9 Fun and Adventurous Cruises for Kids & Families

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Previously, the struggle was finding cruises featuring kid-friendly options. Today, there’s a new challenge. Instead, there’s a plethora of kids’ clubs, family cabin options, and child-friendly activities. Wading through these decisions to determine which is best for your family’s trip can prove overwhelming.

That’s why we’re presenting the best adventure, educational, and overall cruises to help you sort through the process.

Best Adventure Family Friendly Cruises

Does your family love adventure, the outdoors, and endless activities? If so, then selecting a cruise featuring “on-the-go” activities is optimal.

Look for ships where your children can find waterslides, rock climbing, and themes that will keep their attention. Instead of sitting poolside daily, your children will want to participate in something new. Here’s a rundown of our selections of the best adventure family-friendly cruises.

1. Disney Wonder Cruise Line

disney-wonder-guide  Source: picturethemagic

Approximate cost: $1,685 per guest

Aboard the Disney Wonder, families find pirate nights, thrilling waterslides, movies in 3D, and tons of adventurous activities. From live musical performances at night to dining rooms incorporating Disney movie themes, there’s something for everyone.

These cruises are optimal for children who have an obsession with Disney, adore interacting with characters, can’t get enough of musical productions, and never tire of movies.

Itinerary:

  • Round trip adventure from Vancouver to Alaska for seven nights
  • Port calls in Juneau, Ketchikan, and Skagway

Kids Club Information:

  • Character-driven performances
  • Dress-up parties
  • Lunch and dinner parties
  • Movies
  • Nurseries for children six months to three years old

Why Parents Love This Cruise:

  • Quiet Cove Pool
  • Vista Spa
  • Oceaneer Club available for kids
Why we like it: This activity is accessible to everyone. We like the DIY aspect and the fact that children can learn about recycling while making homemade drums.

2. Norwegian Getaway

Norwegian-Getaway  Source: todaysparent.com

Approximate cost: $787 per guest

Families who love Broadway musicals and scream-worthy waterslides will appreciate the “freestyle” approach Norwegian’s cruises take. Active cruisers can choose either the New York or Miami route.

These cruises are best for children who don’t like to sit still, but who love to splash, slip, and slide instead.

Itinerary:

  • Round-trip, seven-day adventure from Miami to the Caribbean’s western side
  • Port calls to Belize, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Honduras, Mexico, and Roatan
  • Jungle-meets-beach adventures and Mayan culture

Kids Club Information:

  • Splash Academy: separate activities for children ages three to five, six to nine, and 10 to 12
  • Video games, karaoke, and crafts available
  • Entourage: space for teens ages 13 to 17 featuring video games, air hockey, flat screens, and plush couches
  • Teen space turns into a night club for teens-only every evening

Why Parents Love This Cruise:

  • Waterfront: promenade nearly a half-kilometer long lined with boutiques, lounges, and restaurants
  • Illusionarium: dinner-theatre with a magic-theme
Why we like it: We love the endless adventure children find in the three-deck sports complex, spider web climbing cage, action-packed aqua park, and pirate themes.

3. Royal Caribbean International

Royal-Caribbean-International  Source: travelandleisure

Approximate cost: $838 per guest

There’s no shortage of entertainment and thrills available on the Royal Caribbean International cruise line. Kids of all ages and their families will enjoy rock climbing, a zipline, multiple pools, an ice skating rink, a 3D theater, two surf simulators, and parades.

There’s also a skydiving simulator and a London Eye-Esque ride, the North Star, that takes passengers 300 feet above the ocean’s surface in a glass capsule.

This cruise is best-suited for families who have active children who are adventurous and love having fun in the sun.

Itinerary:

  • Round-trip, seven-day adventure from Cape Liberty, New Jersey to the Bahamas
  • Port calls to Kennedy Space Center, Nassau, and CocoCay, Bahamas

Kids Club Information:

  • Adventure Ocean Play Spaces: separate areas for toddlers, kids, tweens, and teens
  • Arts and crafts workshop, science lab, arcade, and theater
  • Scratch DJ Academy (not available on Anthem of the Seas)
  • Royal Babies and Royal Tots: interactive activities and classes
  • Drop-off babysitting services

Why Parents Love This Cruise:

  • Solarium: an adults-only area featuring tiered pools
  • Music Hall: where cover bands play
  • Michael’s Genuine Pub: serving sinfully thick potato chips
Why we like it: We love that there’s Broadway-style shows, character breakfasts, spa treatments, and over two-dozen dining options. No details are left to chance for children, as well as their parents.

