Family Cruise Vacations Directory: Setting Sail for a Fun Adventure

Ready to say Bon Voyage? It’s time for our annual cruise with kids directory.

Cruise holidays especially appeal now to multigenerational travelers, according to the Cruise Line International Association’s newest State of the Cruise Industry Report. Seventy-three percent of cruisers are sailing with family members from at least two generations.  We have seen that trend on mega ships, river cruises and adventure-oriented yachts.

Cruising’s Lasting Appeal To Families

It’s easy to see the appeal of a family cruise with kids. You are paying one price for lodging, entertainment, and food (though specialty restaurants may be extra). Grandparents love that there are activities for all ages. Parents love the supervised kids and teen programs and activities designed for families to do together (think family game shows on board). There are increasing numbers of solo and accessible cabins as well as activities for those with special challenges. Kids can try all varieties of food at no extra cost.

Cruises to The Caribbean, Alaska or The Med or for a Great Family Reunion

Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas moored off the private island of Coco Cay. Photo c. Kyle McCarthy/FamilyTravelForum
Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas moored off the private island of Coco Cay. Photo c. Kyle McCarthy/FamilyTravelForum

The Caribbean or Mexico? Alaska or the Mediterranean? Maybe you’re dreaming about a cruise with kids on an expedition trip to the Galapagos Islands, Japan or even Antarctica? (Read about our family expedition cruise to Antarctica.)

There are more choices than ever, from mega ships like Royal Caribbean’s new Ikon of the Seas, the largest ship currently at sea, to expedition yachts, some offering itineraries designed for families.

According to the Cruise Line International Association, traveler interest in booking an expedition cruise is higher than ever with the number of passengers more than doubling in recent years.

Choose among new family cruise itineraries with a focus on cultural and culinary experiences. Some mega ships have new programming for kids (even toddlers) and teens. Choose an itinerary that lets you cruise for a few days or a few weeks.

Cruise Companies Increasingly Make a Sustainable, Safe Family Cruise With Kids Possible

An Insta-worthy Diamond Staircase connects different decks that overlook the atrium of the MSC Seascape.
An Insta-worthy Diamond Staircase is one way to impress guests while decorating a ship efficiently and promoting sustainable travel. Photo c. Ron Bozman/Spring Hill Prods.

State of the art sustainability efforts aboard ship not only help the planet. They can teach kids and adults alike how to be better stewards of the environment. Cruise lines are increasingly offering environmental education and sustainable tour experiences as they showcase their environmental advances and efforts.

Up to 90% of fresh water is produced by scientific means, on board and at sea. Specialty designed hulls, propellers and noise suppression devices help reduce underwater noise. Increasingly, food is locally sourced, supporting local business. More ships can plug-in while in port, greatly reducing emissions. CLIA claims that 60%% of ships scheduled to debut by 2028 will rely on LNG fuel, the cleanest available.

Additionally, many of the public health protocols put into place during the pandemic not only help cruisers stay healthy but enhance the family cruise with kids experience. You will see more complimentary restaurant options (more seating spreads out the crowds.) Enjoy more outdoor space, more servers at buffets, more individual servings at meals and more shore excursions offered for smaller group.

Carnival Cruise Line, with the most domestic ports, notes that half of Americans live within a five-hour drive of a port. That’s an easy way to save on airfare and avoid the aggravation of flying. It also cuts down on carbon emissions when your family doesn’t have to fly to a port of embarkation.

As cruisers seek more immersive programming, cruise lines are responding with longer shore stays and shore excursions. Go to the local produce market and shop for supper with a Regent Seven Seas chef. Take a Greek cooking class with a local in Mykonos, as we did on a Celebrity shore excursion.

Princess Cruises and Holland America Line have added more immersive programming and a focus on locally sourced food, especially in Alaska.

