Cruises are great for families. You get to unpack once and see multiple destinations. You don’t have to worry about where to eat, or what to do – everything is done for you.
But how do you know whether the cruise you choose is family-friendly?
We asked you for your favourite cruise lines for families and were swamped with responses. 120,000 votes were cast in our Best of Family Travel Awards.
Here are the top 5 cruise companies as voted by you.
5) Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruises are old-fashioned soda-pop fun. Expect 1920’s elegance injected with a dose of fantasy. The ships are sleek and clean with crisp navy blue hulls and bright red funnels. In true Disney-style, not a detail will be out of place.
Disney cruises have waterslides, pools and Broadway-calibre musicals. They have basketball courts, sports simulators and miniature golf. Some even have fireworks at sea.
The spacious staterooms were built with families in mind. They have extra space and storage, a spacious sitting area and baths. Disney has a five-birth cabin for larger families.
It’s also what they don’t have – casinos – that makes them so good for families.
Where do they go?
Disney Cruises go to The Bahamas, Western Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean, Southern Caribbean, Northern Europe, Norwegian Fjords, Mediterranean, British Isles, Bermuda, Alaska, Canada, Mexican Riviera, Baja, Panama Canal, Pacific Coast, Transatlantic and Hawaii. Plus Disney also has speciality cruises such as Star Wars day at Sea, Marvel at Sea, Halloween on the High SEas and Very Merrytime Cruises.
4) Royal Caribbean Cruises
Royal Caribbean Cruises cater to all ages. Kids will love the meet and greet experiences with Dreamworks characters, the FlowRider surf simulators and the science lab. These cruises have libraries, mini-golf and an arcade room. Teens even have their own disco.
Families with babies can pre-order nappies, wipes and cream on board. School-aged children will go crazy for the unlimited soft-drink.
Royal Caribbean has cabins that sleep five plus and they also have interconnecting rooms so you can travel with a group or with extra family members.
Where do they go?
Royal Carribean Cruises sail to Alaska, the Arabian Gulf, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada and New England, the Caribbean, Cuba, Europe, Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest, the Panama Canal, the South Pacific and TransAtlantic.
3) Carnival Cruises
Carnival Cruises are known for their incredible Green Thunder waterslide. That’s the one that drops you into the shoot and sends you around the bend.
Kids will love the onboard lolly shop, the pools and the mini-golf. Try basketball at sea, learn to draw in the art studio and bounce yourself silly on the Sky Zone trampolines. They can also sit down to breakfast with the characters from the world of Dr Seuss or try their favourite board games in Hasbro, The Game Show.
Where do they go?
Cruise to New Zealand, The South Pacific, Australia, Hawaii, Singapore, Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska.
Family Travel recommends – Norweigan Cruises
Norwegian Cruise lines have great family-friendly itineraries and some of the newest ships in the industry.
The ships have large rooms, suites and inter-connecting rooms. They also have two-bedroom family suites close to the kids play areas – so you won’t have to treck far to play.
Kids can learn to juggle at the Circus school, play dodgeball and decorate cupcakes. Norwegian has a bowling alley, mini golf and an onboard ropes course.
Most families from Australia will go on the Norwegian Jewel. This ship has just undergone an extensive dry dock. Everything on board has been refreshed, the carpets, the chandeliers, the 16 dining options, 15 bars and nightclubs, and stunning suites. Onboard you will find an art gallery, basketball, volleyball and tennis court, a walking track, a library, and a fantastic pool.
Where to do they go?
Australia and New Zealand, Hawaii, South America, Alaska, Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera, Cuba, Bahamas and Florida, Bermuda, Canada and New England, TransAtlantic, Europe, Asia.
Best trip: 7-night Hawaii cruise from Honolulu
And the winner is … P&O Cruises
You voted for P&O as the best cruise company for families. These cruises are budget-friendly and suit all ages. P&O offers great “taster cruises” for just a few days so you can see if you like it.
On board, they have loads for kids to do. At the P&O Edge Adventure park, you can zoom on a flying fox. These liners have bungee trampolines, laser tag, a comedy club, huge chess games, karaoke, Kids Clubs and some even have a place to walk the plank.
Most families choose the South Pacific Cruises from Australia. These fabulous itineraries take you through New Caledonia and Vanuatu to island beaches you would never see from land.
Where do they go?
Asia and the Pacific, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand.
Want to check out some of the best family cruises on the market?
Travel allows you to get outside your bubble. It makes you realise there are other ways to do things, and that’s OK. Plus, I am a huge fan of skiing and for the best powder – you need to head overseas.