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Family Friendly Cruises for Kids

Voyages of discovery and reconnection that everyone from grandkids to grandparents can share., best family cruise destinations, alaska cruise destinations and cruisetours.

See the Great Land’s glaciers, wildlife, and national parks.

Caribbean Cruise Destinations

Walk along sun-kissed beaches in laid-back style.

European Cruise Destinations

Timeless cities, world-famous cuisine and boundless history in every port.

Australia & New Zealand Cruise Destinations

The Great Barrier Reef, stunning coastlines and relaxed charm are calling.

3rd and 4th Guests Sail Free

Cruise activities for the whole family.

Princess makes sure there are a variety of family friendly cruise activities so you have plenty of ways to spend quality time together

Adventures every member of the family will enjoy

Unique and immersive travel experiences, including more time in more ports, Discovery™ and Animal Planet™ shore excursions, and award-winning onboard programs, have earned Princess the distinction of "Best Cruise Line for Multi-Generational Family Travel" in the  Porthole Cruise Magazine 2018 Readers' Choice Awards.

Princess MedallionClass®

Get more from family time with the MedallionClass experience on all ships. Easy embarkation and customizing dining preferences, including pace, means fewer meltdowns. Interactive games and the fast, reliable MedallionNet® Wi-Fi keep the gang entertained. And you’ll always be able to find the kids (or the adults!) anywhere on board. Connect with what matters most – each other – on your Princess MedallionClass cruise.

Get in the family zone

New on the Caribbean Princess®, the Reef Family Splash Zone is the perfect place to relax, have fun and enjoy the water. An interactive splash pad with giant whale feature will entertain kids of all ages with showers, sprays and a water jet from the whale's spout! Oversized backyard games in the all-ages game zone set the stage for some good natured family competition. Celebrate after with playful mocktails for the kids and refreshing cocktails for the parents at our kid-friendly bar area. When you need a break from the sun, head to the comfy loungers and sheltered shade canopies.

Discovery™, Discovery Family™ & Animal Planet™ shore excursions

Welcome to enriching, immersive, once-in-a-lifetime experiences your whole family will never forget — especially on unique Discovery™ and Animal Planet™ Exclusive Tours that can't be booked independently, and are available only through Princess Cruises.

Voyage to the stars

Princess enables everyone in the family to find their place among the stars. With top-deck stargazing, an indoor planetarium with real-time views of planets, stars and galaxies, Camp Discovery activities, expert insights through Encounters with Discovery at SEA, engaging stateroom content and more, there are many unique experiences for every family to enjoy.

Meet Stanley

Make friends with the cuddliest bear at sea. Interact with Stanley throughout the voyage — at photo ops, story time, bear games, and crafts! You can even get your own Stanley exclusively on board and bring him home as a reminder of your special journey. And don’t forget to share your adventures on social media with #StanleyAtSea.

Immersive Princess entertainment

The thrill of being part of a live-theater audience is something family members will relive for years. And Princess-exclusive, Broadway-caliber stage shows from award-winning composer Steven Schwartz are a dazzling way to bring everyone together. You'll also find plenty of opportunities for audience participation with  The Voice of the Ocean  musical competition, the  High Seas Heist  mystery challenge and  Can You Survive?  game show.

So many fresh ways to dine together

Eat dinner every night as a family and try new regional foods together. Satisfy everyone's personal tastes with a delicious variety of casual dining options, special kids' menus in the Main Dining Room, and the ability to cater to individual dietary preferences upon request. Princess does the cooking and cleaning so you can spend more time focusing on what matters most.

Family cruise celebration vacations

The heart of a celebration is spending time with those you love. But what if one person you love is 17, and the other is 71? It’s hard to pick an activity that appeals to everyone. A Princess family cruise is a perfect chance to celebrate together while enjoying the hundreds of amazing activities taking place on Princess ships from morning to night.

Family-friendly cruise lodging

Princess makes it easy to sail together in comfort. ‭In addition to comfortable Mini-Suites and spacious Suites, ‭larger groups can ‭opt for a Family ‭Suite which includes ‭two interconnecting ‭staterooms and ‭sleeps up to eight on select ships.

Explorers Come in All Ages. And Princess Inspires Their Imaginations

Uniquely themed centers host engaging activities specially designed to help them play, huddle, create and discover.

Exciting youth & teen clubs

In partnership with Discovery™, Princess has developed engaging new youth programming and wonder-filled centers designed for our youngest guests.

  • Places for young explorers to learn about the world and discover new interests.
  • Invitations to meet new friends and enjoy memorable experiences while sailing.

Kids Cruise Activities — Ages 6 Months - 2 Years

Making our youngest voyagers feel right at home.

Princess welcomes babies, toddlers and preschoolers to the world of cruising with services and amenities that make life easier for their families as well. These young guests are welcome in Camp Discovery when accompanied by a parent. Mini-Suites and Full Suites offer full-sized bath tubs, and wash bins for showers are available. Staterooms with balconies are perfect for naptime. You can request high chairs, booster seats and cribs. We also provide complimentary jarred baby food. And fresh, pureed foods (fruits, veggies and rice) are available in the main dining room, specialty restaurants, and Horizon Court or World Fresh Marketplace.

Kids Cruise Activities — Ages 3-12

The treehouse — ages 3-7.

This bright, whimsical, forest-themed center for children features hands-on activities and programs surrounded by captivating creatures.

The Lodge — Ages 8-12

Inspired by the great outdoors, this cozy center is filled with sports activities and comfortable places for kids to explore, hang out and lounge.

Sports, games, physical activities

  • Scavenger hunts, group games, basketball tournaments, ping pong competitions, dodgeball, skeeball, dance parties and more!
  • Try your skills on PlayStation®, Nintendo Wii™, and XBOX Kinect consoles, board games, air hockey and ping-pong.
  • Join dance classes and engage in friendly competitions.
  • Enjoy sports including basketball, mini golf, yoga and miniature Olympics.

