What Are The Best Cruise Lines For Families With Kids
Which cruise companies know how to entertain families and their kids? Which cruise ships have the best kids clubs and facilities? Read on for all of the latest information on the best cruise lines for families travelling with children on cruising for all. These are our top rated cruise lines for families
- MSC Cruise Line
- P& O Cruises
Oasis Of The Seas Cruises
Operated by Royal Caribbean, the Oasis of the Seas is the world’s largest cruise ship. Boasting everything from teen centers to yoga studios, this cruise offers ample attractions for every teen. Some examples include DJ lessons, juice bars, hip youth lounges designs to feel like ultra-luxurious nightclubs, and even teens-only spas that deliver treatments like pedicures and facials. Additionally, Oasis of the Seas Cruise staff host a variety of themed nighttime events for teens, such as slumber parties and costume events. Finally, teens can take advantage of the on-board surf simulator, rock climbing walls, zip lines, and cupcake shop.
Top 10 Cruise Ships For Families
Fancy a family scavenger hunt, disco dancing, a foot massage with your kids, or maybe a cooking class? Its all possible on a family cruise that is all about spending time together away from the usual routines of school and work.
Multi-generational cruising is also big news, with cruise lines providing innovative programs that bring family members together while also offering age-appropriate entertainment. Some cruise lines have babysitting facilities so parents can enjoy a night out, and you will find there are more family staterooms being added to new ships due to high demand.
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Family Entertainment On Msc Cruise Line
They have many great shows suitable for all of the family from children to grandparents. The Cirque de Soliel at Sea is a fantastic show with circus acts and illusions. They also pride themselves in Family Friendly activities. With a range of activities for families such as bowling, VR games, Sports games and theatre shows.
Carnival Cruise Line Vista
We sailed on the newest member of Carnivals fleet earlier this year. We had a great time on our Carnival Panorama cruise to the Mexican Riviera. So, we can attest firsthand that these ships would be a great option for families with kids of all ages.
The sports deck on this class features something for everyone. Thrill seekers will like the ropes course, as well as the Sky Ride. This self-propelled attraction has you pedaling high above sea level. There is also mini-golf, a basketball court, as well as other larger than life games like pool tables, foosball, and corn hole.
Again, all of these activities are included in the price of your cruise fare. For younger cruisers, the company partners with Cat in Hat to offer themed activities including a Green Eggs and Ham breakfast . Carnival is not just for the little ones though, as there is also a separate area for teens with plenty of complimentary entertainment.
With a main pool, an aft pool, and an adults only Serenity area, there is plenty of outdoor spaces to relax and find your happy place in the sun. There is also the cruise lines water park with slides open to cruisers of all ages.
The best part is that there are plenty of food and drink options that are not far from any of these points. Cruisers can enjoy a custom made burrito at the Blue Iguana Cantina or a Guys Burger piled high with all the fixings. Not to mention, the 24-hour pizza spot is perhaps the best at sea.
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The Best Caribbean Cruises For Families
Cruising is at an all-time high, with many cruise companies offering awesome deals for family cruises. Consequently, choosing the best cruise ship for your next family vacation becomes overwhelming.
If you plan your next vacation to the Caribbean, you can narrow down your cruise ship options by setting a budget and understanding the different cruise lines in the region.
To make it even easier for you, here are 8 of the best Caribbean cruises for families.
Why Its Important To Pick The Right Line For You
Weve long said that no matter what type of cruise youre taking, its important to do a little bit of research or work with a travel advisor to make sure that you wind up with a vacation thats going to be a great fit. Yes, you can jump on just about any cruise ship and have an amazing time.
And yes, the basics of a cruise will be the same on most lines. But the devil, as they say, is in the details.
With that in mind, were going to look at each of the major cruise lines and give you an idea of what they have to offer adult travelers.
From restaurants perfect for date nights to a ship on which no one under the age of 18 is allowed, weve got all kinds of options for you to consider.
Think of this as a Beginners Guide to Adult Cruising. Lets dive in, looking at what they each offer, in no particular order.
Keep in mind that in some cases, well be speaking about what a cruise line specializes in generalities. Not all of the mentioned restaurants or amenities will necessarily be available on every ship in the lines fleet.
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Family Entertainment On Ncl
Onboard family entertainment is vast with a variety of things to do. Their latest ship the Encore hosts a karting track, laser tag and an American diner. There is plenty to do for the adults as well with a Cavern club and top theatre entertainment. If your kids are tech minded they will absolutely love the Galaxy pavilion onboard the encore which is a whole floor of VR! Norwegian Cruiseline have The Plank! Walk on the wild side in a harness as you extend 8 feet over the side of the ship!
Best Cruise Lines For Families With Kids
The best cruise lines for families with kids as ranked by verified reviews submitted over the past 12 months. This list is continuously updated as we receive new reviews from our members, so be sure to check back often! Note, a minimum of 40 reviews are required to be part of this list.
There is arguably no better line for families than Disney Cruise Line. Kids love the movie-themed play spaces, character meet and greets, and a water park fit for pint-sized cruisers. Plus, the main dining rooms are imaginative with entertainment and interactive elements, and stage shows allow little ones to see their favorite movies come to life.
Celebrity is a great choice for families looking for a more upscale onboard experience without stepping up to luxury-line prices. The kids program onboard will keep ages 3 to 17 engaged in various activities and events throughout the cruise. There are even family-friendly shore excursions and a kids menu in the main dining room and room service.
