With its exhilarating sense of seagoing adventure and something-for-everyone appeal, cruising may just offer the world’s most family-friendly vacation. Ships are essentially luxurious, floating resorts, loaded with activities and attractions that ooze multigenerational appeal.
Multiple ports of call invite exciting discoveries and cultural enrichment, whether stringing together ancient seaside cities in the Mediterranean or island-hopping in the Caribbean is your idea of a dream family getaway.
And while there are plenty of opportunities to bond with the family and create shared memories, cruising allows for some coveted alone time, too.
Its age-appropriate activities, including high-quality supervised kids’ clubs, and overall scheduling flexibility means that every family member gets some time to branch out in pursuit of their own interests, as well.
Not to mention that planning a cruise vacation is an absolute breeze. With little more than the click of a button, all of your vacation must-haves will be instantly arranged, including accommodation, superb food, activities, and seamless transportation from port to port.
And with children in tow, the convenience of being able to explore the world while unpacking just once puts travels that might otherwise seem too challenging well within reach.
Here are the reasons why stress-free, fun-filled cruises are the very best vacation for your family.
Cruising Is Fun for All Ages
There’s so much to do on a cruise, there’s little likelihood you’ll hear your kids complain, “I’m bored,” once you’re on board the ship. Indeed, there are ample activities and amenities to appeal to all ages, making a cruise the perfect vacation solution for multigenerational trips.
From grandchildren to grandparents, shipboard spots like the inviting pool and hot tubs, and activities like scavenger hunts and al fresco movies on deck are guaranteed to please. In port, everybody might happily soak up the fun of a sun-kissed day at the beach, or an expedition to find the best gelato in town.
What’s more, while you can bond in sharing many special moments together, cruising offers plenty of pursuits custom-tailored to individual tastes, too, both on board and in port.
On the ship, the young ones might want to make new friends in the kids’ clubs, or let off steam on the sports court. Adults might appreciate cookery demonstrations, indulgent spa treatments, or a little casino action. In port, you could find yourself joining your daredevil teens for a zip-line tour over a jungle canopy, while grandparents might instead enjoy a cultural sightseeing tour to local landmarks and historic sites.
With so much to choose from, cruising affords a winning vacation blend of independence and family togetherness.
Read: What Are Cruises Like?
You Can Try Something New
A cruise vacation offers everybody a chance to try out new things for the first time, whether it’s something you’ve always dreamed about doing, or perhaps something you’ve yet to imagine.
From your first silent disco to watching your children discover the underwater world with a mask and snorkel, cruising offers shared adventures, big and small. New boundaries are pushed and explored to forge some of the most unforgettable vacation moments.
It doesn’t have to be an over-the-top activity or happening, either. Something as simple as trying a new dish can afford a shared culinary experience to bring the family together. You’ll find so many dining choices on board that there are plenty of chances for youngsters to experiment with new food, from sushi to classic French dishes.
The Kids & Teen Programs Are Second to None
Many cruises today offer dedicated children’s clubs at sea, featuring fun, creative camp-like programming. On Celebrity Cruises, the Camp at Sea program offers age-appropriate kids’ clubs spanning three-year-olds to teens of up to seventeen, with dedicated spaces and an enormous variety of scheduled activities running every day from 9 am to 10 pm.
Helmed by a staff of professional, enthusiastic youth counselors, kids can check in for activities that include sporting events, arts and crafts, and theme parties. The program is fully customizable to the whims of the children on board, with more than 500 activities to choose from.
Kids’ clubs on Celebrity Cruises are broken down into several groups. “Captains” (ages ten to twelve) might dive in on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) activities or set off on scavenger hunts.
“Cadets” (ages six to nine), can enjoy a nautical theme that allows them to learn the basics of sailing, from navigation to weather patterns. They’ll also love campouts on the top deck lawn on Solstice-class ships, and movie nights. “Shipmates” (ages three to five) can fill their days with arts, crafts, and music.
Harder-to-please teens will be all in when it comes to Celebrity’s Teen Club, catering for ages thirteen to seventeen, where they can connect with other teens at fun events like teen-only silent disco parties and gaming tournaments, and activities like culinary classes and sports competitions.
Unlike the younger kids, teens can have the independence they crave with freedom to come and go to the Teen Club as they please. They might enjoy some pool time, or try out the sports facilities, or simply sit in the sun on deck with their new friends, bonding over burgers.
A useful tip is to visit the kids’ clubs with your young ones on the first day of the sailing so you can all meet the staff and fellow campers, and pick up an activities schedule for the cruise ahead.
And while the kids are out living their best lives, you can enjoy a little R&R. Join a class in the gym, head to the spa for an indulgent treatment or simply relax on a sun lounger with a book.
You’ll See the World
You can show your children films and read books with them, but nothing brings the world alive like having them see new places with their own eyes. And what a joy for parents and grandparents to watch history come to life, new cultures appreciated, and the natural and man-made beauty of the world enjoyed through young eyes.
