It’s not always an easy task to find the perfect cruise for everyone in your family. That’s especially true when traveling with smaller children, who may need supervision or care. Luckily, however, there are several amazing cruise lines for families nowadays. While a couple of decades ago, many cruise lines focused on adults—there are still some that do—most modern cruise ships are now equipped with all kinds of family- and kid-friendly facilities.
5 Best Cruise Lines for Families
Whether it’s kids’ clubs or toddler programs, theme parties or scavenger hunts, the variety of children’s activities on cruise ships is incredible on the best family cruise lines. They haven’t forgotten about the adults either, though. All these cruise lines have plenty of adult activities as well, from various restaurants and bars to nighttime shows and adult-only areas. They’re ideal for a fun cruise with the whole family.
Carnival Cruise Line
The name of this major cruise line reflect the atmosphere you’ll find on board their ships. As one of the most budget-friendly cruise companies, Carnival is a great option for family cruises.
Although there are numerous amenities for children of all ages, including amazing water parks and a mini-golf course, there’s also a definite party vibe going on, with pool parties and various bars, as well as in-depth shore excursions. It’s fantastic for both young and old, in other words.
Royal Caribbean Cruises
As one of the best cruise lines for families, Royal Caribbean Cruises features facilities for everyone from the youngest babies to adults. They’re among both the top cruise lines for young adults and best cruise lines for kids.
Active passengers can enjoy such fun facilities as climbing walls and surf simulators, as well as countless themed bars and several entertainment venues. The younger crowd, on the other hand, will certainly love the DreamWorks Experience, which includes everything from trivia events to dinner with a DreamWorks character (Shrek, Kung Fu Panda,…) and 3D movies.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Travel Weekly voted Norwegian Cruise Line as the “Best Family Experience”, strengthening its claim for the best cruise line for families. The company’s mega-ships are chock-full with all sorts of facilities and amenities for pretty much every age group. Note, however, that there aren’t any programs available for children younger than 2 years of age. The facilities are aimed at kids between 2 and 12.
The fun thing about sailing with Norwegian is that there’s not set schedule—no dress codes and pre-determined dining times. Things to do range from bowling, splashing and sliding in water parks to watching musicals and playing video games.
With its “Kids cruise FREE” promotions on select sailings, MSC Cruises has become an established member of the best cruise lines for families category. There’s plenty to do for children on their ships, fun attractions like swimming pools and water slides, an F1 simulator, 4D cinema and game consoles (Wii, PS3 and Xbox).
Adults, on the other hand, can find joy and relaxation at the Top 18 adults-only deck or the MSC Aurea Spa. There are a butler service, restaurants serving fantastic slow food, an extravagant casino, an infinity pool and so much more.
Everything Disney is always a hit among families with young children and the same applies to Disney Cruises. We’ve saved this one for last, since it might just be the ultimate family cruise. It was them who introduced the concept of cruises focused on kids instead of adults, essentially changing the industry forever.
There’s an onboard babysitting service, kids’ clubs and just an incredible array of children entertainment. From science classes to fireworks shows to Disney musicals to princess parties, your little ones won’t know where to go first! Adults, too, will find lots of fun things to do on a Disney cruise, including comedy shows, adult-only dining and music performances. Additionally, the rooms on the Disney ships are among the most spacious on the seven seas—perfect for the whole family!