Family Dining And Live Music
You will be spoilt for choice when dining, but we like Giovannis Italian kitchen and wine bar. You get rustic family-style dining with the traditional Italian dishes that everybody loves. Also on offer will be Poolside BBQ and Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, both highly popular with families.
For music fans, you will love the Music Bar, where you will find live music and fantastic dance floors. The Spotlight Karaoke venue is always a cruise highlight where you can sing your heart out in front of other guests. This is one of the most popular venues onboard Royals ships and is great fun. It is safe to say that Wonder of the Seas offers some of the best family fun at sea.
Hiking Snorkelling And Exploring The Galapagos
The Galapagos Islands may be pricey, but you cant beat it in terms of a life-changing family experience. Hurtigrutens new expeditions on the MS Santa Cruz II are ideal for families with children over five. Youll spend three nights in Quito, including a chocolate tasting and a trip to the vast Cotopaxi volcano, then fly to Baltra to join the ship for six nights hiking, snorkelling and exploring by Zodiac inflatable. Expect to see iguanas, giant tortoises, sea lions, sharks, turtles, rays, penguins and blue-footed boobies, none of which fear humans.
Details Nine nights from £8,435pp, including flights, half-board in Quito, full board on the ship and drinks with meals, departing on July 19
Havana Cabanas On Vista Class Ships
We recommend looking at the Havanna category of cabins to book a room if you have children 12 or over. Havana cabins are available only on Vista category ships .
The Havana Cabana rooms are lovely spacious with island-inspired decor and ocean-facing patios. In addition, you have access to a private area designated only for Havana guests: pool, hot tubs, bar area, 24-hour ice cream and pizza, and a breakfast buffet area. Beware! If you are a super-private person, then its essential to know that other guests can walk by your area. There is a walkway between your patio and the railings looking over the ocean.
Therefore if you like your privacy, opt for the balcony rooms instead. But if you can afford the extra cost and are very social, we love the additional perks that this area on Carnival Vista offers!
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Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Wonder Of The Seas
- Number of guests: 5400
- Year: 2009. Updated 2019
Lets start with the biggest and best cruise line among these eight best cruise ships for families. Who doesnt like to sail the ocean in a mini-city and have the best of everything within walking distance? Here is our first vote in Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines fleet for the best cruise ship.
Wonder Of The Seas Review For Kids
Its pretty good to be a grade school-age kid on Wonder of the Seas too. Not only do kids get to play in Royal Caribbeans robust and exhilarating kids camp, Adventure Ocean, theres also massive multiple-deck outdoor play area at the back of the ship called Wonder Playscape. Located in the Youth Zone neighborhood on deck 14, the kids camp complex is appropriately sizedwhich is to say its also huge.
Inside are supervised age-appropriate activities for four different age groups, from babies to 11-year-olds. Each age group has its own colorful, comfortable, hi-tech rooms and a dedicated staff.
With the first taste of autonomy that all young children deserve, kids will be ushered to the Windjammer buffet for dinner together while at sea. And the Adventure Ocean fun can even go deep into the night. The cruise lines Late Night Party Zone has special events, dance parties, and other activities that run from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. for kids ages three to 11.
The sprawling Adventure Ocean complex for elementary school-age kids consists of a theater, science lab, escape room, arcade, playrooms, and the Imagination Studio sponsored by Crayola and Fisher-Price. There are scheduled events and activities for kids, such as DreamWorks character appearances, scavenger hunts, exclusive kid-friendly tours of the ship, sports competitions, parties, science experiments, workshops, movie nights, and Nintendo Wii video gaming .
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Additional Norwegian Cruise Kid
NCL shines when it comes to activities and features for kids . Popular features include rock climbing and rappelling walls, batting cages, bowling lanes and impressive water park areas. Norwegian Epic has a 303-foot-long corkscrew tube and the Drainpipe, a 104-foot tube that empties into a giant funnel. Breakaway and Getaway feature five multistory waterslides, as well as The Plank, an eight-foot walk that extends off the edge of the ship and out over the sea. Norwegian Escape offers one of the largest ropes courses at sea, as well as one of the largest water parks at sea. All four have two main pools, including a separate kids pool.