A cruise vacation offers a chance to repeat those experiences again and again as new ports unfold, with a convenience and ease that you just can’t replicate on land-based touring trips that involve constant packing and unpacking and the tedium of waiting in airports.
Perhaps you have a family of beach lovers, in which case, sailing between the tropical idylls of the Caribbean might be just the ticket. Families who appreciate atmospheric old cities and ancient history will love Europe, which pairs antiquity with culture, culinary tradition, and beach time, too.
Nature lovers, meanwhile, can’t beat the wilds of Alaska, where towering glaciers, astonishing wildlife, from breaching whales to eagles soaring overhead, and indigenous cultures make for an unforgettable getaway.
Plus, you needn’t scratch your head at just what to do once the ship pulls into port. You can choose from a roster of family-friendly cruise excursions that have been carefully curated by Celebrity Cruises’ destination experts. Whether hiking a glacier, cycling around a new city with a guide, or spending a day at the beach is more your family’s vacation speed, there will be an activity for you.
You can go it alone as a family, too, via private excursions or independent exploration in port, if you prefer. Or, if you’re looking for an adults-only outing, the kids’ clubs also offer supervised activities on port days, too.
The Culinary Adventures Are Unrivalled
Whether you’re an adventurous eater or have a picky child in tow, a cruise, with so many options on the menu, is the perfect way to cater to all tastes. You’ll find elegant main dining rooms with special kids’ menus featuring all the favorites, from pizza to pasta, as well as a wide range of international cuisine.
In the Oceanview Café, different food stations offer endless choices and are a great spot to try a few bites of something new, from curry to Tex-Mex or Asian noodles. Then there’s the stateroom service menu if you’d like a meal “in”, and, of course, a magnificent range of specialty dining venues.
Whether you’re looking for something upscale or laid-back, inside or under the stars, a cruise has a venue to cater to your family’s dining whims. With Celebrity Cruises, you can take the family out for Italian classics, stupendous steaks, or Japanese sushi, or indulge in a dining room menu created by a Michelin-starred chef. You’ll find plenty of local flavors, too, since the line features dishes and ingredients reflecting the cuisine of ports visited during the cruise.
Cruises do a great job at catering to dietary restrictions, too, so if your children have any food allergies or other restrictions, from vegan to gluten-free, just notify the company in advance and confirm with the maître d’ on embarkation day.
The culinary experience doesn’t have to end on board. Whether trying salmon cooked over an open fire at a local seafood restaurant in Alaska, sipping rum punch from a coconut on a Caribbean beach, or sampling the joys of gelato in an Italian seaside village, exploring the local cuisine is all part of the experience.
And, of course, whatever adventures a day’s sailing might bring, coming together around the dinner table to break bread and share stories is a beloved part of any cruise vacation.
You’ll Have Room To Spread Out
On Celebrity Cruises’ ships, thoughtful stateroom configurations mean you can find accommodation to suit your family size and age range. You might consider two interconnecting staterooms, for example, which are joined by interior doors.
Or a stateroom that sleeps four, with a sofa that’s transformed by your stateroom attendant into a bed at night. You could also opt for a veranda stateroom for the adults in the party and an interior across the corridor for teens.
Or consider the luxury of a suite. The opulent Iconic Suite on Celebrity Edge, for example, has two bedrooms, a wonderful sense of space, a private terrace, and its own hot tub.
Cruise Planning Is a Breeze
Vacations are loads of fun, of course, but planning for them can feel like an overwhelming task. A cruise vacation, however, is simple to plan. Just settle on the corner of the world that you want to explore. Popular family cruise destinations include the Caribbean, the Bahamas, the Galapagos, Alaska, and Europe. Then, see which itineraries sync up with the time you plan to get away.
With little more effort than that, and some daydreaming about exotic ports of call, your fantasy can be well on the way to reality with a few computer clicks or a phone call.
Booking a cruise is all the more simple with the help of a cruise line representative or trusted travel agent. You can even choose your stateroom at the time of booking and before you sail, go online to select specialty dining, spa treatments, and shore excursions.
Even what to do in port is easily whittled down for you. Simply scroll through Celebrity Cruises’ extensive list of shore excursions online and have fun as a family planning which adventures to choose.
While exploring a faraway, foreign place with kids might feel somewhat daunting, if you choose a cruise, you can rest assured knowing you’ll return every day to a luxurious home base with every creature comfort at hand.
A cruise can give you the confidence you need to set off into new horizons with your children, opening their eyes to new cultures, and perhaps sparking their own lifelong love of travel.
Ready to set sail with one of the best cruise lines for families? Celebrity Cruises features 14 ships that sail to more than 300 destinations around the globe. Each port, from idyllic beach towns to bustling cities, is just waiting for you with a wide array of family-friendly shore excursions. Browse our itineraries for instant inspiration and to book your dream family cruise today.