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I love cruising! Cruising is one of the easiest ways to travel the world. You have a floating hotel, a chef to prepare all of your meals, a stateroom host to clean your room, and a built in babysitter. For most parents, it is the best vacation ever!  However, it can be tough to figure out what cruise line is best for your family. Here I share some insider tips on how to select the cruise line, best for your family. Bon Voyage!

Kid’s Club

When looking at a cruise line, check to see if they offer children’s programming. If they do, what are the hours and are there any extra fees?

Most of the cruise lines do offer children’s programming for various age groups. Some cruise lines offer programming from early morning to late nights. Others may offer morning, afternoon, and evening sessions. Check to see the schedules and if there are any extra fees.

If you have little ones, check to see the fees for babysitting. Most cruise lines charge a fee for babysitting. In addition, some cruise lines also limit the number of hours you can leave your little ones for babysitting. For example, for a 3-Night Cruise; you may be limited to only 10 hours of babysitting during your cruise. This certainly could make a difference on which cruise line you book. 


When considering your cruise line, you will want to review dining and restaurants options. Do these restaurants fit your family and are they all included in the price of the cruise fare?

Most cruise ships have a main dining room that is included in your cruise fare. There may be several other restaurant options on board, as well as “specialty” restaurants. These specialty restaurants may be either family orientated or adults only and may not be included in the overall price of the cruise. Be sure to look at all of your options or ask your travel advisor for assistance.

For families, we love Disney Cruise Line. The Disney Cruise Ships have something called Rotational Dining. You move from restaurant to restaurant each night, but your servers come with you. Each restaurant is themed and a lot of fun for the whole family. Some restaurants include Disney Characters like Mickey Mouse, Rapunzel, Crush from Finding Dory, and even Tiana. These are perfect restaurants for kids. You can also find Marvel and Star Wars themed restaurants with something to offer everyone in the family.

Entertainment and Recreation

Cruise lines have amazing entertainment for the whole family. Before booking your cruise, check to see which cruise line has the best entertainment for your kids. 

Royal Caribbean has Broadway shows like Jersey Boys and Grease. However, these shows are great for teens, but may not be family friendly for the younger ones. 

You also want to check the recreational activities on board the cruise ships. Cruise lines like Norwegian have incredible activities like go-carts at sea and laser tag. These activities are perfect for older kids, but may not be a good fit for your elementary aged kids. On the other hand, Disney Cruise is perfect for younger kids with all of the Disney Characters; but may not be the best for the teens.

Spend some time with the family looking at the different entertainment and recreation options.


On a cruise, your “hotel” room is called a stateroom. You will be spending 3 to 15 nights (or more) in your stateroom, so finding a good room for your family is key. Keep in mind that staterooms are small. If you’ve never cruised before, you may be surprised just how small! For this reason, cruise lines give a maximum capacity for each category of stateroom, so look for that.

Many cruise lines have staterooms, just for families. One of my favorites is on board Carnival Cruise Line. They have a stateroom category with different views called a Family Harbor Stateroom. These rooms are all on the same deck. They have fun themes and all of these rooms have access to a private lounge area, just for families. You can get unlimited ice cream and snacks. They also have gaming consoles and couches to just relax with the family.

Since you may spend a lot of time in your stateroom, find one that is best for your family vacation.

These are a few insider tips to help you find a cruise ship, best for your family vacation. If you need more guidance, I am happy to help you plan your cruise vacation. Just reach out to schedule a consultation to discuss your needs and preferences.

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