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.
Jason Leppert, one of our cruise vacation experts, gives travelers a list of the best cruise lines to see Hawaii and surrounding islands, including Kauai and Maui.
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