Places, Animals, Science

  • Mythbusters Jawsome Sharks program: Try hands-on challenges, featuring Tori Belleci from the show.
  • Animal Planet™ uncovers ferocious secrets in  Shark Attack , and learn squid anatomy in  Just Squiddin’ Around .
  • Learn the science of magic or become an engineer for a day with programs from the  California Science Center , home of the  Endeavour  space shuttle.
  • Inspire a love of nature from the regions we sail with Animal Planet Endangered Species and Glacier Bay Jr. Ranger programs.

Fun interactions with peers

  • NEW!  Rhythm of the Caribbean : Caribbean music, dance, trivia and crafts light up the night for the whole family.
  • Wild Alaska Festival : Celebrate Alaskan nature at this family theme night.
  • Discovery at Sea™ theme days with activities inspired by  Shark Week  and Animal Planet.
  • Talent Shows showcase singing, dancing, musical skill, and jokes.
  • Theme Nights include Pirate, Mexican Fiesta and competitive Challenge themes.

Arts, crafts, inventions

  • Compete: Join the Klutz® paper airplane challenge or Lego boat-building contest.
  • JrCHEF@Sea: Learn cake decorating and enjoy the results with your family.
  • Make Animal Planet puppets, masks and paintings inspired by regional wildlife.
  • Klutz® Art Projects: Craft bracelets, velvet art, jewelry and more.

Teens Cruise Activities — Ages 13-17

The beach house — ages 13-17.

This contemporary beach-themed lounge is "the" place for teens to hang out, socialize and connect.

You won't want to miss our  Rock the Boat Party . It’s the occasion to dress up, stroll down the red carpet and flash your VIP badge, then enjoy an evening of mocktails, awards and celebrating with your friends.

Competitions

Give your skills a workout in our video game tournaments. Play to win in air hockey, foosball and ping-pong. Or compete in outdoor sporting activities like dodgeball and basketball tournaments.

Dance classes

Perfect your moves with guidance from one of our crew dancers, then show what you’ve got at dance competitions and parties.

Movies & more

Get your scream on at  Scary Movie Night , or catch some recent hits at  Late Night Movies . Or cast yourself in a whole new light with teen makeovers and glitter tattoos.

Youth & Teen Program Registration

Registration Form with Youth Guidelines & Safety Measures (PDF)  or  Register Online

Registration Form with Teen Guidelines & Safety Measures (PDF)  or  Register Online

Please note:  During voyages with a high number of families onboard, we will make all efforts to accommodate interested parties. However, participation in our program cannot be guaranteed. Hours of operation may change to better serve our guests.

Hours of Operation:  Sea days 9:00am to 12:00 pm | 1:00pm - 5:00pm | 6:00pm - 10:00pm. Port Days 8:00am - 5:00pm | 6:00pm - 10:00pm. Depending on the itinerary, port hours may be expanded. Check the schedule once onboard. The program is complimentary during port days and advanced bookings are not required.

Kids and Youth center facilities vary across Princess cruise ships.

Parents Night Out

Where kids can play while you're away.

Rest assured, whether you've planned a day of exploring or a romantic night out, the group kidsitting at our Youth Centers offers your children between the ages of 3 and 12 plenty to look forward to. It's the perfect place for them to relax or play games with their friends. And the charge is just $5.00 USD per hour per child.

Dinner events exclusively for kids

Children and adults alike get the chance to enjoy dinner on their own with a variety of opportunities for kids to eat with their friends and Princess Youth Staff. They'll find kids-only dinners on select evenings, a teens-only dinner on a formal night in an exclusively reserved section of the dining room, as well as ice cream and pizza parties held throughout the voyage. Please be sure the Youth Staff members know about any food allergies your child may have.

Cruise Activities for Young Adults — Ages 18-20

Imagine a secret society. Only those invited can join. Guests ages 18-20 will learn the secret handshake and be granted a special code word to unlock an exclusive list of Club1820 events made just for them. No parents, no little siblings, no official hosts.

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FAMILY CRUISE DEALS

Keep everyone entertained on your next holiday.

DISCOVER UNLIMITED FUN ON THE HIGH SEAS DURING SCHOOL HOLIDAYS!

At Carnival, a family cruise package is more than just a holiday – it's an adventure of a lifetime. Spend your school holidays sliding down water slides, splashing in pools, or simply relaxing on deck. Our family cruises offer a wide range of entertainment for the whole family, day and night.

And what's a proper family cruise package without some quiet alone time for the parents? With our fully supervised parent-free events and cruise activities for kids of all ages, you can enjoy some well-deserved relaxation in our relaxation pods in Serenity.

On top of all the fun onboard, a family cruise package can take you to some amazing ports, allowing you to explore what Australia and the South Pacific has to offer.

Departing from Brisbane and Sydney, our family cruises will give you all a getaway to remember.

VIEW FAMILY CRUISE DEALS

Entertainment

There’s nothing quite like a live show after a fun filled day. Kickback and let us entertain the socks off you.

DINING & BARS

Every meal will be the adventure of a lifetime for your tastebuds. Our talented chefs and bartenders will bring out your inner foodie.

When was the last time that you really relaxed? A visit to our Spa & Fitness centre will leave you in seventh heaven.

We put the fun into Family Cruise Packages

In order for any family holiday to be a success, you need to find generational activities that’ll delight any age group. And that is easy and fun to do on a Carnival cruise. Life as a parent is busy and that’s something the Carnival Cruise Line team understands.

So, why not book a spa therapy or night out while our friendly onboard take care of the kids’ clubs. We even have a teen club, 12-14 years with Circle ‘C’. When you’re done, reunite in the water park or at the mini-golf while a hit movie unfolds on the big screen out on deck. For family dining options, head to Guy’s Burger Joint for juicy burgers or be tempted at Masala Tiger.

As ever, the journey is the destination onboard your family-friendly cruise holiday with Carnival.

Commonly Asked Questions

How to get the best deal on a family cruise.

Finding an affordable family-friendly holiday that suits old and young children, and is perfect for mum and dad, is no longer a problem with a family cruise deal from Carnival. Have fun every day, and relax in style, with one of our great value favourite family cruises. To find the best family cruise deals, simply choose your:

  • Destination

What is the best cruise for families in Australia?

