Cruise with Kids Vacations and Family-Friendly Ships

What happened to cruise with kids vacations during the pandemic? As everyone knows, they stopped.

Following months of “No Sail” orders recommending against ocean and river cruise vacations, on Oct. 30, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Conditional Sailing Order to guide large cruise ships (more than 250 passengers) on a course to resuming sailing. The extensive document outlines requirements for testing, health and safety precautions for crew and passengers plus simulated voyages to analyze if protocols mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Grandmother and grandchild wave goodbye to shore from cruise ship deck.
Going on a multigenerational cruise will be the trip of a lifetime for many families.

“Over the past eight months, a highly-controlled resumption of cruising has continued in Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific—with nearly 400,000 passengers sailing to date in more than 10 major cruise markets. These voyages were successfully completed with industry-leading protocols that have effectively mitigated the spread of COVID-19. Additional sailings are planned in the Mediterranean and Caribbean later this spring and summer,” said Kelly Craighead, President and CEO of the Cruise Lines Industry Association (CLIA) in March 2021.

Why take a Cruise With Kids Vacation Now?

Parents and grandparents love cruising because they get a lot of bang for their vacation buck: activities, meals and lodging all for one price, including morning-till-night programming for kids, at considerably less than many resorts charge.

The cohort that’s been called Skip-Gen Travel -– grandparents traveling with grandkids and leaving parents behind –- also flock to cruises because they’re an easy way to get the whole gang on vacation (especially in Alaska and Europe), get qualified assistance with the kids and reduce the stress of group travel.

Families are already seeing a surge in value pricing and value-added amenities  for when cruising resumes, particularly for 2022 from major cruise lines including Holland America and Princess.

Bucket List Cruises are Trending

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, CLIA projected a whopping 32 million cruise passengers worldwide in 2020. Obviously, there are no projections available yet for 2021.

Yet cruise companies are touting bucket list trips to places like Antarctica and the Galapagos. For Antarctica, check out the new, all-inclusive family-friendly voyage aboard World Navigator, the first expedition ship by Atlas Ocean Voyages. This Antarctica adventure is ideal for kids as young as eight as well as active seniors. Another plus: chartered Atlas flights that will help prevent layovers and delays. Get ready to kayak past ice floes!

Quasar Expeditions offers specific family cruises on small yachts with special discounts for kids, child-friendly menus, guides who make every activity an adventure for all ages  and once-in-a-lifetime experiences like swimming with sea turtles, close encounters with Blue-footed boobies, snorkeling in crystal clear waters, star gazing and more. 

So, Will Your Family Be Cruising in 2021?

CLIA has called for the CDC to allow for the planning of a phased resumption of cruise operations from U.S. ports by the beginning of July 2021. According to CLIA, restarting cruises as part of the broader travel industry will provide a much-needed boost to the U.S. economy—with the cruise industry supporting nearly 450,000 American jobs and contributing over $55.5 billion annually. 

But according to major news outlets, the CDC has said that the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order  will remain in effect through Nov. 1, 2021. Details for the next phase of the CSO are currently under interagency review,” the CDC said in a statement to CNN.

Meanwhile, several of the major cruise lines are circumventing the U.S. no-sail rule by starting and ending cruises offshore. Crystal Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity have so far announced plans to circumvent U.S. ports and cruise from the Caribbean and Greece this summer. And while you peruse cruises available this summer or next year, make sure to read the fine print as cruise line refund policies vary from a future cruise voucher to additional onboard spending credits or a full cash refund. 

Picking the Right Family Cruise

Advances in always-connected technology for passengers at sea mean you won’t want to unplug on the major cruise lines. Fortunately, there are cruises for families who can’t wait to unplug; that’s why it’s so important to choose carefully.

So what are you waiting for? We’re featuring the 2021 Taking the Kids Cruise Guide to help you plan an adventure at sea, so set your sails.Our annual cruise guide will be updated throughout 2021 as cruise lines announce their plans. Be forewarned that some of the cruise and shore activities, onboard facilities and programs we review below, dating to 2020, will likely be modified to accommodate new regulations.

Please use an abundance of caution in your travel planning and get in contact with small ship and major cruise companies for the latest itineraries and information.

Get the best deals on family-friendly cruises here.

