When it comes to planning a memorable family vacation, cruises are an increasingly popular choice. Not only do they offer a diverse range of activities and amenities for all ages, but they also provide the convenience of exploring multiple destinations without the hassle of constant packing and unpacking. Finding the best cruises for families is a top priority for parents seeking an unforgettable and stress-free getaway. In this guide, we’ll explore the key factors to consider when selecting family-friendly cruises to help family travellers find the perfect cruise for their family vacation needs.
Cruising with kids can be very daunting, especially if it’s a new experience for the whole family. When looking at booking a cruise, it is important to explore the onboard facilities it has for the age of the children you are travelling with. This article covers everything you need to know about finding and booking the Best Cruises for Families With Kids For next year and 2024 and what are the best family cruise lines.
When looking at the best cruise lines for families you need to consider many things including the best ships from each cruise line, onboard facilities, size of ship and price. Also, does the cruise line cater for children of all ages such as toddlers and babies? Do they have a kids club? Does the kitchen cater for children’s meals? Does the ship have a water park and waterslides and also lounges and bars families can enjoy together?
So, What Are The Best Cruises For Families With Kids For 2024 And Beyond?
Is it worth going on a cruise with kids? Multigenerational cruising is bigger than ever! Ships are bigger and better than ever before! Thus there is so much to do onboard for families with children as the tech of the ships evolves year after year. So, what are the Best Cruises for Families With Kids For 2024 and beyond?
However, also look at your family; what do they like? will big ships be overwhelming? One size doesn’t fit all in cruising. But the great news is there is something for everyone. No matter your family’s preferences, there will be a ship and a cruise line for you.
Let’s look at the best cruises that you can take your family on today with all of the advice from our experts! What are the best cruise lines for Families in 2024 and what are the hottest latest ships to book for your family vacation? Let’s find out. These are the biggest and some of the most popular cruises for Families right now:
- Royal Caribbean,
- Disney cruise line
- MSC cruises
- Norwegian Cruise line
- Celebrity cruise line
- Princess cruises
- P&O cruises
- A-Rosa river cruises
Some cruise lines are fabulous for babies on a cruise some are fantastic for teens or you may want activities to suit the whole family. Alternatively, if a bit of adult time is want you need then a cruise line that offers nursery, babysitting or kids clubs will be perfect for you to relax knowing the kiddies are happy, having fun and are looked after.
What Are The 9 Best Cruise Lines For Families With Kids And Why?
These are the 9 best cruise lines for families for 2024 and why! Which cruise companies know how to entertain families and their kids! And also, which cruise ships have the best kid’s clubs and facilities? Read on for all of the latest information on the best cruise lines for families travelling with children and in our opinion what each line excels at:
- MSC Cruise Line: best for water parks and new innovation.
- Norwegian Cruise Line: best for water parks, race tracks and VR.
- Royal Caribbean Cruise Line: best for water parks and amazing sports and adrenaline facilities.
- Disney Cruise Line: best for water slides, characters and family shows.
- Carnival Cruise Line: best for sports activities and a party atmosphere with lots of activities.
- Celebrity Cruise: family time, best for fewer kids, a more chilled environment.
- Princess Cruise Line: best for family time, and fewer kids, a more chilled environment.
- P&O Cruises: more pool space, sports courts and great family prices.
- A-rosa, a smaller ship luxury feel with access to cities in easy access.
How To Choose A Family Cruise?
These are the things to consider when booking the best Cruises for Families 2024.
Newer Cruise Ships Can Be A Better Choice For Families
Cruise line’s offering newer ships can offer more choice for families. Ship building has come on leaps and bounds and with each company competing for passengers, designing the best ship offering the most activities for children onboard is a must.
Offering the best new facilities for families are carefully considered from the outset. Cruise lines are looking at ways of offering more exciting innovations all of the time including new activities and experiences for babies, tots, teens and adults.
New ships also tend to be the biggest ships, which offer more space and new innovations such as such as bowling alleys, ice skating, VR simulators, karting, water parks and slides, even Zip lines.
Having said that cruise lines are also always looking at ways to adapt existing ships, with ships often going back into dry dock to have new updates added. So when looking at the best cruise for families, check out the cruise line you wish to travel with and look at the individual ships to see what they also include onboard.
