Cruise holidays are all about the freedom to enjoy what matters to you – which is why they’re perfect for families. While the little ones are enjoying supervised play time and the teens are hanging out in the games room, you can make the most of your holiday by doing as much or as little as you like.
Whilst most cruise ships offer a great variety of activities to suit all ages and interests, some of them stand out from the crowd. If large family rooms, top notch child care and an incredible programme of events are three things you look for in a family holiday, take a look at some of the best family friendly cruise ships which offer it all and more.
Best Family Friendly Cruise Ships
Disney Magic and Disney Wonder offer large deluxe family staterooms and slightly smaller deluxe ocean view rooms which can sleep five and four people, respectively. Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy provide an extra whimsical experience, with flat-screen TVs designed to look like portals which display nautical Disney characters randomly, as well as celestial scene ceilings with Tinker Bell, Peter Pan and Wendy soaring in the sky. Most staterooms also include privacy curtains, TVs with the Disney Channel and a room service menu with children’s dishes.
Onboard highlights include Disney musicals, 3D film showings, live character performances, character meetings, kids’ clubs, child-friendly swimming pools with mini water parks, plus chill-out spas for mum and dad.
Princess Cruises’ larger ships provide huge cabins, each comprised of two self-contained staterooms which connect through a living room and can sleep up to eight guests. These cabins are ideal for large families who can wake up and potter about without waking up the entire cabin. Smaller, yet still comparatively spacious, mini suites are available for families of three and four. Cabins come with complementary chocolates, TVs with child-friendly channels and films, plus walkie talkies to keep in touch.
Almost all onboard restaurants offer child menus, whilst the rest of the ships offer kids-only zones, two kids clubs for children aged 3-7 and 8-12, “edutainment” programmes which are fun and educational, teen dances classes and teen-only lounges.
Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas boast sound-proofed family suites with balconies overlooking the boardwalk, so you can stay in and watch the kids whilst also taking in a show. Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas and Independence of the Seas also offer large family staterooms with curtained-off sleeping sections for mum and dad.
There’s a children’s book library to save the day in case you left your little one’s favourite at home, plus a Fisher-Price library where you can borrow a toy and take it back to your cabin for in-room toddler play. For older kids there are swimming pools, mini water parks and a carousel, whilst teens will be entertained with ice skating, sports courts and onboard surfing.