A fishing boat with family aboard leaves the Mekong River shoreline to fish with nets at dawn.
On a CroisiEurope Mekong River trip, watch fishing boats leave the shoreline at dawn. Photo c. Ron Bozman/Spring Hill Prods

Younger families have discovered the serenity of slow travel on rivers. You can explore ports of call and local culture deeper with your loved ones. River cruise ships are small enough for kids to wander on their own, ideal with teens. Some river cruise lines including CroisiEurope, Uniworld, and AMA Waterways, offer family specific cruise with kids itineraries. AMA also partners with Adventures by Disney and the adventure company Backroads. These itineraries offer special family shore activities. (Taking The Kids did a Backroads bike trip in Europe using the AMA ship as a floating hotel and restaurant.) 

Bucket List Expeditionary Cruises Are Coming Down In Price

Cruise companies are also touting bucket list trips to places like Antarctica and the Galapagos. Disney Cruise Line and Abercrombie & Kent even have a Family Expedition cruise with kids to each destination. Seabourn has two new expedition ships for the well-heeled traveler without kids. While expensive, the competition is starting to drive prices down for some of these once, only-for-the-superrich adventures.

Quasar Expeditions offers specific family cruises on small yachts with special discounts for kids, child-friendly menus and guides who make every activity an adventure for all ages. For those with older and grown kids who prefer more intimate settings, UnCruise offers nature and wilderness-oriented experiences on small boats. In some cases, you can charter one just for your family. These days, you can even charter your own yacht for an expedition from a company like Adventure Smith Expeditions.

And the relatively new Virgin Voyages, which we experienced in 2023, doesn’t  allow kids under 18, but is great for families with older or adult children.


Allianz Travel Insurance policy sitting on a table.
Uncertainty about weather and the economy make travel insurance a crucial part of your vacation planning. Photo c. Allianz Partners USA

Most travelers who go on family cruises with children hope the experience will be smooth sailing. But when something goes awry on a cruise with kids’ vacation, things can go south quickly and having cruise insurance can make all the difference.

Here are some of the reasons why purchasing travel insurance is so important. First reason: protect your investment in the event of last-minute cancellations. Cruise lines will try to sell you their own waiver, but if you read the fine print, you’ll see they only offer refunds when you cancel your trip for a limited list of covered reasons. You need to make medical emergencies more manageable without having to pay everything out of pocket. Travel insurance is there when you miss the boat — literally. Missed flights and missing bags become big problems when you’re beginning your cruise vacation. Additionally, you’re insured against family illness, theft, accidents and other unforeseen circumstances your insurance may cover. A top-flight cruise travel insurance policy, such as the plans offered by Allianz Global Assistance, can offer recourse from the unexpected.

More Hacks, Tip & Tricks For Picking The Best Cruise For Your Family

Dad and mom in sombrero holding baby stand at the water's edge at dusik.
Many families cruise just to reach the cruise lines’ private islands and have the beach to themselves. Photo c. pexels by Jorge.

With so many cruise-with-kids choices, it’s tough to choose the right cruise line or ship. It gets even more difficult if you are trying to plan a family reunion when family members have such different travel styles.

Especially if you are a cruise newbie, work with a travel advisor who is a cruise expert. That way, you won’t get blamed for anything that goes wrong.

Savings Tips For Cruises With Kids

There’s no better time to book than WAVE season, which lasts from January to March each year. Discover some of the best deals (and perks) of the year on sites like Be sure to follow your favorite lines on social media and join their loyalty programs to get extra perks on board.

Latest News from the Cruise Lines for 2024

Start your search by reading on through our guide to the top family cruise with kids options, researched in conjunction with our partners at Taking the Kids and Little Family Adventure.


What’s New: Carnival just introduced its new flagship, Carnival Jubilee, which is sailing from Galveston, Texas year-round on weeklong Western Caribbean voyages. Jubilee features many of the favorites on her sister ships Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration, such as the top-deck rollercoaster BOLT. The ship also pays homage to the ocean by featuring two immersive zones.  The Currents zone uses technology to “transport” guests underwater through LED “Ports to the Sea.” The Shores zone honors the ways the ocean is enjoyed from land by creating a boardwalk atmosphere.

Carnival will also expand its West Coast offerings this year when Carnival Firenze joins the fleet and sails year-round from Long Beach, California.

For Toddlers: Carnival is expanding its youth program, including the new Turtles Program for Carnival’s youngest cruisers – guests under the age of 2. The program includes an array of special activities, like Baby Turtle Trek – an interactive event with fun facts about sea turtle conservation.