Well, we are a tad biased, but if you’re looking for family cruise deals from Sydney and family cruise deals from Brisbane that will create life-long memories, then you can stop clicking. Carnival family cruises give you and your family everything you could ever want in one place – from spa treatments and swimming pools to playlist productions and arts and crafts . And that doesn’t even include the:

  • Serenity Adult Only Retreat
  • Activities for everyone
  • Shore Excursions
  • Video Games

Oh, and have we mentioned that the kids will be flat out all day and night with endless fun activities?

How much does a cruise cost for a family?

Finding a family cruise deal that’s right for you comes down to choosing a range of different options, including from our unique staterooms .

  • Family Suite

Each room is perfect for family of 4 cruise deals, and we even offer adjoining rooms for that extra space and privacy. Not that you’ll be spending too much time there.

What is the cheapest month to go on a family cruise?

Find the great rates, exclusive offers and special deals and fit them in with your family’s schedule. When it comes to value for money, a family cruise deal has it all. With Carnival, you’ll find family cruises that suit your budget, whenever you want to sail. You can even organise an onboard credit prior to departing.

How to book a family cruise deal?

Simply find a family cruise deal and book online today. Family cruise deals offer you and your loved ones a cruise ship holiday like no other.

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14 Night Cruise to Australia & New Zealand

  • You want big ship features on a smaller, manageable scale
  • You appreciate having plenty of choice when it comes to food
  • You want accomodations with private balconies for lounging
  • You want a cruise ship with a real party atmosphere by night
  • You are bringing kids, and want amenities like waterslides

4 Night Cruise to Australia & New Zealand

54 night cruise to australia & new zealand.

  • You want plenty of choice on a more traditionally styled ship
  • You love open deck space; this ship has lots to go around
  • You enjoy a wide array of family-friendly entertainment choices
  • You've cruised on Coral Princess and loved the experience
  • You want cabins with ultra-luxe features and amenities

3 Night Cruise to Australia & New Zealand

  • You want a classy, big ship experience with lots of amenities
  • You are traveling as a family and need a cruise for all ages
  • You like having plenty of choice when it comes to food onboard
  • You are looking for nonstop, Vegas-style nightly entertainment
  • You dislike crowds; disembarking the ship can require patience
  • You feel more at home on a smaller and more intimate ship

5 Night Cruise to Australia & New Zealand

  • You are traveling as a family and want a slice of Disney at sea
  • You love family-friendly activities and adult-oriented amenities
  • You want a ship that can please adults and children alike
  • You dislike cruising with large numbers of families and children
  • You are budget-conscious and book cruises at the last-minute
  • You are looking for an adult-oriented cruise experience

2 Night Cruise to Australia & New Zealand

9 night cruise to australia & new zealand, 11 night cruise to australia & new zealand.

  • You want to be wowed by glitzy, Vegas-style attractions
  • You need plenty of exciting activities and nonstop nights
  • You are traveling as a family and need something for everyone
  • You want cutting-edge design and all the latest features
  • You dislike crowds and additional charges; both are here

10 Night Cruise to Australia & New Zealand

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weekend getaway cruise kid blast fun waterpark pool

WANNA HAVE FUN

YOUTH PROGRAMS BEST CRUISE ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS & TEENS 

Loads of laughter and unforgettable experiences go hand-in-hand when cruising with your kids. Royal Caribbean’s games, events and cruise activities for kids are going on all over the ship throughout the day and into the evening hours, making family time a great time. And thanks to our award-winning Adventure Ocean® youth programme, children love their cruise holiday just as much as their parents.

Loads of laughter and unforgettable experiences go hand-in-hand when cruising with your kids. Royal Caribbean’s games, events and cruise activities for kids are going on all over the ship throughout the day and into the evening hours, making family time a great time. And thanks to our award-winning Adventure Ocean® youth programme and the all-new DreamWorks Experience, children love their cruise holiday just as much as their parents.

Oasis of the Seas Adventure Ocean Workshop Girl Doing Art

Adventure Ocean ®

The new Adventure Ocean® youth programme is designed to ignite the imagination.

Up and Away

Up, Up and Away

Join puppets Mia and Max as they embark on a glow-in-the-dark adventure.

Anthem of the Seas Fuel Teen Disco

Teen Lounge

The Teen Lounge is the spot for teens to hang out.

kid friendly cruises australia

Adventure Science Lab

Junior scientists expand their horizons in the Adventure Science Lab.

onboard,  Adventure Ocean empty,  Aquanauts play room,  kids spaces, fleetwide

There are endless ways to satisfy kids' curiosity in the Adventure Ocean® Aquanauts group.

Harmony of the Seas Adventure Ocean Imagination Studio

Imagination Studio

Kids can create anything they want at the Imagination Studio at Adventure Ocean®.

Adventure Ocean Theater Seats

Adventure Ocean Theatre

At Adventure Ocean® Theatre, young stars take centre stage.

Adventure Ocean Royal Babies and Tots Room

Babies and Tots Programs

Littles have big-time fun in the Babies and Tots programs at Adventure Ocean®.

Father and Daughter Using Water Colors in Adventure Ocean

Adventure Art

Adventure Art lets kids create their very own masterpiece.

Adventure Ocean Voyagers Play Area

The Adventure Ocean® Voyagers group gets active with games, competitions and educational activities.

Adventure Ocean Explorers Venue Playroom

Discovery is the name of the game in the Adventure Ocean® Explorers group.

Colorful Fantasy Land depicted in poster for the Away We Go Cruise Show by Royal Caribbean

See what happens when you wish upon a star in Away We Go .

OUR AWARD WINNING ADVENTURE YOUTH PROGRAM 

With our Adventure Ocean® youth programs, not only will your children's time on board be fun, it will be educational too! Aquanauts (ages 3-5 years) will have fun conducting cool experiments and becoming Certified Jr. Adventure Scientists. Our specially designed Explorers program (ages 6-8 years) is packed with exciting cruise activities for kids, which includes themed parties. Voyagers (ages 9-12 years) will explore a range of activities that puts the "cool" back into learning.

Adventure Ocean Youth Program area, consider one of the best activities for kids on a cruise.

NIGHT OUT FOR ADULTS LATE-NIGHT PARTY ZONE

Father and son playing in a playroom onboard a family-friendly cruise.

