Are we there yet? Cruising for families

Think cruising is for just for adults? Think again. For years the world’s major cruise lines have been catering for cruisers of all ages – it’s never been a better time to cruise with the fam. Here are five of the best.

Shows an BoardDisney Cruise Line

Kid’s entertainment is the heart and soul of Disney Cruise Lines. From the ships’ very design to parties and supervision services, everything onboard is orchestrated to create a sense of excitement, fantasy and wonder. Each cruise is staffed by dozens of Disney-trained staff, with a wide selection of supervised activities available for children and teenagers aged 3 months to 17 years, from approximately 9am until midnight.

Disney Cruise Line ships are so kid friendly, they dedicate half a deck to kids play and learning areas, with activities such as shows, art and animation sessions, science experiments and more. The whole family can get involved, too, with family bonding activities like basketball games, drawing classes, trivia contests, screenings of Disney movies and backstage theatre tours. With Disney Cruise Line, you’re cruising onboard a fairy tale.

RCI_Oasis_SPORTZONE_H20_Zone_kids_WaterparkRoyal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean caters to cruisers of all ages with a huge range of entertainment and theatre programs for children, teenagers and adults alike. Bring the fam together by building a wooden ship with the Lowes-branded Build and Grow program, or with popular games like parent trap and family feud.

The ship’s amazing pool facilities and belly flop competitions always cause a splash, and the newer ships even feature science labs where kids can conduct their own experiments! For little daredevils we recommend the Allure of the Seas – where jet skiing and zip lining are available for the more adventurous.

Pacific Sun May 2007 ShootP&O Australia

Floating Adventure Park anyone?! P&O’s Pacific jewel, features a whopping 20 activities including rock climbing, a ‘Titanic’ moment at the ship’s bow (hold me, Jack!) and a kids adventure program for children aged 8 to 12. Tiny tots are well and truly taken care of at Turtle Cove, where SleepyHead Story Time offers guest readings from Aussie, Kiwi and international authors.

Lego fans (of all ages!) can bask in awe at the giant interactive murals in Turtle Cove and Shark Shack clubs on all 3 P&O ships, while thrill seekers can test their nerve at the onboard racing car simulators. Little creative geniuses can even try their hand at creating their very own show – from designing puppets to creating a storyline, writing a script and recording voice-overs and filming. The result? Their very first movie production – cool!

SpongeBob_hiNorwegian Cruise Lines

Partnering with Nickelodeon, Norwegian Cruise Lines is practically synonymous with kid-friendly, with no shortage of fun onboard for children of all ages.  Both the Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Jewel ships offer NCL’s Nickelodeon at Sea program, including the famous Slime Time Live show, a dora dance party and meet-and-greet opportunities with popular Nickelodeon characters like SpongeBob and Jimmy Neutron.

For active youngters we recommend the Norwegian Epic, which features a water-park fitted with a massive, 303 ft long corkscrew tube, six bowling alley lanes, a rock-climbing wall, a rappelling wall and a climbing cage. For families after a spot of bonding, there’s a variety of programs and activities available onboard such as LEGO-building challenges, charades and Pictionary, family movie nights and even pizza-making lessons!

Carnival Cruise Lines

CL_MC_Waterworks_01With its trademark tagline ‘The Fun Ships’, Carnival Cruise Lines is the epitome of kid friendly cruising with a shipload of fun-packed activities, sports, programs and entertainment the whole family can enjoy. Think disco parties, family scavenger hunts, karaoke, game shows – there’s even mother daughter treatments available on port days. Water babies can enjoy some of the most exciting pool facilities on the market, with active youngsters able to take advantage of a wide variety of sports facilities like multipurpose sports courts, first ropes courses and mini golf!

So what are you waiting for? Search for your dream family cruise holiday now!

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