Best Cruise Lines for Families
Updated: October 11, 2023
AAA Travel Editors
Cruises make excellent family vacations for numerous reasons. The ships are designed with an awe-inspiring amount of amenities, with something to please any age. Not only that, but cruise vacations are flexible. You can spend time together as a whole family unit, or you can branch off and each explore your favorite activities. To top it all off, the family can explore new exciting international destinations without the hassle of hectic flights or long drives. In this article, we break down the top cruises for families.
Pick for All Ages: Royal Caribbean
Ask any enthusiast to name a family-friendly cruise line, and you’ll undoubtedly hear Royal Caribbean come up. Royal Caribbean has built the largest cruise ships on the planet and their Oasis-class ships are specifically designed to accommodate the whole family. With multiple pools, rock climbing walls, ice skating rings, zip lines, and family-friendly entertainment, this is the perfect cruise line for bringing along everyone from young to old.
TOP SHIP PICK: Symphony of the Seas
Get ready for the ultimate family adventure aboard the Symphony of the Seas. This is one of the top three largest cruise ships in the world, which means you’ll never run out of ideas for the whole family. Take on the ten-story test of courage and plunge down the Ultimate Abyss. Try out a surf simulator on the FlowRider, or gather the whole family for a game of glow-in-the-dark laser tag. Slides, pools, rocking climbing walls, and more will keep young ones active. Stroll the boardwalk and ride a carousel or stop at the candy shop. Relax in Central Park or take in a high dive show at the Aquatheater. Teens can hang out in the dedicated teen lounge or do test experiments in the science lab.
Pick for Little Ones: Carnival
Carnival is another great choice for families with younger kids. With kids programs starting at age 2 years old and topping out at 17 years of age, there are daily and nightly activities for everyone in the family. When the whole family wants to hang out, Carnival has dozens of family-friendly entertainment options and plenty of poolside room.
TOP SHIP PICK: Panorama
From the moment you set foot on the Panorama, the fun begins. Carnival is well known for its family-friendly set sail party which takes place the moment you embark on your journey out to sea. Once the sea days begin, the fun is sure to follow. The whole family can enjoy splashing in pools, plunging down waterslides, tackling a ropes course, or flying high in the indoor trampoline park. For a truly unique view of the seas, give the Skyride, a suspended two-lane bike course a try.
Celebrity Cruises Inc./Michel Verdure
Pick for Reunions and Special Needs Families: Celebrity
Celebrity features a premier line of cruise ships focused on luxury and comfort. This is our top choice for family reunions and family gatherings that involve a large number of adults. There are incredible dining options and soothing wellness spas and retreats on board every ship. However, even if a few youngsters are coming along, there’s no need to fret. Celebrity’s Camp At Sea is an onboard entertainment center and program for kids ages 3-12. This camp includes treasure hunts, sporting events, theme parties, and more. For teens, the Teen Club features video game competitions, culinary classes, and parties.
TOP SHIP PICK: Celebrity Summit
The Celebrity Summit is a recently remodeled ship that now features the latest and best in amenities. Fall into comfort each night on a Cashmere mattress and enjoy premium restaurants and lounges. We give a huge shout-out to Celebrity Summit as a wonderful pick for families with accessibility needs. The Celebrity Summit even features autism-friendly interactive initiatives for families, including sensory-friendly films and toys, dietary menu options, and autism-friendly training for Camp at Sea.
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AAA Travel Editors
AAA Travel Editors are AAA Travel Experts.