Royal Caribbeans Adventure Ocean Clubs on its Oasis-class ships have designated areas for toddlers and kids of all ages. Families with young children are sure to love the Royal Tots and Royal Babies programs which allow parents to drop off the little ones for an hourly fee.
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Msc Cruises Newest Ships
MSC Cruises newest ships boast some of the most outdoor space at sea. These public decks included several features that will appeal to multi-generational families.
Most of the larger MSC ships offer several pools each with its own theme. These include family friendly pools, as well as adult only pools. After all, parents deserve a little rest and relaxation on vacation too.
On MSC Seaside, which sails in the U.S., you will find waterslides and plenty of other outdoor entertainment. These include sports courts, ropes courses, and zip lines. The childrens areas on MSC Cruises are quite large as well, offering a diversity of activities for kids from 3 to 17 years old.
Other activities on MSC Cruises that will appeal to families include interactive experiences. Among these are 4D ride simulators, F1 car simulators, and other digitally enhanced games.
Regardless of the class of ship, all of these vessels include the MSC Aurea Spa as well. With a mix of different spa treatments, as well as a thermal suite, you can unwind in style. These ships also feature state of the art fitness centers with new equipment and group classes.
All of the brands mega-ships offer a main dining room with both traditional and flexible dining options. In addition, the ships boast a number of casual dining options, including a massive buffet with food from around the world. Did we mention that MSC Cruises also has some of the best pizza at sea? Perfect for the kids!
Evaluating MSC Cruises
Cruise Itineraries For Family Cruising
When looking to book a cruise the cruise itinerary and destination is also important for families wishing to cruise. At certain times of the year cruise itineraries will be more catered to families such as school holidays or christmas with planners packed with activities.
Some destinations are better suited for families such as the Caribbeans beaches or destinations such as Norway for children. Perhaps flying is not your thing? You could always take a cruise from Southampton?. Cut out the hassle of the airports and go straight into holiday mode by boarding a ship. There are many cruise itineraries which sail out of Southampton where you can start your holiday the minute you board.
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Understanding Cruise Line Ship Classes
Broadly speaking, cruise lines are large companies that manage a fleet of ships. Some of the worlds largest cruise lines have dozens of ships.
Each cruise line has its own standard venues, entertainment offerings, and style. So, by investigating each cruise lines general approach to cruising, you can decide whether it is a good fit for your familys next cruise vacation.
Within a brand, there are also different offerings between ships. For instance, Royal Caribbean International has 28 cruise ships available to book through 2022. It would take you hours to research each ship individually just for that one cruise line. Not to mention, Royal Caribbean is just one of over 60 international cruise lines.
Hence, its important to note that each cruise line offers different groups of ships. These classes of cruise ships often feature specific amenities or venues found only on those vessels. While there might be slight differences between ships within a class, they are largely identical.
So, when comparing cruise vacations, you can focus on which classes of ships best appeal to families.
In this guide to the best cruise lines for families, we attempt to highlight the cruise lines and the cruise ship classes within the brand that we would recommend for multi-generational travel parties.
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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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Whats The Best Cruise Line For Families
Since November of 2013, Ive had the awesome opportunity to cruise the Bahamas on the three most popular family cruise lines: Royal Caribbean Cruise Line , Disney Cruise Line and Carnival. All three sailings visited the Bahamas , were during the winter months and were considered short cruises . On RCCL and DCL, I sailed from Port Canaveral, Florida. The Carnival cruise was from Charleston, SC. As I cruised, I paid particular attention to ship amenities, spoke with dozens of other guests and interacted with crew to learn all I could. The ships sailed were the Carnival Fantasy , Royal Caribbeans Enchantment of the Seas and the Disney Dream .
Now that Im home, I have had time to reflect on each experience to rate each line in a variety of categories. For purposes of evaluating this research, the lower the score the better think golf, not football! Overall scores for each category are highlighted in blue, with the individual score components in black below. The overall winner, probably not surprising, is Disney . Carnival comes in third, but earned a better score than some might expect. Hopefully these scores and the explanations that follow will help you determine the best cruise for your family and budget.
Primary School Aged Children
For children aged four- to 11-year-olds, cruise holidays can be some of the most fun-filled, action-packed adventures theyll ever embark upon.
In general, the bigger, newer ships offer the most activities. If youre after rock climbing, ice skating, trampolining, zip lines, go-karting, giant waterslides, bumper cars, high ropes courses, surfing and skydiving simulators, then look out for the newest ships in the fleet.
These types of ships also tend to have the best kids clubs. Think your kids dont like kids clubs? They might change their minds when the see the ranges of activities which are on offer, all accompanied by qualified and enthusiastic youth staff.
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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.
Family Activities On Princess Cruises
Princess cruises have many family zones such as the Reef Family Splash Zone which is the perfect place to relax, have fun and enjoy the water. This interactive splash pad with a giant whale feature entertains kids of all ages with showers, sprays and water jets. You will also find oversized backyard games in the all-ages in the game zones.
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Norwegian Cruise Line Breakaway
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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Disney Magical Moments For The Whole Family On A Disney Cruise
With Disney theres something fun to do every day on a Disney Cruise ship. The itinerary has a touch of disney magic wherever you sail. Disney are known for Deck Parties and themed days such as legendary saga in Star Wars Day at Sea and Marvel Day at Sea.
Disney cruise ships have Splashtacular pools, fun slides and splash zones for little ones. There theatre shows are magical and of broadway standard meaning the whole family can sit back and enjoy the magic of Disney.
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