Travel insights from Jenna Buege, associate editor of The Compass
Looking for a vacation that the whole family can enjoy? You should add cruising to your list of possibilities. Designed with travelers of all ages at top of mind, there’s a reason why cruises are increasing in popularity amongst multi-gen travelers.
Here are three cruise lines that have the family stamp of approval.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Voted Best Family Experience by Travel Weekly in 2021, Norwegian Cruise Line is one of the best options for family-friendly cruising. From activities for every age such as cupcake decorating and dodgeball to kids clubs and themed parties for teens, each ship in the Norwegian fleet is designed to ensure that families will never run out of exciting things to do.
While travelers are sure to enjoy any Norwegian cruise, two ships that deserve a shoutout for family fun are the Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Bliss. With sailings to Alaska, the Mexican Riviera, New York, Miami, Jamaica and more, the Norwegian Joy is a great choice for warm and cold-weather cruising. However, what the ship is best known for are its epic entertainment options including an adrenaline-pumping two-level speedway and the Galaxy Pavilion—a collection of virtual reality games that will have you racing, flying and shooting to your heart’s content.
If you thought that the speedway on the Norwegian Joy was cool, you won’t want to miss the Norwegian Bliss, home to the largest racetrack at sea. Here, sailors can enjoy over 1.2 miles of asphalt track as they maneuver an electric car through twists and turns all while floating somewhere in the middle of the ocean. After satisfying their need for speed, travelers of all ages can duke it out at Norwegian Bliss’ space station-themed laser tag arena complete with spooky aliens à la X-Files.
Disney Cruise Line
By now, Disney is synonymous with family travel, and travelers can expect the same magic that they feel at any of the company’s theme parks when they hop aboard a Disney cruise. A place where travelers big and small can meet their favorite characters, enjoy spectacular live shows and visit incredible destinations (including Disney’s private island), Disney Cruise Line is at the top of the charts for family fun and for good reason. Here’s why the Disney Magic and Disney Dream are two of the top ranking ships for families.
Dating back to 1998, the Disney Magic is the oldest ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet. But don’t let that fool you, thanks to some major updates in 2018, this ship is anything but dated. Family travelers can’t get enough of exclusive features that are unique to the Disney Magic including the “Rapunzel’s Royal Table” dining experience, AquaDuck waterslide, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique dress-up shop and more. Take the youngins to the children under three pool and splash area while older kids hang out at the teens-only Chill Spa.
Another great option for family cruising is the Disney Dream. Two decks taller (and 40% larger) than the Disney Magic, the Disney Dream packs a whole lot of charm with a dramatic art deco design, elegant furnishings and massive portholes that overlook the sea. As for things to do, the whole family will love dinner and a show at Animator’s Palate, the Star Wars: Millennium Falcon experience and a performance that features songs from Beauty and the Beast. Similar to Disney Magic, Disney Dream offers several kids clubs to keep everyone smiling from port to port.
Royal Caribbean International
A big name in family travel, Cruise Critic named Anthem of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas the best Royal Caribbean ships for kids and multi-gen travelers alike.
Part of the reason these Oasis-class ships are such a crowd-pleaser is due to their wide array of entertainment and activities. From action-packed adventures like rock climbing, ice skating, zip-lining, and FlowRider surf simulators to exciting parades hosted in the indoor promenade, there’s something for every type of traveler when you sail with Royal Caribbean. While each of the ships listed above is great for kiddos, if you’re looking for the most kid-friendly experience Cruise Critic recommends Symphony of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas.
Another bonus to sailing with Royal Caribbean is access to the cruise line’s exclusive private island, CocoCay. Here, travelers can spend the day at the onsite waterpark, catch incredible views from a zip line, soak up some sun on the beach or relax in an oceanside infinity pool. Sounds like paradise to us.
Please contact us to book with Disney, Royal Caribbean or Norwegian