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What Are The Best Cruise Ships For Families

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Disney Wonder From Disney Cruise Line

Best Cruise Lines And Cruises For Kids

With plans to set sail from a new port opening in New Orleans and two special cruises to Hawaii in early 2020, if you havent booked a cruise aboard Disney Wonder yet, this is the year to do it! Disney as a company knows how to entertain families, and it brings those skills to its cruises, Silverstein explains. Ocean cruises feature huge kids clubs, as well as adults-only restaurants, sun decks and bars/clubs to allow parents and kids some peer time. In addition to Disney Wonders regular offeringslike a Royal Tea with Disney princesses and a Marvel Superhero Academy for kidsthe ship will feature a brand-new New Orleans-themed lounge named Tianas Place and a cool new space for teens, in addition to live action performances of Frozen, complete with a Frozen deck party! Throughout its 2020 season, Disney Wonder will also sail to Mexico, Alaska, Canada, the Caribbean and the Bahamas, making it the perfect choice for your familys cruiseno matter where in the world youve been dreaming of visiting.

Carnival Horizon Southern Caribbean From Miami

One of Horizons best features, for both kids and adults, is the SkyRide. Youll get strapped in a contraption that dangles from a track and goes around the ship and out over the ocean. You pedal your way to cross the finish line. There are side-by-side lanes, so you can race someone, too.

An IMAX Theatre offers first-run box office movies and ;IMAX formatted documentaries. The Dr. Seuss offerings and WaterWorks is on all Carnival ships.

For food, theres the fun-for-kids Guy Fieris Burger Joint restaurant by the pool. But perhaps the biggest draw is The Warehouse Arcade on Deck 6, filled with arcade games from several genres. This is an extra charge, so parents can set limits on the cards , to avoid unpleasant surprises at the end of the cruise.

Camp Ocean, the multi-level kids clubs on board theHorizon, is the same as in other Carnival entries above. Planning a family cruise on this beautiful ship includes a visit to Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic on the itinerary. Carnival Corporation owns the port, and there is a bounty of fun things to do just steps from the cruise ships. From zip-lining to the complimentary seaside pools and kids splash area, theres something for just about everyone at this port.

Depending on your cruise date, ports could be Amber Cove , La Romana , Aruba, Curaçao, Grand Turk, San Juan , or Bonaire. My top picks would be Amber Cove, Curaçao, and Bonaire from this list. This is one of my favorite Southern Caribbean;cruise choices.

Disney Fantasy From Disney Cruise Line

From the AquaDuck water coaster to interactive on-board play areas, like Star Wars: Command Post, Disney Fantasy is a ship thats full of family-friendly surprises. So many of Disney Cruise Lines activities are for families to do together, from high-quality Broadway-style shows and first-run movies to waterslides, deck parties, shore excursions and even engaging dining venues, says Silverstein, which is yet another reason why Disney remains a favorite for families. And in 2020, Star Wars fans of all ages are in for a special treat when Star Wars Day at Sea returns for nine special sailings from Port Canaveral to the Caribbean from January through March.;Heres what Sara Warren from had to say about her familys experience other Instagram page; Star Wars Day at Sea is such a cool, immersive experience offered on certain sailings. The night before Star Wars Day at Sea is set to take place there is a secret kick off where Darth Vader arrives to take over the ship. Whats more, you and your kids can expect to spot iconic characters from the;Star Wars;saga, including Jedi, Wookiees, droids and Stormtroopers, aboard the ship during this special day-long celebration.

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Best Cruise Ships For Kids 2020

Considering a cruise for your next family vacation? You might be surprised to see how many cruise ship options there actually are! To help you make your decision, weve chosen the most innovative and entertaining cruise ships for kids. In 2020, sail away on one of these cruise ships for kids, and youll be on cruise control in no time!

Royal Caribbean International Cruise Line

Best Cruise Ship for Families Winners: 2018 10Best Readers ...

Royal Caribbean has a kids programme called Adventure Ocean.

The programme is divided into different age groups:

  • Royal Babies and Royal Tots for ages 0 to 3.
  • Aquanauts for ages 3 to 5.
  • Explorers for ages 6 to 8.
  • Voyagers for ages 9 to 11.
  • Teen only venues.

