This got me thinking about what kind of person would allow something like this to influence their vacation decisions. Don't get me wrong, this package and Royal Caribbean are by no means the first cruise line to cater to the desires of children. It could be argued that Disney's entire cruise line is built on catering to children. But is this a good trend?
Back when I was a child, vacations were decided upon entirely by my parents. They made the money, so they picked the trips. I often didn't even know where we were going until a few weeks out. While I'm sure my parents wanted me to have a good time, I am also fairly sure that they didn't plan the vacation based on my desires. Most people immediately think of Disney World when considering child-centric vacations, but my parents went there on their honeymoon, and I know MANY adults who enjoy the parks more than their children. (Sis, I am looking at you! Heck, I am looking in the mirror too.)
Call me crazy, but a cruise has always seemed to me to be a truly "adult" vacation choice. No vacation more appropriately meets the needs of an adult, in my opinion, than a cruise. Relaxation, fine dining, live entertainment, adult enrichment activities, etc.: cruising just seems to be the epitome of an adult vacation. So, are children hijacking our ships, or are we just letting them come along?
A few decades ago, cruise lines figured out that they needed to provide something for kids in order to encourage the parents to try their ships (and to get them to relax and spend some money once there.) I firmly believe that the invention of kids' clubs on cruise ships is one of the best ideas the cruise industry has ever had. What other vacation provides free babysitting? Really? Especially at the price of a cruise? But now that cruise lines seem to be eager to move past just providing services for the children once on board into creating a vacation with children in mind. Is it a good idea?
I can only speak for myself, but I will not be selecting a cruise based solely on my daughter's interests any time soon. If I am zeroed in on a particular departure port and itinerary, and one line has characters she enjoys more than the others, that may factor into my decision. We'll also likely take her on a Disney cruise at some point, but considering how much we enjoy Disney AND that I think Disney really has a lot to offer adults, although I know she'll love it, it isn't really all about her.
What do you think? Will you shell out $350 to sleep in a pink Barbie room just so your kid can?