Cruise Reviews Of Major Family-Friendly Cruises

Here are some of the top family cruise vacation options to consider, in alphabetical order. Please note that facilities and onboard experiences may change when cruising resumes to curb the spread of the pandemic.

ADVENTURES BY DISNEY RIVER CRUISES

Bike riding along Rhone River shoreline
During the Rhone River itinerary onboard AmaCello, Adventures by Disney guests sail through southern France, including the renowned region of Provence, with stops in Lyon, Tournon, Avignon and Arles and fun shore excursions. Photo by Chloe Rice c. Adventures by Disney

Adventures by Disney, the escorted tour operation run by the famed family brand, offers European river cruise sailings for families and adults. These luxury, all-inclusive itineraries escorted by expert guides are active, immersive and hassle free. The expanded 2020 season was set to include a record-breaking 27 river cruise departures along the Danube, Rhine, Seine and Rhone rivers.

What’s New: There’s a brand-new, eight-day, seven-night itinerary through southern France, including Provence, on the Rhone River onboard AmaCello. Adventures by Disney will embark on six Rhone River cruises, three for families and three for adults in this first year.  Beginning in 2020, Adventures by Disney guests can enhance their European river cruise vacations with three-day, two-night Escapes to Paris, Amsterdam and Budapest. These guided group itineraries are designed to maximize vacation time, highlighting each city’s most well- known attractions while also uncovering unexpected hidden gems. Two dedicated Adventure Guides lead guests in enriching, exciting activities the whole family can enjoy. Adventures by Disney Escapes can be booked as standalone getaways.

For Kids and Teens: All Adventures by Disney river cruises feature the expert services of Disney-trained Adventure Guides, who specialize in creating unforgettable vacation experiences that parents, children and teens can enjoy. These range from active excursions, castle and museum tours and unique onboard activities to a special welcome party, teen and Junior Adventurer dinners and Disney movie nights that young guests can enjoy while adults enjoy wine-tasting and adult-only dinners.

Around the Ship: Sailing with AmaWaterways, a premier luxury river cruise line, these all-inclusive vacations allow guests to explore the heart of Europe with active, hands-on excursions.

ATLAS OCEAN VOYAGES

Gentoo Penguin sitting on egg and squawking.
Mother Gentoo Penguins are among the wonders you’ll see on your Atlas Ocean Voyage Antarctica adventure. Photo c. Michel Verdure

The winter of 2021, the World Navigator, a newly constructed, small (98 staterooms) expedition ship will launch as the first expedition ship from Atlas Ocean Voyages. Atlas’ signature All Inclusive All The Way program includes complimentary round-trip air travel from major U.S. and Canada gateways, a choice of shore excursion at every port, prepaid gratuities, gourmet dining and premium beverages, Wi-Fi and more perks — with generous refund policies for those who book early. Nine to 12-day cruise expeditions sail only Nov. 2021 to March 2022.

What’s New: Everything’s new about World Navigator. Her Antarctica observation deck, called Water’s Edge, is closer to the sea than any other ship currently sailing, meaning you can get closer to the southernmost continent’s unique wildlife. Families will appreciate that benches wrapping around the bow are heated so you can stay outdoors much longer. Near to the shore and in ecologically sensitive areas, hydrojets (a silent impeller system) will be used for navigation to prevent scaring off marine life close to the vessel. New SKF stabilizers promise to reduce turbulence from rough seas along the Drake Passage by up to 15%.

For Kids and Teens: All ages will love that Atlas Ocean Voyages flies guests directly from North America to Ushuaia, Argentina – port of embarkation – via private jet. There will be onboard programming by scientists, explorers and naturalists plus a professional photographer to share tips. Daily excursions by Zodiac inflatable craft let those who are not stand-up paddleboarding explore the icy environment and visit penguins, Elephant seals and exotic birdlife on shore.

Around the ShipWorld Navigator has four dining venues and two lounges to catch up on the day’s adventures. Me time can be spent at the fitness studio or L’OCCITANE spa. Cabins with balconies sleep up to three persons; amenities include binoculars and polar parkas to use on your expeditionary excursions. Expect personalized stocked minibars plus a butler for the suites. This remarkable Antarctica cruise adventure combines luxury with thrills, comfort with exploration, and is designed to be shared with children and grandchildren ages 10+. 