For Kids: Carnival Cruise Line typically offers complimentary programming and facilities for kids and teens in three age groups: Camp Ocean (ages 2-11) is designed for younger cruisers and features indoor play areas stocked with games and toys. Staff host themed activities and offer a variety of fun-filled activities for the Penguins (2-5s), Stingrays (6-8s) and Sharks (9-11s). Kids can also eat with their counselors so parents can enjoy a night to themselves and enjoy breakfast with Dr. Seuss characters for a nominal fee.

For Tweens and Teens: Circle “C” provides 12- to 14-year-olds with a place of their own to dance, watch movies or play games and get together with new friends. At Circle “C,” ages 12-14 will participate in activities like anime drawing lessons and pop culture games. Teens ages 15-17 will enjoy an authentic tea ceremony, Japanese crafts and games to encourage new friendships at Club O2.

Culinary: Carnival has refreshed menus across the fleet in coordination with renowned chef and restauranteur Emeril Lagasse, who serves as the cruise line’s Chief Culinary Officer. Emeril’s restaurant concept, Emeril’s Bistro, is already popular on-board Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration and Carnival Jubilee.

Prepare to Set Sail with Carnival! From missed ports to onboard medical emergencies, Allianz Travel Insurance’s specialized cruise insurance has got your family covered.

Aerial view of the Carnival Conquest and Norwegian Encore docked together at pier in Europe.
Cruise ships docked in Europe. Photo c. Diego F. Parra for


The fleet’s 16 ships, including the newest, Celebrity Ascent, are known for their sophisticated cuisine, upscale ambience, destination-focused itineraries, and personalized service. Families enjoy cruising Celebrity because of its contemporary, more premium luxurious feel compared to its sister Royal Caribbean ships. 

What’s New: This Last December, the line unveiled its fourth Edge Series ship, Celebrity Ascent, recognized for its modern and contemporary spaces like the Grand Plaza, Sunset Bar, and Rooftop Garden, in addition to more than 30 food and beverage options onboard. The ship offers a full season of Caribbean sailing from Ft. Lauderdale’s Port Everglades before she departs on a summer of European sailing.

For Kids: Celebrity offers families Camp at Sea with a unique nautical program that teaches 6 to 9-year-olds the basics of sailing including navigation and weather patterns and a Creation Station for those 3-5. The STEM AT SEA programs on certain ships have been built with the Frost Science Museum covering such topics as marine wildlife and conservation. Here’s a family cruise to keep kids busy. Celebrity boasts that with over 500 activities, the schedule changes every sailing depending on the interests of the kids that week.

For Tweens and Teens: Celebrity’s Teen Club for those 13-17 is a space designed exclusively for young adults, where they can socialize with other cruisers in their same age group. Teen-focused activities and events at the Teen Club include sports competitions, silent disco parties, and video game tournaments. Celebrity also offers Autism-Friendly cruises providing a welcoming environment where kids can enjoy sensory-friendly films, toys, and dietary menu options.

Protect Your Celebrity Cruise Investment: Ready to dine well? Don’t forget to protect your trip with Allianz’ Cruise Insurance.


A cruise vacation with Europe’s leading cruise line will give your family a chance to get to know European families. Older kids can navigate to the Teens Lounge. Parents cruising with younger children should try the supervised Squok Club. Activities are grouped by ages 3-6 and 7-11, with the famous Peppa Pig as mascot. The Costa Crociere company, headquartered in Genoa, Italy and founded in 1948, has 27 ships which operate under the Costa, AIDA and Costa Asia brands.

Free Trip Planning Help: Download the FREE Allyz TravelSmart App and use its destination-specific travel alerts, flight tracking, trip management and local medical assistance finder on your next Costa cruise.

