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7 Ways to Keep Restless Kids Entertained at the Cruise Terminal

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cruise terminal restless kids entertained

Today is the day. You’re finally about to board your cruise with your family. As you check in, you find out your boarding time is later in the day and you’ll be waiting at the cruise terminal for hours. You look at your children who are known to be restless and slightly wish you had thought to plan for this.

We’ve all had moments like this. Where you wish you had thought ahead for your own sanity and everyone else’s. Thankfully though, there are great ways to entertain your kids before getting on your cruise ship.

Coloring books

A tried and true method, they’re easy to carry in your bag with a few crayons and can keep them occupied for hours. Sit your kids down and give each of them their own little book, they’ll be entertained until it’s time to board the ship.

Portable DVD Player

With everything being streamed online now it is hard to remember that there was a time when we watched DVD’s but they are a great way to keep kids entertained! The plus side is you can now get a good one for under $50. They can carry it in their own bag and pick out movies before you leave. It is a great way to keep them entertained and not break the bank! You don’t have to buy movies either. Just head to your local library and rent some. Most of them will let you have them for up to 14 days.

Your phone

Download a few child friendly apps and make sure they know not to go snooping around in your personal stuff. Even if your child just enjoys pointing and clicking your camera, technology can keep them calm for quite some time if done right. Plus, with all the different apps you can get, there will be no “I’m bored” talk.


If your child enjoys reading, this will be the best option. Pack them a few different books and let them have their pick as they wait. Let them dwell into a land of fantasy and by the time it’s time to board they’ll barely notice the time had passed. If you want to get them very excited for reading take them to the local library a couple days before the cruise and let them pick out new books.

Puzzle toys

Pick up a few cheap, logic toys before you go to the terminal. They’re easy enough to do that your child won’t get frustrated, but hard enough that it’ll keep them entertained. Especially if you offer a treat if they complete it, such as an ice cream cone when you board.

Play games with them

Sure, you might get tired of paddy cake or I spy after a few rounds, but your kids will gladly play over and over. You’ll make memories with them as well, and it might even keep you entertained during the long wait.


When all else fails let them stream some kid-friendly shows on Netflix. They have a wonderful Disney section full of entertaining shows that also teach them something. If you are worried about them watching something that they shouldn’t set them up with their own section in Netflix and add parental controls before you get to the terminal.

Cruise wait times can be long, even if you get to port early. Make sure to always have a backup to keep your kids entertained.

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