On NCL Epic, “Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical” is a great inclusive musical option for kids of all ages. Epic also has 46 two-bedroom family villas — cruise ship rooms for six people — while Breakaway and Getaway have 20 two-bedroom villas. On Norwegian Escape, the Haven includes two-bedroom family suites that sleep up to six passengers, and there are an additional 40 family mini-suites that feature bathtubs.
The NCL kids’ menu includes lots of kid faves, including waffles, chicken fingers, pizza, freshly prepared pastas, soft-serve ice cream and more. Kids 12 years old and under dining with their parents at specialty restaurants eat for free.
How Do You Decide Which Royal Caribbean Ship Is Best For Your Family
- Look at the facilities to suit the age of your children
- Check out the kids and baby clubs, not all ships have nurseries
- If you are traveling with a baby find a ship that has a baby splash pool
- Are waterslides important to you and you family?
- And which ship has the best sports facilities?
- Do you like speciality dining? Which ships have the options you would prefer?
- If you are a theatre lover, which shows are showing on which ships?
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Cruise The Danube From Vienna To Nuremberg
The upmarket river cruise line Uniworld offers a series of family-friendly Generations cruises in Europe, packed with creative and adventurous activities. On this Authentic Danube voyage from Vienna to Nuremberg, trips ashore include a session in the 5D Time Travel Vienna experience, geocaching in Passau, a tour of the BMW factory at Regensburg and a visit to a former silver mine in Bavaria. The smart, 128-passenger River Princess also carries bicycles on board.
Details Seven nights all-inclusive from £3,199pp, including flights, departing on July 29
The Oasis Class Perfect For Kids And Active Families
Sister ship to Harmony, Allure, Symphony, and Oasis of the Seas, which all belong to Royals Oasis class, Wonder of the Seas gives you some of the best adventures and entertainment at sea. Recommended for families and adventurous, lively couples, Wonder had its maiden voyage in March of 2022. Expensive? Yes. Value for money? Absolutely.
Start with a ten-story high slide thrill in a tunnel, the Ultimate Abyss, that delivers you safely to the boardwalk deck. Learn to surf on their wave riders on the top deck or meet new friends in a glow-in-the-dark laser tag game. Adventure is the name of the game here.
There are great kids clubs, and if you are traveling with teens. They will have their lounge and a new dedicated outdoor deck area where making new friends will be easy. Your kids can even try out a Mission Control Apollo 18 escape room.
The pool decks are fantastic so good that they get very crowded. Expect a Caribbean-style pool area with more bars, whirlpools, and a variety of seating, including day beds and cabanas.
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The Incredible Royal Caribbean Cruise Restaurants
No matter where you cruise, Royal Caribbean will take you on a gourmet tour of the world.
If you love Italian, head to Jamie Olivers acclaimed eatery. Jamies Italian by Jamie Oliver serves up Tuscan-inspired cuisine and its one of the most popular restaurants on board Royal Caribbean cruise ships.
Make sure you order Jamies ultimate garlic bread warm artisan buttermilk buns served with herby garlic butter, veggie parmesan and rosemary. We should warn you though, the kids will say Jamies makes the best bolognaise.
If your kids love sushi, you should book into Izumi. The Japanese restaurant has a kids menu with smaller-sized versions of Izumis sushi, tonkotsu ramen, and even teriyaki.
Izumis yaki udon is a must-eat. The delicious dish has has thick, stir-fried udon noodles topped with tender grilled chicken, beef, shrimp or tofu. Sushi-fans should order one of the chefs signature rolls .
Ask anyone who has been on a Royal Caribbean cruise before and they will say the food is out of this world.
