Going for a cruise with your family is inherently different than going for a cruise solo or with just your partner. You need to be sure that basics like good food and lodging are the standard, that there are plenty of activities available and transportation is taken care of from end to end. You also want to be sure that all of this is available one set price. A good family cruise ensures that children are happy with a lineup of activities, and parents can relax in peace on the deck or the cabins. The following is our attempt to narrow down the best cruise liners and ships available for families:
1. The Disney Cruise Line
Disney is known for tailoring its offerings keeping children in mind. Similar to its theme parks, the Disney Cruise Line abounds with plenty of parties, musicals, tours, movies, games and activities that are filled with characters from the Disney lineup. There is even a huge water play area on the Disney Fantasy where thousands of children can enjoy the water-park like activities.
Keeping in mind that parents choose a Disney for their children, there are places that cater to every detail, from babies to teenagers, from sterilizers for bottles and baby strollers and fancy clothes, everything is available and can be delivered to your cabin.
The cabins themselves are extremely family friendly and surprisingly roomy. Kids enjoy the uber cool bunk beds that descend down from the cabin ceiling, and couches that fold up help in making extra room when required. Even the bathrooms are very functional and family friendly, divided into two parts.
As with every Disney offering, this is sure to appeal to children. And happy children make for a happy family holiday cruise.
2. The Royal Caribbean International Cruise
The Royal Caribbean cruise ships have a great selection of family-friendly activities which range from multiple pools and hot tubs to activities like rock climbing walls, rinks for ice skating, ziplines and even a surfing simulator.
Cabins of varying sizes can accommodate families and groups of any size and the indoor halls can be used to hold events and parties and are quite popular for hosting birthdays. Some of the more expensive cruise liners even have an area for bumper cars! Besides these, activities like rollerskating and video games keep young adults entertained.
The Royal Caribbean takes good care of both children and adults. The spa offers special treatments and there are over 25 options for dining. These range from informal eateries like a hot dog stand and a small pizza corner to upscale restaurants. Adults also find the broadway style evening shows very entertaining.
3. The Norwegian Cruise Line
The Norwegian Cruise lines are also known to cater especially to families and their latest mega-ships are constructed to reflect their family centric philosophy. The activities are broken into different categories that cater to kids from age ranges from 3 to 5, from 6 to 9 and from 10 to 12 and have the entire gamut from arts and crafts, karaoke and video games. There are also areas that have a jungle gym, and a very popular interactive luminescent dance floor. Older teens have areas that have video games, large flat-screen TVs and air hockey among others. The features that most parents find useful are the late-night group babysitting options and childcare for toddlers in the Guppies Nursery. These are services which can be availed for a fee.
4. Princess Cruises
The Princess cruise ships are known for their great accommodation and facilities for both parents and children. Their largest ships come with all the latest facilities and spaces for families, and include a plethora of dining options, club areas for children a pool deck with water & entertaining light show and poolside cabanas. Children are fascinated with the laser shooting range and batting cage.
5. The Carnival Cruise Line
The carnival cruise ships are perfect for families looking for a vacation away together. The ships have outdoor pools and a sports centric arena called SportSquare, which offers fun activities like mini-golfing, basketball and tables for foosball. The multistory IMAX theater is a crowd favorite and their largest carriers feature some of the best water park entertainment. The restaurants are also quite spectacular and some even children centric meals.