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Norwegian Cruise Line to revamp kids program

Norwegian Cruise Line is planning a major overhaul of its kid’s program that includes adding more activities and more counselors.

The line today announced that its 13-year-old Norwegian’s Kid’s Crew program will be renamed and reorganized around five age groups: three- to five years; six to eight years; nine to 12 years; 13 to 14 years; and 15 to 17 years. There also will be programming for babies and toddlers ages six months to two years.

Norwegian’s program currently is built around four age groups: two to five years; six to nine years; 10 to 12 years; and 13 to 17 years.

A spokesperson for the line tells USA TODAY the revamped program will be more curriculum driven than in the past and use more areas of the line’s ships. The company also is increasing the ratio of staff to children in the program and establishing new criteria for the hiring of counselors, including the requirement of a college degree in recreation or child care (or the equivalent experience).

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Produced in conjunction with The King’s Foundation and Camps, a United Kingdom-based organization, the new curriculum will place more focus on sporting activities, arts and crafts, theater and technology, the line says. Activities will change every 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the age group, and will be set within blocks of programming time in the morning, afternoon and evening.

The new curriculum will include circus workshops organized by Cirque Du Jour, a New York-based company that specializes in teaching children circus skills such as scarf juggling, ball juggling, plate spinning, clowning and acrobatics. New locations for activities will include ship sports courts, rock walls, theaters and lounges.

The overhaul comes as Norwegian continues to roll out more family-friendly Nickelodeon programming on ships. In mid-February the Norwegian Gem will become the third Norwegian vessel with Nickelodeon-themed pool games, character breakfast, dance parties and character meet-and-greets, joining the Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Epic.

The new kids programs will debut in mid-February on the Norwegian Gem at the same time the new Nickelodeon programming debuts and expand to other ships later.

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