5 of the Best Family-Friendly Cruises for a Sunny Escape
Already planning Spring Break? (If so, we’re impressed, mama!) Or just in denial about your crummy local weather forecast? In any case, what better way to lift your spirits than by organizing your next family vacation.
With over 26 million people cruising in 2018, hopping a boat and sailing away has never been more tempting. Before you look up the top cruise destinations for families, start by noting:
- your dates and desired duration. (Cruises can range anywhere from 3 to 7 or more days.)
- your preferred destination (Alaska, Aruba, Cannes, or Cancun?)
- preferred ship size (Cruise ships can range from 900 to 5000 people, but average about 3000 guests.)
- your closest departure city
Once you’ve covered that, take a minute to check out our top 5 family-friendly cruise options:
The fastest growing cruise market is the Mediterranean and it’s easy to see why. Stunning blue water and sunshine allow you and your family to explore ports of call full of history (and great food!). MSC Cruises boasts ports throughout Europe, making it one of the best European cruise lines for families. The company proposes add-ons, such as unlimited drinks and free wi-fi. The best add-on option for us are the kids’ activities broken into 5 different age groupings (starting at 12 months old) with beepers to alert you if needed. They offer video games and even select sections designed by Lego. For those with little ones, MSC Cruises has created a special Baby Laundry Service – ‘cause we all know you will never have enough clean clothes!
This cruise line is currently offering free travel for kids on select cruises (We checked and YES, they must actually be accompanied by adults – ha!). With some cruises as low as \$314 per person, this is one you won’t want to miss.
When you think Disney, you probably think magic and imagination. Their cruises promise to deliver just that for your and your family! Disney has a private island and themed meals featuring your favorite characters- and not just Mickey for the little kids, but everything from Marvel to Star Wars too! Broadway-quality shows, shore excursions tailored to kids, water coasters, and character meet-and-greets mean a slightly higher price tag (\$5,000 per week for a family of 4) but also once-in-a-lifetime memories! Be sure to watch for Disney’s great deals online.
Norwegian Cruise Lines
Norwegian Cruise Lines offers youth activities and services for kids as young as 6 months old! And your family can choose adjoining rooms or even a suite to make sure everyone’s comfortable and connected. If your kids are hounding you about what they’ll be doing, you can be sure to share NCL’s amazing programs for bowling, mini-golf, karaoke, movie nights, scavenger hunts, and even circus school! There is something for everyone. Their remarkable outdoor spaces are among the most popular in cruise lines.
Little kids eat for free and certain cruises even include free airfare. Voted “Best Family Experience” by Travel Weekly, this line delivers an unforgettable experience.
Princess Cruises boasts 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom suites to accommodate the entire family. With that kind of space, the grandparents can even tag along. Working with Discovery to create themed kids’ camps full of interesting and educational activities, there are plenty of options for family time: from talent nights to dance parties and art projects – even a Junior Chef program.
Voted “Best Ocean Cruise” by USA Today, Princess Cruises is highly rated for food and activities. You and your family can even find amazing shore excursions specifically chosen by Animal Planet and Discovery. Check out their long weekend deals up the California coast or find out why they win awards for their Caribbean travels.
Royal Caribbean can claim the only skydiving experience at sea with the RipcordSM by iFLY®! Kids can also opt for the science lab, dance at the disco, play a few rounds of mini-putt, or challenge a new friend at the arcade. This cruise line even proposes an earlier dining time for families, with meals delivered quickly and tons of kid-friendly choices. Autism-friendly and sensory-sensitive services and activities are also available for families who need them. You and yours can either take advantage of their family cruise deals from California and head up to Alaska, or venture down to Hawaii. Fancy a sail to Panama? Be sure to check Royal Caribbean’s BOGO and Sun Sales. A fair wind and following tide!