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Best Cruise Lines
For Family Cruise Vacation

What are the best cruise lines for families is of course matter of taste, not all families share the same interests even though they have children of similar age.

Some cruise lines target families more than others do. The following cruise lines are generally considered as some of the best cruises for families.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has teamed up with Fisher-Price and Crayola in offering developed age appropriate activities to engage and entertain kids of all ages. There are special programs for the youngest kids (up to 3 years) designed to endorse the child's development as well as the parent child bonding. Older kids (3 - 17 years) are split into five groups with age-appropriate kids' lounges and activities.


Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is one of the best cruise lines for families with older children. With over 261 family friendly holiday destinations to choose from, you can go on family cruise vacation almost anywhere in the world. Older children may appreciate the shore excursions more than younger children do.

Cruise can be the perfect opportunity to show your kids the places they learn about in school, e.g. enjoy the rich history of Europe or experience the wilderness and wildlife of Alaska. Caribbean cruises are though always popular and older children will enjoy the exotic adventures on offer, e.g. snorkeling with stingrays or swimming with dolphins.

Onboard Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd there are various facilities for teens only, including dance club with “mocktail” bar, posh lounges for just hanging out and private sun deck area. Not to forget the great sports and recreational areas, which are always popular with this age group.

There are swimming pools, surf simulator, rock climbing walls, zip lines, ice-skating rink, etc. Activities and amenities do vary from ship to ship so do check each ship facilities prior to making your booking.

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Family cruise vacations are getting increasingly popular and the best cruises for families tend to sell out quickly, especially during busy periods like school holidays.

Most cruise ships have limited number of cabins that can accommodate families and therefore have to limit the total number of children per sailing. You have to book well in advance to secure your family cruise vacation.

Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises are good choice for families with children between 3 and 17 years of age. Children are welcome on all Princess cruise ships, but facilities vary so you might want to check the ships facilities before checking the destinations.

Almost all their vessels have completely equipped Youth Centers for 3 - 12 years old (divided into 2 age groups), where the kids can do arts and crafts or participate in karaoke and talent shows. There are discos, afternoon ice cream parties, theme parties, and more activities on offer.

There are fully equipped Teen Centers, with various games and gadgets, as well as wide range of activities, as teens only dance parties, sports tournaments, pizza parties, hip-hop dance classes, etc. There is also a separate Jacuzzi and sundeck for them - nice touch that the teens tend to appreciate.

Disney cruise ships are generally viewed as one of the best cruise lines for families with young kids, as they caters to kids from as young as three months up to teenagers. They are among few cruise ships that offer excellent day care facilities for infants and toddlers.

Disney Cruise Ships

Disney Cruise Ships are also one of the few ships that are especially designed, and built with the ideal family cruise vacation in mind. This means family friendly amenities and cabins, topped with world-class child friendly entertainment and shore excursions. The kids are of course the VIP passengers but there is wide range of activities for all age groups on offer, even for the adults.

Many consider Carnival the best cruise lines for teenagers as they have given them special focus. They can for example use the spa, which is usually for adults only and the teen discos is closer to the adults facilities than the young kids facilities... which the teens tend to appreciate.

You can find out more about Disney Cruises here at Top Travel Tips.


Carnival has lot to offer to younger kids. The kids are split into five age groups, and the children programs offers excellent combination of education and entertainment. The facilities range from an art and crafts center to a soft play area, a computer lab and video wall. There are special enclosed wading pool for the youngest kids but Carnival accepts kids as young as 2 years old (many accept only 3 years and older).

Crystal Cruise Lines

Many consider Crystal cruise lines well suited for the family market. Crystal offers fully supervised programs for children between 3 and 17 years on Holiday voyages and all summer sailings. The program arranges all kinds of age appropriate games and activities throughout the journey.

There is a video arcade, and spaces for computer games but there are somewhat less high-tech features available than onboard some of the other cruise ships... which many parents actually see as one of the benefits.

Crystal Cruise Line also offers great facilities and service for adults making them one of the best cruise lines for all family members.

P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises is one the best cruise lines departing from the UK and part of their cruise fleet is designed with family enjoyment and comfort in mind, e.g. Aurora, Azura, Oriana, Oceana and Ventura.

The Reef is the child and teenagers program, offering wide range of play and leisure activities for the five age groups (from 2 to 17 years).

P&O Cruises was the first cruise line to offer circus school at sea, and it is understandably very popular to join a workshop to learn the trapeze and tightrope walking (small fee).

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Only the cruise lines that operate dedicated family cruise ships offer children programs on all their cruises, all year round. Other best cruise lines offer children facilities and entertainment on selected cruise ships only and / or at selected times of the year.

Some cruise liners require minimum number of children onboard during off peak periods to offer dedicated children programs. Children programs can also vary between ships and time of year.

You should therefore always check the availability prior to making any bookings for your family cruise vacation.

Ps. Top Travel Tips helps you to choose the right family cruise vacation for you and your family. Check out what to have in mind when Choosing Your Family Cruise Vacation.