5 Best Cruise Lines for Families
Five cruise lines for the perfect family vacation.
By: Elissa Leibowitz Poma
Even 3-month-old babies are welcome aboard -- in typical Disney style, no detail is left forgotten. Wheel pop off your baby stroller? Forgot to bring a bottle sterilizer? Pick up your phone, and any kiddie accoutrement you need is delivered to your cabin.
And speaking of cabins, Disney offers the roomiest family-friendly staterooms on the seas. Hip bunk beds descend from the ceiling, foldout couches save space and bathrooms are divvied up into 2 spaces (a toilet and sink in one space, and a bathtub -- yes a tub, not just a shower -- and sink in the other).
Even without these add-ons, Royal Caribbean has a fine program for children. One of the top features is expedited dining for kids ages 3 to 11: They can scarf down their food, and then staff members whisk them away to play while Mom and Dad enjoy a leisurely meal. The kid’s club is spacious and divided into multiple zones for various age groups. Rock-climbing walls and surf simulators make the ship attractive to teenagers. Some Royal Caribbean ships offer family suites that can sleep 6.
In addition to a youth program that features Cirque du Soleil-style activities, arts and crafts and video games, the teen program offers 20 team sports and themed nighttime events. Four ships -- the Norwegian Jewel, Epic, Gem and Breakaway -- also incorporate characters from the Nickelodeon network. Check schedules in advance to find out when SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer embark.
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