Family vacations can take one of two tacks: Either they are full-on disasters, or they go down as one of the “best vacations ever.” Cruise vacations are “best vacation ever” opportunities in the making.
Quite simply, my kids (and yes, your kids too) love to cruise. And why not? After all, where families are concerned, a cruise ship is little more than a floating, self-contained family resort, with all the features and activities that adults and kids could ever wish for.
I’ve put together a roundup of the best cruise lines and ships for families. Ranking is based on my experience of traveling with my children and experiencing the ships first-hand. I also considered input from others, advice from travel agents, and of course, the final word from the experts: kids.
You won’t go wrong choosing any of these cruises:
- Best Overall Family Cruise Experience: Disney Cruise Line
- Best Non-Disney Family Cruise: Carnival Cruise Lines
- Best Cruise For Adventure Seekers: Royal Caribbean – Freedom-Class Ships
- Best All-Over Home-Away-From Home: Princess Cruises
- Best Low-Key Family Cruise: Holland America Line
- Best Upscale Family Cruise: Celebrity Cruises
- Best Family-Style Luxury Cruise Experience: Norwegian Epic – Suites And Villas
- Best Niche Cruise Experience: River CruisingAMAWATERWAYS
- Best Adventure Cruise With A Purpose: Lindblad Expeditions
- Best Multiple Generations Luxury Cruise: Crystal Cruises
Planning Your Family CruiseCruising is the best vacation choice for families. Modern cruise ships offer wonderful accommodations, multiple dining options, and award-winning children’s programs. The key to planning a successful vacation is matching the right product to the needs of your family.
Planning your perfect cruise starts here
If you are traveling with an infant, any vacation is a challenge. However, there are cruise lines that offer babysitting, so don’t despair. Mom and dad can still have a little break and patiently wait for the time when junior turns three and a whole new world opens up. As your children grow older, your kids will play to their hearts’ content while you relax, and get what you came for: a vacation.
- Age Minimums: The ABCs
- Top Tested Tips for Cruising with Babies and Toddlers
- Cruise Ship Kid Programs
- Disney Dream Youth Programs For Family Cruisers
Selecting the right cruise line and ship is a crucial variable in the planning puzzle. Not all lines cater to families and not all ships within a line are identical.
- A Cruise To Remember: Top Ten Family Cruises
- Family Cruising: Disney Dream
- Disney Cruise Line From Port Canaveral
- Holland America Line Appeals To All Ages
- ‘Awesome’ Alaska
- Choosing An Alaska Cruisetour
- Family Cruising In Europe
- The New Family Market: Europe
- Cruising With Kids From San Diego
- Into the Mekong On La Marguerite
- Cruise Ship Safety and Security For Families
- Family Cruising: Choosing The Right Stateroom
- Adults-Only Escapes On Family Friendly Ships
- Children Customize Their Cruise Experience with More Choices than Ever on Disney Cruise Line
- Family Affair: Cruising with the Whole Crew, Grandpa, Grandma & The Kids
Thanks for visiting Family Cruise Advisor. Be sure to check out our parent site, The Avid Cruiser.
Happy family cruising!
Post us your questions or leave us a tip on Avid Cruiser’s Facebook Page.
For further research:
- A Day At The Beach: Cruise Line Private Islands Friday, January 8, 2010
- Adults-Only Escapes On Family Friendly Cruise Ships Friday, January 8, 2010
- Choosing A Family Stateroom Friday, January 8, 2010
- Cruise Ship Kid Programs Friday, January 8, 2010
- Cruise Ship Safety and Security For Families Friday, January 8, 2010