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.

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

Cruising’s Lasting Appeal To Families

It’s easy to see the appeal. 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

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 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 Sustainable, Safe Cruising 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 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 groups.

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 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.

WHY CRUISERS WITH KIDS NEED TO GET TRAVEL INSURANCE 

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 cruises 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

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 CruiseCritic.com. 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 cruises with kids, researched in conjunction with our partners at Taking the Kids and Little Family Adventure.

1. CARNIVAL

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.

2. CELEBRITY CRUISES

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. 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.

3. COSTA CRUISES

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.

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

4. CROISIEUROPE RIVER CRUISES

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 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.

5. CUNARD LINE

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.

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.

6. 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 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.

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.

7. HOLLAND AMERICA

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.

8. HURTIGRUTEN

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.

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

9. MSC CRUISES

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.

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

10. NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE

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.

11. PRINCESS

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.

12. REGENT SEVEN SEAS

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.

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

13. ROYAL CARIBBEAN

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.)

14. SEABOURN

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. 

15. WINDSTAR

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.

STAY SAFE ON YOUR CRUISE WITH KIDS

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 –

Join our vibrant community on social media! Whether you prefer scrolling through stunning visuals on Instagram, diving into a world of creativity and inspiration on Pinterest!, engaging in lively discussions on Facebook, staying updated with real-time news on Twitter, or exploring captivating videos on YouTube, there’s something for everyone. 

Don’t miss out – click those follow buttons, subscribe, and stay connected to be a part of our exciting journey!

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.

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

  • Sarah Samith

    Love travelling with my family as well! Thank you for sharing your stories!

  • Celeste Hedequist

    Cruise lines are offering more immersive experiences for kids, such as go-karting, ice skating, sushi making, and wine tasting, to name a few. These experiences are designed to draw in a wider audience and create unforgettable memories for the whole family.

  • Elyfercompany

    Cruise looks exciting, this experience will be nice.

  • Travel Blog Where is Evelyn

    Interesting and something new for me. Thanks for travel inspirations! 🙂

  • Prabu Natraj

    Great article, thank you very much for sharing this awesome post with us. you can also check on Tours and Travels – Coimbatore

  • international

    Exceptional post but I was wondering if you could write
    a litte more on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more.
    Bless you!

  • canadian

    Fantastic site. Lots of useful information here.
    I am sending it to some buddies ans additionally sharing.

  • houston

    I’m no longer sure where you’re getting your info, however good topic.

    I must spend a while finding out much more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this information for my mission.

  • zor

    Hi there! I just wish to give a huge thumbs up for the great information you will have here on this post. I will be coming back to your weblog for more soon.

  • SUP

    Wow, great article.Thanks Again. Great.

  • Pablo Elzie

    I’m extremely pleased to find this web site. I wanted to thank you for your time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely enjoyed every part of it and I have you saved to fav to check out new stuff in your website.

  • ?

    Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!
    Thank you

  • alawad

    very useful topic
    And very important

  • tq

    I’m extremely pleased to uncover this web site.
    I need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!!
    I definitely appreciated every bit of it and I have you bookmarked to see new stuff on your
    blog.

  • Wood Ship Kits

    That’s really nice post. I appreciate your skills, Thanks for sharing.

  • Travelsimplygo

    Disney cruises are excellant for families, kids simply love it. Me my hubby and 2 children – 15 and 12 went during halloween time . Children were so excited with so many games, shows and surprises offered. Grub was awesome too. It’s a must do!

  • Abigail Hyslop

    Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to browse your website on my iphone during lunch break. I love the info you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, very good site!

  • PrestonOwesT

    7 memorable Tips for Traveling to Mexico

    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!

  • Anonymous

    That is really attention-grabbing, You are an overly professional blogger.

    I’ve joined your feed and sit up for searching for more of your wonderful post.

    Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks

  • Devesh

    Awesome Article!
    Thanks for sharing..

  • 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: 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!

Comment on this article

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.