Cruise Vacations are awesome for families who love to travel and explore multiple places but don’t want to spend time in airports or trains/cars/buses in between each place. It’s also an ideal, less stressful first family trip option for those new parents wanting to travel with kids as cruises offer endless activities specially made for kids of all ages. I’ve rounded up the best cruises for families and kids this season that make family travel all kinds of awesome.
11+ Best Cruises for Families and Kids
1. Disney Cruises
Cruise Destinations: The Caribbean, Baja, the Bahamas, Mexican Riviera, Bermuda, Pacific Coast, Canada, Transatlantic, and Panama Canal.
Disney + Cruise? You had us at Disney. This star studded cruise line is everything magic in the eyes of both kids and parents. From our favorite Disney characters saying hello during breakfast to the most awesome kids club experience of all time to Broadway worthy live entertainment, Disney cruises are truly the happiest cruises on earth
Parent Perks: Broadway-esque musicals, and spacious family-friendly staterooms.
Kid Perks: Princess parties, animation lessons, and science classes.
2. Royal Caribbean
Cruise Destinations: The Bahamas, Key West, and the Western Caribbean.
The Royal Caribbean has some pretty amazing options of cruises for families with kids, without kids and with seniors. I love that they’ve contracted with DreamWorks to provide their younger guests some fabulous entertainment while mom and dad can enjoy a kid-free meal.
Parent Perks: Comedy Shows and nightclubs.
Kid Perks: Expedited dining for kids ages 3-12. Kids club with multiple play zones.
3. Norwegian Cruise Lines
Cruise Destinations: Asia, Alaska, Australia, New Zealand, Florida, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, New England, Canada, the Caribbean, and many other destination options.
The Norwegian Cruise Lines has a very family-friendly atmosphere where you can free-cruise, which essentially means you eat when you want to eat, experience attractions when you want to experience them and can truly make your cruise with family easier on everyone in attendance.
Parent Perks: Lax dinner schedule to allow a relaxed cruise experience.
Kid Perks: Cirque du Soleil-style activities and teen activities. Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob arrive on some cruises.
Cruise Destinations: The Bahamas, Baja Mexico, Western Caribbean, and The Bahamas.
Carnival is well-known to have a versatile cruise experience. From their adult-only style parties to kid-friendly cruises, you can truly enjoy a family cruise vacation aboard Carnival. Just be sure you check the itinerary and activities for the cruise experience before you schedule to ensure this is a good fit for your cruise with teens.
Parent Perks: Children’s area for quieter family moments. Offers Fun Hub for teens and adults to find activities going onboard during the cruise vacation.
Kid Perks: Corkscrew waterslides. Epic waterparks. Suspended in-air rope course.
5. Holland America
Cruise Destinations: Alaska, Panama Canal, Caribbean, New England, Canada, Northern Europe, Mediterranean, Australia, South Pacific, Hawaii, and Tahiti.
Holland America is a back to basics style cruise line that offers many family-friendly activities to enjoy with any age family member. From kids to teens and seniors, you’ll enjoy this best cruise for families and kids even if you bring Grandma and Grandpa along.
Parent Perks: Olympics-style competitions. Karaoke. Discounts for family reunions.
Kid Perks: Specific area for teens called The Loft offering a teen-friendly nightlife experience and activities.
6. Princess Cruises
Cruise Destinations: Alaska, Asia, Australia & New Zealand, California & Pacific Coast, Canada & New England, Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, Japan, and many other destination options.
Princess Cruises are well-known for their ability to offer an experience that showcases a brilliant mix of a traditional cruise with modern cruise expectations. Experience a relaxing environment that doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as other cruise lines, making Princess Cruises a fantastic option for families traveling with grandparents.
Parent Perks: Bingo. Art Auction.
Kid Perks: Kids’ Club.
7. Abercrombie & Kent
Cruise Destinations: Asia, Latin America, Egypt, Antarctica, Africa, Southeast Asia, Cuba, and other destinations that are a little more outside of the box from other cruise line destinations.
Abercrombie & Kent is a smaller cruise line that offers a beautiful family and kid vacation for all ages aboard smaller ships. There are many kid-friendly destination options aboard Abercrombie & Kent. There are nature walks and 24-hour movie screenings to keep kids entertained.
Parent Perks: Twice daily shore tours to experience the wildlife at your destinations.
Kid Perks: Kid activities that are geared for ages 10-14.
8. MSC Cruises
Cruise Destinations: Mediterranean, Europe, Caribbean, Cuba, South Africa, South America, Dubai and many other destinations in these areas.
MSC Cruises offers a variety of destinations that you may not otherwise experience aboard the cruise lines we see advertised every day. Offering many perks for teenagers, as well as parents, MSC Cruises are a wonderful way to experience a cruise vacation with any age family member.
Parent Perks: Full-size Bowling Alley, Spa, and flash mobs.
Kid Perks: Teens get a prepaid debit card to use aboard the ship. Himalayan Bridge and many teen-friendly pool areas.
9. Avalon River Cruises
Cruise Destinations: Danube River Cruise, Rhine River Cruise, Rhone River Cruise, Saone River Cruise, and other river cruise destinations.
Enjoy a river cruise via Avalon River Cruises – France. This cruise line is family-friendly and perfect for those who’d prefer to schedule a river cruise for their family cruise vacation. Perfect for culture-seeking big kids, as there isn’t much for entertainment for the little ones. A highly recommend cruise line for adults, teenagers, and seniors.
Parent Perks: Famous landmark stops.
Kid Perks: Historical and cultural education.
10. Celebrity Cruises
Cruise Destinations: South America, New Zealand, Australia, Eastern Caribbean, Galapagos, Western Caribbean, and other cruise destinations.
This cruise line even has an autism-friendly cruise option, for families with kids who are on the autism spectrum. Celebrity Cruises offer a gluten-free and dairy-free menu option as well as well-trained Fun Factory and Youth Staff to keep the kids entertained.
Parent Perks: Priority check-in. Phone for contact with kids while kids are checked into the Fun Factory.
Kid Perks: Kid-friendly ports of call. Fun Factory.
11. Poseidon Expeditions
Cruise Destinations: Russian Far East, North Pole and the Russian High Arctic
This cruise line is a pleasurable experience for family members who enjoy history. Poseidon Expeditions are the perfect cruise vacation for history-buffs. Enjoy Great Britain aboard this ship that’s never overwhelming packed.
Parent Perks: Whale and sea sightseeing.
Kid Perks: Naturalist guides where kids can ask questions.
With Summer around the corner, I hope that you’ll add these best cruises for families and kids to your wish list. Let us know which cruises you’ve sailed with your family, or the ones on this list that you want to plan for!