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Best cruises for families

Cash in on some quality family time on these family-friendly cruise lines.

Multi-generational holidays are the new family reunions. They’re an ideal way to catch up, unwind and explore with loved ones without having to worry about taking care of accommodation, food and transportation between ports.

Whether you’re a family of three or a party of 20, these cruise lines are the specialists when it comes to organizing family cruises that check all the boxes for young and old. All you need to do is choose the destination.

Disney Cruise

1.Disney Cruise Line via Cruise Direct

Disney has secured its spot as a magical brand the whole family can enjoy – and its cruises are no different.

There’s a little bit of magic in store for every member of your crew when you board a Disney cruise ship. Adults have the freedom to escape to their own heavenly oases onboard, while little ones can play in supervised youth groups or in the activity playground.

  • Activities for the whole family: Broadway-style live shows, Walt Disney theatre, karaoke, trivia, music and deck dance parties, family-friendly port activities and kids’ pools.
  • Family cabins: Disney’s liners have deluxe family staterooms that are ideal for up to five guests. For larger families, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy have over 500 connecting cabins.
  • Family discounts: Discounted rates for children sharing a cabin with parents.
Go to Disney Cruise Line via Cruise Direct website

Norwegian cruise line

2.Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian has a reputation for providing some of the best entertainment at sea for young and old.

Featuring Broadway-style musicals, areas for various sports and pools complete with waterslides and deckchairs, Norwegian’s activities aim to bring families together onboard. If you’re looking for the best European cruise for families, this line is it.

  • Activities for the whole family: Broadway musicals, mini-golf, bowling, circus and magician shows, water parks, rope courses and rock climbing walls.
  • Family cabins: Connecting staterooms are available for multi-generational parties. Family staterooms are best for families of four.
  • Family discounts: On most sailings, Norwegian offers discounts for the third to the eighth guest in one party.
Go to Norwegian Cruise Line via Cruise Direct website

Carnival Cruise

3.Carnival Cruise Line

Not all families are made the same, so Carnival gives you and your clan plenty of options to play it your way.

With basketball courts, a fast and steep water slide for kids, a casino and an adults-only retreat for parents, there’s a reason why Carnival is referred to as the “fun” cruise line. It currently offers more than 200 family-friendly activities.

  • Activities for the whole family: Dr Seuss-themed entertainment, water slides, mini-golf, swimming pools, basketball and dive-in movies.
  • Family cabins: Family staterooms can accommodate up to four. Interconnecting rooms are available.
  • Family discounts: Discounts for third and fourth guests in the same room.
Go to Carnival Cruise Line via Cruise Direct website

Costa cruises

4.Costa Cruises

With over 2,000 onshore adventures, Costa Cruises offers vacations to some of the most exotic locations worldwide.

With hundreds of onshore and onboard adventures, customize your Costa Cruise trip to suit your entire family. To spice up your cruise, each Costa ship has a unique theme – choose from Old Hollywood or 17th century Italian styles to food or pirate themed ships and much more.

  • Activities for the whole family: Casino, giant on deck TV, swimming pools, Grand Prix simulator, babysitting service, spa and a fitness centre.
  • Family cabins: Generous family cabins can accommodate up to four people.
  • Family discounts: Discounts for third and fourth passengers in the same cabin.
Go to Costa Cruises via Cruise Direct website

Royal Caribbean cruise line

5.Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean are one of the best-rated cruise liners in the world and consistently create vacations that the whole family can enjoy.

It’s constantly rated the best by offering a blend of one-of-a-kind kids, family and adult activities both onboard and onshore. These unique experiences include a skydiving and a surfing simulator. Royal Caribbean also offers group discounts and customizable options.

  • Activities for the whole family: Roller skating rink, bumper cars, circus school, surf simulator, mini-golf, exclusive DreamWorks shows and parades.
  • Family cabins: Generous family and two-bedroom cabins can accommodate up to eight people.
  • Family discounts: Discounts for third and fourth passengers in the same cabin.
Go to Royal Caribbean via Cruise Direct website

Family cruise cabins compared

Family room types Maximum occupancy per room Are interconnecting rooms available?
Disney Cruise Line Deluxe family staterooms 5 Yes
Norwegian Cruise Line Family staterooms 4 Yes
Carnival Cruise Line Family staterooms 4 Yes
Costa Cruises Family cabins 4 Yes
Royal Caribbean Family and two-bedroom cabins 8 Yes

Importance of cruise travel insurance for families

Bringing the whole crew along on a trip isn’t cheap and takes a lot of planning to make it happen.

If anything doesn’t go quite according to that plan, it’s assuring to know that you can get cruise travel insurance that’s specifically designed for sailing. Compared to regular travel insurance, cruise plans can include added benefits like missed shore excursions if there’s bad weather in a port, lost or damaged formal wear if something happens to your bag along the journey and cabin confinement compensation if your family comes down with a contagious stomach bug.

Latest cruise deals:

Expedia Expedia

Fiji: Free full breakfast at Captain Cook cruises

Valid for travel on select dates during Tuesdays and Saturdays across Nadi. Includes free-WiFi, full-service spa and more. T&Cs apply.

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$50 deposits with Carnival cruises from $179

Valid for sailings on departures in 2020 - 2021 departing from Los Angeles. Destinations include Bahamas, Alaska, Mexico and more. Sample fare is for a 4-night Baja Mexico cruise.

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Cruise Direct Cruise Direct

4-night Mexico cruise from $179

Valid for travel on select dates until July 2020. Destinations include Los Angeles, Catalina Island, San Diego and more. T&Cs apply.

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Let's Ferry Let's Ferry

20% off Blue Star Ferries trips

Valid for economy class tickets for Cyclades routes until 31 October 209. T&Cs apply.

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Expedia Expedia

Caribbean cruises from $391 per person

Sample price is for a 4-night sailing with Carnival. Available on select 2019 dates.

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Expedia Expedia

Up to $100 onboard credit with Norwegian Cruises

Available on select 2019 dates. Includes free dining and drinks package, WiFi use and more. T&Cs apply.

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Popular Cruises coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
10 Jul 2019 Fiji: Free full breakfast at Captain Cook cruises ********
10 Jul 2019 $50 deposits with Carnival cruises from $179 ********
5 Jul 2019 4-night Mexico cruise from $179 ********
31 May 2019 20% off Blue Star Ferries trips ********
27 Feb 2019 Caribbean cruises from $391 per person ********
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