Want to take a holiday with the whole family in tow? You couldn’t pick a better getaway than a cruise. Beloved by globetrotting families the world over, cruises are the best way to both get a proper break and experience new and exotic places at the same time. Leave the chores at home and get quality time with your children as you explore different corners of the planet.
Whether you’re taking tots or teens long for the ride, there are activities and entertainment for everyone - it’s the perfect family holiday. Check out some of the best cruise lines and ships for families and what they offer.
Say hello to family fun on a Royal Caribbean cruise. There are heaps of activities to keep the young ones occupied, from innovative entertainment like skydiving simulators to meet-and-greets with classic Dreamworks characters like Shrek and the penguins from Madagascar.
Bumper cars, circus training, ice skating, surf simulators, rock climbing walls, mini-golf, and a merry-go-round are just some of the other fun features you can find amongst the Royal Caribbean fleet.
When it comes to family bonding time, there is so much for you to enjoy together onboard, like the pools, your dining experiences and evening shows. On the other hand, if you do feel like a night out alone, Babysitters at Sea can come and look after your kids in your stateroom.
And if your little ones are occupied with kids’ club activities during the day, why not head to the adults-only Solarium pool and relaxation area? Bliss.
P&O deliver the goods when it comes to family cruises. Want to spend some time relaxing by the pool without worrying what your kids are getting up to? Easy - your children will love hanging out at P&O’s age-specific kids’ clubs. Breathe easy knowing your kids are in the hands of specially trained staff, thoroughly enjoying themselves with games, sports, karaoke, dancing, movie screenings, talent shows and much more.
Keep in mind that for most P&O cruises, your child will need to be 12 months old to join you. However, some shorter cruises allow little ones from six months onwards. Check out our complete cruise line guide to cruising with kids to familiarise yourself with industry standards.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s laid-back approach to cruising is ideal for families. Once again, there are plenty of youth programmes to keep kids of all-ages happy. Juggling, pizza-making, game shows and trivia nights are just some of what your young ones have to look forward to.
Norwegian also thinks of the occasional ‘night out’ you may wish to have onboard. You can leave your kids safe in the hands of the team at the ‘Late Night Fun Zone’. This is open from 10.30pm-1.30am for a small fee, well worth it for the good times they’ll have as well as the lovely break you’ll get.
Even better, if you’re travelling on the Norwegian Escape, you can book your tot into the Guppies Nursery, which is designed for children between six months and three years old. While specialist staff look after your kids, you can savour some time to lounge poolside, indulge in some fine dining, head to a show, or dance away the hours at one of your ship’s bars.
There’s so much to do on a cruise ship together as a family - and there are also plenty of options for enjoying some precious alone time. You’ll never run out of things to see and do - and you can even cruise during Christmas, or for any other festive occasion you can think of. Which family-friendly cruise line appeals most to you? Tell us in the comments.