Three generations stand on the Mediterranean shoreline and admire their CroisiEurope ship moored offshore. Photo c. CroisiEurope
Three generations stand on the Mediterranean shoreline and admire their CroisiEurope ship moored offshore. Photo c. CroisiEurope


This is Europe’s largest and oldest river cruise company 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. Shore excursions (included in rates) emphasize expert guided tours of local arts, history, and cultural experiences.  CroisiEurope, while still lesser known 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: CroisiEurope has introduced a Multigenerational Cruising providing discounts on all European cruises when 3 generations travel together, and the pricing is combinable with Special Family Club Cruises with CroisiFamily itineraries that operate during the summer months. Family Club Cruises with kids  will sail in Portugal, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Croatia, where children 16 and under travel free or at a 30% discount. Family and friends groups may enjoy the privacy of one of their modern, crewed barges which ply the canals through the gorgeous French countryside. Both options provide wonderful values and unforgettable experiences. You can see more in our review of a CroisiEurope cruise.

For Kids: CroisiEurope features family with kids river cruises with hiking shore excursions for families who like to actively explore together. Family Club Cruises offer family-friendly excursion options. With such superb cuisine at sit down meals, kids are exposed to new foods and can sample everything. Adapted child friendly menus are available on all European river cruises if requested at booking.

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, and other off-beat shore tours for more adventurous travelers.

Around the Ships: CroisiEurope is the global leader in river cruise 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. Some ships have small roofdeck pools. 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 outside of Family Club Cruises, because the focus is on the destinations and local culture.

Find Insurance That Covers Europe Travel: Protect your European river adventure with Croisieurope and the entire family with Allianz Travel Insurance. Explore the variety of insurance options to find a plan that fits your specific needs and budget.


Cunard continues the tradition of luxury cruising that began in 1840, a tradition complete with fencing and dance classes on ships names for British Queens. It is the only line offering regularly scheduled transatlantic service between New York and Southampton, England on flagship Queen Mary 2, including the only kennel at sea with a full-time Kennel Master.

What’s New: Cunard will sail an Alaska summer season in 2024 when Queen Elizabeth sails seven roundtrip voyages out of Vancouver, each ranging from 7-10 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 line’s new partnership with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) will feature experts on every voyage in the 2024 Alaska season as part of Cunard’s renowned Insights enrichment program.

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 ‘crafts and karaoke.

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

Protect Your Transatlantic Voyage: When you’ve planned a bucket list transatlantic cruise with Cunard, protect your travels with reliable travel insurance. Look no further! Read how to get insured today.

Lifeguard tends to a family pool aboard the Disney Fantasy. Photo c. Ron Bozman/Spring Hill Prods.
One thing we love about Disney’s cruises with kids is that the pools have lifeguards. Photo of Disney Fantasy c. Ron Bozman/Spring Hill Prods.


Disney leads in the family cruise with kids arena. Expect creative kids’ programming and activities, from character experiences. Enjoy 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 has repeatedly named Disney Cruise Line the “Best for Families.”

What’s New: Disney Wish, which debuted in July 2022, is an innovative, family-focused ship boasting 1,254 staterooms, including 53 concierge staterooms. Many are connecting, some with king beds and a sofa bed, third and fourth wall bunks and even four large Royal Suites (two are duplexes!). Expect a golden Cinderella in the Grand Hall, enhanced children’s programming, a “Frozen” dinner theatrical experience and two adult-only restaurants, including an upscale French restaurant and a modern steakhouse. At the Walt Disney Imagineering Lab in Disney’s Oceaneer Club, kids can design thrill rides, before heading to the upper deck to surf the 760-foot-foot-long AquaMouse water coaster. While the kids play, adults can head to the adult-only pool and spa. All ages meet up at the Star Wars Hyperspace Lounge (it turns adults-only after dark) for a Stars Wars themed drink inspired by destinations such as Batuu and Mustafar.

Family Favorites: Families love Disney’s private island Castaway Cay with its snorkeling lagoon, bike trails, stingray encounter and beaches. Book ahead for the don’t-miss limited engagements of two popular experiences: Pixar Day at Sea on the Disney Fantasy and Marvel Day at Sea on the Disney Dream.

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 Mickey and Minnie Captain’s Deck, Andy’s Room, Star Wars: Millennium Falcon, Star Wars: Command Post, Marvel Superhero 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 smoothie bar in Vibe, a space to chill out, listen to music, watch TV and play group games. On the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, teens 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.