FOR OUR TINIEST GUESTS& BABIES & TOTS PROGRAMS

Majesty of the Seas Fuel Teen Disco

FUN ISN'T JUST FOR ADULTS TEENS & TWEENS PROGRAM 

Whether hanging out with other cruisers or playing games, sports and parties are on your tween's agenda, our teen-only spots are the places to go. Our Teen program also allows older kids the freedom to come and go as they please. They'll love it so much, the only thing you might wish for is a little more time with your kids.

The Living Room is a play area for teens and older children to have fun onboard a Royal Caribbean Cruise.

THE LIVING ROOM

Whether you want to chill out or all-out dance, drop into the teen-only spaces where you can hang out until late. Start at the teen lounge, a laid-back hideaway and then ramp up the energy at the teen-only nightclub.

The teen-only nightclub is a favorite thing to do on a cruise for teens.

FUEL TEEN CLUB

See some great comedy films as well as other fantastic action films brought to life in our 3D cinema or in your stateroom.

See the Shrek movies as well as other fantastic DreamWorks films brought to life in our 3D theatre or in your stateroom.

The Arcade for kids and teens is one of the top things to do for children on a cruise.

THE ARCADES

Blips, bleeps, clangs and cheers. Play to win in a classic arcade atmosphere with timeless games like Pacman and table hockey, plus the latest – Guitar Hero, Fast and Furious Drift and more.

YOUTH FACILITIES & FACILITIES 

Adventure Ocean youth facilities are designed to meet the needs of younger guests. Kids will have a blast at our complimentary, award-winning Adventure Ocean® Youth Program. We separate kids and teens into age groups so that they can enjoy specialised programs made to expand their imaginations, in interactive, multi-room spaces designed just for them. It’s an incredibly fun, totally edu-taining adventure.

movies on demand

FAMILY LIBRARY

Available in the ships library, this area offers classic and popular family titles in a variety of languages (based on the ship’s itinerary) and a comfortable reading area for kids to relax and delve into a book, individually or with a parent.

Family playing mini golf on a cruise. A cruise activity for families with children.

FAMILY TIME

No doubt about it – our ships are built for families. Get together for festivals, poolside games, physical challenges, karaoke nights, theme nights and more.

Girl looking at food part of the My Family Time cruise dining experience for kids.

FAMILY-TIME DINING

My Family Time Dining is offered for the first seating time in our main dining room, for children of ages three to 11. Kids enjoy their meal within 40 minutes of seating, before heading to the evening's Adventure Ocean activities. The program starts on the second evening that you're onboard. After that, you can use it each evening or whenever you wish.

Soda Being Poured in a Royal Reusable Cup

CLASSIC SOFT DRINKS PACKAGE

Allows guests to enjoy as many soft drinks as they like for a fixed price for the duration of the cruise.

Allows guests up to 18 years of age to enjoy as many soft drinks as they like for a fixed price for the duration of the cruise. Learn more

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From fun activities on board to adventurous excursions on land, our award-winning cruises offer unforgettable experiences for the whole family to enjoy. Kids, parents, and grandparents will find plenty of opportunities to spend quality time together and create memories that will remain long after your vacation ends.

Gather everyone for a movie night under the stars. Enjoy theater shows and live music. Splash with your kids on the beach or go on thrilling shore excursions with adventurous teens. There’s something for everyone to love on our fun-filled family cruises.

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Kids and Teen Programs

The fun starts at Camp At Sea, our onboard entertainment center and program designed exclusively for kids ages 3 to 12. Open every day from 9:00am - 10:00pm, Camp at Sea offers kids the opportunity to participate in a number of entertaining activities, including treasure hunts, arts and crafts, sports, and theme parties, all under the supervision of our experienced youth staff. For our teen cruisers, the Teen Club is the place to be. At the Teen Club, they can make new friends and participate in events like video game competitions, teen parties, and culinary classes. Activities are overseen by our team of teen counselors and offered throughout the day, allowing teens to come and go as they please.

Entertainment On Board

There’s no shortage of entertaining venues on board. Spend the day swimming in the pool with the kids, then watch the sunset while relaxing in one of our elevated hot tubs. Gather on board for movie night under the stars, silent disco parties, hot glass classes, and archery tournaments —so many activities to share. Don’t miss the views from the Lawn Club or the Resort Deck, which provides the ultimate backdrop for a picture-perfect family photo.

One of the top reasons we’re one of the best cruise lines for families is because we offer an array of family-friendly shore excursions at over 300 port destinations. With activities varying from cultural tours to thrilling water sports, families will have no trouble finding a number of exciting excursions such as swimming with dolphins, hiking up volcanoes or glaciers, and strolling through ancient Mayan ruins.

Family Luxury at The Retreat

The Retreat is the ultimate luxury vacation experience on board. Families staying at The Retreat will not only enjoy a private sundeck*, but also spacious suite accommodations with expansive verandas and large lounge areas, where the whole family can comfortably relax and spend time together. Those traveling with multiple family members can stay at our Penthouse Suite or book one of our breathtaking Iconic Suites, which span over 2,500 square feet.

*The Retreat Sundeck available on Edge Series and Revolutionized ships.  

Unforgettable Family Cruise Destinations

With over 300 destinations on our itineraries, there are plenty of exciting places waiting to be discovered. Tropical islands, cosmopolitan cities, seaside villages, and rustic towns are all on the agenda.

Take the family on a cruise to Alaska, where you’ll sail through the famous Inside Passage and witness the magic of towering glaciers and the stunning wilderness of the Last Frontier. If you’re looking for a little bit more culture, head on one of our European journeys, where you’ll stroll past ancient buildings, feast on exquisite cuisine, and stop by picturesque towns. As for a sun-soaked vacation, it doesn’t get much better than a cruise to the Caribbean, where white sand beaches and turquoise waters await.

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Family Fun for Everyone

Cruises are the perfect opportunity for multigenerational family members to bond. Spend the day together at the pool, sign up for any number of group activities, and enjoy nightly family meals at our main dining room. If you want to try something different, then plan a skip-generational vacation, where parents stay at home and grandparents are free to spoil their grandkids during an unforgettable trip.

