Traveling with the family can be fun, but traveling with small children can be quite the challenge. If youâ€™re looking for a family vacation thatâ€™s easy, economical and a heck of a lot more fun than flying, why not opt for one of many family cruises available?
Nearly 1 million children will sail the high seas each year, so family cruise options are beyond plentiful these days. The downside? With so many family cruise options available, selecting a cruise may be the most difficult part of the process. However, if you do your research and you have a good idea of what you’re looking for in a family cruise, the process can run rather smoothly.
Family Cruises: What Does Your Family Call Fun?
So what does your family consider fun? Sports? Group activities? Family time, all of the time? All things baby? Cruisers can choose among unique perks like: ice-skating rinks, planetariums, onboard nurseries and movies on a giant screen under a moonlit sky.
While most cruise lines today offer child-friendly accommodations and kid-friendly menus, what will determine which vessel is right for your brood is the differences and how they match up to your childrenâ€™s ages and interests.
So, if you now have a good idea of your ideal family cruise experience, picking a cruise line should be a piece of cake.
Top Cruise Lines for Families
Some of the best cruise lines for families include: Royal Caribbean, Princess, Carnival and Disney. Considered a sports lovers paradise, Royal Caribbean features full-court basketball, mini-golf, ice-skating and volleyball courts along with some of the most well equipped health clubs in the industry. Royal Caribbean also hosts game shows and shipbuilding regattas, and with the help of its Fisher Price partnershipâ€”music and art-oriented play groups for parents to join with their infants and toddlers.
For the brainiest of the bunch, Princess offers activities for all ages such as: financial workshops, photography classes and interactive science activities where kids can study coral reefs and even dissect a squid. Children also have a chance to meet U.S. National Park Service Rangers in Glacier Bay or participate in a marine-life program through the California Coastal Commission.
Carnival offers the best in pure fun and excitement for kids with elaborate water slides during the day and arts & craft at night. Bored with all of that kid stuff? Then look no further than Disney Cruises, which offers a nightly stage show featuring entertaining for the entire family.
Disney Cruise Line is also great for babies. This family cruise king features a full-service Little-Mermaid-themed nursery at sea for ages 12 weeks – 3 years old and everything a parent needs to care for their little ones such as Diaper Genies, cribs, strollers and fresh pureed vegetables delivered right to your cabin. Disney also offers creative stuff for older children and â€œtweensâ€? such as workshops where kids can learn all about animation.
Tracking Down Your Family Cruise Line Picks
So, your research is complete, youâ€™ve checked out the offerings and youâ€™re ready to book your family cruise. If you prefer to book through a travel agent, go with a trusted name in the industry or through referral. Keep in mind that you can book directly through the cruise line. The list below includes all of the information youâ€™ll need to book your family cruise now!
Carnival Cruises â€“ www.carnival.com, 1-888-CARNIVAL
Disney Cruises – www.DisneyCruise.com, 1-800-951-3532
Princess Cruises â€“ www.princess.com, 1-800-PRINCESS
Royal Caribbean Cruises â€“ www.royalcaribbean.com, 1-866-562-7625