Why cruising is awesome for kids

September 23, 2014

If you’ve not done one before and you’re looking to book your next family holiday cruising might not be the first thing to spring to mind – or the second, or the third.

A reputation for being stuffy, formal and the stomping ground of an older generation means that many families throw the idea of a cruise overboard before they even start flicking through the travel brochures.

Before you go down the typical ‘two weeks in mainland Spain’ route however take a look at these family friendly liners which are the perfect choice for cruising with kids.

Cruising doesn’t have to be all about shuffleboard on the top deck, gin and tonics in the piano bar and black tie Captain’s dinners, you know:


Royal Princess, Princess Cruises

Little Princesses (and Princes, of course) will be right at home on all of Princess cruise liners, with their fantastic kids’ clubs and family friendly accommodation as standard. The largest of the fleet, Royal Princess, is definitely a favourite with families however as more space means more fun to cram onboard!

The kids’ clubs are split into three age groups, 3-7, 8-12 and 13-17, but Royal Princess also has an under 3’s area for parents to use with their tots – great for getting them out of the sun on ‘at sea’ days. Among the activities available on Royal are air hockey, dance lessons, yoga for kids, a Jr.CHEF@Sea cooking program and Klutz arts and crafts – plenty to keep the real Rulers of the family busy while lowly minions mum and dad take a sneaky break from their duties!

You can learn more about Princess Cruises here

Carnival Breeze, Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival cruises don’t do stuffy or formal – instead there’s a firm focus on fun that makes them extra family friendly.

Well, the clue is in the name!

The WaterWorks aquaparks are a huge draw for kids on both Carnival Breeze and Carnival Sunshine but it’s a case of the bigger the better again and Breeze just pips Sunshine to the post.

As a ‘Dream Class’ ship, Breeze also boasts bigger cabin choices for families to share. The kids’ clubs at Carnival are especially good as the age groups are kept small (2 to 3 years in each group), meaning activities can be better tailored – no more moans of ‘but that’s babyish!’ and without a doubt dads will be wishing they had access to the teen space, which boasts PlayStations and Xbox’s to prevent withdrawal symptoms from kicking in. Add pool parties and their own shore excursions to the mix and Carnival has got the hard to please teenage cruiser covered!

To find out more about Carnival Cruises go here


Allure and Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbean

So much of Royal Caribbean’s massive fleet is fantastically family friendly that it was impossible to go with just one recommendation. As the biggest, the Oasis class ships, Allure and Oasis of the Seas are both well worth a mention.

A DreamWorks collaboration means that dreams really can come true onboard for your little movie fans – they could meet Shrek and Kung Fu Panda in the (kind of) flesh!

The kids’ areas onboard are huge and you’ll find everything from surf simulators to skating rinks to zip lines to climbing walls – look away now if you’re a nervous mum!

Throw in a Science Lab, a DJ Academy and a video games arcade and it makes the four kids’ pools and brilliant kids’ clubs look pretty much bog-standard!

Click here to learn more about a cruise with Royal Caribbean

Ventura, P&O Cruises

If you’re looking at P&O itineraries, Ventura is the ship to circle with your red pen (or Sharpie, or crayon, or whatever you have to hand!).

Mr Bump keeps the very little ones entertained, whilst Freedom Dining means that there are no fixed dinner times to worry about if baby (or dad, for that matter) needs a nap or wants ‘just one more’ splash in the swimming pool.

A circus school, complete with bungee trampoline and trapeze and tightrope-walking workshops ensures that there’s plenty of clowning around to be done on this cruise. Of the good kind. Not the ‘hiding your sister’s diary or brother’s football to wind them up’ kind.

More information on P&O cruises can be found here

Norwegian Breakaway, Getaway and Epic, Norwegian Cruise Line

These three Norwegian Cruise Line ships all have so much to offer kids and their families that they quickly become a favourite holiday option.

SpongeBob SquarePants and his underwater friends make mischief on the decks of these casual cruise liners and your Nickelodeon Jr. fans will be encouraged to join them! Waterslides are a popular cruise ship feature – but then there’s waterslides and there’s waterslides!!!!! 

Throw yourself down the Corkscrew and Drainpipe on Epic or brave the five multi-storey slides on Breakaway and Getaway for an afternoon of getting your swimsuit in a real twist! The very brave can also walk The Plank – a terrifying walkway which juts out 8ft from the side of the ship. Again, mums might want to hide behind a holiday read while the danger walking is going on – and that’s before we even mention the rock climbing walls and spider web climbing cages; sorry mums!

You can see even more about Norwegian Cruise Lines here

Disney Dream, Fantasy and Magic, Disney Cruise Line

Of course you can’t get much more family friendly than all things Disney and Disney cruise liners are an obvious choice for a mum and dad with little princesses, pirates or, erm, talking mice in tow.

Younger kids will be in Minnie and Mickey heaven on any Disney Cruise ship, with themed play areas and pools at every turn. Does your little Bo fancy visiting the Laugh Floor from Monster’s Inc?

On Fantasy and Dream, she can!

Or maybe you’ve got a superhero who wants to join the Marvel Avengers’ Academy on Magic?

No wish goes ungranted on the Disney cruise liners. As Walt himself once said, ‘If you can dream it, you can do it!’

You can see even more about Disney Cruise Lines here

So there you see that cruising and kids can mix – it’s just a case of choosing the right ship for your crew. There’s no need to worry about any cruise you choose being over-run by over excited kids as these massive liners have more than enough space for all ages and noise tolerance levels. At www.CRUISE.co.uk we think you should give mainland Spain the year off and go for a family friendly cruise instead.

If, on the other hand, you can’t think of anything worse than garish waterslides, teen nightclubs and SpongeBob SquarePants on your cruise ship, then you now know exactly which liners to avoid! You’re welcome.

To learn more about which cruises are great for babies go here 

To read our full family friendly guide to cruising go here 

To read our full guide on the best cruises for teenagers go here  

Don’t take our word for it – You can read real cruise reviews submitted by the public here; all unedited and unbiased!