: excursions we did Magens Bay in St. Thomas, which I would do again, but on my own via taxi not DCL..only because we were having such a good time I wanted to stay longer. St. Maarten we did Bernards's Tour, which apparently everyone but me loves. I thought it was too much time on the bus and not enough time anywhere else. During the tour we enjoyed our visit to Orient beach, so would probably just head back there. But..we're beach people. YMMV.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:54 PM   #10
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Regarding excursions, it really depends on what you and your DS are into. We were going to do the zipline excursion in San Juan, but luckily I showed DD the Campo Rico video before our booking window opened. A couple of the ziplines are VERY high in the air and quite long. She has been ziplining several times near home, but she was intimidated and I decided not to risk it. Instead, she and DH are going horseback riding. I signed them up for the "Horseback Riding Adventure," which more people seemed to like vs. the "El Yunque Rainforest Horseback Riding" excursion. DD rides every week at home, so that one was right up her alley.

DH and I have been to St. Thomas several times, so we wanted to check out St. John. After reading a lot of reviews on this site and Tripadvisor, we ended up booking the "St. John Champagne Catamaran Sail and Snorkel." DD is not interested in snorkeling (or as least she hasn't been in the past), so I wanted an option that would allow us to spend time at a nice beach while DH snorkels. I read great things about the "Full Day Caribbean Sail & Snorkel to Turtle Cove & Honeymoon Beach," but it didn't seem like a good fit for my non-snorkeler. That one seems to fill fast, so I'd book it as soon as your window opens if you're interested!

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Old 03-06-2013, 02:26 PM   #11
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My kids were 10 when we did the Eastern this past fall. It was our third DCL vacation and they have never liked the kids clubs and have always hung with us doing other things. This cruise on the Fantasy was their favorite because there were so many new things to do!

DD loves to hang at the pool, so she would often want to go there (while I relaxed in a lounge chair and read).
Both kids love playing shuffleboard
We all loved the mini golf!
DS loved the sports simulators (there is a charge for these by the 1/2 hour)
Mid Ship Detective Agency
Aqua Lab (DD loved this area)
Aqua Duck (okay, all of us loved this)
DD and I would also play ping pong (better on a port day as it can get windy up there)

They did participate in the "Out and About" series for the scavenger hunt, but that was the only thing. DD and I went to one of the cooking demos, they hit the arcade a couple of times, and we went to a bunch of trivia "contests"

I never felt like we were bored (and I did get that way on the Magic). I think you will see that there is plenty for him to do that doesn't include the kids clubs. Enjoy!
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