A vacation with the family can yield some of the best experiences you’ll ever have in life! Bonding with your kin while taking in the calm blue seas and warm sunshine aboard a sweet little cruise ship, #familygoals. Need help sifting through the boatloads of cruises from Singapore on offer? We can help! Read on find out our picks for the best family-friendly cruise liners and trips!
Best luxury cruise — Norwegian Cruise Line
Fancy sailing to major destinations with your fam on a luxury cruise liner? Well then, hop aboard the Norwegian Cruise Line!
Choose from a variety of cruise itineraries that can take you to destinations like Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, China, Japan, and Hong Kong, or even up to the Maldives, Seychelles, Oman, and Dubai.
As you sail to your destination, go ahead and enjoy the onboard activities. What’s there to do, you ask? Plenty! There are water parks, mini-golf, toys, games, arts and crafts, as well as a complimentary kid’s club for the cubs. For the grown-ups, there are spas, nightclubs, a grand casino, award-winning restaurants, and shopping onboard.
Now, luxury cruises are by nature rather pricey, but depending on the cruise destination and accommodation choices; you might find that certain packages are rather affordable. For instance, the 6-Day Phuket, Langkawi & Penang from Singapore cruise costs just S$405 per person.
However, the costs for the 15-Day Thailand, Indonesia, Phuket & Penang from Singapore trip range from S$2,144 to S$9,455 per person; this certainly adds up to a pretty hefty price tag for a family. Thus, such trips are apt for the well-heeled or those who have recently struck the TOTO jackpot.
Best cruise for the WHOLE family — Dream Cruises
If you are going on a cruise with your young children, teens, and parents — you’ll want to make sure that the cruise is fun and appropriate for all.
Dream Cruises offers a wide range of family-themed programs apt for younger children, teens, and even grandparents on holiday! For instance, the Little Dreamers Program will keep your kids busy and entertained with “arts & crafts activities, interactive games, board games, educational classes and seasonal activities”.
Now, if you want alone time with your spouse and need someone to watch the kids, do check out the Little Dreamers Club; a type of daycare for children aged 2 to 12 years. You can drop your kiddies off here to play video games, watch movies, enjoy arts and crafts, and even attend themed or costume parties and more. What’s best, it’s complimentary and kids will be supervised by trained childcare staff. You can also get in-cabin babysitting, but note that charges will apply.
Teens aren’t left out of the fun, as there are plenty of cool activities for them to partake that include karaoke, DJ mixing classes, dance classes, archery and even Human Foosball.
Grandparents or more senior family members joining the cruise? The Ageless Dreamers Program offers tai chi classes at sea, wellness talks, indoor and outdoor games, as well as discounts for shopping onboard.
And last but not least, for the competitive-even-on-vacation crowd, there are talent shows for the juniors and the golden oldies to join!
Best family cruise with affordable shore excursions — Princess Cruises
The promise of unforgettable shore excursions is part of the cruise appeal! Exploring new and exciting places with your family could make for some of the sweetest memories! And the good news is that most cruise lines offer exciting activities and excursions for passengers to choose from — but not all of them are easy on the wallet. One cruise line that offers some of the most affordable shore excursion packages is Princess Cruises.
For instance, if you were to choose the 5-day Malaysian Peninsula Cruise, you’ll have the option of choosing from multiple shore excursions at different ports like Phuket, Penang, and Kuala Lumpur.
And it’s really affordable — rates for a 3.5-hour tour of George Town in Penang, a UNESCO World heritage site, starts from just S$29.95 per person. On this tour, you’ll visit the famed Goddess of Mercy Temple and the Botanical Gardens, and shop at Little India.
When you reach Phuket, Thailand (and all the other ports on this cruise, for that matter), there are more pocket-friendly excursions waiting. Consider an off-the-beaten-track adventure with your family, like the Khao Phra Taew National Park & Eco-Hike adventure — rates start from just S$49.95.
Or if you’re into a beach day getaway, the 7.5-hour Phi Phi Island excursion might be just the ticket; rates start from S$149.95 per person. On this excursion, you’ll island hop to explore the stunning Phi Phi Islands, swim in the heavenly blue lagoon on the Andaman sea, and finish your day off with a shopping trip at the best local beach markets!
Best long-distance cruise (from Singapore to Australia) — Royal Caribbean
If you’re not a fan of airplanes and want to take the scenic route – and we mean really, really scenic with your brood — why not cruise on over there!
Royal Caribbean offers a 12-night cruise to Australia that embarks in Singapore and goes through Darwin, Cairns, Queensland, and Brisbane (the final port).
Travelling to Australia on the magnificent Radiance of the Seas cruise ship is sure to keep you entertained and in awe as you make your journey across the Indian Ocean, South China Sea, and Timor Sea.
