Heading off on a family cruise? Check out our top tips to enjoy the best cruises for families with kids.

Cruising with kids is a sure-fire way to enjoy a family holiday. Today’s cruise ships have endless options to keep all ages entertained – including mum and dad! And the best part is you only need to unpack once.

As with any family holiday, it pays to have a few tricks up your sleeve to make sure you have the best family cruise:

1. Choose your cruise wisely

There’s never been a better time to go on a cruise with kids. A new breed of cruise ships is designed to cater primarily for families. Choose wisely and you’ll find activities and kids’ clubs geared to different age groups, along with special kids’ menus and entertainment you can enjoy as a whole family.

2. Go for the family cabin

Trust us, when it comes to cabins, you want something that offers comfort and space. Plenty of cruise ships now offer spacious suites and cabins are designed especially for families. We’re talking multiple bathrooms, interconnecting rooms, and bedding configurations you can swap and change to suit your clan. Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises have some of the best family accommodation. (These cabins can be booked through the cruise lines only!)

3. Make the most of evening kids’ programs

The best cruises for families with children offer an evening program, so you can have a night off and enjoy the bars and shows. Some ships have supervised group activities, like Carnival’s Night Owls, while others simply offer in-cabin babysitting, both services for an hourly fee.

4. Know the rules

It pays to know the rules of the onboard kids’ program before you go. Generally, kids need to be toilet trained, with the exception of Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line who provide infant and toddler care. (On select ships and sailings. Royal Caribbean will not provide this unless they have the nursery on board and they will not provide staff for the nursery unless there are enough children on board.) Some ships also have a minimum age requirement for their kids’ clubs. Make sure you check this with your cruise agent before you book.

5. Enjoy some guilt-free alone time

Parents say one of the best things about cruising is that they can enjoy some freedom. The kids’ clubs are there to entertain your little ones completely, so you don’t have to worry. And with all the activities on offer, they won’t even notice you’re gone!

6. Dive into the family fun

Cruising as a family doesn’t mean you have to put the little ones into a kids’ program and not see them for the rest of the cruise. The best cruises for families with kids offer plenty of opportunities for quality family time too.

7. Pack a carry-on bag

Once you’ve boarded your ship, it’s usually some hours before your luggage arrives in your cabin. So be sure to pack a carry-on bag with all the things your kids might need for the day. Think swimsuits, snacks, sunscreen, and nappies, if you’re traveling with a bub.

8. Ask the experts

Not sure which is the best cruise for families with kids? Speak to the experts. Because they know the ins and outs of every cruise ship, they’ll help you choose the right cruise to suit your family holiday style. Check the latest cruise deals here!

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