CARNIVAL

SkyZone trampoline park on Carnival Panorama cruise ship
The Sky Zone trampoline park aboard Carnival Panorama is a great place to let off steam on days at sea. Photo c. Carnival Cruise Line.

Carnival president Christine Duffy has said that Carnival does not plan to move any ships away from their U.S. homeports. “I’ve always said Carnival Cruise Line is America’s cruise line. We sail from 14 U.S. homeports … and a significant number of our guests drive to their Carnival vacations, and we also sail with more families and children than any other cruise line.” 

What’s New: Carnival Panorama and Carnival Mardi Gras are the newest ships. Carnival Panorama features family suites with access to a family lounge, Camp Ocean, Seuss at Sea (operated exclusively with Dr. Seuss Enterprises), the first Sky Zone trampoline park at sea and Smokehouse Brewhouse featuring barbeque favorites created by Guy Fieri and four brewed-on-board craft beers, among other cool features. Mardi Gras is the line’s largest and most innovative ship, with the first roller coaster at sea, the first seagoing restaurant from New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse and a wide variety of accommodations with 180 suites across 11 different categories.

For Kids: Carnival Cruise Line offers complimentary programming and facilities for kids in three age groups: Camp Ocean (ages 2-11) is designed for younger cruisers and features indoor play areas stocked with games and toys along with indoor climbing mazes, computer labs and video walls. Kids can also eat with their counselors so parents can enjoy a night to themselves, and enjoy a Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with Dr. Seuss characters for a nominal fee.

For Tweens: Circle “C” provides 12- to 14-year olds with a place of their own to dance, watch movies outdoors, play games and get together with new friends.

For Teens: Club O2 (ages 15-17) includes a dance floor with a DJ, soda bar, movies, video games, and pool parties.

Around the Ship: Outdoor games and activities, along with children’s wading pools, and main Lido deck pools offering the line’s signature water slides. Outdoor play areas with mini basketball hoops, jungle gyms and other playground equipment, mini golf, as well as game rooms offering the latest video and arcade games, are available fleet-wide. Some ships offer suspended ropes courses as well as a bike-ride-in-the-sky attraction called SkyRide. The line also offers nightly babysitting and Carnival Night Owls featuring a full schedule of activities running as late as 1am (fees apply for babysitting and the Night Owls program).

CELEBRITY CRUISES

These 13 ships, including Celebrity Edge, are known for their sophisticated cuisine, upscale ambience, destination-focused itineraries and themed cruises focusing on art, food and wine. Families enjoy cruising Celebrity because it’s more low-key than its sister Royal Caribbean ships yet offers popular kids’ programming. The new Celebrity Apex will make its debut in Greece this summer while there will be seven-night cruises departing from St. Maarten, also beginning in June. Celebrity Apex will sail with all crew and guests above the age of 18 vaccinated against COVID-19, and those under the age of 18 with negative PCR test results. To make it easy, we partnered with Let’s Get Checked, a company that does COVID-19 testing by mail. Family Travel Forum readers get 20% off LetsGetChecked test kits with an exclusive discount code; find out more at this discount COVID testing link.

COSTA CRUISES

A cruise vacation with Europe’s leading cruise line will give your family a chance to get to know European families through a Teens Lounge plus the supervised Squok Club (activities grouped by ages 3-6 and 7-11) with Peppa Pig as the mascot. The Costa Crociere company, headquartered in Genoa, Italy and founded in 1948, has 27 ships (six more planned by 2021) which operate under the Costa, AIDA and Costa Asia brands.

CROISIEUROPE RIVER CRUISES

River cruiser Renoir on the Seine River, Paris.
River cruise ships like the Renoir, which are capable of navigating on local rivers, help bring families to the heart of Europe’s great cities. Photo c. Croisieurope

This is one of the world’s largest river cruise companies operating more than 50 River and Small Ship cruises, including River Ships throughout Europe, Canal Barges in France, Mediterranean Cruises, and cruises around the world.  International experience with a French Flair means service and food are excellent. There’s a friendly, multilingual staff, and shore excursions (included in rates) emphasize expert guided tours of local arts and history. CroisiEurope, while new to Americans, is very popular among European families because it’s the only river cruise where children under 2 travel free and children under 10 travel at a discount.

