Once upon a time it may have been a challenge to find kid-friendly cruises. But things sure have changed! Today, a multitude of ships are purposely designed with families in mind. They’re chock-full of age-specific activities, entertainment, dining choices, shore excursions and more. Even more exciting is that they continue ramping up the fun to provide kids with an experience they will cherish forever.
Several large and mega-ships have been adding more bells and whistles to up the ante on things your family will add to their “must-do” list. Game-changing activities and amenities have made the cruise vacation thrilling, not only for adults, but young guests as well.
Different lines boast a variety of family-friendly features which vary by ship, including specially designed accommodations that provide ample space in addition to privacy. You’ll also discover amenities to keep all ages happy. Some suites even feature a slide from the second floor to the first allowing kids to make a show-stopping entrance.
Here’s some family vacation planning inspiration.
Amusements & Activities
Kids won’t be able to get enough of the many attractions onboard – and great news, most are complimentary! Action-packed adventures may include everything from immense water parks, rock-climbing walls, escape rooms, laser tag, roller coasters, zip-lines, bungee trampolines, surfing simulators, mini-golf, ice skating and bike rides “in the sky” to name a few over-the-top fun offerings. Can you imagine, go-carts at sea? Perhaps bumper cars are more your speed – they too are offered on select ships. Grab some popcorn, because family movie nights on the top deck provide a great night out for all. Some ships offer spa treatments for teens – a perfect way for parents and children to share some pampering.
Cruise lines are also enhancing water parks with incredible new features including more innovative slides. Hop on twisting slides, side-by-side racing tubes and some are cantilevered over the side of the ship. They seem to keep getting bigger and better. Shrieks of delight will greet you with everything from those with drop-out floors, water cannons, spiraling funnels, water cannons and even light effects designed to dazzle.
Kid-Friendly Shore Excursions & Programs
Available on many ships are age-specific youth programs hosted in exclusive areas. Participants range in age from 3 to 17 and those in between. Thoughtfully planned to entertain, and provide a social environment, younger cruisers can participate in parties, sports and trivia competitions, dances, scavenger hunts, arts and crafts, story time, movies and more. Designated areas may also include an area for teens that with video games, foosball tables and their own disco. In addition to providing a great time for everyone, it’s a wonderful way for kids to learn, create, socialize and make new friends.
While having a blast, the cruise will also be an educational experience. Fun “edu-tainment” options may include a fascinating visit to aquariums and museums, which are a captivating family activity. Tour palaces, forts, cathedrals and more. Regional customs and cultures unfold before you as friendly locals go about their daily lives. Guided hikes, bicycle rides and tours not only provide an active family experience, but are a great opportunity for children to learn about conservation.
Depending on the itinerary, kids can directly witness the magic of nature deepening their respect of the world and its inhabitants of all species. Shake fins with dolphins, kiss a ray, get a smile from a sloth, feed a capuchin monkey and more. One-of-a-kind curated tours provide a unique perspective in destinations that are sure to leave a lasting impression. Imagine how excited they’ll be when the kids spot animals living there, or meet an endangered species at home in a sanctuary.
Dining for Kids
Meal times are easy-peasy onboard with a wide assortment of restaurants serving a variety of diverse options, so kids have an opportunity to try foods from different countries. Casual venues, including poolside grills, provide no-stress meals. Many main dining rooms serve kid-friendly choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You may also find dedicated menus with familiar favorites, such as mac and cheese, pizza, chicken nuggets, spaghetti and the like, so meals are delicious for them too. Picky eaters, rejoice!.
Love of Travel
Perhaps best of all, when you cruise with kids, it instills a love of travel and exploration. They’ll visit new places and meet different people from around the world yet learn how similar we are in the most important ways. Cruising can open a world of wonder for children that they will carry with them throughout their lives.
Discover the big beautiful world with your kids and create memories that can be fondly reflected on and shared over the years.
For more information on Cruising with Kids and our cruise deals, visit us at Cruise.com or contact one of our cruise experts at 1-888-776-0659.