Nowhere is that more apparent than inside the fantastical Wonderland Restaurant. Wonderland serves baby garden vegetables, buffalo chicken eggs, wonton soup and slow roaster chicken. But these are no ordinary dishes. Take a look at the picture below
Onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise you have dozens of dining options and every desire and taste is catered for.
You can even have a robot shake and stir your cocktail or mocktail order to perfection.
A Clipper Cruise In The Caribbean
What child wouldnt be thrilled with a swashbuckling Caribbean adventure on a sailing ship that actually allows you to climb the rigging to the crows nest? Star Clippers graceful flagship, Royal Clipper, sails from Barbados this winter. A pre-Christmas getaway visits the uninhabited Tobago Cays, where you can spot sea turtles while you snorkel, volcanic St Vincent, Grenada, Bequia, Martinique and Soufriere on St Lucia, jumping off point for the jungly, jagged Pitons. As an authentic family or multigenerational experience, you cant beat it mast climbing included.
Details Seven nights full board from £1,675pp, departing on December 17. Fly to Barbados
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Adventure Of The Seas
Adventure of the Seas, Royal Caribbeans third Voyager-class cruise ship, delivers every comfort imaginable as it transports 3,000 passengers on fascinating journeys.
The Voyager-class changed the industry by introducing the first ice rink at sea, a rock climbing wall, an in-line skating track, and the Royal Promenade, a bustling football field-length city street dotted with cafés and shops that are open 24 hours a day.
Best Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships For Kids
The ships in Royal Caribbean’s fleet are great options for families cruising with children, but the four Oasis-class ships — Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas — stand head and shoulders above the rest. These ships are the largest cruise ships in the world, and they’re brimming with family-friendly activities, amenities and entertainment options that are sure to keep your kids happy throughout your entire sailing.
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Amenities Activities And Accommodations
At the heart of any cruise ship is what the ship offers onboard, and where you will call home during your vacation.
Royal Caribbean’s cruise ships have four basic types of staterooms: inside, oceanview, balcony and suite cabins. These types of cruise cabins offer varying amount of living space and luxuries, and the some ships have more impressive cabins than others.
Ultimately, the decision for which room you want is a question of what you can afford, but the larger and newer ships tend to offer the most expansive and luxurious accommodations.
What you do onboard is what makes Royal Caribbean stand out, and you will find various signature activities, fun things to do and multitudes of dining choices across an expansive layout.
Each cruise ship is made up of a different combination of onboard offerings and over the last decade, Royal Caribbean has varied these amenities considerably from ship to ship. So it behooves you to figure out which are the most important and pick the right ship for you.
A Gulf Cruise With Dune Bashing And Camel Riding
A cruise in the Gulf can be a great option for the Christmas holidays the sea is warm and outdoor adventures await, from dune bashing and camel riding in the desert to game spotting in Sir Bani Yas, a desert island thats been turned into a safari park. From Muscat, theres a chance to go wadi bashing, bumping along dried-up riverbeds in the mountains. The 2,150-passenger MSC Opera comes with kids clubs, VR gaming, a spa and a spacious pool deck as distractions for the days at sea.Details Seven nights full board from £409 per adult or £289 per child, departing on December 12. Fly to Abu Dhabi
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The Best Ships: Oasis
Royal Caribbean has five Oasis-class ships:
- Allure of the Seas
- Symphony of the Seas
- Wonder of the Seas
The best Royal Caribbean ships for older kids and teenagers are the Oasis-class ships. These are the largest ships in the fleet and are packed with adrenaline-pumping activities like zip lines, slides and surfing machines.
