5 simple, cheap and fun things to do with your kids aboard a cruise ship


My family and I just returned from our first Carnival Cruise (The Breeze out of Galveston) and here are a few fun things we did on the cruise that I thought I would share with you:


  1. Go swimming  This is a given, I’m sure just about any kid will want to go swimming but don’t just sit and watch; get in the water and play with them. The pools on the cruise ship fill up fast with mostly adults lounging about drinking and talking. If you get there first thing in the morning you will have plenty of room to play. Another great time to swim is when it’s raining. My son and I were in the pool one afternoon when it started to rain and everyone cleared out but us. It was great, we had the entire pool to ourselves.

My son likes to play 2 games: Hide & Seek and Shark. Hide & Seek is fun but you actually want at least a few other people in the pool. There’s no telling how many strange looks I received as I moved around the crowded pool hiding behind different people. Shark is harder to play when there are a lot of people; basically I chase my son around the pool and try to catch him.

I do have to warn you, the pools on our ship were salt water so you’ll want goggles. And one more thing; the pools are a no jumping and splashing zone. People will will get mad and the life guards will call you on it, trust me.

  1. Snack time  This may seem rather mundane but bear with me. My son loved getting the 24 hour soft serve ice cream. He would get one after every meal and almost any time we walked by. If that wasn’t enough we often ordered sandwiches from room service when we were hungry between meals. It may not seem like a big deal but for an 8 year old to be able to get ice cream or a cheese sandwich whenever you want without paying for it is really fun. So go with it and enjoy the little moments. It may seem silly to you but for the kiddoes it can be a really special, fun time.


  1. Art Auction   When we went on our cruise my parents went with us and they ended up taking my daughter to every art auction and art talk they had on the ship. They went to the first auction just to see what it was all about and after that my daughter was hooked and dragged my parents to every event afterwards. I went to one art talk and it was good but the best part was seeing how excited my daughter was about the art auctions. She talked about them every day and made sure someone (my parents) would take her to them. When we were planning the cruise I never imagined this would be a highlight of the trip for her. It just goes to show you that you never know what will inspire someone and make for a memorable trip.


  1. Arcade  On board our ship was an arcade and it was one of the first places I sought out. I have just as much if not more fun at the arcades than my kids do. This is a great place to play games with your family and spend some time bonding over air hockey or the latest shooting game. It’s perfect way to kill some time while you’re waiting for the weather to clear up or waiting for dinner or a show to start.


  1. Candy and a Show  The cruise ship has a variety of shows and programs you can attend. They also had a candy store along with the various jewelry and souvenir shops. So before we went to any of the shows at night we would stop at the candy store and each of us would pick up a small selection to enjoy during the entertainment. Not groundbreaking or extravagant but it was fun and the kids liked it.



Race up and down the stairs (watch out for the other passengers)

Have the kids keep a journal and share some of their thoughts (while eating ice cream for extra points)


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