Best Educational Family Friendly Cruises

Are you looking for a vacation experience that’s educational for your children, too? You’re in luck because these cruises not only have fun activities available but also a wide variety of educational options as well. Children of all ages can learn, explore, and experience their creative side on these cruises.

1. Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival-Cruise-Line  Source: cruiseradio

Approximate cost: $749 per guest

Booking, a trip on a Carnival cruise, means parents will find accommodations for children according to their age group in Camp Ocean. For example, there are separate clubs for children ages two to 11, tweens, and teens. Pre-teens, ages 12 to 14, join the Circle C space and teens ages 15 to 17 join Club 02. Depending on which ship you choose, there’s a choice of Seaside Theater, Thrill Theater, or IMAX theater.

This cruise is best suited for parents who are looking for a social atmosphere, Camp Ocean, and loads of kid-friendly activities that are educational.

Itinerary:

  • Round-trip, seven-day trip traveling from Miami to the Caribean’s westside
  • Port calls to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Mexico, and Ocho Rios
  • Two sea days

Kids Club Information:

  • Camp Ocean: children ages two to 11
  • Marine-themed activities and games
  • Teens-only excursions
  • Dr. Seus Bookville

Why Parents Love This Cruise:

  • Counselors available to take care of and educate children
  • Most restaurants offering kid-friendly menus
  • Supervised meals so parents can dine alone
  • Family-friendly excursions, including horseback riding and swimming with dolphins
Why we like it: We love this cruise because, in addition to entertainment and education, families have groups of enthusiastic counselors ready to keep their children happy at Camp Ocean.

2. Princess Cruises

Princess-Cruises  Source: princess.com

Approximate cost: $1,525 per guest

Princess Cruises is expanding its entire fleet to include discovery-themed programming for children of all ages. That way, they can embrace fun and educational activities as part of Camp Discovery in addition to the kids club spaces, pools, jungle gym, and outdoor movie theater.

This cruise is best-suited for families who love participating in educational programming together, as well as for teens who don’t have an interest in theme-park thrills.

Itinerary:

  • Eleven-day round-trip traveling from Copenhagen to either Scandinavia or Russia
  • Six additional city stops in countries, including Berlin via Warnemunde; Helsinki, Finland; Oslo, Norway; St. Petersburg, Russia; Stockholm, Sweden; and Tallinn, Estonia.
  • A seven-day trip out of Fort Lauderdale sailing to Cozumel, Mexico; Falmouth, Jamaica, Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Princess Cay, Bahamas is also available

Kids Club Information:

  • Camp Discovery: educational adventures, including The Treehouse, for children ages three to seven
  • The Lodge: optimal for children ages eight to 12
  • The Beach House: activities perfect for teens ages 13 to 17
  • Junior-ranger programs, myth-buster challenges, scavenger hunts, the science of magic, art projects, storytime

Why Parents Love This Cruise:

  • The Chocolate Journeys: delectable desserts
  • Crooners: casual piano-bar
  • Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens: Victorian-era amusement park
  • Stockholm’s Vasa Museum
  • SeaWalk: walk above the waves 128 feet below
Why we like it: Our favorite things about the Princess Cruise is that, in conjunction with the Discovery Channel, there are Discovery at Sea activities and The Voice of the Ocean singing competitions. Families will also find delicious pizza by the slice at Prego’s poolside or Alfredo’s restaurant.

3. Pride of America

Pride-of-America  Source: cruisecritic

Approximate cost: $1,376 per guest

When parents are looking for an educational adventure, the Pride of America will not disappoint. This cruise doesn’t feature the waterslides and ropes courses you’ll find on most other ships.

This cruise is best suited for children who have an appreciation for Hawaiian lore and volcanoes.

Itinerary:

  • Seven-day round-trip adventure from Honolulu
  • Spend two days each on the Big Island of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui

Kids Club Information:

  • Cadillac Diner: 1950s decor and retro shakes
  • Sports Court: hoops challenges
  • Blast-Off Video Arcade
  • Atlantis submarine voyage
  • Cave tubing

Why Parents Love This Cruise:

  • Shuffles Card Room
  • Mandara Spa
  • South Beach & Oasis Pool
  • Hollywood Theater
  • Waikiki Bar
  • Mardi Gra Cabaret Lounge & Nightclub
Why we like it: We love this cruise because of its one-of-a-kind Hawaiian experiences, educational opportunities, and adventures. You can also explore volcanoes!

