Youth programs are offered on many, but not all, cruise ships. These programs are designed to keep children busy and happy during the days that you are exploring the ship. They have specific hours where you can drop off children of a certain age and they will be cared for at no extra cost.
Youth programs are usually tiered by age group so that children will be interacting with other children their own age. All programs are run by educated individuals who love children. Cruise lines employees are thoroughly trained and extensive background checks run. Emergency and safety procedures are in place so that parents can feel secure leaving their precious cargo. Some offer pagers for emergency communication between staff and parents.