Best Cruises for Kids
Cruises for Kids
One of the best vacations I have ever been on is a cruise. Now that I have children, I am looking for kid friendly and family friendly cruise ships and cruise destinations.
For destinatons, I look for destinations that are FUN and may be educational. FUN destinations will include places we can scuba dive or snorkel or just hang out on a beach.
For the cruise ship, I am looking for a kid or teenage program that includes activities like dancing or sports for my son. I am also looking for cabins that may connect or larger cabins that can fit the family.
The first thing I would recommend is to not bring children under 5 onto a cruise ship. You want to be able to enjoy yourself as parents, and chasing a toddler 24 hours a day is not a fun thing to do. Plus, toddlers are not prone to sit very long in one place. It will be a battle of frustration.
Cruise Ship Ammenities for Kids and Teens
What do you look for on a cruise ship? You need to look for two different things, one would be a kid center and the second is a teen center. Both offer opportunities for the kids to meet other kids, but they are completely different in when entertaining these distinct groups.
Disney Cruise Lines is a natural extension of Disney World and Disneyland. Lots of characters running around and a lot to do for kids under 10. The cruise ships Disney Magic and Disney Wonder have great areas for kids and separate activites for kids 3-5, 6-7, 8-9, and 10-12.
Royal Caribbean Cruises has three ships that are sure to please kids, Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, and Independence of the Seas. These have programs for kids 3-5, 6-8, 9-11, 12-14, and 15-17. Teens also have there own hang out area called the Living Room and their own nightlcub called Fuel. In addition, these three ships also offer rock-climbing, ice-skating, in-line skating, basketball and tennis courts, miniature golf, water parks, and a surfing park.
Great Cruise Destinations for Kids
Now that you have picked a cruise line, what are some great cruise destinations for kids. Kids love the beaches, swimming, and water toys. Every cruise line has a private island that most itineraries stop at. Here are my top 7 destinations for kids:
1. Turtle Bay on St Marten - Great spot for Snorkeling
2. Dunns River Falls in Jamaica - Lots of fun climbing up the Falls
3. Florida Keys - Lots of beaches
4. Grand Cayman
5. St Thomas
7. Panama Canal
Best Cruise Cabins for Kids
When traveling with a family, there are different types of cabins that will make a cruise more enjoyable. Adjoining cabins may help as they will typically have two bathrooms and showers. Suites and Junior Suites will offer a larger area and typically will include a sitting or eating area. Cabins with balconies offer a great place to escape if you are watching a napping child.
Best Cruise Lengths for Kids
Cruise lengths of 5-7 days is a great length as it won't seem like you just got on the ship when you leave. Shorter cruises will have a lot of twenty and thirty somethings who are there for a quick party. Longer cruises will find an older crowd who are either retired or typically spend a little more on vacations.