Cruise Kids Club Age Groupings Guide

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Planning a family cruise can be an exciting yet challenging endeavour, especially for parents who hope to keep their children together during the trip.

Attending a kids’ club can be daunting for little ones, and many will prefer to have their siblings by their side if possible.

kids on a cruise

Cruise lines implement strict age group policies within their kids’ clubs to provide age-appropriate activities and ensure the safety and enjoyment of all children on board. They almost always require kids to stay in their age group, but there are a few exceptions, as I’ll explain below.

If you know that your kids will only attend the club if they can go together, this is something you’ll want to be aware of, as the age group splits differ depending on the cruise line.

So, here’s a comprehensive look at cruise line kids clubs and the specific age groups within those clubs.

1. Carnival Cruise Line

Kids Club: Camp Ocean

  • Penguins: Ages 2-5
  • Stingrays: Ages 6-8
  • Sharks: Ages 9-11
Camp Ocean kids club on Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival’s Camp Ocean is a vibrant, ocean-themed kids club that engages children with interactive games, creative crafts, and educational programs inspired by marine life. The club offers three distinct groups where kids can explore, learn, and make new friends through a variety of fun activities.

Teen Programs:

  • Circle “C”: Ages 12-14
  • Club O2: Ages 15-17
A modern gaming area designed for children, featuring multiple screens mounted on a wall with circular design elements. The room is furnished with cylindrical stools and padded seats, all set against a colorful, underwater-themed carpet. The setup is ideal for group gaming sessions and interactive entertainment.

For older kids, Circle “C” provides a space for pre-teens to socialise with dance parties and games, while Club O2 offers teens a cool hangout spot with music, movies, and video games.

2. Royal Caribbean International

Kids Club: Adventure Ocean

  • Aquanauts: Ages 3-5
  • Explorers: Ages 6-8
  • Voyagers: Ages 9-11
A well-equipped toddler playroom with colorful, soft play mats, a small ball pit, and various interactive toys. The room includes comfortable seating for adults and padded structures for climbing and play, creating a safe and engaging environment for young children. Bright lighting and cheerful decor enhance the inviting atmosphere.

Adventure Ocean on Royal Caribbean offers a fun and educational environment with themed activities tailored to different age groups. Kids can participate in science experiments, arts and crafts, and adventure-themed games. 

Teen Programs:

  • 12-14: Ages 12-14
  • 15-17: Ages 15-17
A vibrant social lounge filled with teenagers engaging in various activities, including playing foosball, using interactive digital tables, and relaxing on modern, colorful furniture. The room features neon signs with motivational phrases like "Love who you are," creating a lively and welcoming atmosphere. The decor is eclectic, with a mix of industrial and contemporary elements, promoting a fun and inclusive environment.

Royal Caribbean also includes dedicated spaces for tweens and teens, featuring karaoke, sports tournaments, and teen-only lounges where they can relax and socialise in a more grown-up setting.

3. Norwegian Cruise Line

Kids Club: Splash Academy

  • Guppies: Ages 6 months-2 years (with parents)
  • Turtles: Ages 3-5
  • Seals: Ages 6-9
  • Dolphins: Ages 10-12
A cozy children's reading and playroom featuring colorful bean bags and cushioned benches. The walls are adorned with a whimsical mural of elephants spraying water, adding a playful touch to the room. The space is designed for comfort and creativity, with small tables and seating areas ideal for storytime and quiet play.

Norwegian’s Splash Academy is a dynamic and colourful space where kids can engage in creative play, sports, and educational activities. The club is divided into groups that cater to different age ranges, ensuring everyone has age-appropriate fun.

Teen Program:

  • Entourage: Ages 13-17
A trendy teen lounge featuring neon lighting, vibrant seating options, and modern decor reminiscent of an urban underground scene. The walls are decorated with a subway map theme, complete with illuminated displays and cushy lounge areas. High tables and chairs provide additional seating, making it a perfect spot for socializing and relaxation.

Older kids can enjoy Entourage, a trendy hangout with video games, movies, and dance parties, providing a perfect spot for teens to meet new friends and have a great time.

4. Disney Cruise Line

Kids Club: Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab

  • Oceaneer Club and Lab: Ages 3-12
Spacious kids club room at Disney Cruise Line, featuring wooden tables and stools with orange accents, large screen displays with vibrant graphics, and illuminated shelving with decorative items in the background. The room is designed with a modern and playful aesthetic, perfect for children's activities and entertainment.

Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab offer a magical experience with themed play areas inspired by beloved Disney characters and movies. Children can join in on storytimes, interactive games, and imaginative play.

The great thing about Disney’s kids’ club is that children from ages 3 to 12 can all attend together so there’s no need for siblings to be split up. 11 and 12 years old have the choice of attending the Oceaneer Club or Edge, which is the teen program on board. 

Teen Programs:

  • Edge: Ages 11-14
  • Vibe: Ages 14-17
Vibrant teens club room on Disney Cruise Line, featuring a large curved yellow sofa, modern stools and tables, and a colorful wall mural with the word "Vibe" prominently displayed. The room also includes a beverage station and a large screen, creating a trendy and comfortable hangout space for teenagers.

For tweens and teens, Disney provides Edge and Vibe, two stylish lounges equipped with high-tech games, music, and social events, ensuring a fun and engaging environment for all ages.

5. Princess Cruises

Kids Club: Camp Discovery

  • The Treehouse: Ages 3-7
  • The Lodge: Ages 8-12
Kids club room on Princess Cruise Line, featuring colorful sofas and a large TV where children are playing video games. The room has modern design elements with illuminated green accents on the walls, creating a fun and engaging environment for young passengers.

Princess Cruises’ Camp Discovery, created in partnership with Discovery Channel, offers a range of activities that spark curiosity and adventure. The program features themed crafts, games, and educational activities that cater to different age groups.

Teen Program:

  • The Beach House: Ages 13-17
Teens club room on Princess Cruise Line, featuring comfortable beige sofas, a ping pong table, and a large Connect Four game. The room includes a TV area with a modern entertainment setup and offers a relaxed space for teenagers to socialize and enjoy various activities.

The Beach House provides teens with a cool space to socialise, play video games, and participate in talent shows and dance parties, making it a hit among older kids.

6. MSC Cruises

Kids Club: MSC Kids Club

  • Baby Club: Ages 1-3
  • Mini Club: Ages 3-6
  • Juniors Club: Ages 7-11
Two children pose happily with certificates in front of a large LEGO sailor statue at an MSC Cruise Kids' Club. The boy on the left holds colorful streamers and a "Congratulations" certificate, while the girl on the right, wearing a Minnie Mouse hoodie and a face mask, holds a similar certificate and streamers. The background features bright colors and playful decorations, enhancing the fun atmosphere.

MSC Cruises’ Kids Club is a family-friendly haven with a variety of programs for children of all ages. The club offers arts and crafts, sports, and dance competitions tailored to different age groups, ensuring each child has a fun and memorable experience.

Teen Programs:

  • Young Club: Ages 12-14
  • Teen Club: Ages 15-17
Teens club room on MSC Cruise Line, featuring a futuristic design with blue lighting, gaming consoles, and a large screen for video games. The room includes interactive play areas, red chairs, and shelves displaying various board games and activities, creating an engaging and modern space for teenagers to enjoy.

Teenagers can enjoy the Young Club and Teen Club, which provide spaces for socialising, playing video games, and participating in sports and dance events.

7. Holland America Line

Kids Club: Club HAL

  • Kids: Ages 3-7
  • Tweens: Ages 8-12
Club HAL kids club on Holland America Line

Holland America’s Club HAL provides a range of enriching activities for kids and teens. Younger children can enjoy storytelling, arts and crafts, and games, while tweens participate in scavenger hunts, sports, and karaoke.

Teen Program: The Loft

  • Teens: Ages 13-17
The Loft teen space on Holland America Line

Teens have access to an exclusive lounge where they can join dance parties, video game tournaments, and themed events, creating a lively and engaging atmosphere.

8. Celebrity Cruises

Kids Club: Camp at Sea

  • Shipmates: Ages 3-5
  • Cadets: Ages 6-9
  • Captains: Ages 10-12
Kids club room on Celebrity Cruise Line, designed with a playful and modern aesthetic. The room features a slide, colorful play structures, small tables and chairs, and a variety of toys, creating an engaging and safe environment for young children to play and explore.

Celebrity Cruises’ Camp at Sea is a versatile program offering over 500 activities that cater to kids’ interests. Children can enjoy interactive play, science and art projects, and team challenges.

Teen Program:

  • Teens: Ages 13-17
Teens club room on Celebrity Cruise Line, featuring a mix of modern and retro design elements with colorful sofas, wall art, and musical instruments. The room is equipped with various entertainment options and cozy seating areas, providing a trendy and inviting space for teenagers to relax and socialize.