Summer Cruises

What better way to enjoy the warm, balmy weather of summer than by sailing to a sunny destination with the family? Spend a week visiting Caribbean beaches, chase adventure during a cruise to Alaska, or discover the best of Europe while on a Mediterranean journey—our summer cruises are what vacation dreams are made of.

Spring Break Cruises

Take advantage of spring break and spend seven days at sea with the kids. Even though school’s out, there are still plenty of opportunities for learning on board. At Camp at Sea, children can take art classes, participate in sports activities, and sign up for special STEM-based programs focused on marine biology and environmental conservation.

Holiday Cruises

Celebrating the holidays with family is easy while aboard one of our cruises. Even if you’re far away, you’ll feel right at home with our festive decorations and delicious traditional holiday meals. Get into the holiday spirit by hearing Christmas carols or taking in a holiday show at our theater. And don’t worry, Santa always makes a surprise appearance bearing gifts for the kids.

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Cruise Holidays with Kids

Go from homework to home run and feel like ‘Parents Of The Year’. From family dining to Kid’s Clubs, there’s something for everyone with our P&O Families program. A holiday doesn’t begin until everyone’s enjoying themselves. That’s why we have heaps of onboard activities every day that are designed just for kids. We have four age-specific Kid’s Clubs that are included in your fare and jam packed with arts and crafts, music and sports activities plus much more. It won’t take long till the whole family is having the time of their life!

Age appropriate

We want everyone to have a great time but we also need to make sure everyone is staying safe and happy while onboard. That means that proper supervision is important!

There needs to be at least one guest 18 years or older in each room to ensure suitable supervision. However, to accommodate families cruising together, children can occupy a separate room to their parent/guardian, if one child is 16 years or over.

We welcome children 6 months and over on Australian Domestic and New Zealand Domestic cruises to cruise with us. For all other itineraries children must be 12 months and over to cruise with us. Due to limited neo-natal facilities we’re unable to accommodate infants less than 6 months. In addition, infants under two years must remain with their parent/guardian at all times, including when attending the Turtle Cove Kids Club.

Sleep soundly

You’ll sleep soundly on P&O cruises knowing that your kids are sleeping soundly and safely too! Most of our four berth (quad) rooms and some of our three berth (triple) rooms contain two single lower beds and one or two upper beds (bunk beds). To comply with Australian safety standards, we recommend that children under the age of nine don’t occupy or play on the upper bunk beds. Bed rails are available on request from your steward for children nine years and over who occupy an upper bunk bed.

(Baby) Food for thought

We love having little ones onboard but unfortunately baby food and baby formula are not supplied on our ships. Don’t fear — we can store any food or formula for you. If you need to store any baby food during your cruise please contact our Cruise Contact Center. It must be sealed and commercially produced and packaged. Please ensure you travel with enough food to cover the entire cruise and a little extra for any unforeseen delays.

Access all areas

The kids are all right (most of the time). For your safety and theirs we have some restrictions on certain parts of the ship at certain times. Children under 13 years must be accompanied by a parent/guardian in the public lounges after 9:30pm. Children under 18 years must be accompanied by a parent/guardian in the entertainment lounges and restrictions may apply to access pools, spas, gym and our beauty and treatment areas. Want a night off? Be sure to check with the Kid’s Clubs for special evening events designed for children and teens.

Making a splash with your family can be the best part of a holiday. We want to keep it that way! That’s why on P&O Cruises any child using the pools must be supervised by a parent /guardian at all times. For public safety reasons, children in nappies (including swim nappies) and children who are not toilet trained are not permitted in the public swimming pools and spas.

You’re still in charge

We know that you need a little break too! That’s why we offer our special Kid’s Clubs. However, for your child’s comfort and enjoyment please do not leave them in the Kid’s Club for extended periods as this unsettles them. If your child becomes upset or distressed, our staff will contact you. Please note our staff are not permitted to administer medication or bottle feed your child. You will be paged if your child requires assistance.

Come one, come all

P&O Cruises welcomes all children and teens aged 2 years to 17 years to participate in our programs. We need to be advised at least 60 days prior to sailing of any children with medical and/or special needs. We will make every effort to accommodate them. Please be advised, P&O Cruises youth staff do not offer individual one-on-one supervision. If your child requires one-on-one supervision, they will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.

Travelling with infants and toddlers

Family comes first and we love it when children cruise with us. We welcome children 6 months and over on Australian Domestic and New Zealand Domestic cruises to cruise with us. For all other itineraries children must be 12 months and over to cruise with us. Due to limited neo-natal facilities we’re unable to accommodate infants less than 6 months. In addition, infants under two years must remain with their parent/guardian at all times, including when attending the Turtle Cove Kids Club.

We’ve got the basics covered

We know that travelling with children can be tricky and while we don’t have absolutely everything onboard, we do have a few things to make your holiday just that little bit easier.

We can provide you with a cot and we strongly recommend that children ages 6 months to 2 years and 11 months sleep in one. Cots are available in selected rooms and are not available in any Quad Interior & Quad Oceanview Rooms. Cots can also only be added to rooms with a twin bed configuration. Please make sure that this configuration is requested at time of booking. We supply high chairs and booster seats at all onboard dining facilities on request.

Baby baths, prams/strollers, nappies and baby wipes are not available onboard. Parents or guardians need to provide all of their own nappies, wipes and other baby accessories for the duration of the cruise. If you want to use a pram or stroller, you’re welcome to bring your own.

Kid’s Clubs

Stay and play.

Our Kid’s Club programs are not only big fun but they are also educational. We developed our whopping range of daily activities with help from professional childhood academics, so they are designed just for kids. We think that’s pretty cool! Because each program features specialised, age specific activities it’s important that your child participates in the program designed for their age.

