Many people take a cruise for their family vacations. Some itineraries and ships are more suited to families than others. By carefully considering your family’s needs, you can select the best ship for your vacation.
When selecting the cruise for your family, think carefully about the types of ports of call that your children will enjoy and the number of days you want to spend on a cruise. You should also consider the types of onboard activities that your kids enjoy. The age requirements for each ship’s children’s center vary.
Disney Wonder/Disney Magic – Disney Cruise Line
If you have a child who is under 10, consider a Disney Cruise. You can select from either a Bahamas, Caribbean or European itinerary. You can also combine a Bahama cruise with a visit to the Magic Kingdom by purchasing a Land and Sea vacation.
Your kids will enjoy visits from Disney characters and live shows. Because the cruise is geared towards families, your kids will be sure to make other friends their age. There are several activity center for children over 3 years of age, and for children under 3, you can pay by the hour for care at the Flounder’s Reef Nursery. While teenagers might not be as excited about the Disney theme as younger kids, they may enjoy the teen club and special teen activities. Another benefit of these ships is that all of the restaurants, except for the adults-only Palo, are family friendly.
Freedom of the Seas – Royal Carribean
Because this is one of the largest cruise ships in the world, your kids will have plenty of activities to choose from and will meet many other children. The kids club offers programs for children 3 to age 17 years of age. If they are interested in sports, your kids can play tennis, shoot hoops on the basketball court or practice boxing in the ring. Your family can also go ice skating in the ice rink or climb on the large rock wall. Your family will also enjoy the large pool, wave making machine and water slides.
Liberty/Freedom (Carnival Cruise Lines)
This ship offers unique activities for children. The kids center offers activities for children age 2 and up, but requires children to be potty trained. While you enjoy some time alone, your kids can do science experiments, finger paint or use the candy making machines. In addition, there is a wading pool for children who are still in diapers. Older kids and teenagers will enjoy the extensive collection of video game consoles, including the PlayStation and Xbox. As a family, you can enjoy the large water slides at the pool and the poolside movie screen.
Serenity (Crystal Cruise Lines)
You might not initially think of this high-end cruise line for your family vacation, but many families find this ship to be a perfect mix of kid and adult activities. The kids center is for children ages 3 to 17. Babysitting is available for infants and toddlers. Be sure to bring your kids on the behind-the-scenes tour during the week to see how the ship’s food is made. Your kids will also enjoy the several onboard pools.