Guest blogger – Families Magazine checks out P&O Pacific Dawn’s Kids Club

A story that I haven’t really shared here is that our love of Jetsetting lead us to a love of cruising.  In July 2015, we took a one month trip to the US …all the way to Orlando, Florida to knock over the theme parks and to tick one huge item off the bucket list… which was to experience the jet blast of St Maartin in the Caribbean, which is notorious for it’s low flying planes landing over Maho Beach.

In our trip planning, we decided that the best way to have this experience and to get a bit of R&R while travelling with the kids was to book a cruise.   So this is what we did and we haven’t looked back. It was seriously one of the best holidays we have ever taken with our boys and I haven’t been able to forget it.


For this reason, I have recently started posting Cruising With Kids highlights on our new insta account and we’ll be sharing more important information for families interested in cruising here on our website.

Because we can’t be everywhere at once, we’ll also publish tips and cruising experiences from other mummy bloggers that we know.  Our first is from Janine – The Editor of Families Magazine in Brisbane.  Janine recently contacted us ahead of her cruise on Brisbane based P&O Pacific Dawn.  I hope you find her Kids Club insights as inspiring as we did –  and don’t forget to check out the video in the post below.

Thanks Janine…over to you….

P&O Pacific Dawn Kids Club

Thanks Paula.  Firstly I have to say…I love to cruise. I’ve been on 6 now 5 of them with kids and loved every one of them. Not only is all the food prepared for you (oh, how I hate to grocery shop!) but all your activities are laid on too – you can choose how much you do…or don’t do!

One of the biggest perks, I believe for families aboard a good cruise, is the quantity and quality of the kids clubs.

In August 2016, we took a 7-night cruise aboard P&O’s Pacific Dawn– the Island Hopper, stopping at Noumea, Lifou and Port Villa in Vanuatu.

This ship has four outstanding kids clubs opportunities for kids aged 2 – 17.

Turtle Cove for kids 2–6 years old; Shark Shack for kids 7–10 years old; HQ for kids 11 -14 and HQ+ for kids 15– 17.

And while they spend time loving their cruise in the kids club, you get to spend time loving them being in the Kids Clubs so you can do this
… And to put your mind at rest, so you know just how awesome the P&O Pacific Dawn Kids Club is, we’ve taken an in depth look at the younger two kids clubs:

Turtle Cove

Turtle Cove Kids Club is suitable for kids aged 2–6.  Children are always supervised in a safe and secure environment in the club on Deck 6. You will be required to complete a registration form upon arrival. Do this as soon as possible upon embarkation so your kids can visit the location and meet the staff to find out about all the fun things they have to offer there.

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The staff usually run a meet and greet on the afternoon you board the ship. to get you and the kids acclimatized. You will be required to sign your children in and out each time you visit and your cabin cruise card will be scanned each time.

If you have a 2 – 4 year olds you will receive a pager so the staff can contact you immediately should there be a problem or concern. These only work onboard, not ashore.

Turtle Cove has a multitude of organised and non-organised activities in which your kids may participate. From arts and crafts, dress ups and pretend play, puzzles, LEGO and Duplo, organised team games, allocated screen time, board games, movies and free choice – there is something for everyone and every age group.

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There is also a climbing frame, soft play area which is incredibly difficult to get your kids out of… they love it that much!

On sea days Turtle Cove is open from 9am – midday and then from 2pm – 10.30pm. You must come back at midday to collect your kids and take them to lunch.

On port days Turtle Cove is open from 9am – 2pm but has limited numbers. They are open again from 2pm –10.30pm. They also offer late
evening child minding from 10.30pm – 1am and additional charges apply – $5 per hour + $2 per hour per sibling.

Shark Shack

Shark Shack is suitable for kids aged 7 – 10 years old. Again, the children are always supervised in a safe environment, however children aged 8 and above (with parents permission) are allowed to come and go as they please – that is they can sign themselves in and out of the Shark Shack Kids Club up to 9.30pm.

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Shark Shack also have a multitude of age appropriate engaging activities for kids aged 7 –10. As well as arts and crafts, team games, LEGO, a basketball court, air hockey, giant chess, Play Station III, Nintendo Wii and they also involve the kids in the Kids Club Show – this time it was called TC & Skipper’s Island Adventure. Kids can create props and take on roles in the show which parents can watch in The Marquee on Deck 7 later in the week.

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On sea days Shark Shack is open from 9am –midday and then from 2pm – 10.30pm. Again, you must come back at midday to collect your kids and take them to lunch. Onport days Shark Shack is open from 9am –2pm but has limited numbers. They are open again from 2pm – 10.30pm. They also offer late evening child minding.

Both Turtle Cove and Shark Shack will take your kids to the Deck 12 buffet restaurant for a supervised dinner between 4.30 and 5.15pm. You are welcome to join them and sometimes there is an ice-cream party! (Current record, 9 scoops by Master 9 – but what happens on holiday, stays on holiday!) 😉

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Check out the video review here!

Kids Clubs Rules for Parents

Here’ s what you need to know about using the kids clubs, there definitely are some rules to consider before you book a cruise if you would like to use their kids clubs.

Nappy Changing

The staff will not change nappies – you will receive a page when this is required. They also do not supply nappies or wipes. They also state that only toilet trained children are allowed to attend the kids club – so this means that you can have your little ones in nappies, BUT they are expected to use the toilets – nappies/pull ups can be worn in case of accidents.


Just like childcare at home, you cannot take your child to the kids club if they are ill – this includes diarrhea, vomiting, fever, rash, sore throat or cough. If they show symptoms while at kids club they will be separated from the other kids and not allowed to return until cleared by the ships doctor.

Port Days

On port days, you have the option of going ashore and leaving your kids in the kids club. P&O strongly recommend that you only take P&O organised tours if you do this. If your non-P&O organised tour is late back to the ship, it MAY sail with your kids and without you (insert
hyperventilating parent right here…eeekk…). Your kid/s will remain onboard under the care of P&O Cruises until the parents re-embark or other arrangements are made.

Emergency at Sea

If there is an emergency at sea there are specific arrangements for you to collect your kid/s. Its highly unlikely but its good to know that they have covered all their bases.

As I said in my introduction…I love to cruise. I find it to be an exceptionally well-priced, all inclusive, relaxing break.

Thanks for having us onboard your blog Jetsetting Kids.


This guest blogger review was supplied to us by Janine Mergler Editor of Families Magazine and Mum of Master 9 (yes… the child who ate the 9 scoops of ice-cream!).  It has been shared by way of collaboration only with our site, Jetsettting Kids, so that we can hopefully inspire families to travel with kids.

Families Magazine is an A4 glossy magazine printed every 2 months and distributed in our hometown of Brisbane, along with Ipswich, the Gold Coast and Toowoomba.

Note: As the Owner/Editor of Jetsetting Kids, I pride myself on collaborating with all bloggers and businesses equally without discrimination or bias and welcome guest bloggers to our site.

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BIG NEWS! Holiday makers will be able to enjoy a “new look Dawn” when it slides into Brisbane in March 2017.

Cruises include a seven-night South Pacific itinerary departing Brisbane on May 13, 2017, priced from $849* per person quad share.

For more information and bookings please visit:

To read about The Dawn’s refurbishment check out our blog post:

P&O Pacific Dawn - water park


 So what did you think of Janine’s kids club tips and review?   Let us know here!  Your feedback is what keeps us doing what we do ? xx
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