Programs packed with sports, crafts, theatre, Xbox, Wii - and more
Leading cruise line MSC Cruises has stepped up its plans to attract more families by revamping and updating its Kids’ Club programs to satisfy all age groups.
Family values are very much at the heart of the Italian family-owned cruise line with the company constantly looking for new ways to enhance the family on-board experience.
It also offers free cruises on all cruise ships to guests aged under 18 years who share a cabin with two adults, needing only to pay port charges.
Since mid-January 2012, enhancements to the 11-strong fleet have focused on sporting activities, arts and crafts, theatre and new technology.
Programs also feature a broader choice of family events, ranging from parades to scavenger hunts.
“Just under 15 per cent of our guests during the year are children, with this percentage rising to 30 per cent during the summer season,” said Daniela Picco, MSC Cruises On Board Marketing Manager.
“It’s our job to ensure that they have an unforgettable experience, which means keeping them entertained all day,” she said.
“As 22 per cent of the almost 200,000 under 18s who cruise with MSC every year are between 12 and 14, and 24 per cent are between 15 and 17, it’s also a priority to keep program up to date for teens and make sure that ships contain the latest technology.”
Four age groups and nanny’s hour
Four separate Kids’ Club programs are available, each tailored to a specific age group.
- The Mini Club sends three to six year old sailors on a magical voyage of discovery and amazing adventures through enchanted oceans.
- Seven to 11 year olds are invited to join the pirate crew of the Junior Club and set off in search of buried treasure on an action-packed adventure towards uncharted islands.
- The Y-Team is the perfect choice for 12 to 14 year olds. Why? Because they’ll meet new friends, do exciting new things and have a great time every day! That’s why!
- MSC Generation teen club makes it easy for 15 to 17 year olds to get connected with the coolest crew on board and spend time with other people their age.
Every morning MSC Cruises has a nanny’s hour, a special program for babies and toddlers aged 10 to 36 months where the staff organises dedicated games and activities, including playing with bricks, baby disco, puzzle games, and drawing.
On both days in port and days at sea the Mini Club and Junior clubs opening times have now been extended from 9am to 11pm, allowing parents to leave their children in the safe hands of mini club staff while they enjoy shore excursions or simply relax on board.
For kids with bags of energy
Basketball and soccer tournaments, table soccer, carnival parades, volley ball, crazy ping pong, karaoke, treasure hunts, dance competitions, SMS parties, and Miss and Mr Teen are just some of the dynamic activities on offer for kids and teens with bags of energy.
For budding artists
Kids can channel their creativity into drawing, playing with plasticine, making mosaics, painting self-portraits, designing masks, carnival costumes and t-shirts, face-painting and much, much more.
Future journalists and cartoonists will be proud to see their work published in the new kids’ newspaper, and the Mini Club library has been enriched with books and comics for all those bookworms on board.
More activities, more space
Space on board dedicated to these programs has also expanded and kids can now make better use of other areas of the ship, including the disco, the theatre and the sports courts. On MSC Musica and MSC Lirica class ships, a special dance floor has even been dedicated to kids and teens so they can show off their moves.
Expanded gaming with Microsoft Xbox Kinetic and Nintendo Wii
The choice of games has also been enhanced, and the teen area on board every ship in the MSC fleet, excluding MSC Melody, is now equipped with a Microsoft XBox Kinetic, a Nintendo Wii, and the following selection of games: Kinect Sport, Kinect Dance Central, Kinect Yoostar 2: in the movies, Wii Sport, Super Mario Galaxy and Animal Crossing.
MSC Fantasia, MSC Splendida and MSC Divina have expanded gaming even further. Each cabin in the exclusive MSC Yacht club is equipped with a Nintendo Wii and the game Wii Sport. Other games can also be requested through the concierge service.
It’s show time!
On each ship, on one special afternoon during every cruise, Tarzan, Cinderella, Aladdin, Snow White and Pinocchio will dance and sing especially for children under 12 years and their families, in a dedicated theatre performance.
Peace of mind
MSC Cruises has also increased the ratio of staff to children and established new criteria for the hiring of counsellors. This includes the requirement of a college degree in recreation or child care, or the equivalent experience. New dedicated welcome desks for security bracelets have been set up, and pagers and beepers will be available for rent for the parents/supervising adults of children who are three to five years old, children with special medical conditions and children with special needs.