By Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief, and Dori Saltzman, Senior Editor; Updated by Caroline Costello, Cruise Critic contributor
Best Cruises For Kids:
- Royal Caribbean. Ships: Anthem, Harmony, Allure and Oasis of the Seas
- Norwegian Cruise Line. Ships: Norwegian Escape, Breakaway, Getaway and Epic
- Carnival Cruise Line. Ships: Carnival Vista, Breeze, Dream and Magic
- Disney Cruise Line. Ships: Disney Dream, Fantasy and Magic
- Princess Cruises. Ships: Regal, Royal, Ruby, Crown and Emerald Princess
Despite great strides made by cruise lines in accommodating children onboard in recent years, choosing the best cruises for families with kids is still complicated. Where once it was a struggle to find ships that were kid-friendly, the challenge now is wading through the bevy of activities, kids clubs, family cabins and child-themed bells and whistles many ships offer to determine which cruise ships are best for your youngsters.
Some ships are still better for infants than others, and ditto for teens. Not all itineraries are created equal, either. (Alaska and the Caribbean are destinations that tend to be kid-friendly.) To make decisions even trickier, ships vary greatly, not just from line to line but within fleets, making some better than others in terms of onboard activities. We tend to recommend cruise lines' newer ships because the facilities were designed for families from the outset, not just adapted. They also tend to be the biggest ships, offering more space for fun activities, such as bowling alleys, elaborate water parks with massive slides, ropes courses, bumper cars and surfing and skydiving simulators. They're likely to have more dining options, family-specific accommodations and the latest brand-name partnerships.
The ships - and cruise lines - that follow are our top cruises for kids. That said, you know your family's tastes and preferences better than we ever could. By no means are they the only ships to consider. Think of them as a starting point as you narrow your choices for an unforgettable family vacation at sea.
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