Act Now before your Next Disney Cruise: Frequent Disney cruisers save with an annual policy from Allianz Travel Insurance to cover a year’s worth of family vacations.

The Holland American Line flagship M.S. Rotterdam in port in Holland. Photo c. Ron Bozman/Spring Hill Prods.
The Holland American Line flagship M.S. Rotterdam in port in Holland. Photo c. Ron Bozman/Spring Hill Prods.


This line now carries more than 20,000 kids and their families every year, including many multi-generational groups. Passengers applaud HAL’s diverse itineraries (heading back to Asia in 2024) for its 11 mid-size ships.

What’s New: There will be six ships in Alaska this summer with more visits to Glacier Bay than any other cruise line. The cruise line is also adding more longer cruises — some 9-day rather than 7 — and longer two-week+ cruises leaving from the US.

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 highchairs, booster seats and cribs are available at no charge.

For Kids: The Kids Club provides supervised activities for kids ages 3-12. All children participating in the youth program must be completely toilet trained and pull-up free. 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 of a trained staff and, at the moment, are limited to children age 5 and older who are fully vaccinated.

For Tweens: The 8-12s have their 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. Activities include volleyball, a steel drum class, jewelry making and mocktail mixologist. Guests aged 16 and older are invited to use the onboard Fitness Center.

Taking a Multigenerational Cruise with Holland America? As soon as you’ve made a deposit, purchase travel insurance from Allianz so unforeseen circumstances don’t ruin your vacation. Learn how to choose the best policy to cover all ages today.


Hurtigruten has operated its Coastal Express among Norway’s fjords, often described as “the most beautiful journey in the world,” since 1893. More like a ferry than other cruises, it stops at 34 ports with thrilling views. Don’t expect dedicated kids’ clubs or activities. This is a journey for travelers, explorers and fans of “Frozen.”

What’s New: Last year, Hurtigruten launched premium offerings, the Svalbard Express (summer season) and the North Cape Express (winter season) on the refurbished and award-winning MS Trollfjord. The latter itineraries visit fewer ports with longer stays. This is the only continuous itinerary to link Svalbard with the mainland, offering the absolute best of Norway. Hurtigruten is currently offering a $4,000 discount for those who book by Mar. 1, 2024. They sail under the Auroral Zone and, in this season of heightened solar activity, their Northern Lights Promise guarantees a free trip if the lights don’t appear on certain Aurora cruises. Additionally, children ages 2-15 take 50% off fees when sharing a cabin with two adults.

Congratulations on Cruising to the Land of “Frozen”! Let Allianz Travel Insurance cover your Hurtigruten fjord expedition, whether you go in summer and enjoy the midnight sun — or cruise in winter to catch the spectacular Northern Lights! Explore the variety of insurance options and buy smart.

The MSC Meraviglia sails from her berth in Brooklyn past the State of Liberty. Photo c. Harvey Waldman
The MSC Meraviglia sails from her berth in Brooklyn past the State of Liberty. Photo c. Harvey Waldman


MSC Cruises offers innovative design, glamorous public spaces, international cuisine, nightlife and terrific kids’ clubs for ages 3-17 — all with a European flair. The line, known for its value pricing and last-minute cruise bargains, is very popular with European families. That’s why US itineraries sailing from Port Canaveral, New York and Miami to the Caribbean and Mexico feel so multicultural.

What’s New:  The company’s 21st ship, MSC Seascape, features 2,270 compact cabins with 12 different types of staterooms and suites. (MSC Yacht Club is their upscale private wing.) Families appreciate the buzz of several dining venues, bars and lounges serving a variety of cuisines. There are six swimming pools onboard, including a pirate-themed kids splash zone, an expansive sun deck and a waterfront promenade. Take a selfie on the glass-floored Bridge of Sighs on deck 16, get tossed around by Robotron, a robotic thrill ride; or head indoors to try a VR Formula 1 race and motorcycle ride. It makes Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings from Miami and in 2025, moves to Galveston, Texas for Mexico and Central America routes. MSC Seascape also has the latest environmental technologies; read more about sustainable cruise travel here.