For teens, the program provides a dedicated space with video games, sports, and themed parties, ensuring a fun and interactive environment where they can meet new friends and have a great time.

9. Costa Cruises

Kids Club: Squok Club

  • Mini Club: Ages 3-6
  • Maxi Club: Ages 7-11
Group of children on a cruise ship deck enjoying the view of the ocean, accompanied by a person in a blue mascot costume. The children are interacting with the mascot and using binoculars to look out over the water, creating a lively and joyful atmosphere.

Costa Cruises’ Squok Club offers a lively environment with games, sports, and creative activities that cater to various age groups. The club features interactive play areas and fun events, allowing children to make new friends and enjoy their time at sea.

Teen Programs:

  • Teen Club Junior: Ages 12-14
  • Teen Club: Ages 15-17
Retro-themed room on a cruise ship, featuring a classic jukebox, a drum set, and colorful decor with surfboards and vibrant patterns. The room has modern seating and a TV, creating a fun and nostalgic atmosphere perfect for music and entertainment activities.

Older kids can join the Teen Club Junior and Teen Club, which offer spaces for socialising, playing video games, and participating in pool parties and themed evenings.

10. P&O Cruises

Kids Club: The Reef

  • Splashers: Ages 2-4
  • Surfers: Ages 5-8
  • Scubas: Ages 9-12
Colorful indoor play area on a cruise ship, featuring a slide, climbing structures, and pirate-themed decorations. The room is designed for young children with various interactive play elements and soft, cushioned surfaces, providing a safe and fun environment for active play.

P&O Cruises’ The Reef is a vibrant kids club with activities like arts and crafts, games, and sports designed for different age groups. The club provides a fun and engaging environment where children can explore their creativity and make new friends. 

Teen Program:

  • H20: Ages 13-17
Teens club room on P&O Cruises, featuring comfortable navy blue sofas with yellow pillows, modern decor, and a variety of board games and activities on a coffee table. The room has a cozy and stylish ambiance, with shelving units and colorful artwork creating a welcoming space for teenagers to relax and socialize.

Teens can enjoy H2O, a dedicated area with video games, talent shows, and late-night movies, providing a cool hangout spot for older kids to relax and have fun.

Kids Club Age Groupings Are Strict, But There Are Exceptions

Whether children can attend a different club from that of their age group is a common question. In general, the answer is no, but there are some exceptions.

1. Groups may be merged on quieter cruises

When we cruised on P&O Britannia in term time, we found that the Splashers (age 2-4) and Surfers (age 5-7) were joined together. That’s because there simply weren’t enough kids onboard to warrant having two separate groups.

On school holidays cruises when there are a lot of kids, the groups will be hosted in separate rooms for most of the time. However, there may be occasions when they join together, such as to watch a movie at the end of the night.

Outdoor play area on a cruise ship, featuring a nautical-themed play structure with slides, climbing elements, and interactive features. The area is covered with a canopy for shade, providing a fun and safe environment for young children to play and explore while at sea.

2. If your child has a birthday on the cruise they can choose

My son turned 5 on the last day of our two-week cruise. That meant that has was allowed to choose whether to go in the Splashers with the other 4-year-olds or in the Surfers with his older sister.

He chose the Surfers which was excellent as they could play together, and it was easier for us to collect both kids from the same place at the same time.

Adam with cake in front of him on his 5th birthday onboard Iona.

3. If your child has additional needs the cruise line may be flexible

This doesn’t apply to every cruise line, but most will be able to be flexible for children with developmental delays or other additional needs. This means that they may be able to join a group with younger children if it would suit them better there.

If this applies to you, then it’s vital that you contact the cruise line ahead of time to make the request. If you leave it until you’re on board, there’s less change that they will be able to accommodate you.


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Kids clubs are a lot of fun!

It’s normal for children to be nervous about attending the club for the first time. I would always recommend that they go to the first session of the cruise, as this is when there will be ice-breaking sessions and “getting-to-know-you games”.

I always try to leave the children for just an hour at first rather than the full session. I would rather they be disappointed that it’s time to leave already, than waiting for me to come back.

After the first couple of days, most kids are well-settled and then your only problem will be trying to keep them away from there!

Oftentimes, teenagers like to join Snapchat groups for their cruise so that they can get to know people before they sail. This thales away any first day awkwardness and they make friends right away.

You’ll often find that although teenagers meet in the teen area, they don’t tend to stay there. You’ll see large groups of them in the hot tubs, on the sports courts or going to the cinema together.

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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