What’s New: With sailings halted due to the pandemic, the best-selling itinerary for Croisieurope has become their private barge trips on the canals of Franch. Special Family Club Cruises with CroisiFamily itineraries in the summer months will sail in Portugal, Italy, Spain, and Croatia, where children 16 and under travel free or half-priced. Multigenerational groups and groups of friends may prefer the privacy of one of their elegant, crewed barges which ply the canals through the gorgeous French countryside. Both options are very good value and you can see in our review of a CroisiEurope cruise.

For Kids: CroisiEurope features river cruises with cycling and hiking shore excursions for families who like to actively explore together and, with such superb cuisine, you won’t have to feel guilty about sampling everything.

For Teens: Tweens and teens with a cultural bent or an interest in practicing their French will love this river cruise. Look for itineraries offering hiking, biking and other off-beat shore tours for more adventurous travelers.

Around the Ship: CroisiEurope is the global leader in river cruiser ship building, so their vessels are extremely comfortable and able to navigate in unusual waters. There’s always a main restaurant, bar, lounges, library and roof deck space for sightseeing. Each ship is unique and designed for the smallest harbors at the destination, with easy access that’s ideal for family elders. Don’t expect constant activities or kids’ clubs because the focus is on the destinations and local culture.

CRYSTAL

The all-inclusive luxury cruise line, Crystal, reports that growing numbers of families and multigenerational groups are opting for the line’s six-star service and designated spaces for kids and teens — rare at this price point. The ships carry between 900 and 1,100 passengers with all of the amenities you’d expect on a cruise line touting luxury, service, space and enrichment programs.

What’s New: Crystal announced its plans to restart cruising with reduced capacity, new close-to-home Bahamas Escapes beginning July 3, 2021 with a series of 16 seven-night, round-trip cruises from Nassau on its award-winning flag ship, Crystal Serenity. In addition to its Nassau itineraries, Crystal will also offer 16 seven-night voyages round-trip from Bimini beginning on July 4, 2021. Crystal has announced that guests must be fully inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to boarding any Crystal ship. Safety protocols include comprehensive Crystal Clean+ 4.0 measures, including negative COVID-19 tests for both guests and crew. This trip would only be available for those with adult children or older teens who have been vaccinated, as vaccinations aren’t yet available for kids and the children’s programs have been suspended at present. Let’s Get Checked provides COVID-19 testing by mail; find out more at this discount COVID testing link.

CUNARD LINE

Queen Elizabeth as she crosses in front of Hubbard Glacier in Alaska
The Queen Elizabeth as she crosses in front of Hubbard Glacier in Alaska. Photo c. Cunard Line

Cunard continues the tradition of luxury cruising that began in 1840, complete with fencing and dance classes (on all three Queens), and is the only line offering regularly scheduled transatlantic service between New York and Southampton, England on flagship Queen Mary 2, including a kennel at sea.

What’s New: Cunard plans to double its program in Alaska when Queen Elizabeth sails 10 roundtrip voyages out of Vancouver, each ranging from 9-12 nights. Itineraries feature scenic cruising through the Inside Passage including the awe-inspiring Glacier Bay National Park. Cunard offers full days in several of the region’s ports including Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Skagway, Victoria and Icy Straight Point. The famous Rocky Mountaineer Train will be offered pre- and post-Alaska cruise including three- or five-nights’ accommodation and two full days aboard the train.

For Babies: The Night Nursery is available for children ages 6-23 months from 6pm-11pm. It is free-of-charge on a first come, first served basis.

For Kids: Kids ages 2-7 are invited to the Play Zone, an area stocked with books, toys, puzzles, computer games, and more. Tots ages 6 months to 2 years are welcome with a parent in the Play Zone. The Kids Zone is for ages 8-12 and features gaming consoles, sports competitions, arts ‘n’crafts and karaoke.

For Teens: Teen Zone offers team games and deck sports by day, while evenings bring pizza and dance parties. Game consoles are available. All kids and teen programs are free-of-charge.

DISNEY CRUISE LINE

Stormtroopers aboard Disney Cruise Line ship
Disney Cruise Line guests can experience the legendary adventures and iconic characters from the Star Wars saga in a day-long “Star Wars Day at Sea” Photo by Matt Stroshane, c. Disney Cruise Line.

