Planning a family vacation is a balancing act of finding a destination and activities that will appeal to everyone. This is true whether you’re a young family or traveling with adult children or grandparents; perhaps it’s all of these combined. Cruises are a great option for families as they offer something for everyone. However, not all cruises are created equal and no two families are the same. Our online travel agents can help you navigate the choices of family friendly cruises with our insider knowledge and cruise expertise, starting with answering some frequently asked questions.
Which cruise itinerary is best for my family? - Think about the ages, interests and schedules of each member of your group. Northern Europe and the Mediterranean are rich with history and culture, the Caribbean boasts white sand and clear waters for beach goers and snorkelers, while during the summer Alaska sailings offer outstanding wildlife encounters with excursions ranging from sports fishing to dog sledding. Royal Caribbean International’s flagships Allure of the Seasand Oasis of the Seas cruise year-round in the Eastern and Western Caribbean, so you can schedule your cruise around a school vacation. These floating playgrounds offer endless activities from climbing walls to ice skating rinks while simultaneously creating havens of relaxation.
We’d like to plan a family reunion at sea. Are there any incentives? - Yes, many cruise lines offer special amenities for large groups who reserve a block of five or more staterooms. For example, Holland America Line’s Family Reunion Program includes fountain soda cards for everyone, a family photo, dinner for the entire group in the Pinnacle Grill and, if you reserve ten or more staterooms, a complimentary upgrade to a verandah stateroom. We’re here to help you compare offers and arrange activities unique to your special event.
How do I choose the right stateroom(s)? - Getting enough space is essential. For larger families, adjoining staterooms or a suite might be the ideal arrangement. You can also request a stateroom in close proximity to the ship’s popular amenities; perhaps something near children’s play areas or teen lounges, for instance. One of the most innovative options isNorwegian Cruise Line’s The Haven, an exclusive collection of suites and villas located on the top deck of the ship with its own keycard-accessed pool, hot tub and secluded courtyard, providing families and groups wonderfully private places to convene. We know what configurations are possible and can help you determine what’s best for your family. Booking early is also the key to securing just the right accommodations.
Which shore excursions are best for families with kids? - Look for ones that combine sightseeing with an activity, such as visiting a chocolate factory in Barcelona or swimming with dolphins in the Caribbean. We can also create a personalized excursion with your whole family’s interests, age ranges and attention spans in mind. Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruisesare just some of the cruise lines that offer special teen-only shore excursions, such as private sightseeing tours in port.
What kind of activities will we find on board? - This is where choosing the right cruise line is so important. Luxury small ship cruises such as Seabourn and Silversea Cruises feature a variety of adult enrichment activities ranging from wine tastings to cooking classes. While other ships offer adult-only activities, they also round out programming with activities specifically for kids: teen discos, arcades, kids’ camps and scavenger hunts. Disney Cruise Line is great for multigenerational vacations, with plenty of entertainment everyone will enjoy. Most cruise lines also offer babysitting services so parents can enjoy an evening out with a romantic dinner for two and even a Broadway show.
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