Consider The Best Cruise Itineraries For Families
When looking to book a cruise the cruise itinerary and destination is also important for families. At certain times of the year cruise itineraries will be more catered to families such as school holidays or Christmas with planner’s packed with family friendly activities.
Some destinations are better suited for families such as the Caribbean’s beaches or destinations such as Norway for children. Perhaps flying is not your thing? You could always take a cruise from Southampton or your homeport? Cut out the hassle of the airports and go straight into holiday mode by boarding a ship. Cruise itineraries set off from locations all over the world, check out your nearest port which is in driving distance as this is a great and easy option when taking a family vacation.
A Look At Family Cruise Lines
Here is an overview of our top favourite cruise line’s and best cruises for families, including the best cruise ships, kids club info and and onboard activities. With so many choices on offer it can be hard to choose let’s look at the best cruise lines right now.
MSC Cruises For Families
MSC are amongst the best cruises for families with ships packed with tons of great things to do for all ages. Their babies, kids and teen clubs have a range of activities and are partnered up with top children’s brands such as LEGO and Chicco. Offering multiple dining choices and plenty of onboard activities this family-friendly cruise lines are always a safe bet.
Best MSC Ships For Families
Some of MSC’s most recent and newest ships are the;
Take a look at the MSC ships from old to new so you know which ship has the best facilities.
The MSC Kids Club Age Range
The kids club on MSC have an age range from babies to teens. There are different clubs to suit the ages of the children
- The Chicco baby club: is for babies 1-3
- The Mini club: age 3-6, Junior club 7-11
- Young teen club: 12-14 and the Teen club ages 15-17.
All kids clubs on MSC offer a range of craft activities, games, dance classes and sports tournaments.
Family Entertainment On MSC Cruise Line
They have many great show’s suitable for all of the family from children to grandparents. The Cirque de Soliel at Sea is a fantastic show with circus acts and illusions. They also pride themselves in Family Friendly activities with a range of activities for families such as bowling, VR games, Sports games and theatre shows.
Good To Know For Family Cruising
With MSC Kids can Cruise Free! With MSC Kids Cruise Free! MSC welcome passengers ages 11 and under to sail for free year-round on selected cruises or from £119.
Best Activities For Children On MSC Cruises
MSC Cruises offers so many different activate for kids on cruise now. Innovative play areas, Sports spaces and gaming for all. These are some of the latest activities for children onboard some of the best MSC cruise ships for families;
- XD Dark Ride Interactive Cinema
- MSC Formula One Racer
- Zip Line
- Flight Simulator
- VR Maze
- Video Gaming
Disney Cruises For Families
Find Magical Moments For The Whole Family On A Disney Cruise.
Disney cruise line is always a huge contender for cruising families, I mean who doesn’t want to cruise with Mickey Mouse? There’s something fun to do every day on a Disney Cruise ship. The itinerary has a huge helping of Disney magic wherever you sail. Disney are known for Deck Parties, character meet and greets and themed days such as legendary saga in Star Wars Day at Sea and Marvel Day at Sea.
Disney Wish is the newest Disney ship set sail in 2022. Disney cruise ships newest to oldest can be seen here. But Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, Disney Dream and Disney Wonder are all also adored by cruise loving families world wide. Disney also have a private island in the Bahamas called Castaway Cay which is pretty amazing for families and allow families to enjoy beach activities such as snorkeling.
Best Disney Cruise Ships For Families
Disney Wish is the newest Disney ship set sail in 2022. Disney cruise ships newest to oldest can be seen here. But Disney Dream, Fantasy, Dream and Disney Wonder are all also adored by cruise loving families world wide.
Kids Club Age Range On Disney Cruise Ships
Disney kids clubs for children are way up with some of the best kids clubs in the cruise world.
- Oceaneer club is for Children from 3 to 12 years old. They can interact with Disney characters and each other as they explore multi-themed magical lands.
- Childcare for babies from 6 months to 3 years is available at “it’s a small world” nursery for a fee.
- The Edge is the cool club for the for the Tweens and the Vibe youth club caters for the teens.
Good To Know
Disney Character meet and greets and storytelling by Disney characters are real highlights for families. Just imagine watching the latest Disney releases or Disney Classics in the theatre under the stars. Disney is not all about the kids though it can also be perfect for an adults cruise with lots of spaces for adults to relax and enjoy. Don’t forget to decorate your stateroom door!