Disney leads in creative kids’ programming and activities, from character experiences, larger-than-life youth clubs, pools, aqua play areas and waterslides to themed deck parties that culminate with dance parties and fireworks at sea. Cruise Critic, the world’s leading cruise reviews site and online cruise community, has named Disney Cruise Line the Best for Families—for the fourth year in a row.

What’s New:  Disney Cruise Line, which has cancelled all US departures through May 2021 and its European season through August 10,  has also announced new destinations and itineraries in Europe, Alaska and the Caribbean for Summer, 2022  as well as the maiden voyage on the Disney Wish and pre-cruise escapes with Adventures by Disney in  Rome, London, Barcelona and Copenhagen. The Disney Wonder also is expected to return to the Hawaiian Islands in early 2022. 

For Babies: Children ages 6 months to 3 years (or from 1 to 3-years-old on Transatlantic and Panama Canal itineraries) are welcome at “it’s a small world” nursery, where they’ll be cared for by trained counselors. Nursery space is limited, and reservations are required.

For Kids: Open to kids ages 3-12, Disney’s Oceaneer Club is the ultimate destination for creativity and fun. Step into worlds inhabited by some of your favorite characters on each of the Disney ships, such as Andy’s Room, Star Wars: Millennium Falcon, Star Wars: Command Post, Marvel Super Hero Academy and Pixie Hollow.

For Tweens: The 11 to 14-year-olds have their own Edge club with comedy improv classes, trivia contests, pirate challenges and a lounge with flat-screen TVs, the latest video games, computers and more.

For Teens: Teens 14-17 have their own coffee bar and space in Vibe, a space to chill out, listen to music, watch TV and play group games. On the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, teens even have their own sundeck. There are even special teen shore excursions like The Wild Side at Castaway Cay, where teens explore on bikes, snorkel, and ride a high-speed boat around the island.

Around the Ship: There’s everything from character meals and meet-and-greets, first-run movies and Broadway-style entertainment to adult-only restaurants and deck areas. Families love Disney’s private island Castaway Cay with its snorkeling lagoon, bike trails, stingray encounter and beaches for everyone from adults to the entire family. 2020 brings don’t-miss limited engagements of two popular experiences – Star Wars Day at Sea and Marvel Day at Sea. Star Wars sets sail on the Disney Fantasy (seven-night cruises between January and March 2020) and Marvel superheroes rule the Disney Magic (five-night cruises from January to March 2020) on splendid voyages to the Caribbean and Bahamas featuring a special day at sea filled with unique character encounters, live shows and action-packed entertainment.

HOLLAND AMERICA

Horseback riding off Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's private island.
Horseback riding off Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s private island. Photo c. HAL

This line now carries more than 25,000 kids and their families aboard its 14 mid-size ships every year, including so many multi-generational groups that they have designed a special Family Reunion Program (for groups booking eight or more rooms) featuring complimentary room upgrades and more. Note that while Alaska cruise itineraries may not sail in 2020, HAL has committed to offering Alaska land tours to families.

What’s New: Holland America’s ms Koningsdam plans to add a series of northern Europe and Baltic cruises to HAL’s itineraries. With a $300-million investment, HAL is planning exciting enhancements to its top staterooms with new furnishings, decor, amenities and upgrades for all suites on the line’s Signature, Vista and R-Class Ships. There is also an emphasis on programs and activities that bring aboard the culture and cuisine of the region where the ship is sailing with cooking demonstrations, port-to-table dishes in the dining room and cultural ambassadors. Holland America recently was recognized by Cruise Critic for having the best dining program at sea.

For Babies: Holland America welcomes infants 6 months and older (12 months on Transocean sailings). By advance request through the Service Department, guests may arrange commercial baby food, diapers and refrigerators for a nominal fee. A limited number of high chairs, booster seats and cribs are available at no charge.

For Kids: The Club HAL program provides supervised activities for kids ages 3-12. All children participating in the youth program must be completely toilet trained and pull-up free. Younger cruisers (ages 3-7) enjoy their own space where they can play, create and make new friends. Club HAL activities include PJ parties, arts and crafts, pirate treasure hunts. kids Olympics, video game tournaments, and more. Children with special needs are invited to attend Club HAL activities under the supervision a trained staff. The ms Oosterdam, sailing this winter from San Diego, is piloting a new-style kids’ and teen Hi-Score program with self-starting activities for kids and ones they can share with their families.

