Carnival Cruises Carnival Breeze
Most Fun Features: This ship has racing water slides, a twister waterslide, and a Dr. Seuss brunchwith green eggs and ham, naturally.
Best Eats: Guys Burger Joint serves some of the best burgers at sea, complete with a toppings bar and French fried, too. Best of all, its poolside so you dont have to miss a minute in the sun.
Carnival Cruises Carnival Horizon
Most Fun Features: This ship has a Dr. Seuss-themed water park, an IMAX theater, and SkyRide which is basically a bicycle suspended above the deck that you can ride through the sky.
Best Eats: Theres so much great, casual food onboard, its easy to see why this is one of the best cruises for kids. With a pizzeria, a taco stand, andget thisboth a burger bar and a barbecue spot created with Food Network star Guy Fieri, how will you choose where to eat lunch?
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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The 6 Best Cruises For Kids In 2021
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“Offers kid-friendly river cruises that are loaded with educational opportunities.”
So What Are The Best Cruise Ships For Kids Read On And Find Out
From water slides and go-kart tracks to laser tag arenas and surfing simulators, modern technology has afforded cruise ships the opportunity to turn into floating theme parks with no shortage of fun to be had. There are several ships which fall into the best for kids category, here are some of our favorites!
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What Cruise Line Has The Best Gym Fitness And Sport Facilities
Royal Caribbean has the best facilities for staying active and the widest array of activities. All ships have rock climbing walls, well-equipped gyms, yoga classes, and spas.
The Voyager, Freedom, and Oasis class ships also have ice skating, basketball, volleyball, and miniature golf.
The Freedom and Oasis have Pilates studios and a full size boxing ring.
The Oasis class also have a zip line, aqua theater, surfing simulator, and 1/2 mile onboard running track.
Why Cruises Are Great For Family Travel
So what are the specifics that make a cruise such a great option for kids and families that want to take a cruise? Here are just a few things that are appealing to many
Everyone Is Together Of course, the biggest reason to vacation with your family is to spend some quality time together. On a cruise ship, you are all sharing a cabin, have a space where everything you need is within walking distance, and there are tons of entertainment options that appeal to all ages.
Instead of a vacation where everyone is going different directions, you get the chance to reconnect those close bonds with each other.
Everyone Has Something Fun to Do Take a trip to most resorts and youll find a separation between what adults want to do and what kids want to do.
Take Disney World sure the kids love it, but do the parents have fun too? Or think of a resort on land. Maybe Mom and Dad love having restaurants or golf, but how much is there for the kids to do?
On a cruise, there are tons of activities for all ages, and even if they arent appealing to one person or another, they are still close to each other. So Mom can lay out reading a book while the kids go down waterslides. Or the entire family can take in a show on the ship.
These areas segment out by age, so for instance smaller kids are together playing games while teens might have a dance party.
Any of these lines would be a good option, but we think some are a little better than others
Best Activities: Carnival Cruise
- Ship name: Carnival Vista
- Itinerary: Roatan, Honduras Belize City, Belize Cozumel, Mexico
The port of Galveston is home to the Carnival Vista, a game-changing ship for Carnival that is chock full of fun activities. Kids can make a splash at Waterworks, Carnivals thrilling waterpark at sea complete with Kaleid-O-Slide, a high-speed waterslide with a changing pattern of lights. Then theres Sky Ride, a suspended bike course with great views but is not for the faint of heart, and a giant IMAX movie theater. Family favorites like Dr. Seuss characters can be found roaming the decks, or kids can head over to the Build-A-Bear workshop. The kids club, Camp Ocean, has a roster full of activities for each age group and tweens and teens have their own space, too.
What Families Can Expect While Cruising
On most cruise lines, supervised kids programs are complimentary during scheduled hours. Most programming is during sea days with late night group babysitting available on some ships for a fee. Programming is limited on some lines when the ship is in port, and there is usually a break midday during lunch hours.
Family-friendly cruise lines offer a wide array of organized activities and facilities for children. Kids are grouped together by age and it varies by cruise line.
Sample activities can include face painting, scavenger hunts, tie-dying T-shirts, games, talent shows, cooking demonstrations, sports clinics, movie nights and computer time.
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Newer Cruise Ships Can Be A Better Choice For Families
Cruise lines newer ships can be better choice for families now. Ship building has come on leaps and bounds and with each company competing for passengers designing the best activities for children onboard is a must. The ship companies design these new facilities for families from the outset. Cruise lines are looking at ways of offering more exiting innovations all of the time including new things for babies, tots, teens and adults.
New ships also tend to be the biggest ships which offer more space and new innovations such as such as Bowling alleys, Simulators, Karting, Water parks and even Zip lines. Having said that cruise lines are also always looking at ways to adapt existing ships with ships often going back in to dry dock to have new updates added. So when looking at the best cruise for families with the cruise line you wish to travel with look at the individual ships to see what they also include onboard.
Why Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Is Good For Kids
Not to be outdone, Royal Caribbean has its own impressive fleet. Royal Caribbean’s Voyager, Freedom, Oasis of the Seas, and Anthem of the Seas are the most kid- friendly. They’re not just for kids though, as these ships will also keep the adults accompanying the kids entertained as well. Royal Caribbean constructed many of its ships with kids in mind, so much so that you’ll notice a lot of their space is dedicated just for the young’uns. When you’re not accompanying your children on the many attractions intended for them, they’ll be in good hands thanks to the cruise line’s various kids clubs. Royal Tots and Royal Babies programs cater to children from 6-36 months old. There are also kids clubs for age ranges of 3-5, 6-8, and 9-11, plus clubs for the 12- 17-year-old crowd. As a plus, Royal Caribbean counselors tend to have a solid reputation for being friendly, so you can have added peace of mind while venturing out on your own.
