The Most Kid Friendly Cruise Ships For Your Perfect Holiday

The most kid friendly cruise ships

A cruise can be a really fun holiday for your family, but some cruises are more kid-friendly than others. It is important that the cruise you choose to go on with your family have a lot of activities for kids of all ages. Kid friendly cruises aren’t just appropriate for all ages but have ways to keep everyone entertained.

Some cruises are specifically geared toward families. On the other hand other cruises will also have many kid-friendly activities and sections. Some cruise lines will be consistently kid-friendly, while others will have specific cruise ships that are more kid-friendly than others. Either way, it is helpful to have all of the insight into which cruise lines and cruise ships are the best for families.

1. Disney Cruise Line

As anyone who has seen a Disney movie, been to a Disney park, or has any information about the company whatsoever knows, Disney is a company that is in the business of creating experiences for families and children, from movies to parks to cruises.

Disney Cruises are not only kid-friendly, but they tend to be specifically geared toward children, with themes taken directly from Disney’s kid movies. There are activities that are geared toward the entire family and age-specific experiences.

The It’s a Small World Nursery is for children three and under, while Edge and Vibe are areas for 11- to 14-year-olds and 14- to 17-year-olds respectively. There are a number of character experiences, pools, and entertainment for kids of all ages all over the place on every Disney Cruise.

All Disney Cruises are geared toward children, each with its own unique experiences for kids. When choosing a ship, it really depends on what your family will find the most fun and what kind of cruise deals you can get.

2. Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises is another cruise line that has good family-friendly activities, whether you’re going to Alaska, the Caribbean, or a Greek Island. The Camps at Sea are geared toward children, giving them fun opportunities and having them participate in cool activities. The kids are split into groups of ages 3 to 5, 6 to 9, 10 to 12, and 13 to 17, and then they are able to socialise and take part in age-appropriate games and activities. There are also family-friendly excursions that the company suggests depending on the locations your cruise stops at.

Celebrity Cruises also has kid’s menus available in restaurants and buffets. They have simple food options to cater to picky eaters, and fun foods designed for children. There are also accommodations for guests with autism that allow them to have a good cruise experience.

The ship Celebrity Equinox is one Celebrity Cruise that is specifically kid-friendly, with interesting partnerships to provide a particularly unique experience for kids.

Nassau cruise port
Nassau cruise port photo by Fernando Jorge on Unsplash

3. Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International is a cruise line that sends ships not only to the Caribbean, but also Alaska, Europe, and other destinations. They also have many kid-friendly amenities.

Every Royal Caribbean ship has swimming pools, whirlpools, arcades, rock climbing walls, table tennis, and the Adventure Ocean kid’s club. The Adventure Ocean kid’s club is a club for kids 3 to 12 on board the ship. It includes a science lab, an imagination studio, playrooms for babies and toddlers, art activities, teen spaces, and other activities for kids to enjoy while on board.

Royal Caribbean ships also have child care for when parents want some time for themselves and kid-friendly shore excursions.

Certain Royal Caribbean ships have more options for kids than others. The Wonder of the Seas is the newest cruise ship and it has water slides, games, and rides for kids of all ages. It also has shows available for adults and kids. The Odyssey of the Seas is a good ship for older children, with more activities that are more fun for older kids but are not fit for young children such as bumper cars, roller skating, and virtual reality.

If you are interested in cruising with Royal Caribbean, then here are the list of ships, ports and itineraries.

4. Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line has cruises traveling to various locations. That includes Europe, the Americas, Australia, the Caribbean, Bermuda, and other locations. Carnival Cruises are popular with families because they have many activities designed to keep kids happy and entertained while at sea. There are water slides and pools for kids to enjoy, as well as the Sky Ride where riders pedal through the sky.

There are also clubs onboard carnival cruises, such as Camp Ocean for kids ages 2 to 11, and Camp O2, which is geared towards teenagers. These clubs are split into age groups and are led through activities and games that are fun and age-appropriate. There are also many standalone areas and activities that are geared toward kids such as the Seuss at Sea or Sports Square.

Most Carnival Cruises have similar kid-friendly features, but some ships are more kid-friendly. Carnival Vista and Carnival Breeze have had more effort put towards making them kid-friendly and including activities and features that are specifically for kids.

If you are interested in cruising with Carnival Cruises, then here are the list of Carnival departure ports and destinations.

5. Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line, or NCL, is another kid-friendly cruise line. NCL include youth programs, water activities, games, and areas to help kids have a good time. The Splash Academy is for kids ages 5 to 12. Parents can drop their kids off or participate in family workshops to bond with them through fun activities. Entourage is a program for 13- to 17-year-olds that has music, crafts, gymnastics, fashion, movies, video games, sports, and themed activities to engage teens during your holiday.