For Tweens: The 8-12s have their Club Hal area featuring air hockey, foosball, Kinect for Xbox 360, and large LED screens for video games and movies. Teens also enjoy dance parties, deck sports, trivia nights, karaoke and Xbox tournaments.

For Teens: The Loft is an adult-free lounge where teens ages 13-17 can hang out and enjoy movies, games, and music. The teen-only space, supervised by HAL staff, is where teens enjoy music, games and more. Other activities include volleyball, a steel drum class, jewelry making and mocktail mixologies. Guests age 16 and older are invited to use the onboard Fitness Center.

Around the Ship: Look for swimming pools, basketball, volleyball and tennis. Families love the private island Half Moon Cay with its array of activities like snorkeling, bicycle tours, water sports, and adventure areas. In addition to Club HAL and teen activities, kids’ programming and cartoons are on the in-cabin television on the HAL entertainment channels.

MSC CRUISES

MSC Cruises offers innovative itineraries, family-friendly deals, single parent specials and a few unexpected luxury perks such as an Aqua Park, water slides and supervised clubs for ages 3-17 to guests from around the world. Premium experiences include a new nursery for ages 1-3 years plus VR thrills and a gaming arcade. Kids 11 and under sail free on select sailings on MSC Cruises too. Guests of the all-inclusive MSC Yacht Club also enjoy special suites, a luxury lounge with a special 24-hour concierge and butler service, private dining and more on select ships.

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE

Norwegian Cruise Line invites you to cruise with your kids on 17 ships departing from several U.S. and European homeports plus more than a dozen additional departure ports worldwide in Asia, Australia/Pacific, Africa and South America. The line is distinctive for “Freestyle” Dining meaning you can eat when you want and where you want, although many of the a la carte options carry a premium fee. The newer ships have space dedicated to craft brews and fine wines, Broadway shows, a nursery accepting passengers ages 6 months and up, plus innovative use of outdoor spaces. Norwegian Encore is NCL’s newest, glitiziest ship.

PETER SOMMER TRAVELS

People swimming off the side of a gulet in the Aegean Sea
Swimming while at anchor is among all kids’ favorite activities on a gulet cruise. Photo c. Peter Sommer Travels

Peter Sommer Travels has led cultural explorers around Europe since 1996, and may be best known for their expert guided, small ship cruises which consistently receive five-star reviews from travelers. Typically, these top value gulet cruises on classic small yachts are all-inclusive of airport transfers, meals, beverages, land tours and guides; international airfare is extra.

What’s New: This award-winning tour company now offers itineraries to Greece, Croatia, Italy and Turkey, with group or custom private tours by yacht typically planned any time between May and October. Their group family yacht tours, eight-day routes in the Aegean through the Greek Islands and along the Carian Coast of Turkey, run annually in July.

For Kids: Kids love Peter Sommer Travels’ classic wooden yachts which are traditional Turkish gulets with swashbuckling style! The gulets’ small size and high crew-to-guest ratio mean that even children ages 6 and older are entertained, both by the cruising adventure and the storytelling of expert guides.

For Teens: School-age children and teens will be thrilled by fascinating shore excursions and attention to historical detail. In addition to ports of call and delicious local meals (everyone raves about the fresh food!), families are kept busy at sea, where they can snorkel, go fishing and take out a canoe. Relaxation is always an option. Here are 10 great reasons to choose this family yacht tour.

Around the Ship: Peter Sommer Travels’ gulets are equipped with comfortable double, twin and triple cabins with private bath. There’s Wi-Fi when coverage permits, so it’s easy to share the experience with friends and family back home. You’ll meet like-minded families who, reviewers say, count on the engaging guides to create eye-opening, memorable trips for their children.

PRINCESS

The Reef splash zone on Princess cruise ships.
The Reef splash zone is one of Caribbean Princess’ busiest play areas for families. Photo c. Princess Cruise Line

Princess Cruises’ Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess have the line’s first Sky Suites, which feature the largest balconies at sea and can accommodate up to five guests making them ideal for families. Families love Princess’ private island in the Caribbean and family-friendly shore excursions. Note that Alaska cruise itineraries may not sail in 2020, yet Princess has committed to offering Alaska land tours using its many hotels to families.