Best Activities For Children On Disney’s Cruise Line
- Disney Character meet and greets
- Amazing kids spaces
- Gaming zones
- Themed Disney rooms
- Disney character visits
- Dressing up experiences
- Live Disney shows
- Fireworks at sea
- Splash Pools
- Water slides
Royal Caribbean International For Families
Royal Caribbean international certainly know how to entertain!. They are known for all round family thrill-seeking activities and are considered one of the best cruises for families. Their cruises are second to none with innovative ways to enjoy yourself with a zip wire, splash zones and best known for multigenerational family groups.
The Oasis-class ships are the largest in the fleet and the largest ships in the world. These game changer ships are made to leave lasting memories. These ships have won awards for Best for Entertainment, Best Individual Cruise Ship and Best Large Cruise Ship, and its no wonder, as they are packed with things to do for all ages ensuring you will have an absolute blast!
Additionally Royal Caribbean private Island Cococay in the Bahamas and Labadee Ilsand in Haiti are pretty hard to beat for cruising families.
Royal Caribbean Ships Ideal For Kids
Kids Club Age Range In Royal Caribbean Kids Clubs
The kids clubs on Royal Caribbean Cruises are separated into five age groups with their own activities and separate rooms.
Adventure Ocean and is divided in to the following groups;
- Aquanauts 3-5 years old
- Explorers 6-8 years old
- Voyagers 9-11 years old.
- The older children are in Navigators 12 – 14 and Teens club 15 -17.
- There is also a nursery from 6 to 36 months.
Family Entertainment Onboard Royal Caribbean
They have world class entertainment onboard with top broadway shows such as Hairspray and Grease. The extensive indoor and outdoor activities include zip-lining across the sky, climbing rock-climbing walls, surfing waves and trampolining in a virtual world! When Royal Caribbean launched Oasis of the Seas the game changed and innovation of Oasis Class Ships became bigger and better. Symphony of the Seas is also a popular choice with families.
Best Activities For Children On Royal Caribbean
There are so many exciting activities for children on Royal Caribbean for instance Anthem of the Seas has a family friendly SeaPlex with bumper cars! Here are some of Royal Caribbean’s kids and family activities.
- Breakout Puzzle rooms
- Zip lines
- Flowrider surf simulator
- Ifly Ripcord
- Crazy Golf
- Sports courts
- Climbing frames
- Rock Climbing
- Water slides
Good To Know
Royal Caribbean cruise all over the world and boasts largest ships in the world. They have cruises from Southampton in to the med as well as extensive cruise to Norway and the rest of the world. They also have their own private island in the Caribbean called Perfect Day.
Norwegian Cruise Line For Kids
Norwegian loves families and is fast becoming one of the best family friendly cruise lines. There are so many onboard amenities and a children’s clubs for all ages. While adults are relaxing at the spa or sipping a cocktail kid’s can attend supervised youth programs where they can play with their friends, learn circus skills, play dodgeball or attend themed parties. There are children’s menus which are available in all of the restaurants.
The Latest Norwegian Cruise Line Ships For Families
Kids Club Age Range On Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Kids clubs range from babies to teens.
- Guppies for under 3’s
- Splash Academy ages 3 to 12 with 3 groups split groups Turtles, Seals and Dolphins
- Entourage 12 to 17.
Family Entertainment On NCL
Onboard family entertainment is vast with a variety of things to do. Their latest ship the Encore hosts a karting track, laser tag and an American diner. There is plenty to do for the adults as well with a Cavern club and top theatre entertainment. If your kids are tech minded they will absolutely love the Galaxy pavilion onboard the encore which is a whole floor of VR! Norwegian Cruise line have The Plank! Walk on the wild side in a harness as you extend 8 feet over the side of the ship!
Good to Know
The Norwegian ships have won awards for their ships which travel to many destinations such as Alaska, Asia, Canada, Europe and even the Panama Canal!
Best Activities for children On NCL
What are the best activities for children on Norwegian cruise line? There is so much to offer onboard such as,
- Laser Tag
- Go Karting
- Water Parks and water slides
- VR machines in the Galaxy Pavilion
Celebrity Cruises For Families
Celebrity is best known as a luxury line but that’s not to say that it doesn’t love having kids onboard. There are culinary experiences influenced by global cuisines and designed by Michelin-starred chefs. There are 14 ships in the fleet, so you will be sure to find one to suit you family.
