Cruising offers excellent value for money for families. If you consider that all your accommodation, meals and entertainment are all included in the price, it can actually be cheaper than taking a land based holiday with the added bonus of visiting different countries along the way. There is something to please everyone; children are kept happy with never-ending activities and parents have the option to just relax if they so choose.
Cruise lines that cater best for families are Carnival Cruise Lines, Costa Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises and Royal Caribbean International. However, most cruise lines feature an element of family cruising. Some cruises have limited activities with limited staff dedicated to children but others have a team of staff dedicated only to the little ones.
Careful planning goes into new ship design to ensure that both adults and children have the opportunity to have the best cruise experience possible either together as a family or separately, where both the older and younger members can meet and make new friends.
Supervising your children need not be a problem as most ships provide kids clubs. These clubs are often split according to age, so activities and supervision can be catered for accordingly. Parents can even take advantage of late night childcare to enable them to have a romantic meal or to hit one of the nightclubs.
There are plenty of activities onboard such as arts and crafts, video games, language classes, cookery courses, pizza parties, treasure hunts, face painting, karaoke contests, games, sports tournaments and evening parties. There are also special kids menus, dedicated shore excursions, water parks and slides. Some cruise lines allocate specific lounges and other spaces as children-only zones and some have exclusive decks for kids.
For the more adventurous members in your family, you can also try zip lining, rock climbing, circus school, ice-skating, rollerblading and surf and sky diving simulators. Some cruise lines also have partnerships with well-known brands and incorporate this into their general entertainment as well as for children. For instance, Royal Caribbean has a partnership with Dreamworks, Carnival with Dr Seuss, Costa with Pepper Pig, MSC Cruises with The LEGO Group and the Disney Line have all Disney characters.
A cruise is the ultimate playground at sea. Whether you are young or young at heart, there is something for everyone.