Turtle Cove – (2 years – 5 years) Shark Shack – ( 6 years – 9 years) HQ – (10 years – 13 years) HQ+ - (14 years – 17 years)

We want you to rest easy knowing your kids are safe onboard. Our Kid’s Clubs are fully supervised by our experienced youth staff. Younger children are provided with toys, educational games and lots of fun activities, all under full supervision. So you know what’s coming up each day we print the full list of activities in the kid’s own daily newsletter. The older kids wont be left out either. Our HQ and HQ+ youth staff provide lots of exciting activities for guests aged 10 – 17. They have their own lounge, complete with video games, movies and music. It’s a great place to hang out and meet new friends. Only children who have been toilet trained may participate without a parent/guardian. If a guest when boarding the ship is aged 17 years but turns 18 during the cruise, access to HQ+ will only be granted should the guest remain on an under 18 cruise card, due to our strict no alcohol policy in the  HQ+ centre. 

Group child-minding is available in Turtle Cove and Shark Shack from 9:30pm to 1:00am only, at a charge. We cannot guarantee your child’s participation in the Kid’s Clubs. Entry will be on a first come, first serve basis. Please note private in-room babysitting or one-on-one supervision is not available on any P&O Cruises ship.

We  also offer children from 2 years of age, who are in nappies, the opportunity to participate in the activity program without the requirement of a parent or guardian to be in attendance. However, parents and guardians must be available at all times to change their children’s nappy when contacted by our Youth team. As always, there are a limited number of places available in our youth centres and entry is a first come first served basis. 

How do I register my child for Kids Club?

We’ve introduced a new Kids Club registration process in Cruise Control, allowing you to easily register your child before you board. Simply log into  Cruise Control  and head to the Manage Booking section to access Kids Club registration for each child on the booking. Online registration is available up until three days before your cruise departure.

Registration can also be done in person at Kids Club once you get onboard if you miss the online cut-off time.

Turtle Cove

Ages 2 - 5 The place for the smallest member of your family! They’re going to be all smiles in Turtle Cove.

Shark Shack

Ages 6 - 9 Your kids will want to sink their teeth into big fun at Shark Shack, our special club just for kids.

Ages 10 - 13  The ultimate chill zone for kids and teens so they can have the coolest holiday ever!

Ages 14 - 17 Your teens can leave their little brothers and sisters behind to chill out with people their own age.

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Best Cruises for Kids in Australia and the Pacific

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Cruising is becoming increasingly popular with families, particularly ones with young or teenage children. Today’s big cruise ships offer an amazing array of kid-friendly activities, entertainment and shore tours – and if you’re looking for a budget-friendly holiday that doesn’t involve taking a long flight, there’s more choice of cruises in our region than ever before.

kid friendly cruises australia

Some of the most family-friendly ships sail from Australian ports year-round – P&O Cruises’ Pacific Dawn, Pacific Jewel, Pacific Pearl, Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden; and Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Legend and Carnival Spirit.

Other lines send ships to Australasia for the summer season, which runs from October to April – these include Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line (HAL), Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean. While Celebrity, HAL and Princess ships are well-suited to couples of 50-plus and multi-generational cruisers and offer kids’ clubs and activities, Royal Caribbean is a standout in terms of its ships’ onboard attractions and dedicated areas for active children and teens.

If you’ve never cruised with kids before, it’s a good idea to check out some shorter itineraries. Ships get booked up quickly during school holidays so you need to do some advance planning – also, when you book early you’ll have more choice of accommodation.

The most popular cruises are to the Pacific Islands and all the cruise lines mentioned above sail there. Itineraries range from seven to 14 nights; some include visits to Fiji and New Zealand and all go to Vanuatu and New Caledonia. You’ll find several cruises to New Zealand and lots that sail around the Australian coast – P&O Cruises home-ports its ships in Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Fremantle, Melbourne and Sydney.

What will you find aboard the ships sailing from Australia year-round? Carnival Legend and Carnival Spirit offer three age-specific kids’ clubs: the Penguin Colony (two to five), Stingrays (six to eight), Sharks (nine to 11), Circle “C” (12 to 14) and Club O2 (15 to 17). These are free of charge and each club has its own special features – from miniature play igloos for the youngest cruisers to interactive gaming stations for the older kids.

Outdoor fun includes the Green Thunder waterslide, billed as the steepest at sea; WaterWorks aqua park, which has the Twister ride and Splash Zone for younger kids; three pools; mini-golf and a basketball court. In the evenings you can watch movies on the giant outdoor screen by the pool – complete with popcorn and blankets.

Real-life Dr Seuss characters pop up all over the ships – kids can meet Cats in Hats, Fish Red and Blue and Things One and Two, in parades, hosting interactive story time and at special breakfasts when Green Eggs and Ham are on the menu. Hasbro The Game Show is another drawcard for family members of all ages.

Eating onboard Carnival Spirit and Legend is a breeze – kids’ menus are served in the Camp Ocean clubs and eateries include Guy’s Burger Joint, Freshie’s Corner, which serves fish and chips among more sophisticated seafood dishes, and the Lido’s Pizza Pirate pizza station and Swirls ice cream bar. Save the Cherry On Top lolly shop for special occasions (if you can).

P&O Cruises’ five ships range in size from 1500 passengers (Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden) to the 2000-passenger Pacific Dawn. All ships feature the P&OEdge Adventure Park, which boasts 19 exciting activities on the top deck. Activities include a flying fox, funnel climb, Segway obstacle course and bungee trampolining; on Pacific Dawn you can ‘walk the plank’ and climb to the Crows Nest Viewpoint. There are charges for each activity, so if your family is planning to use them a lot, it’s worth buying a P&O Adventure Pass that lasts for the whole cruise.

The ships host four age-specific kids’ clubs: Turtle Cove (two to six), Shark Shack (seven to 10), HQ (11 to 14) and HQ+ (15 to 17) as well as talent shows, karaoke, Teen Jam music sessions and movie-making workshops. Deck games such as golf-putting, quoits, table tennis and good old-fashioned shuffleboard are available and each ship has two pools.

Kids’ menus are served in the Waterfront Restaurant every day and Plantation offers a kids-only dinner each evening, which includes special appearances from TC and Skipper, the mascots from Turtle Cove and Shark Shack.

Royal Caribbean’s ships are renowned for their rock-climbing walls, ice rinks, FlowRider surf simulators and even more outlandish activities on its newest, biggest ships. Of the four regular visitors Down Under (Explorer, Voyager, Radiance and Legend of the Seas), Explorer and Voyager are both fitted with FlowRiders and ice-skating rinks.

