Top 10 Cruise Ships for Families

Fancy a family scavenger hunt, disco dancing, a foot massage with your kids, or maybe a cooking class? It’s all possible on a family cruise that is all about spending time together away from the usual routines of school and work.

Multi-generational cruising is also big news, with cruise lines providing innovative programs that bring family members together while also offering age-appropriate entertainment. Some cruise lines have babysitting facilities so parents can enjoy a night out, and you will find there are more family staterooms being added to new ships due to high demand. 

1. Carnival Cruise Lines

Whether it’s screaming down the Green Thunder, or watching your favourite board games come to life, there are activities for the whole family! Carnival Cruise Lines Australia offers casual dining options including a 24/7 icea cream bar, supervised kids’ programs and great entertainment. Water parks are the star on the Carnival Legend and Carnival Spirit (both sailing out of Sydney), while the outdoor Sport Square offers a mini-golf course and basketball courts. Staterooms accommodate families and the Seuss at Sea program brings to life the magic of the timeless books.

Carnival Legend

2. P&O Australia

From family dining to kids clubs & Australia's largest adventure park at sea, there's never a dull moment onboard P&O Cruises. Families can participate in many group activities together including karaoke, board games, laser tag & deck games including golf putt-putt & table tennis. So get onboard and spend some quality time with your favourite people.

3. Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line’s ships Disney DreamDisney MagicDisney Wonder and Disney Fantasy specialise in family fun and you may well run into Mickey, Minnie and other much-loved characters. Waterslides, fireworks and deck parties are what is in store. Staterooms sleep six and there are several adults’ only restaurants for parents to chill out.

Disney Kids

4. Holland America Line

Holland America Line’s new ms Koningsdam has 32 family oceanview staterooms that sleep up to five people with two bathrooms and extra wardrobe space. A wide variety of activities are available for young children and teenagers, and families can enjoy many activities together or separately.

5. Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International has lots of fun family activities including rock climbing walls, zip liners, a surf simulator, bumper cars, roller skating, cupcake decorating, fashion shows, parades on the promenade... the list goes on! From spacious accommodation for 4 people to suites that cater for 16, Royal Caribbean staterooms can fit any family.

The Dreamworks Characters can also be found on Allure of the SeasOasis of the SeasFreedom of the SeasLiberty of the SeasVoyager of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas where you can meet the characters, watch the movies and dine with your favourite characters from Madagascar, Shrek & more! 

Royal Caribbean Ice Show

6. MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises has a great family offer – children under 13 cruise free when sharing one cabin with two paying adults on all MSC Cruises departures, paying only the required port charges. Activities include mini-golf and there are tennis and basketball courts. Shore excursions for children are discounted and there is a great kids’ club.

7. Norwegian Cruise Line

Most cruise ships have a water park of some sort on board but none quite like Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Epic. The ship's Aqua Park has two pools, five hot tubs, a children’s pool and three multi-storey water slides! Norwegian Cruise Line also offers many other fun activities including rock-climbing and rappelling walls, climbing cages, six bowling lanes, and kids can learn to juggle at Circus School in the Splash Academy. All ships have family mini-suites and most have two-bedroom family suites conveniently located near the kids’ area.

Norwegian Getaway

8. Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises Grand-class ships Ruby PrincessCrown Princess and Emerald Princess have big fun zones for games and sports tournaments with many family activities on offer. Poolside cinemas feature kid-friendly matinees and art-and-craft projects are offered. Dining options allow parents the freedom and flexibility to eat with their children or on their own.

9. Cunard

Cunard ships offer table tennis and deck sports, as well as pizza parties, discos, trivia and bingo in the evenings. The children’s clubs – the Play Zone, Kid Zone and Teen Zone – are open from 9am through to 11pm on sea days and there’s a night nursery for little ones aged six months to two years old, giving parents a chance to dine alone. 

10. Celebrity Cruise Line

Celebrity Cruise Line offers lots of entertainment for families and the latest kids’ programs include dedicated Xbox stations and mobile consoles that feature one of the largest digital game and entertainment experiences at sea. Whether playing solo, or participating in an Xbox tournament or gaming theme night, there’s something for everyone in the family.


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