Best Overall Family Friendly Cruises

When you’re looking for a family adventure that doesn’t fit a particular theme but have high expectations, the following cruises fit that bill. Not only do these trips feature a wide variety of activities amenities, but they’re also budget and kid-friendly. Families with children of all ages enjoy booking these vacations because they know they’ll receive the creature comforts they want while simultaneously keeping their kids active.

1. MSC Divina

PMSC-Divina  Source: cruisehive.com

Approximate cost: $537 per guest; children under 11 sail for free

When you want to book a vacation on a budget without sacrificing quality, fun, or amenities, opting for the MSC cruise line is an excellent idea. Not only will you and your family find a kid-friendly atmosphere, but at affordable rates.

This cruise is best suited for parents who are seeking optimal vacation savings while having opportunities to meet and interact with other families from around the world.

Itinerary:

  • Option to sail a seven-day cruise from Miami to Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Cayman Islands; Jamaica; and Ocho Rios
  • Opportunity for a seven-day round-trip from Miami to the Antilles and the Caribean with port calls to Nassau, Bahamas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and San Juan, Puerto Rico

Kids Club Information:

  • Virtual formula-one auto racing
  • Interactive 4D theater
  • Virtual World Arcade
  • Lego activity spaces
  • Kid-friendly Aqua Park

Why Parents Love This Cruise:

  • Free Chicco childcare equipment: baby backpacks, bottle warmers, strollers, and more
  • Caffe Italia: authentic cappuccino
  • Venchi: delicious gelato
  • Super Family Suites: sleep up to six
  • Inside Cabins: budget-friendly cabins that sleep four
  • Garden Pool
Why we like it: We love that; in addition to finding lots to do on this ship, there are endless opportunities for adventures during each stop.

2. P&O Cruises

PO-Cruises  Source: pocruises

Approximate cost: $537 per guest; children under 11 sail for free

When you want to book a vacation on a budget without sacrificing quality, fun, or amenities, opting for the MSC cruise line is an excellent idea. Not only will you and your family find a kid-friendly atmosphere, but at affordable rates.

This cruise is best suited for parents who are seeking optimal vacation savings while having opportunities to meet and interact with other families from around the world.

Itinerary:

  • Option to sail a seven-day cruise from Miami to Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Cayman Islands; Jamaica; and Ocho Rios
  • Opportunity for a seven-day round-trip from Miami to the Antilles and the Caribean with port calls to Nassau, Bahamas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and San Juan, Puerto Rico

Kids Club Information:

  • Virtual formula-one auto racing
  • Interactive 4D theater
  • Virtual World Arcade
  • Lego activity spaces
  • Kid-friendly Aqua Park

Why Parents Love This Cruise:

  • Free Chicco childcare equipment: baby backpacks, bottle warmers, strollers, and more
  • Caffe Italia: authentic cappuccino
  • Venchi: delicious gelato
  • Super Family Suites: sleep up to six
  • Inside Cabins: budget-friendly cabins that sleep four
  • Garden Pool
Why we like it: We love that; in addition to finding lots to do on this ship, there are endless opportunities for adventures during each stop.

3. Eastern Caribbean Cruise

Eastern-Caribbean-Cruise-scaled  Source: royalcaribbean

Approximate cost: $628 per guest

Travel on one of their third-largest vessels in the world. In doing so, you and your family have the opportunity to experience ice skating, a surf simulator, basketball, rock climbing, ziplining, and volleyball.

This cruise is best suited for families who are looking for tons of things to do together, as well as independently.

Itinerary:

  • A seven-night voyage from Ft. Lauderdale to Labadee (Haiti); Phillipsburg, St. Maarten; and San Juan Peurto Rico
  • Travel from Miami to Labadee, Falmouth, and Cozumel

Kids Club Information:

  • Imagination Studio: where children can create sculptures and paintings
  • Aqua Theater: acrobatic and high-diving acts

Why Parents Love This Cruise:

  • Broadway shows
  • Private port in Haiti
Why we like it: We love this cruise because, in addition to how massive the ship is, there’s no shortage of kid-friendly activities and fun for the entire family.

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