Celebrity Ships For Families
Celebrity have many great ships for families find out the Celebrity ships by age here. Watch out for new Celebrity Ascent launched 2023!
Kids Club Age Range On Celebrity Cruise Ships
Camp at Sea is the Celebrity Edge’s kids club. There are three different sections
- Shipmates 3-5
- Cadets 6-9 year olds
- Captains 10-12 year olds
- Admirals the teen club for 13-17 year olds.
The Camp at Sea program on Celebrity is a new innovation. The schedule of activities changes on every sailing based on the interests of the junior cruisers. Celebrity have partnered with world-renowned companies such as Anturus, Lonely PlanetTM, Xbox, Fat Brain Toys and Budsies.
The categories of activities are Art, Recreation, Culinary, and S.T.E.M. (which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and maths). The Youth daily programme promises to be engaging and exciting.
Best Activities For Children On Celebrity
There are a multitude of cool activities on the Celebrity ships such as the Edge. However, Celebrity offer a more chilled-out vibe. Yes, they have kids’ clubs but are more suited to families who like to explore and spend time together. Or families who find ships full of activities overwhelming. The ships are refined and chilled, but kids still have a wonderful time.
- ‘State-of-the-art kids clubs!’State-of-the-art kids clubs!
- Check out the Kids clubs on the Celebrity Edge
Good to Know
Celebrity offer family-friendly excursions children’s menus and they are Autism Friendly. Their cruises take you to the Caribbean, South Asia, South America and even Australia.
Carnival prides itself on”quality time” together, so multigenerational families are well thought of. They also have frequent sales and can be budget-friendly, meaning you and your children can save some money as well as enjoy time with each other
Ships have water parks (water world), basketball courts, mini golf (sportsquare), and ropes courses to entertain kids of all ages. If the grown-ups want to escape whilst the kids are in the club’s they can head to the casino or the Serenity Adult Only Retreat.
Carnival Ships For Families
Carnival ships from newest to oldest can be found here. Look out for the new Carnival Venezia in 2023.
Kids Club Age Ranges On Carnival
The kids camp for children is Camp Ocean for children and these are the clubs:
- Camp Ocean for children ages 2-11
- Penguins 2 to 5 years
- Stingrays 6 to 8 years
- Sharks 9 to 11 years
- Circle “C” for pre–teens
- Club O2 for teens.
Kids activities include arts and crafts, songs, games, toys, dancing, movies and video games. KidS can also choose to eat together and get their own menus with kid-friendly food.
Carnival also have Night Owls time, where kids get to stay up late having fun while their parents can enjoy themselves well into the night; fees apply. Carnival also has an innovative new kids app to make cruising with kids a breeze.
Family Entertainment On Carnival
Carnival also has the whimsical world of Dr Seuss onboard with Cats in Hats and Fish Red and Blue Dr. Seuss leaps off the page and onto Seuss at Sea. There are timeless stories that the whole family can enjoy including special onboard character parades. You will also find an IMAX theatre onboard as well as the Punch-liner comedy club.
Good To Know
Check out the Sky Ride! It is a bit like riding a bike, but SkyRide is high above the deck and the sea! This Zips you safely around a two-lane suspended course by pedal power. Each cruise itinerary with Carnival includes at least two days at sea leaving you free to explore the ship and take part in all of the entertainment and activities.
Princess Cruises For Families
Family Activities On Princess Cruises.
Some Princess cruise ships have many family zones such as the Reef Family Splash Zone which is the perfect place to relax, have fun and enjoy the water. This interactive splash pad with a giant whale feature entertains kids of all ages with showers, sprays and water jets. You will also find oversized backyard games in the all-ages in the game zones.
However Princess ships as a whole offer a more chilled vibe, with fewer activities. Yes, they do offer sports courts and kids clubs it’s just all a little more low-key. Our family have cruised with Princess several times and loved the whole experience.
Princess Cruises Latest Ships For Families
Princess have many ships, and you can find the Princess ships by age here. Watch out for their new ship Sun Princess launched in 2024.
Kid Clubs On Princess Cruises
Princess cruises have three different groups for children in Camp Discovery Kids Club
- The Treehouse – Ages 3-7 which is a bright whimsical forest-themed centre.
- The kids club The Lodge is for Ages 8-12 and has been Inspired by the great outdoors
- The Beach House a contemporary space for kids aged between 13 and 17.
