Family Cruise Vacations

Family Interests

Families who want a quick overview of the Caribbean enjoy cruising. There are many cruise lines featuring 7-day Caribbean itineraries - typically from Puerto Rico and Florida, though other departure ports are also available. Almost every cruise line company is now family-friendly. Some offer kids programs on a seasonal basis, others on a year-round basis.

European and Alaskan cruises are also popular choices for summer holidays.

Read about some of the cruise lines that we sell. We have included links to each of their official websites.

Disney Cruise Line

The best custom-built family cruise ships. Unmatched kids programs and facilities. Fairly expensive, but worth the price.  Disney cruise line has recently introduced 2 new larger ships into their fleet (now 4 ships) and have dramatically increased their options, both in destination and duration. While there are the same 3/4 night and 7 night cruises from Florida that they have had for a while, they now have Alaska, Europe and several other destinations to offer depending on your dates.

In Sept 2006 one of our agents, Alex, sailed on the Disney Cruise with his family (2 children, age 3 and 5 at the time). He "blogged" daily from the ship and the permanent link to the blog is here - Disney Cruise Blog. Do check it out, it gives a fun and detailed look at the ship, the activities, the shows, the food, Disney's private island, and much more.

Follow this link to be taken to the Disney Cruise Line Website.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

A clear second choice as far as families are concerned (perhaps even eclipsing Disney for some destinations), Royal Caribbean Cruises have 22 ships in their fleet, and all are very family-friendly. There are many facilities for multigeneration travel, all their ships have activites and separate places for babies, children, teens, parents, grandparents. Follow this link to a recent blog post highlighting many of the reasons that you should consider Royal Caribbean for your next (first?) family cruise.

Mid-high price, similar to Princess and Holland America.

Follow this link to be taken to the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Website.

MSC Cruises

MSC cruises have a very family-friendly fleet. Offering the best in Italian hospitality, they sail in the Mediterranean, but also the Caribbean and other world destinations. They have comprehensive, complimentary kids programming for kids 3-17. And perhaps the most surprising (and cool) thing for families, is that kids 11 and under sail for free!*
 
Click on the image above to download a 6-page PDF brochure (1MB) that talks about the cruse line, their kids activities, and the kids sail free program.
* Kids Sail Free but they do pay the government tax and they have to be sharing in the same stateroom as two full paying guests. Also, Kids Sail Free is based on MSCs Early Booking Fares. Sometimes promotional rates come out (which are better) and then there would be a charge for all kids 17 & under. In that case, you always have the option to take the Early Booking Fare where kids are free OR take the promotional rate with the small charge for kids, whichever is better.

Carnival Cruise Line

All the Carnival cruise ships have good kids programs - and their newer ships have bigger and better purpose-built kids club rooms.

Carnival's low prices, large fleet, multiple destination ports, and great Caribbean itineraries have made them very popular. Carnival are one of the very few cruise lines that sometimes have last minute rates.

Follow this link to be taken to the Carnival Cruise Line Website.

Celebrity Cruises

A sister cruise line to Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises are a little more formal, but still offer good facilties for families. A smaller fleet, mid-priced, similar to Royal Caribbean.

Follow this link to be taken to the Celebrity Cruise Line Website.

Princess Cruises

There are more "up-market" cruises, though promotions can make for lower prices on some sailings. They again offer good itineraries in the Caribbean and elsewhere. Kids clubs are not found on every one of their ships and/or sailings. 

Follow this link to be taken to the Princess Cruise Line Website

Holland America

Each of these ships has "Club HAL" for kids. These are 5-star ships with a number of interesting itineraries. Due to their typically older demographic, these ships are typically less optimal for families.

Follow this link to be taken to the Holland America Cruise Line Website.

Time Constraints

Most of the Caribbean Cruises are for 7 day durations. There are, of course, many exceptions. There are a limited number of 10 day cruises, often taking in some or all of the Panama Canal, and there are 3,4,5 day short cruises, mainly from Florida to the Bahamas. 

Most of the cruise lines offer pre- and post-cruise stays at hotels in the home ports. 

A very rough budget guide

For cruises there is one general rule for getting the cabin that you want at the best price:

"Book well in advance."

Cruise lines book up early, especially for popular times (Christmas, New Year and March Break for example). Also, they tend to have a sliding scale for prices. The earlier you book the lower the price will be. Nine months in advance is not too early for the best choice!  

When it comes to pricing, be sure to read the small print, but don't be put off by the prices in the brochures! There are often promotions and early booking bonuses which make the price more reasonable. Also if you book early, we are more likely to find you airfare at reasonable prices. 

Ask us to quote you for specific dates and itineraries.