Ovation of the Seas, which will be the newest ship ever to cruise in Australia when it arrives for a short season in December 2016, takes onboard entertainment to a whole new level. Ovation is the third Quantum-class ship and its famous features include a skydiving simulator, the NorthStar viewing capsule rising 90 metres above sea level, bumper cars, circus school and rollerskating – and two FlowRiders.

Kids’ clubs on Royal Caribbean ships start with Aquanauts (three to five years) and move up the age range to Explorers (six to eight), Voyagers (nine to 11), Navigators (12 to 14) and Guests (14 to 17). Entertainment for 12 to 14-year-olds include rock-climbing competitions, dodgeball, talent shows, open-mic nights and Scratch DJ Academy. Older teens have organised basketball comps plus their own theme nights, dinners and karaoke competitions. Younger children will also enjoy meeting DreamWorks characters from Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda on board Voyager and Ovation.

Kids’ menus are available and each ship has a wide range of restaurants and cafes where you’ll find something to suit every member of the family, however fussy they are. Windjammer Café is the buffet option and specialty restaurants such as Johnny Rockets will appeal to the teens.

When you’re planning a family cruise, make sure you spend some time researching the shore excursions on offer to get the best value from your holiday dollar. It can be worth doing your own thing. If the organised tour is to an island beach, for example, and you have small children sometimes you’ll have more fun staying on the ship on port days because there will be fewer people in the pools, aqua parks and adventure playgrounds.

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Carnival Luminosa: 8 things your family will love on this new family cruise

Carnival Cruise Line has long been a family-favourite when it comes to epic cruises and fun-filled ships. Carnival’s latest Australian ship, Carnival Luminosa will continue the legacy as it sets sail from Brisbane.

Whatever your cruising style, Carnival Luminosa is a family-friendly cruise with fun-filled kids’ clubs, poolside cinemas, adults-only haven and delicious dining options.  Carnival Luminosa is the latest addition to Carnival Cruise Line’s incredible fleet of family-focused cruise ships.

Aboard this fun-tastic ship, families can enjoy quality time together as they embark on a range of amazing journeys departing from Brisbane. Here are eight things your family will love about Carnival Luminosa. 

Carnival Luminosa

Dive-In Cinema

Take family movie night to the next level with Carnival’s signature Dive-In Movies. Pull up a deck chair or dive into the pool to watch the latest blockbusters on Carnival Luminosa’s (really) big outdoor screen. Hot, buttery popcorn and snuggly blankets make this an unmissable cinema under the stars experience.

Delicious dining on Carnival Luminosa

Even the fussiest eaters will find something to devour at Carnival Luminosa’s convenient, delicious eateries. This family cruise ship has everything from sushi to steak and a variety of tasty kid-focused menus. 

Lido Marketplace is a great spot for families, with indoor and outdoor seating and a variety of casual dining options. Here you can satisfy your cravings buffet-style with plenty of options to choose from, including amazing sandwiches and salads at the Deli. Plus, for those craving something naughty why not indulge with pizza, burgers or ice cream. Perfect  for keeping hungry tummies at bay!

Prefer to sleep in? Seaday Brunch serves up mouth-watering meals like french toast and loaded mac-n-cheese while early-risers get started on lunch.

Dining onboard Carnival Luminosa

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Camp Ocean Kids’ Club

Sailing on Carnival Luminosa is an unforgettable experience for kids and Camp Ocean is a real highlight. At this fun-packed club, kids aged 2 to 11 can stay busy, keep active and have a blast with ocean-themed activities and entertainment. 

Carnival Luminosa’s littlest guests are catered for with educational games and sea-themed crafts in small, age-based groups. Named after sea creatures, of course. 

Little ones aged 2 to 5 join the Penguin Colony, with fun activities like Musical Iceburgs and Ocean Bingo. Kids aged 6 to 8 in Stingrays can make sea salt art, design their own aquarium end even party at Pirate Game Night. 

Sharks aged 9 to 11 can sink their teeth into Marine Life Trivia, help create a giant ocean mural and score big with volleyball and soccer. Camp Ocean counsellors have education and childcare experience, so parents can rest assured that their little ones are staying active, getting creative and having a great time.

Camp Ocean kids' club on Carnival Luminosa

Fun for teens

Keeping older kids entertained is a breeze onboard Carnival Luminosa. Teens aged 15 to 17 can head to the uber-cool Club O2 to chill out away from parents and younger siblings. Here, they’ll play sport and video games and enjoy karaoke jam sessions in a fun, social environment. 

Younger teens don’t miss out on the fun either. Circle “C” is a great place for guests aged 12 to 14 to chill and connect, supervised by fun-loving counsellors. In this cool club space they’ll hang out, make new friends and enjoy dance parties, games, outdoor moves and more.

Adults-only bliss

But it’s not just little kids that will love life onboard Carnival Luminosa – grown-ups will too! The Adult-Only Serenity Retreat is a breath of fresh air for parents looking for some R&R. Sink into a hot tub or make use of the beauty salon. Use your time-out to finish that book or do absolutely nothing at all.  

Then head for some pampering at  Cloud 9 Spa. This state-of-the-art spa boasts a thermal suite, steam rooms, and a hydrotherapy pool, plus soothing treatments and massages to leave you feeling blissfully relaxed. 

Come evening, you can visit Carnival Luminosa’s night club, casino and bars. 

The adults-only serenity retreat on Carnival Luminosa

Family cruise rooms

After all that excitement on deck, families can relax in comfortable staterooms and suites. Carnival Luminosa boasts generous Interior Rooms, Ocean View Rooms, Balcony Rooms and a range of luxurious suites. Each stateroom features a dedicated attendant, cosy linens, climate control and a television, plus plenty of closet and drawer space.

Larger families will love the option to book interconnecting staterooms, allowing groups of five or more to stay in rooms connected by an internal door. 

Sweet treats

Save room for dessert because there are plenty of options to treat yourself on a Carnival cruise. Kids will go wild for Cherry on Top – a colourful lolly shop stocked with all your confectionery favourites. Or head to Swirls soft-serve and frozen yoghurt bar for delicious ice cream treats. Open 24/7, it’s the perfect place for a midnight snack.

