10 Things To Do With Kids On The Norwegian Jade

Although cruise holidays are still not the first choice for many families there is an increasing popularity in cruises with 1.79 British holidaymakers taking a cruise in 2013.  Almost all the mainstream cruise holiday operators now have a family offering and they are battling to think of the next innovative ‘first’ they can launch at sea from rock climbing walls, zip lines, ice bars and observation capsules.

The Norwegian Jade, which we have sailed on twice, is relatively small compared to some of the super ships.  Its vital statistics include a guest capacity of just short of 2500, with a crew of just over 1000 and a ship length of 965m.  It doesn’t have facilities like a water park or ice rink like some other ships but there are things for kids to do onboard and personally I think it’s great for younger kids as the ship isn’t too daunting in size but still has that wow factor when you see it up close.

ship

The Norwegian Jade in Kusadasi, Turkey

On sea days there is definitely enough to keep the kids entertained.

Check Out Splash Academy

The kids club is free to use and runs every day with organised activities based on the age of your child.  Guppies is aimed at babies from 6 months up to three years and a parent must attend and stay with the child.  The Guppies room is bright and airy with floor to ceiling windows and is full of good quality toys as well as a programme of ‘classes’ including puppet shows, art and rhyme time.  There is also a very small baby pool with a slide which is indoors and away from the main pool.

guppies

The Guppies playroom on the Norwegian Jade

From three years you can drop your child off at the Splash Academy and the activities are based around age groups divided 3years -5 years, 6 years-9 years, 10years-12 years and 13years-17 years.

For the first time Master ATWWAH was happy to go to a kids club and even asked if he could.  He went during the sea day which also coincided with them putting on a show in the Stardust Theatre which required rehearsals and then a performance later in the afternoon based on the circus.  It was very cute with the younger kids dressing up as tigers and lions and performing to songs with the older kids doing circus tricks which they had learnt in the kids club.

kids on stage

Taking a bow….the kids club circus show on the Norwegian Jade

If you want to you can even leave your child in the kids club on port days while you go and explore although neither of us were very comfortable with doing that so we only did it when we were all on the ship.  I must admit despite Master ATWWAH going to nursery three days a week at home it felt a bit odd him going to the kids club but he asked if he could go and he seemed to really enjoy it.

Go Swimming

The Jade has a fairly large outdoor pool with a water slide as well as an adults only pool.  There is often entertainment in the form of singers and bands during the day which gives the area a lively atmosphere especially when the lunch time BBQ is fired up.

The pool and surrounding areas were always pretty busy and there were often lots of little kids dancing on the bandstand when the band wasn’t playing.

Tire Them Out With Sport

For older kids there are sports courts including football, basketball and a golf area.  Our favourite is using the running track to tire Master ATWWAH out as he joins the joggers and runs around the track on the deck.

Learn Some New Games

There are little deck games dotted around the ship including draughts and chess which all the little kids seemed to be drawn to.  Admittedly I don’t think all of them were playing to the correct rules but who cares when you can drag big pieces of a chess kit around.

There is also a card room which older kids can go into.

Interrupt The Peace With The Big Shower

There is a huge outdoor shower which Master ATWWAH has been fascinated by on both of our cruises.  It is oddly located next to the quiet area, and is away from the swimming pool, so you do sometimes get slightly irritated looks from the older guests who have gone to read a book as they hear squeals of delight as the shower comes on.

shower

The big shower which provided hours of fascination for Mr and Master ATWWAH

Introduce Your Children To Arcade Games

As well as an onboard casino (which guests under 16 can’t do anything in due to gambling laws) there is a video arcade room.  Master ATWWAH was pretty fascinated by all the machines but I was a killjoy and said he was too young to go on anything.  Mr ATWWAH looked more disappointed.

Watch A DVD

For rooms with DVD players you can access the DVD library which has a pretty good selection of classic and recent kids films.

Photography Store

The ship has onboard photographers who regularly pop up in the evening or at ports as you leave the ship to take photos which you can then go and check out at your leisure in the shop.  Master ATWWAH loved going to find our photos each day from the previous night and as he is quite vain we ended up buying a couple of them too.

Is it weird that I quite like looking at other people’s photos on these boards?  Some are very photogenic and others really aren’t (myself included)

Eat

Being a cruise ship there is always somewhere to find food so you are never short of somewhere to go for a meal or a snack.  And generally there are more restaurants than days of your cruise so potentially you can eat somewhere different every day.  Admittedly not all children will find this at all interesting.

Just Wander

We spent a lot of our time just wandering around the ship.  As it isn’t too big it is easy to get from one side to another and there are always things (or people) to watch.  There are regularly shows and classes going on in the afternoons which you can watch if the mood takes you. Master ATWWAH loved the early evening karaoke we used to walk past on the way to the early evening theatre show.

We also used to spend a lot of time on the lifeboat deck where Master ATWWAH was fascinated by the lifeboats hanging down and all the emergency equipment.

There are often interesting places to see from the ship as you are heading to your next destination and it was nice to just stop and take in your surroundings and debate where you were and which coast line you could see.

All the sea air almost always guarantees a good nights sleep too.

If you liked this post then you may be interested in:

Our Croatia port stops on the Norwegian Jade

Athens and Kusadasi on the Norwegian Jade

Things to do with kids in Cornwall

10 things you need to know about eating out with kids

5 Comments
  1. This sounds interesting – I went on board one of the colossal cruise ships for the day, and found the size a bit staggering. I like the sound of the Norwegian Jade, as it seems to have everything you need even though it’s smaller. This might be an obvious question, but does it sail around Norway and Scandinavia?

  2. I do love the facilities on cruise ships for kids – like a giant floating resort. (And you’re not alone in being fascinated by other people’s onboard photos!)

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