What’s New: Sky Princess introduces the first escape room at sea, Phantom Bridge. Other highlights include the breathtaking Atrium & Piazza, over 50% larger than on other Princess ships, their largest Movies Under the Stars screen, two deep tank swimming pools, a brick-oven pizzeria, and signature features like The SeaWalk, a dramatic glass-bottom walkway which USA TODAY calls one of the “Top Gee-Whiz Features at Sea.” Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess has The Reef, their first spray park, which is ideal for younger cruisers.

In collaboration with Discovery Inc., Princess has expanded its Discover at Sea partnership with re-imagined youth centers called Camp Discovery. Experiences are focused on Play, Discover, Huddle (interact with peers) and Create, with lots of activities for each. Additionally, cultural activities related to the Caribbean, Alaska and Europe will help young cruisers learn about the customs and nature of where they cruise, and MythBusters science activities will challenge their minds.

For Kids: Princess Youth Programs start at age 3 with The Treehouse, a bright, whimsical forest and animal-themed center including hands-on activities for kids. In-room babysitting is not available, but there is late night group sitting for $5 per child. On shore days, youth programs are offered.

For Tweens: The Lodge for 8-to 12-year-olds is inspired by the great outdoors and is filled with sports activities and places for kids to explore and hang out.

For Teens: The Beach House will offer ages 13-17 a contemporary surf-themed lounge where teens can hang out and socialize. There will be parties, movies, teen makeovers, dance classes and game competitions.

Around the Ship: Families love the Movies Under the Stars, swimming pools, the line’s private island Princess Cay, video games, basketball courts and more. Afternoon tea is a time-honored tradition on Princess ships. The Voice of the Ocean is a popular game show guests can participate in and Princess Cruises’ partnership with award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz brings Broadway-caliber musicals on board.  Guests can get moving with Zumba Fitness at sea, the exhilarating dance-fitness program. Discovery at Sea brings some favorite TV shows and hosts on board with programs like Shark Week, Discovery and Animal Planet Shore Excursions and Stargazing with Discovery at Sea.

REGENT SEVEN SEAS

Regent Seven Seas is known for their small ships, attentive service, food  and amenities. Everything is included—even shore excursions. That’s why the upscale line is a favorite of grandparents who are treating their families to a trip, particularly a bucket list trip in Alaska.

ROYAL CARIBBEAN

Think family vacation — on steroids. Think of every kind of food and entertainment you could want aboard some of the world’s biggest and most innovative ships. And that’s only the beginning — this is not the cruise line for couch potato relaxation. Royal Caribbean has announced 2021 summer cruises from Bermuda as well as the Bahamas. Beginning June and through August, Vision of the Seas will offer new seven-night cruises from first-time homeport Bermuda,  including a full Perfect Day at CocoCay. Seven-night cruises on board Adventure of the Seas will set sail from Nassau and also include a day at CocoCay as well as a stop in Cozumel. Sailing with vaccinated crew, the cruises – at this time – will be available to adult guests who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and those under the age of 18 with negative test results. Family Travel Forum readers get 20% off LetsGetChecked mail-in test kits with an exclusive discount code; find out more at this discount COVID testing link.

And Some Parting Thoughts

The coronavirus pandemic has upended the entire cruise industry, and we expect many innovations and structural changes to emerge once the major cruise lines resume sailing. We will update this section as we learn more.

Meanwhile, with nine of 10 families surveyed using the environmental record of cruise lines to make their choices, we are closely watching these companies’ self-reported responsible tourism practices. Pool safety continues to be another real concern aboard cruise ships. Please study these pool safety tips and be constantly vigilant aboard ship — and on land — when you’re around water.

Bon voyage!

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    Don stress if you don Mexico is agreeable to English speaking travelers, And there a ton of tips to get to know the country landscapes, terms, And younger culture.

    yet still, If you new to traveling or have never been out of the us, A trip to Mexico may be somewhat frightening.

    If you interested in learning some tips for traveling to Mexico, Take a look at our 7 easy to remember tips for your journey. We outlined some of the basics that you’d like to learn for your own aventura!