Popular Route: RepositioningThis expertly put together cruise allows you to visit more than one destination with highlights like exploring the Mayan pyramids of Cozumel and taking in the distinctive architecture of Barcelona.

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Carnival Pride Eastern Caribbean From Baltimore

Carnival knows kids and draws them like a magnet. One kiddie favorite is the Hasbro Game Show. Competitors play games like Yahtzee, Connect 4 and Operation in front of a live audience. Ships also have SportsSquare, a fantastic collection of mini-golf, exercise equipment, basketball, pool, foosball, and ping pong. And dont miss its SkyCourse, a high ropes challenge . Kids also love Cherry on Top, an ice cream bar and candy store thats just yummy!

The Pride is a smaller-sized Carnival ship, holding only 2124 guests. It stops at Half Moon Cay, a private port owned by Carnival Corporation. Enjoy secluded beaches, lounge chairs, and plenty of fun things to do for free. Lunch is provided for all guests at an outdoor pavilion, featuring a taste of the Bahamas with the menu. An additional fee is required for many of the outdoor options, such as snorkeling, horseback riding, private cabanas, and bicycling.

TravelingMom Tip:;One of our favorite things to do when taking a vacation is to hire a photographer for family photos. This is a special gift and souvenir that we cherish. We use Flytographer to book a local photographer located in the area that we’re traveling to. Use this link and you will get $25 off your photo session.

Itinerary options are Grand Turk, Princess Cays, and Freeport or Grand Turk, Freeport, and Half Moon Cay.

Best Overall: Msc Meraviglia

  • Duration: 7 nights
  • Ship Name: MSC Meraviglia
  • Itinerary: Costa Maya, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras; Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, United States

MSC, the Mediterranean cruise line thats making waves in the American market, is known for being very kid-friendly and has discounted rates for children. On the newest ship, Meraviglia, kids will love the Polar Aquapark with waterslides, a Himalayan bridge, and several pools and a splash bucket. Theres also a bowling alley, two Formula 1 virtual-reality race cars, and a dazzling Cirque du Soleil show. Restaurants onboard Meraviglia have kid-friendly menus and the kids club is fantastic including two teens clubsone for 12 to 14-year-olds and one for ages 15 to 17.;The ship is fitted with family cabins that connect , and off the ship, there are other family-friendly excursions.;

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Caribbean Princess Eastern Or Western Caribbean From Fort Lauderdale

This Princess Cruises ship holds 3,140 passengers and has outside interests such as freshwater pools, a hot tub, basketball and tennis courts, and a volleyball area. Another real treat is live animal experiences in the ships atrium, brought to you by Animal Planet.

The Reef, on deck 17, is usually the less crowded pool to choose for children. It features a sea life-themed splash pad, wading pool, and kid-safe temperatures hot tub. The Reef menu also has special mocktails for the little ones. Watch for the announcement of breakfast with Princess mascot, Stanley the Bear, throughout your cruise.

Two newer family offerings with Princess include Discovery at SEA experiences and Discovery/Animal Planet shore excursions. For the Discovery at Sea, kids can learn about the stars and sky through the indoor planetarium and stargazing events. Tours include Animal Planet recommended Dolphin Encounter and Turtle Centre in Grand Cayman and Discovery recommended Passion Island Beach and Lunch in Cozumel. Excursions like this gave Princess the edge in winning the Best Cruise Line for Multi-Generational Family Travel in the Porthole Cruise Magazine 2018 Readers Choice Awards.

Caribbean Princess ports of call are Princess Cays, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten for Eastern and Falmouth, Jamaica, Princess Cays, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman for Western.

Best Cruise Lines For Families

Best Family Cruise Ships from Port Canaveral (2019)
From kid-friendly ships and shows to family-favorite experiences and shore excursions, these are the best family cruises and cruise ships.

