Recommend March 2016 - (Page 72)

Cruise The ropes course on board the Norwegian Escape. Family-Friendly Sailings Vivian Holley There was a time when vacation days spent on a ship would have spelled big-time boredom for kids. Hardly a happy prospect for parents, left with scant incentive to consider a cruise for a family getaway. No more. Today onboard adventures abound-captivating enough to convince kids of all ages that they've plunged down the rabbit hole into a seagoing wonderland. As for Mom and Dad-they're not the only ones who would welcome a fun trip with offspring in tow. "We've had a lot of interest in multi-gen travel," notes Cruise Planners franchise owner Christopher Lingren. "So many grandparents want the quality time that comes from vacations together with their grandkids." Savvy cruise industry leaders, known for their respective ever-vigilant eyes on travel trends, have responded not only with parent-pleasing offerings such as kids' clubs for all age groups, customized land tours, and family-friendly accommodations 72 march 2016 (Holland America, for one, will introduce 32 new 2-bathroom staterooms designed for five people when Koningsdam debuts this spring), but with an array of onboard attractions, activities, and entertainment guaranteed to entice even the most blase teenager. Lingren, citing his clients' experiences as well as his own family travels, points to Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Disney as stellar examples when it comes to entertaining youngsters. "From waterslides, mini-golf, and ropes courses, to 'how to draw' and age-based cooking classes," he says, "these brands excel at offering a plethora of fun for the 18-and-under guest." Aboard new Royal Caribbean vessels, it's wet-and-wild lures that are making a mighty splash-most notably The Ultimate Abyss, to be unveiled when the 5,497-passenger Harmony of the Seas bows in May. The Abyss-a pair of side-by-side slides, towering some 10 stories and swirling adrenalineseekers through a twisting, 100-ft. drop- joins watery forces with the Perfect Storm trio of slides and Splashaway Bay interactive aqua park. Then there's Anthem of the Seas, sailing into New York harbor last fall-home base for Caribbean jaunts-with RipCord, the first skydiving experience at sea, and SeaPlex, a grand activity space boasting bumper cars, roller skating, and a circus school. With Norwegian, it's the aptly named Norwegian Escape that beckons with its dedicated Kids' Aqua Park encompassed by a big Aqua Park that features four multistory water slides. There's also a 3-story ropes course (again, there's a smaller kids' rope course, as well), along with areas for minigolf, bocce ball, and basketball. Plus Splash Academy-the most expansive youth area in the fleet. Designed for children ages 3-12, Splash Academy is the place to learn, among other things, Circus School skills.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend March 2016

Editor’s Notes
Hotel Desk: Growth of Barcelo
Tour Talk: Are We There Yet?
The New All-Inclusives For Families
Onsite Review: Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
New Happenings at All-Inclusives
2016 Delta Air Lines Europe, Middle East, and Africa Travel Guide
Family-Friendly Sailings
Spring into Hawaii’s Family Fun
New Choices for Families in Florida
Onsite Review: Icy Strait Point, Hoonah
What’s New in Alaska
Adventure-Lands Ripe for Family Travel

Recommend March 2016