Sweet treats on Carnival Luminosa

Sail to epic destinations on Carnival Luminosa

Departing from Brisbane means families have access to itineraries that explore Queensland’s most incredible natural wonders. Ports of call include a range of east coast hotspots like postcard-perfect Airlie Beach, Port Douglas, Cairns and scenic Willis Island, sailing through the pristine waters of the Coral Sea. 

South Pacific

Further from home, families can embark on round trips to paradise in the tropical South Pacific. Discover the tropical allure of Vanuatu’s Mystery Island, Port Vila and Espiritu Santo, and soak up the sun on Lifou Isle and Noumea in New Caledonia. Snorkelling and diving in this part of the world is heavenly. 

Convert to island time in Fiji with various itineraries cruising to Port Denarau, Dravuni Island and Suva. Carnival also offers a Papua New Guinea itinerary, where Conflict Islands, Alotau, Rabaul and Kiriwina Island are sure-fire highlights. 

Or head next door to New Zealand, taking in Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Fiordland Park.

For those seeking a next-level family cruise, Carnival Luminosa’s 22-day Transpacific journey will see visit New Caledonia, Fiji, Tahiti, French Polynesia and Hawaii before ending in Seattle.

No matter which itinerary you choose, you can expect comfortable cruising, breathtaking scenery and incredible shore activities.

Snorkelling is a highlight on Carnival Luminosa

This article was produced with content supplied by Carnival Cruise Line and is a Holidays with Kids digital exclusive. Be the first to see more exclusive online content by subscribing to the enewsletter here .

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2 comments on this post

We set sail on Carnival Luminosa in December! We can’t wait.

How exciting Carmen! Enjoy your trip.

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Holland America Line

Deal: Holland America Line is offering a "Kids Cruise Free" promotion on select itineraries in 2024. The offer applies to several itineraries including Hawaii , the Caribbean and the Panama Canal; to qualify, children must be 18 or younger and cruising as third and/or fourth guests in the same cabin as adults. As with similar promotions, taxes and port fees are still required for each child's sailing.

Family-friendly perks: Amenities onboard Holland America ships include kids clubs and youth programs, as well as shore excursions oriented to families with little ones in tow. Plenty of stateroom options can also accommodate larger bookings. The Nieuw Statendam and Koningsdam ships, in particular, feature oversized staterooms with beds for four, a large sitting area and a spacious veranda.

Book a Holland America Line Cruise on GoToSea , a service of U.S. News.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Deal: Norwegian Cruise Line lets third and fourth guests cruise free on select itineraries throughout the year. Cruises to which this promotion applies are offered all over the world, including bucket-list destinations like Alaska and the Mediterranean .

Some of the itineraries that qualify for free third and fourth guests also come with complimentary amenities like an unlimited open bar, specialty dining, shore excursions and/or complimentary Wi-Fi. Additionally, some of the itineraries include generous discounts on the total cruise cost , as well as free airfare for a second guest (when booked through the cruise line).

Family-friendly perks: With Norwegian's all-ages kids clubs, family dining, entertainment and activities included in one bundled rate, planning a kid-approved vacation with the cruise line is a breeze. Many Norwegian ships also feature an array of family-friendly staterooms with plenty of extra space. For example, the luxurious Norwegian Prima offers a two-bedroom family villa with a large balcony in "The Haven" – its exclusive area for VIP guests.

Explore Norwegian Cruise Line deals on GotoSea.

Royal Caribbean International

Deal: Royal Caribbean offers a "Kids Sail Free" deal several times each year, allowing children 12 or younger to cruise free provided they are the third guests (or beyond) staying in the same cabin as at least two paying adults. The only catch is that blackout dates apply – typically during holiday and school breaks.

Family-friendly perks: There's a reason so many families choose Royal Caribbean ; kid-friendly amenities range from age-specific programming to zip lining at sea. The line's  exclusive island for cruisers , Perfect Day at CocoCay in  the Bahamas , is also a big hit with young passengers thanks to its waterslides and splash areas.

Compare Royal Caribbean cruise itineraries on GotoSea.

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Costa Cruises

Deal: Costa Cruises may not be as popular as some other cruise lines on our list, but it's a worthwhile option for cruisers looking to sail through Europe, the Middle East or South America. The cruise line allows kids traveling as third or fourth guests to sail for free with two adults in the same cabin, and this promotion applies to passengers ages 2 to 17. This offer is valid on all sailings offered by the line, many of which feature destinations in desirable ports along the Mediterranean such as Barcelona , Marseille and Rome .

Family-friendly perks: Costa Cruises vessels offer abundant family-friendly amenities, from water parks to arcades to mini golf. Kids clubs are available for children ages 3 to 11, and they provide entertainment like arts and crafts, themed parties, and games galore. A teen zone also hosts cruisers ages 12 to 17 who want to mingle, sing karaoke and play group sports when ships aren't in port.

Find a Costa Cruises deal on GotoSea.

MSC Cruises

Deal: MSC Cruises lets children younger than 18 cruise for free on select itineraries, depending on the ship's capacity. (Other exclusions or eligibility requirements may apply.) Kids must be the third or fourth guests traveling in the same cabin as their parents (at least two adults) for the deal to be valid; note that any port fees and taxes still apply to children's fares.

Family-friendly perks: MSC Cruises offers a variety of leisure activities and amenities designed specifically for kids. On board, youngsters can take advantage of perks from water parks with slides and swimming pools to Broadway-style shows and interactive dinners. The line also hosts fun family excursions and a "Lego Experience On Board" event on every cruise. In addition, there are a myriad of amenities for parents to enjoy while the youngest passengers are occupied by one of five dedicated kids clubs.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Holly Johnson is a seasoned travel writer who has covered family travel and cruises for more than a decade. Johnson has traveled with her family to more than 50 countries, and her many trips have included cruises all over the world. Johnson lives in Indiana with her two children and her husband, Greg.

You might also be interested in:

  • The Top Cruises for Babies & Toddlers
  • The Best Cruises for Teens
  • Do You Need a Passport to Cruise?
  • How to Get Your Child a Passport
  • The Best Cruise Insurance Plans

Copyright 2024 U.S. News & World Report

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