Family Cruises Explained


More and more often people planning their summer holiday are choosing family cruises. In fact, more than one million children were booked on cruises last year.

This type of holiday is all-inclusive and takes away the hassles of choosing where to go for dinner, finding fun activities for the kids, lugging bags from place to place, and packing and unpacking them constantly. These cruises especially designed for families offer just about as many port options as any other style cruise.

All of the major cruise lines have special family cruises and they are constantly expanding their shipboard programs for kids of all ages as well as organised shore excursions for teenagers. These cruises are the perfect family holiday. With all the planned activities, the kids don't have to spend all their time with adults and mum and dad can have some "alone" time of their own for more adult oriented fun. These cruises also feature activities for the entire family as well.

For families, these cruises can also be more economical than the average holiday trip. Many of the cruise lines have accommodations especially designed for families like large staterooms with a separate sleeping area for their parents or connected cabins for families who have older children.

Here is an example of what some of the family-oriented cruise lines offer on their cruises:

1. Carnival Cruise Lines – Famous for their "Camp Carnival", these ships have activities for children in different age groups: 2-5, 6-8, 9-11, 12-14, and 15-17. The programs for the youngest age groups are supervised by trained counselors. Various activities include arts and crafts, playing on the pool-side slides, activity walls, climbing mazes, and even computer labs.

Carnival even offers cruise packages geared toward mother/daughter and father/son combinations. With this they things like provide hair and nail treatments, foot and scalp massages, and health evaluations as all part of the package.

2. Celebrity Cruises – Celebrity has their children's activities divided into four age groups and each ship employs 8 to 12 trained counselors, including a lifeguard. Some of their special programs include magic lessons, junior Olympics, clown parties, and treasure hunts.

3. Disney Cruise Lines – Disney has two ships that each have a full deck devoted to children. The Oceaneer's Club for the little ones lets the kids dance with Snow White and play games on the private island aboard the ship. Kids from 8 to 12 can enjoy the science and space themed Oceaneer Lab. These same two ships have an area especially for the older kids with a soda bar, Internet access, TVs, MP3 players and board games.

4. Cunard Line – On their Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2 Cunard employees accredited British nannies in their nurseries. They even offer a Children's Tea each afternoon.

5. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines – Their Adventure Youth Program is especially geared towards two different age groups: 3 to 12 and older kids from 13 to 17. They use what they call "Edu-tainment" and mix educational activities, ports of call, the daily itineraries, games, team sports, art, and performance to give the kids the time of their lives.