When Disney Cruise Line launched in 1998, it was a game changer for family cruises. Now in its third decade of operation, Disney Cruise Line consistently tops the list of best cruise lines for families. And with a new ship launching in 2022, parents and kids alike are already buzzing with anticipation for what will undoubtably be one of the best cruise ships for kids in years.;

Of course, the best family cruises arent limited to just Disney. Carnival Cruises, Princess, Norwegian, MSC, and a host of other cruise lines have helped usher in a new era of family vacations on cruise ships with amenities like kids clubs, waterslides, age-appropriate stage shows, dining experiences, reduced fares for young children, andperhaps best of allkids sail free deals.

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Disney Magic Bahamas From Miami

Disney has thought of everything your kid would need and want when vacationing at sea. From swashbuckling pirate live-action deck parties to fireworks under the stars, the memories made on a Disney cruise will be those of a lifetime. Broadway-caliber musicals entice those of all ages with performances such as Disney Dreams An Enchanted Classic or Tangled, the Musical. First-run movies at Buena Vista Theatre are another perk. Kids can also get dolled up in favorite princess looks or super hero make-up at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique onboard all Disney ships.

The best option when cruising with Disney is that Castaway Cay is hands down the best Caribbean island cruise port with white sand beaches and beauty all around. Truly exclusive, there are no other cruise ships at the port other than Disney cruise lines. Youll have the beautiful island all to yourself, lunch included, as you float, swim, snorkel, fish, bicycle, boat, or parasail your way to paradise. Teens 14 to 17 can participate in a unique Wild Side Teen Adventure excursion with others in the same age bracket. Teens also get to experience their own club, Vibe, onboard the Magic that has a coffee house feel to it.

Best Cruise Experience: Norwegian Cruise Line

Courtesy of;Norwegian Cruise Line

  • Ship Name: Norwegian Bliss
  • Itinerary: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Ensenada, Mexico

Norwegian Cruise Lines Freestyle Cruise approach is perfect for familiestheres no set dining times or strict dress codeallowing a lot more flexibility. NCLs ships are built with families in mind and its newest member, Bliss, has something for everyone. Speed around the race car track on the top deck, play laser tag or mini golf at sea, or zoom down high-speed waterslides at the Aqua Park. The teens club, Entourage, has movies, video games, music, and dance parties, while the Splash Academy hosts a slew of activities geared to the younger crowd. For larger families needing more space, theres a wide variety of suite staterooms, and 2-bedroom family suites in the Haven, NCLs exclusive enclave.;

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Additional Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships

If you are concerned about the size of these massive vessels, the Freedom-class of ships offer many of the same restaurants, bars, and nightlife as its bigger sisters but are 40% smaller.

These vessels can also offer more unique itineraries, as they can dock at smaller ports. There are three ships in this class, including the newly amplified Freedom of the Seas. This ship has been enhanced with new dining and onboard activities.

For shorter cruises, the cruise line offers 3 and 4-night cruises on two recently amplified ships, Navigator of the Seas and . These vessels are perfect for a quick weekend getaway cruise. All cruises on both ships visit Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas.

Finally, Royal Caribbeans Quantum-class ships are also ideal for a family cruise vacation, possibly in a cold weather destination. These ships feature an abundance of one of a kind attractions to keep cruisers of all ages entertained. The Seaplex is home to bumper cars and roller skating, as well as gaming areas. There is also the high-flying North Star and the skydiving simulator, RipCord by iFLY.

In addition to the main theater, Quantum-class ships are also home to the dynamic Two70. This entertainment venue includes original production shows enhanced with digital screens and robotics. This class of ships also contains the Music Hall, with tribute bands and live performances most nights of the cruise.

Odyssey of the Seas will be the first Quantum Ultra-class ship when she debuts in 2021.

Norwegian Cruise Line Breakaway

Family cruises on Carnival Cruise Line 2016

This class of ship has four vessels. The newest of them is Norwegian Encore, followed by its sister ships, Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Bliss, and Norwegian Escape.

One of our favorite features of this class of ship is the Waterfront. This mid-level promenade deck features a variety of restaurants, bars and lounges, and other amenities including shopping and entertainment venues. Among some of the newer additions to this area is the specialty restaurant turned country music venue Q Texas Smokehouse. This area also features many of the other restaurants, such as the lines signature steak house Cagneys.