Aside from the youth programs, NCL ships include Port Play, which is where little children can be dropped off to play under supervision so that parents can enjoy some alone time. Port Play is free unless the children are there during meal times when fees can apply. There is also a Late Night Fun Zone, where parents can leave children any day of the week anytime from 10:30 pm to 1:30 am. This gives parents the opportunity to enjoy a date night on the ship while kids are safe and entertained.

The best NCL cruises for children are those in the Breakaway Class, which are Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Escape, and Norwegian Getaway. Breakaway Class ships have the most kids club facilities and activities onboard, as well as family suites to make the whole family comfortable.

6. Costa Cruises

Costa Cruises, a cruise line based in Genoa, Italy, is another kid-friendly cruise line. There are plenty of accommodations on Costa Cruises for groups with children. There are many discounts for children and families that are available for certain cruises. The ships are also designed to accommodate strollers, and families with children under 3 years old have priority boarding. There are play areas, kiddie pools, and Peppa Pig-themed activities and areas on the ships.

Costa Cruise ships also have the Squok Club, which is for children from 3 to 11 years old. The Squonk Club has age-appropriate activities for different groups and is a place to let children socialize and have fun while their parents get a bit of a break. Children under 3 years of age can also use the playrooms in the Squok Club outside of peak hours if they are accompanied by an adult.

Though most Costa Cruise ships have kid-friendly elements, some ships have more than others. The Costa Fascinosa and Costa Favolosa ships have a pirate-themed AcquaPark for kids that span two decks and has water slides, pools, and games. The Costa Diadema has a three-deck outdoor area exclusively for children.

7. Cunard Line

The Cunard Line has destinations in Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, Alaska, the Caribbean, and many other places, and it is another kid-friendly cruise line. Cunard ships have various activities for children from 2 to 17 years. Every boat has a Play Zone, which is a supervised play area for children from 2 to 7 years old. Younger children can play there too, but their parents are required to stay and supervise. There are age-appropriate games, crafts, computer activities, and toys.

The Kids’ Zone is for kids ages 8 to 12. They are able to engage with other children their age with sports, video games, and crafts and have fun while on board, all while under supervision. There is also a Teen Zone for kids 13 to 17 with their own age-appropriate activities and supervision.

Some Cunard ships have additional amenities for babies. The Queen Mary 2 has a Baby Zone for children under 2 years of age to play during the day, though a parent must stay and supervise children of that age. Queen Elizabeth has a Night Nursery for babies from 6 to 23 months to sleep from 6 pm to 11 pm if their parents want to go on a date.

8. Holland America Line

The Holland America Line is another cruise line with a variety of kid friendly options. Though there are many areas on Holland America cruises where kids are not allowed, there are still many activities for kids and great places for kids and families to spend time.

There are many kids programs, such as Club HAL, a group for kids 3 to 17 that offers age-appropriate activities and experiences for kids, and has a specific group for children with special needs to accommodate them specifically. Club HAL is included on the Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam, Noordam, Oosterdam, Rotterdam, Volendam, Westerdam, Zaandam, and Zuiderdam ships.

Holland America cruises also have dining specific for children, even if they are picky eaters. Every meal venue has a kid’s menu and a special protocol for kids that are celebrating birthdays on board.

9. MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises, which stands for Mediterranean Shipping Company, is an Italian cruise company that is also very kid friendly. Their cruise ships have many available activities and areas for children and families. Like for example family discos, theatre shows, and rides.

Additionally there are many dining options for picky eaters so that every kid can eat something that they will enjoy. There is also a LEGO experience on board with activities and areas for kids of different ages and families as a whole.

MSC cruises also have Kids Clubs for kids of different ages to play games and sports for them to participate in age-appropriate activities, and socialise with kids their age. There is also a Baby Club with toys and activities for the youngest guests, a Baby Care Service to give parents a break, and even a Baby Laundry Service to have baby clothes cleaned in a way that protects their sensitive skin. There are also great excursions for families that can be booked, and excursions are free for children under 2 and are 30% off for children 3 to 13.

One of the best MSC ships for kids is the MSC Seaside, which has the best activities and rides for young and old children out of all the MSC ships.

10. Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises is another family-friendly cruise line with plenty of activities for kids. Many Princess cruise ships have the Medallion Class, which is an experience that involves many benefits, but specifically for kids, they offer a way for parents to track their kids and give children access to many activities that they can enjoy on board. Some ships will also have a Reef Splash Zone, a pool, and a splash pad designed for children and families to enjoy.

Princess cruises also have partnerships with Animal Planet to provide exciting shore excursions for families. This also allows them to bring animals on board the ship for kids to play or interact with, such as puppies and parrots. There is also family-friendly dining and lodgings, and many youth programs are on board for kids to enjoy and allow parents to take a break.

Princess Cruises suggests certain cruises that are best for kids of different ages. For children 6 months to 2 years old, they suggest the four-day Western Caribbean getaway. For kids ages 3 to 12, the company suggests the 5-day Cabo San Lucas Getaway, and for teens, the 7-day European Explorer is recommended.

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