What to do onboard? Go rock-climbing, enjoy sumptuous brunches, book a shore excursion, take in a live show, hit the clubs, rejuvenate at a spa or simply hang-out in the adult-only Solarium lounge (when you need a wee break from the kiddies). If you think that’s all, think again — we’ve barely scratched the surface of what you can do on a Royal Caribbean cruise.
Best weekend family cruise — Dream Cruises
If you are looking for a quick cruise sampler vacation, Dream Cruises also offers a short-and-sweet weekend cruise to Bintan Island aboard the Genting Dream. These kinds of cruises are a great way to gage if your family can tolerate a longer sea voyage in the future!
How much fun can you squeeze out of this two-night cruise? As it turns out…a lot! The cruise will take you on a tour of Bintan where you can enjoy snorkelling, paddle boating, and riding giant water slides and off-road ATVs.
You can also take the kids to check out wildlife at a safari park to see orangutans and Komodo dragons going about their business. As always, there’s shopping too.
And as mentioned, Dream Cruises offers plenty of family-friendly facilities and programs to enjoy!
How much does a cruise cost?
As you may have suspected, cruises range in rates. There are some that most would consider affordable and others that are straight-up super premium. And since cruise pricing depends on the type of cruise, accommodation, destination, duration, additional amenities, number of people per cabin, etc., it’s tricky to estimate general cruise costs.
But we can give you a clearer picture of how the rates compare, based on the what the cruise ticket price covers for some of the cruises listed:
|Cruise Lines||Package example||Destinations/ Ports of Call||Duration||What’s included||Price|
|Norwegian Cruise Line||15-Day Thailand, Cambodia, Phuket & Penang from Singapore||15 days||Accommodation, butler and concierge, free unlimited open bar, shore excursion credits, speciality dining (with terms), Wi-Fi.||From S$4,474* per person|
|Dream Cruises||3-Night Cruise From Singapore||3 nights||Accommodation, free live shows, movie screenings at the Cinema at Sea, free dining at selected restaurants onboard. Fare is not inclusive of gratuities (S$21 to S$26 for passengers above 2 years of age).||From S$1,417 per person.|
|Princess Cruises||5-Day Malaysian Peninsula||5 days||Accommodation, normal dining (balcony dining and speciality restaurants may incur additional fees), room service, and beverages (except soda and alcoholic beverages).|
Fare not inclusive of taxes, fess and port expenses.
|From S$539 per person.|
|Royal Caribbean||12 Night Asia Repositioning Cruise||12 nights||Accommodation, ocean transport, most meals onboard, some beverages onboard, most entertainment onboard.|
Fare not inclusive of taxes, fees and port expenses.
|From S$1,555* per person|
* Price originally quoted in USD and might vary due to exchange rates and other factors.
Note: All prices and terms are subject to change, please check with cruise liners for updated rates before you book.
Bear in mind: Cruises, while fun, do come with a unique set of risks, which must be seriously considered before you book your trip. Local news reports of cruise ship passengers contracting gastrointestinal illness onboard or going missing can make cruise vacations a scary proposition. Plus, most large cruise ships are no friend to the environment. Thus, before you depart, be sure to understand the risks, make safety your priority – especially when travelling alone or with children, and buy comprehensive travel insurance.
Do you need special cruise insurance?
If you’re in the (good) habit of buying travel insurance every time you travel, you’re definitely smarter than the average bear!
Now, if you’ve never been on a cruise; you might be wondering if the same rules apply for your virgin sea voyage. Will a regular travel insurance plan suffice or do you need special cruise insurance?
While many regular travel insurance plans cover cruises, e.g. Allianz Travel (when embarking from Singapore), other travel insurance providers may offer an optional cruise benefit with their travel insurance plan. For example, under the AIG Travel plans, an optional “Cruise Vacation Benefit” covers cancellation of cruise tours (before departure) as well as interruption of cruises.
What about cruise insurance from cruise liners?
Your fare may include insurance or your cruise liner might offer optional paid insurance coverage for you to choose from.
This type of insurance typically covers onboard incidents like injuries or theft and can be quite limited. In addition, the details of travel insurance covers offered by cruise providers do differ.
Thus, it’s important to go through your plan to understand what is covered and what is not. Note that it’s also possible that your cruise liner may not offer insurance options at all — though this is rare.
Do you need separate travel insurance if you have insurance from cruise providers?
Assuming your cruise liner does offer some form of insurance, do you still need to buy a regular travel insurance plan?
This depends on the type of insurance offered — for instance, Dream Cruises offers Travel Accident Insurance provided by AIG. It generally covers “medical expenses payable due to accidents that happen during the course of the journey” and “charges payable for medical evacuation conducted during the course of the journey”.
Still, the cruise line advises against replacing your own travel insurance plan with their Travel Accident Insurance. In fact, they recommend for passengers to get their own insurance before departing (in addition to Dream’s Travel Accident Insurance plan).
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