There is also the Princess favorite, the Sugarcane Mojito Bar. One of the best parts of the Waterfront is that most venues include both indoor and outdoor areas.

The Breakaway-Plus class of ships has some of the most thrilling attractions at sea. Among them are go-kart courses, state of the art laser tag, ropes courses, as well as some of the fastest waterslides. Some of these ships also feature Spice H20, an adults only area with water features, a bar, and private space for those that are 18+.

On Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Encore, there is the Galaxy Pavilion too. This digitally enhanced area is home to interactive attractions, ride simulators, and games that everyone in the family will enjoy.

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Norwegian Sun Western Caribbean From Port Canaveral

Kids will love NCLs Royal Tots and Royal Babies areas that are just for their ages. For the older kids, Norwegian also has rappelling walls, climbing walls and cages, 24-hour video arcade, bowling lanes, and a five-story waterslide. One of them even extends off the cruise ship for a stellar ocean view. The theater productions are noteworthy on Norwegian cruises. On the Sun, they feature Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, a show kids will enjoy, particularly the music.

Norwegian has recently rolled out two-bedroom villas. These sleep up to six people, making cruising with larger families more comfortable and accessible. Best new of all, cruise deals you cant pass up are kids sail free on this itinerary! Families will adore the manatee, dolphin, and sea lion experiences on Cozumel, Mexico excursions.

Leaving from Port Canaveral will bring you into Orlando for your trip. You can easily add a day or two in a Disney park or Universal Orlando Resort. Im sure no family would object to that!

You can preorder diapers and wipes to be delivered to your Norwegian Sun stateroom. Easy peasy!

Youll visit the cruise ports of Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico on the Norwegian Sun.

Regal Princess Eastern Caribbean From Fort Lauderdale

Princess has really changed its kids programming since our cruising days with them. Rock Band, video game competitions, music, a batting cage, and laser shooting range are some of the newer offerings on this ship.

The Regal Princess also has a treehouse-themed outdoor playground with jungle gyms, specially created for 3- to 7-year-olds. Here, they can watch cartoons, do arts and crafts, and learn about animals through the partnership with Discovery, Inc. and Animal Planet. Kids 8 to 10 can enjoy dancing, games, stargazing, and California Science Center designed-activities, such as rocket building. Teens 13 to 17 hang out at a beach house style venue that offers hip hop dance classes, video game tournaments, dodge ball, and Rock the Boat teens-only party with awards and mocktails.

Kids can learn to appreciate afternoon tea with Princess Cruises daily 3 p.m. service. White gloved servers, live musicians and passed scones, clotted cream, and jam put this afternoon tea leap years ahead of the other ships offerings.

The Jr. Chef at Sea program offered by Princess is very impressive in my book. Kids learn cooking techniques from a Chef-led program in a shipboard kitchen. I also liked the SeaWalk, a cantilevered glass walkway that extends from the Lido Deck for views of the sea below.

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Best Cruise Lines For Families: Royal Caribbean International

Another one of our top picks for the best cruise lines for families is Royal Caribbean. Across all of the lines vessels, the company offers a mix of casual dining options, a traditional main dining room, and several lounges and bars for nightlife and entertainment. Many of the family friendly activities, dining, and entertainment are included in the Royal Caribbean cruise fare.

All ships have a main theater, which offers nightly entertainment. There are also other standard cruise amenities like a gym, spa, onboard shopping, and a casino.

Standard service and predictable cabin categories are found on most of the lines newer, larger ships. With an appropriate mix of adult-focused and family-friendly themed parties, activities, and events, there is plenty to keep your multi-generational family busy.

Perhaps one of the best benefits of a family cruise on Royal Caribbean is the opportunity to visit Perfect Day at CocoCay. This cruise line private island is home to several beaches, a lagoon-style pool, a kids aqua park, and the Thrill Waterpark, among other attractions.

It certainly ranks as one of the top cruise line private islands anywhere in the world. We have visited Perfect Day at CocoCay twice since it has been re-imagined and loved it! The island offers a variety of dining, activities, and shore excursions for a day of fun in the sun for the entire family.

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