    1. Choose the Right Transportation If you traveling to Mexico, You need to decide you might arrive by car, aeroplane, Or liner. It important to know how you want to arrive because it will searching,an extravagance,good to have city you arrive in, How much luggage you results, and so forth.

    an individual can find international flights if you prefer to travel by air. instead, There are plenty of cruises to Mexico that you can enjoy if you like the amenities and beautiful views that are included in ship travel!

    If you live nearby the border, Or just need to take a bit of a road trip, going down the road by car is always an option as well.

    2. Use Pesos When You Can It best if you use the local currency pesos when you can. while touristy areas accept USD, They choose the rate at that they accept it, So it is possible to get a better deal if you just use pesos.

    Consider exchanging USD for pesos somewhere in the usa before your trip and dividing up your cash between USD and pesos during your trip.

    3. Know bathing room Etiquette In Mexico, The sewage pipes just aren built to handle a lot. this means that people rarely flush their toilet paper. rather than, There will often be a trash bin near the toilet for you to put your used toilet paper in.

    further, Men may make of entering a bathroom labeled with an M, let’s assume that it stands for However, The M actually can stand for mujeres, Which is the word for in Spanish. Men needs to look for doors labeled H, Which stands for the Spanish word for men, Hombres.

    4. Practice Some Spanish One of the most basic tips for traveling to Mexico is to learn a few Spanish phrases before your trip.

    once you know basic things, Like how to ask where the bathroom is or how to order food, Will make your trip to Mexico a lot smoother. sometimes, The locals will appreciate the effort, Even if they undoubtedly speak English as well!

    5. Adjust to the Time Whether you are changing time zones while having trip or staying in the same one, You find that Mexico runs on a lot more fluid schedule. Punctuality is less of a concern, So you take pleasure in it a lot more if you can relax and don push a strict schedule.

    furthermore, Meals are spaced out a bit distinct in Mexico. You will usually have a large breakfast, associated with the main meal of the day between 2:00 together with 4:00 pm hours. then finally, You will enjoy a smaller meal at dusk.

    6. Drink Bottled Water Bottled water can be found on just about any street corner for purchase. Why exactly do you wish to buy bottled water?

    let me tell you, Most of Mexico plain faucet water is unpurified. Some hotels may have filtered water, But be sure to go shopping for a sign above your sinks before you test it out!

    If you be residing in Mexico for a lengthier trip, Consider buying or bring a water filter with you to purify the tap water and avoid buying so much bottled water. You be decreasing costs and plastic consumption!

    7. Stray off the Beaten Path While sightseeing attractions and famous beaches are always fun to see, Traveling to lesser known places will offer you a more authentic taste of Mexico.

    of which this isn an excuse to be reckless or oblivious to your surroundings. Be mindful of the areas you visiting and research where you will make sure it a safe area.

    Now You Armed with all very reputable Tips for Traveling to Mexico Mexico is a diverse country with so much to see and offer.

  • Glamour Apartments

    First of all, you need to find out what type of vacation each member of your family prefers. At lunch, dinner, or watching your favorite TV show in the evening, try discussing your upcoming vacation together. Listen to suggestions from everyone, remember where you have already visited and, taking into account the interests of the child, try to choose the right direction. It should be borne in mind all the details: the possibility of excess spending, the size of the vacation budget, the presence of health problems, interests, hobbies and hobbies. If you are organizing a trip with your child, you will have a wonderful joint vacation!

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  • todobigo

    Disney cruises are really fun, and their staff is so well trained to work with all kids, that I think you will find them able to include a child with autism in the regular children’s programming.  (Royal Caribbean is the only cruise line I know — see story — that has specific accommodations and loaner toy kits, for example, for guests on the spectrum.) 

    DCL Cruises run 4 to 7 days typically, pricing varies because some have theme park tickets bundled in, some leave from Florida, others from California and a ship will be in Europe this summer.

    You can find out more about Disney Cruise Lines at their site: vhttp://disneycruise.disney.go.com/ – that would be the place to inquire if pass holders get any type of discount.  One good cruise travel specialist we know is Magic For Less — http://www.themagicforless.com/ – and they can help you sort through the many choices.

    Have a great trip, we don’t think you’ll go wrong!

  • FTFstaff

    I just wanted to inquire how much a cruise is how long it is what the fees and baggage charges etc   are there  accommodation for children that are autistic  _ is there a discount for people that are Disneyland  annual  pass holders

     

    By Deb L, moved by Forums moderator

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