The fast-growing MSC has been a leader in sustainable technologies at sea. MSC World Europa (it housed dignitaries at the Qatar World Cup) was its first LNG-powered ship. The line’s second LNG-powered vessel, MSC Euribia, set sail in June 2023. One of the Meraviglia Class ships including MSC Virtuosa, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Bellissima and MSC Grandiosa, it offers all the bells ‘n’ whistles for a luxurious cruise with kids. The line’s private island, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, is a sterling example of how hard work and money transformed a Bahamian waste dump into a tropical paradise and coral reef research center.

Cruising with MSC Cruises? You’ve scored a top value cruise. Now, make your travels easier, more efficient and stress-free with Allianz Travel Insurance. Their FREE Allyz TravelSmart App has user-friendly features such as destination-specific travel alerts, tracking flights, managing your trip, finding nearby emergency providers, and more.

All ages strap in for a race at Speedway, a go-kart track on the Norwegian Encore. Photo c. Kyle McCarthy/FamilyTravelForum
All ages strap in for a race at Speedway, a go-kart track on the Norwegian Encore. Photo c. Kyle McCarthy/FamilyTravelForum


During WAVE season, Norwegian Cruise Line offers 2nd Guest Free, free airfare on select cruises, and free unlimited open bar, specialty dining, shore excursion credits and Wi-Fi, for a limited time. The line invites kids on 19 ships departing from several global homeports. Known for its world-class dining, stellar onboard entertainment, and array of family-friendly activities, including the first racetracks at sea, the cruise line offers something for everyone. Norwegian is perfect for families because accommodation options include connecting staterooms and multi-bedroom Haven suites.

What’s New: This past December,Norwegian debuted its newest ship, Norwegian Viva, the second ship in the groundbreaking Prima Class. Mirroring the design of Norwegian Prima, Norwegian Viva boasts innovative cruise with kids attractions including a three-level racetrack, a virtual gaming complex, and the fastest slides at sea.

Additionally, Norwegian Aqua, debuting in 2025, will  feature exciting new hallmark attractions including the world’s first hybrid rollercoaster and water slide, and the Glow Court, a digital sports complex with an LED floor. Notable for families, Norwegian Aqua will also bring back a dedicated space for Entourage, NCL’s teen program, which offers them a place to hang out and participate in age-appropriate activities.

Protect You and Your Loved Ones: Start your Norwegian cruise with peace of mind. Stay prepared and save by learning more about Allianz Travel Insurance annual policies today.


Families love the Movies Under the Stars, swimming pools, the line’s private island Princess Cays, video games, basketball courts and more. Afternoon tea is a time-honored tradition on Princess ships. Guests can get moving with newly launched fitness classes through Pure Barre, YogaSix and StretchLab brands. 

What’s New: In early 2024, the 175,500-ton, 4,300-guest Sun Princess sails with new entertainment and activity offerings, 30 restaurant and bar venues, as well as an array of staterooms and suites. The Dome, an entertainment venue inspired by the terraces of Santorini, is designed for relaxation, and the Arena is the most technologically advanced Princess Theater design. Sun Princess also introduces a family activity zone, Park19, which features nine activities for the entire family including the Sea Breeze, the first Rollglider on a cruise ship. And the brand-new spaces created just for kids offer games, themed events and activities daily.  

For Babies: Firefly Park on Sun Princess invites families with babies and toddlers, ages 6 months to 3, to crawl and engage their senses with a dedicated play area.

For Kids: Princess Youth Programs start at age 3 with The Treehouse, a bright, whimsical forest and animal-themed center including hands-on activities. After-hours group babysitting is available from 10pm-1am for $5 per hour, for ages 3-12.

For Tweens: The Lodge for 8- to 12-year-olds is inspired by the great outdoors. In collaboration with Discovery, Princess expanded its Discovery at SEA partnership with a re-imagined Camp Discovery. Additionally, cultural activities related to the Caribbean, Alaska and Europe will help young cruisers learn about the customs and nature of where they cruise. On Sun Princess, Neon Grove offers an inviting space for tweens to socialize and have fun.

For Teens: The Beach House offers ages 13-17 a contemporary surf-themed lounge where teens can hang out and socialize, enjoy parties, movies, teen makeovers, dance classes and game tournaments.

