Family staterooms, kids’ clubs, babysitting, dinners, offshore excursions; today’s cruises are packed with features to cater to families of all ages. So how do you find the best cruise line for your family?

Our family cruise experts have put together a list of the top things to look for:

Kids Clubs

The first thing to look for on any family cruise is the kids’ club. While most cruise lines offer a kids club, not all are created equal. The best kids’ clubs are found on  P&O Cruises, Carnival Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Princess, and Cunard. Before you book, check it’s included within your family cruise package.

Our pick: Royal Caribbean’s award-winning Adventure Ocean program provides age-appropriate activities for babies up to teens.


Teen Zones

Teens love doing their own thing. And today’s cruises let them do exactly that. The best family cruise lines offer special zones where teens can hang out and join in only the coolest activities and events. A word of warning though – you may not see them for the whole cruise!

Our pick: Even the moodiest teen won’t be able to stop grinning on a Princess cruise, with hip-hop dancing, DJ skills, makeup and facial classes, and teen-only events.


Family Activities

It’s not a family holiday without some good quality family time. So look for a cruise line with lots of activities you can enjoy together and create some great memories. Think water parks, movies under the stars, musical shows, sports courts and more.

Our pick: Carnival Legend is legendary for its family activities. Highlights include the Waterworks Splash Zone, Twister and Green Thunder waterslides, sports courts, 24-hour video arcade, cinema… the fun is never-ending!


Adult-Only Space

Can’t wait for some downtime away from the brood? The good news is many family cruise ships are setting aside special adult-only spaces where you can chill out, finally finish that novel or simply enjoy doing nothing.

Our pick: The Oasis, an exclusive kid-free retreat on P&O Cruises. Find your sumptuous day bed and forget the world.


Babysitting Services

Today’s cruise ships offer a fantastic array of bars, nightclubs, and fine dining. There’s just one problem: you need to find someone to entertain the kids! Luckily, most cruise lines offer babysitting or group childcare for the evenings. It’s usually only available for an extra fee, but it’s a small price to pay for a night of freedom!

Our pick: Carnival’s Night Owls program entertains kids until 1am. So parents can indulge in fine dining, cocktails, comedy, shows, and just enough time to tear up the dance floor.


Family accommodation

No matter how much is going on around the ship, there will always be a time when you want to head back to your cabin for some downtime or to get ready for the next installment of fun. Look for a cruise line that caters to families with inter-connecting rooms and family-sized cabins, like P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival Cruises.

Our pick: The soon-to-be-launched ms Koningsdam will boast Holland America Line’s first-ever staterooms designed especially for families. Get ready to spread out in as much as 25 square metres of space, with ocean views, two bathrooms, and enough beds for five.


Family dining

Today’s family cruise lines know exactly how to cater for kids. Carnival Cruises, P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean and more all offer special kids menus with tasty (and healthy!) options even the fussiest eaters will enjoy.

Our pick: Royal Caribbean’s expedited kids’ dining is a great option for parents who want to enjoy a romantic meal. Kids aged 3-11 enjoy dinner first before being whisked off for an evening of activities.

Now you know what to look for, compare the best cruise lines for families on our website!

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