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Royal Caribbeans Harmony Of The Seas
With its seven neighbourhoods, including the kid-friendly Boardwalk, the worlds largest ship has enough action-oriented amenitiesfrom an ice rink and carousel to a zip line and the tallest slide at seato keep kids of all ages entertained. More than three football fields long, Harmony holds up to 6,272 passengers.
Best for: Daredevil kids and their parentsbut theres lots for tiny tots, too.
Coolest itinerary: Seven nights round trip from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to the Western Caribbean, with calls on Falmouth, Jamaica Cozumel, Mexico and Labadee in Haiti, Price: from $924 per person.
Why its great: Its a marvel of engineering and imagination: big, bold and playfulwhat kid wouldnt love meeting Shrek or getting soaked by a drench bucket in the splash park?with multiple oceanview and interior cabins that let little ones be safe as you enjoy the sunset.
Your kids will love: The stomach-dropping slides if theyre brave enough and tall enough to try the 10-storey-high Ultimate Abyss or Perfect Storm slide trio and yummy fun on a bun at Boardwalk Dogs . Younger kids can interact with Dreamworks characters or cool off at Splashaway Bay.
Youll love: The sophistication of Central Park and the familiar old-school fun of Grease, The Musical.
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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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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Best Disney Cruise Ship For Kids: Disney Fantasy
Disney Cruise Line is a favorite for families, and has the awards to prove it. While all of the Disney ships were built with creating magical memories in mind, Disney Fantasy currently takes the cake as the best cruise ship for kids because of its seven-night sailings from Florida to the Caribbean and Mexico.
All Disney ships feature themed parties, such as a Pirates in the Caribbean dance party, where pirate costumes are encouraged and the only fireworks at sea blast off overhead. Youre sure to encounter Disney characters and movies throughout the ships. Holiday times are unforgettable with Halloween on the High Seas and Very Merrytime winter wonderland festivities. The Bibbiddi Bobbidi Boutique transforms children into princesses, pirates, sea captains and knights.
On select Fantasy sailings, guest can partake in Star Wars Day at Sea, which includes character sightings, Star Wars movies playing by the pool, themed activities and even special Star Wars food and drinks on the menus. If youd like to don your Hans Solo garb or Storm Trooper costume, an atrium costume party is the perfect place to bring on the fun in full force.
Children will love testing their sleuthing skills in the Midship Detective Agency, which sends them on an interactive ship-wide caper to crack a case of whodunit. Disney imagineers put a ton of magic into the ships, thinking through every modern and whimsical detail, including enchanted artwork that transforms in front of your eyes.
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Msc Kids Club Age Range
The kids club on MSC age range is from babies to teens. There are different clubs to suit the ages of the children
- The Chicco baby club is for babies 1-3
- The Mini club age 3-6, 7-11
- Young teen club 12-14 and the Teen club ages 15-17.
All kids clubs on MSC offer a range of craft activities, games, dance classes and sports tournaments.
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
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Best Cruise Line For Kids Of All Ages: Royal Caribbean International
The whiz-bang, wow-factor ships of Royal Caribbean boast almost as much energy as your kids do. The lines found its success as the something-for-everyone, bigger-is-better brand that caters to kids of all ages and actively courts multi-generational travel. For families with children of different ages in tow, its a solid all-around bet. Complimentary kids clubs abound: Babes and toddlers can be attended to in the Royal Babies & Tots nursery, featuring parent-accompanied classes, activities, and play areas, as well as drop-off babysitting services . Young kids, ages three to 11, can participate in the Adventure Ocean youth program, which offers dedicated play spaces and activitiescrafts, science projects, scavenger hunts, talent shows, themed parties, and morebroken down into three age groups . It also features My Family Time dining, which lets children join their families for a speedy 40-minute dinner, before heading off to the evening Adventure Ocean activities, leaving parents behind to dine at leisure.
Best Cruise Lines For Babies & Toddlers: Cunard Line
While Cunards elegant trio of ships , known for their fine trimmings and white-glove service, dont suggest kids at the surface, the line actually excels at diversions and accommodations for the smallest sailors. Indeed, the company positively trumps the competition for the baby and toddler set, thanks in large part to its complimentary night nursery, a place where young babesages six to 24 monthscan snooze each evening in cots or cribs, all under the watchful eye of trained British nannies . Its a rare and most welcomed industry offering, affording parents the chance to indulge in some evening-time wining, dining, and entertainment. Daytime diversions abound, too, thanks to the lines free drop-off kids programming for tots ages two to seven: The Play Zone comes chockablock with activities like sports competitions, arts and crafts, and storytime .
Onboard restaurants boast baby food, kids menus, and loaner high chairs, while bottle warmers and sterilizers are available upon request. Bunk comfortably with babes thanks to complimentary cribs and cots and even loaner baby bathsinfants under two sail free .
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Why Cruising Has Become A Great Option For Families
The almost all-inclusive nature of cruising translates into value for families looking to maximize their vacation dollars. There are lots of activities and supervised programs on the ships available to keep young passengers occupied and on track for vacation bliss.
And for those children not inclined to participate in the kids programs on the ships, there are many family-friendly activities to help everyone have fun.
Royal Caribbean Symphony Of The Seas
Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas
One of the newest cruise ships sailing the seven seas, Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas, has everything your kids need to stay entertained and out of your hair for the whole trip. Amenities include a water park just for kids, a regulation size basketball court, ice-skating rink, and two 40-foot rock climbing walls. The ship also has an arcade and a glow-in-the-dark laser tag arena where guests face off for control of the last planet in an epic battle of good and evil.
The Flowrider surfing simulator will be a big hit with teens and its included in the cost of your cruise, with absolutely no reservation required.
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