Are You Ready to Enhance Your Princess Cruise Experience? The new Allyz TravelSmart App is a free tool  brought you by Allianz Travel Insurance to make travel stress-free. You can even book a telemedicine session if needed. Available on both iOS and Android devices.


Regent Seven Seas is known for 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.

Family Fun Aboard a Regent Seven Seas Cruise: Don’t let unexpected events ruin your luxury cruise vacation with Regent Seven Seas. trip. A cruise policy from Allianz Travel Insurance has you covered, whether you’re embarking on a solo adventure or exploring new destinations.

Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas at port in Port Canaveral, Florida. Photo c. Kyle McCarthy/FamilyTravelForum
Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas at port in Port Canaveral, Florida. Photo c. Kyle McCarthy/FamilyTravelForum


Everyone knows Royal Caribbean cruises for their high-energy TV commercials featuring FlowRider surf simulators, iFly Parachute machines, ball courts and other unique – and fun — high seas recreational facilities.

What’s New: Icon of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world at 248,663 gross tonnage (GT), set sail from Miami in January 2024. Look for more ocean views and pools – one for each day of the week – plus more than 40 new and returning dining, bar and nightlife venues.

For Families: My Family Time Dining enables kids to complete dinner in 45 minutes at the early seating. They will be met by Adventure Ocean youth program counselors to be escorted back to the kids’ club for evening activities while parents relax. There are special kids dinners as well so parents can enjoy date night. (There are drop off nurseries for ages 6 months+ on select ships at an extra charge.)

Calling Royal Caribbean Fans: With everything there is to do onboard, you’ll want to embark on time! Get travel insurance against weather or flight delays – plus more. Frequent travelers should review the annual policy options from Allianz Travel Insurance and save.


Seabourn is for luxury cruisers traveling without kids (or with grown kids) who want an adventure without all the work. Expect six-star service, fine dining, premium spirits and wines all included in rates. Best yet, their intimate, all-suite small ships carry between 458 and 600 guests each. Cruise the Caribbean, Alaska or the Mediterranean, among the options. 

What’s New: Seabourn has two new purpose-built expedition ships, the Seabourn Venture and a sister ship, the Seabourn Pursuit, coming later this year. The intimate (just 132 suites) all-inclusive ships boast custom-built submarines so guests can get a unique view of the world underneath the ocean’s surface. They will also carry double kayaks as well as Zodiacs. Enjoy adventure excursions led by experts who will enhance your experiences in Antarctica, the British Isles, the Arctic or the Northwest Passage. 

Invest in a Seabourn Expedition Cruise: Don’t risk your dream once-in-a-lifetime expedition. Make sure you have the perfect travel insurance plan in place before setting sail. Find your ideal insurance plan here with Allianz Travel Insurance.


For those with older and grown kids who prefer more intimate settings, Windstar offers a choice between newly renovated yachts and sailing vessels that can go to smaller ports. (We sailed with Windstar in Greece during the pandemic.)

What’s New: There is a new vegan menu on board all six yachts. The offerings are not only plant-based but also prepared without added salt, oil, sugar, or flour. There are new itineraries in the Middle East, in Tahiti and the Mediterranean and the Panama Canal. Wind Surfing is a favorite activity.

Sailors Love this Free Trip Planning App! Even with smooth sailing aboard a Windstar cruise, it’s helpful to have backup. This great travel planning app offers destination-specific travel alerts, telemedicine support, concierge services and more. Act Now! Download the FREE Allyz TravelSmart App!


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!

If this article about different family cruises helped you consider checking out these other articles below –

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This annual directory to the best cruise with kids vacations is authored by Family Travel Consulting partners Eileen Ogintz, Nicky Omohundro and Kyle McCarthy. It contains sponsored content on behalf of Allianz Partners USA and CroisiEurope. The travel ideas and cruising tips expressed are those of the authors based on their experience and expertise.

Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.

30 Replies to “15 Family Cruises With Kids: Setting Sail for Unforgettable Adventures”

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  • 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

    • 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: v – 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 — – and they can help you sort through the many choices.

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

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