An Immersive Alaskan Cruise
The thrills come thick and fast in Alaska, including whale-watching, bear-spotting, sea-kayaking, salmon cook-outs, dog-sledding and zip-lining. Princess Cruises is one of the best big-ship lines sailing in the region, thanks to its enormous range of immersive itineraries and other features, from Alaskan-themed food on board to a chance to cuddle husky puppies when the vessel is in Skagway. This seven-night round-trip cruise from Seattle on Discovery Princess visits Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, the Dawes Glacier and Victoria in Canada.
Details Seven nights full board from £1,229pp, including tips and drinks, departing on July 17. Fly to Seattle
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Best Ship For Families Of All Ages: Wonder Of The Seas
If you want something for everyone, look no further than Royal Caribbean’s newest cruise ship.
Wonder of the Seas is not just the largest cruise ship in the world, but it has just about everything kids, teens, and grandma will find enjoyable.
Oasis Class ships are packed with the best offerings Royal Caribbean has, and there’s very few activities or amenities found on other ships that you can’t find on these vessels.
You’ve got water slides, a giant aqua park, surf simulator, two rock walls, playscape, and a carousel if you need to burn some energy. Then there’s the zip line, ice skating, hot tubs, and 10-story dry slide.
The adults-only solarium pool area is found on every Royal Caribbean ship, but like everything on an Oasis Class ship, the solarium on Wonder is just bigger.
Another great amenity on Wonder of the Seas are the shows. There are three entertainment venues with shows almost every night: AquaTheater, Royal Theater, and Studio B.
You can expect to see comedy shows, ice skating show, diving show and more.
If you’re new to cruising, or are traveling with a wide variety of ages, it’s hard to go wrong with an Oasis Class cruise ship like Wonder.
If there’s a downside to going on Wonder of the Seas, it’s that you’ll pay more on average for a cruise on Wonder of the Seas compared to other ships in Royal Caribbean’s fleet.
The Best Royal Caribbean Ships For Kids
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Royal Caribbean cruises are fantastic for families and have many exciting family-friendly facilities on board. But which Royal Caribbean ship is best for kids?
The answer to this question depends on the age of your children, as the best ship for teenagers will not necessarily be the best ship for toddlers! In this guide, Ill show you the best Royal Caribbean ships to consider for your next family cruise.
Most activities on Royal Caribbean ships have height, weight or age requirements. Its important to choose the best Royal Caribbean ship for your kids carefully, to avoid any disappointment that would come with finding out that your children arent old enough to join in the fun.
Note: Royal Caribbean is extremely strict on their requirements and will weigh and measure children to make sure theyre tall or heavy enough. Staff will also check a list of childrens names and ages at the entrance to each attraction.
Best Caribbean Cruises For Families
With an exotic cocktail of tropical islands and aquamarine seas that make it the worlds top cruising destination, the Caribbean bursts with flavour that appeals to all ages and especially families.
They can choose from child-friendly ships and sailings departing Florida, where its easy to tag on-land stays, or fly directly to the islands to join their ship. Sara Macefield rounds up the best family-friendly Caribbean cruises.
Roller-coaster at sea
What? Carnival Cruise Lines
Why? Kids will be clamouring to try this adrenalin-fuelled ride on Carnivals, an electric Ultimate Sea Coaster called Bolt that races across the top deck at speeds of up to 40mph. Add to that the Carnival WaterWorks aqua park with its trio of waterslides and SportSquare where youngsters can weave across the ropes course.
Book it:Carnival offers a one-week Eastern Caribbean round-trip voyage from Port Canaveral that promises zipline adventures in Puerto Rico, waterfall-climbing at Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic and a beach day in Grand Turk, departs August 26, 2023. From £598 per adult and £251 per child.
Feel the magic to the Bahamas
What? Disney Cruise Lines Disney Wish
Book it: Disney Cruise Line offers a 10-night package comprising one-week at Walt Disney World and three-night round-trip Bahamas cruise from Port Canaveral, including Disneys private island Castaway Cay, costs from £2,822pp, on July 7, 2023.
Thrills and spills to St Maarten
Race to the Dutch Antilles