Cruise activities for young adults in Club 1820. Imagine a secret society with only those invited that can join? Guests ages 18-20 will a special code word to unlock an exclusive list of Club 1820 events made just for them. With no parents, no little siblings and no official hosts, find events on the planner.
Family Entertainment On Princess Ships
Princess have dazzling entertainment with Broadway shows and they also run the Voice of the Ocean musical competition. You will find a variety of theatre shows, magic shows and even a Jim Hensens puppet show ( now on Sky Princess and June 2020 on Emerald princess )
Whats Good To Know About Princess Cruises.
Princess Cruises do Discovery Family and Animal Planet family Shore Excursions. Their dining options include special kids’ menus in the Main Dining Room. Princess also makes it easy to sail together in comfortable Mini-Suites, and larger groups can opt for a Family Suite which includes two interconnecting staterooms and sleeps up to eight on selected ships.
Princess Cruises also have the new Medallion at sea the all-in-one app interacts with your Medallion and helps you with everything onboard from check-in to disembarking.
Best Princess Cruises For Kids Activities
Princess family activities offer so much for kids with families coming together, including;
- Offering local animals on board
- The Voice of the Ocean at Sea
- Indoor planetarium
- Reef Family Splash Zone
- Kid-friendly bars
- Basketball sports court
- Ping Pong
- Miniature golf putting course
- Golf Driving Range
P&O Cruises For Families?
P&O offer families lots of choice when it comes to sailing from Southampton. They pride themselves on entertainment. They offer Laid-back days ashore which are excursions aimed at families and stress-free meals for children. Their drinks on board are cheaper than most other cruise lines too. P&O Cruises is one of the cheapest family-friendly cruise lines. Occasionally they have kids can sail for as little as £1!
Which Are P&O’s Newest Ships Offer Family Cruising
P&O’s newest ships are;
- The P&O Arvia
Check out this post on P&O’s ships by age here.
Kids Clubs Age Ranges On P&O
Each ship’s children’s clubs are slightly different, but the Reef clubs are separated in to different age groups.
- Splashers is age 2-4
- Surfers 5-8
- Scubas 9-12
- H20 is the cool club for teens aged 13-17.
P & O also offer Carefree nights a Night Nursery which is available free of charge on all family friendly ships for children aged between 6 months and 4 years of age.
Family Entertainment On P&O cruises
P&O pride themselves in multigenerational family entertainment and with a new brand ambassador Gary Barlow they certainly know how to entertain. With dazzling West-End style shows in the ship’s theatres to comedy, live music and dancing there is something for everyone.
Good To Know
P and O have many cruises in the school holidays with cruises out of Southampton enabling the action to start the minute you board. With destinations such as the Canary Islands, Norway Spain and Portugal you can be sure you will find a suitable family cruise.
P & 0 also offer a price promise when booking if you find the same holiday for less elsewhere within 24 hours of booking they will match it. P&O also offer Rooms for families with plenty of cabin choices.
Best P&O Cruises Kids Activities
Some of the best P&O Cruises for kids activities are on offer including;
- Sports deck
- Splash Zones
- Dedicated kids clubs
A-ROSA River Cruise Line
A-ROSA is a family friendly cruise line with a difference! Offering are a river cruise for families! They often have special offers for families and you can choose between cabins of all categories to suit the size of your family and budget.
These have optional, additional beds or a spacious family cabins. Our all-round carefree package “Premium all inclusive” will make your family holiday even more perfect and easier to bugged your holiday.
Good To Know About A-Rosa River Cruises
Travelling with A-Rosa river cruse line includes a whole host of benefits and services such as;
- Gourmet buffets
- Live cooking
- High-quality drinks throughout the day
- 15 % discount on spa treatments
- Free Wi-Fi ( great for kids)
More Help And Advice For Cruising With Your Kids
Babies On Cruises
Can you take a baby on a cruise? Can Babies go in the splash pools? There are some many questions to be answered about taking babies on cruises. Find out all you need to know in our in-depth guide on cruising with a baby.
Which cruise lines have the best cabins? Our in-depth guide to the best family cruise cabins takes a look around some of the ways you can travel with your family. From 5 berth cabins, interlinking staterooms and mini suites there is something to suit every budget.
Family Cruises With Free Child Places
It is still really important to research the Best Cruise lines for Families but rest assured whichever cruise you choose your family will have everlasting memories.