The 15 Best Cruise Ships For Families & Kids

oasis and allureOasis of the Seas & Allure of the Seas (Royal Caribbean)

Editor Rating: ★  ★  ★  ★  ★

When Oasis of the Seas debuted in 2009, she carried some of the most innovative and groundbreaking amenities to be seen on a cruise ship. Many of the new amenities were primarily geared towards families, kids, and teenagers. These innovative amenities were carried over to her sister, Allure of the Seas, when she debuted in 2010.

Why choose Oasis or Allure of the Seas?

  • For the kids and young at heart: Zip lining, 2 rock climbing walls, a carousel, mini golf, basketball, 2 surfing simulators, an ice skating rink, H20 Zone, a kid’s club, a teen club, a teen disco, a candy store, an ice cream parlor, and the Dreamworks Experience.
  • For the parents: Largest spa at sea, private adult’s only solarium, plenty of late night entertainment options.
  • For the entire family: Exciting Broadway and Aqua Theater entertainment, 3 large pools, and different 16 restaurants.

Royal Caribbean’s Freedom Class of ships (Freedom, Liberty, and Independence of the Seas) provide similar amenities and activities for families.

breakaway se trialsNorwegian Breakaway & Getaway (Norwegian Cruise Line)  

Editor Rating: ★  ★  ★  ★

Norwegian’s two new ships, the Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway (2014) make a substantial departure from the design of their predecessors in the Jewel Class. Not only are these two new ships much larger, but they have expanded on both dining and entertainment options for guests. One major improvement found on these new ships is the amount of activities and amenities geared towards families. Some of these activities and amenities have been carried over from the Norwegian Epic, but many are making their debut on a Norwegian ship.

Why choose Norwegian Breakaway or Getaway?

  • For the kids and young at heart: Massive water park featuring 5 thrilling slides, a massive ropes course with zip line and The Plank, mini golf, basketball court, rock climbing and rappelling wall, bowling, a giant Wii, a kid’s club, teen’s club, gelateria, bake shop, and the Nickelodeon at Sea experience.
  • For the parents: A large spa and fitness center and plenty of late night entertainment options.
  • For the entire family: 19 different dining options, entertainment from Cirque Productions, Second City, and Broadway style shows, and fireworks at the end of each sailing.

Norwegian’s Norwegian Epic provide similar amenities and activities for families.

Disney Fantasy at Castaway CayDisney Dream & Fantasy (Disney Cruise Line)

Editor Rating: ★  ★  ★  ★

For families looking for the ultimate in family cruising, Disney Cruise Line is the line for you. Disney’s two newest ships provide the pinnacle of the Disney experience at sea. Not only does each sailing feature characters from the park, but every sailing almost resembles one of the Disney parks at sea. While Disney might not be the ideal family vacation for some people, for many, Disney Cruise Line is the perfect choice.

Why choose Disney Dream or Fantasy?

  • For the kids and young at heart: 6 large designated clubs for kids and teenagers, including the Oceaneer’s Club, Oceaneer’s Lab, Edge, and Vibe; The Aqua Duck, the first water coaster at sea; a smaller water slide, Disney character meet and greets, and an ice cream parlor.
  • For the parents: A large spa and fitness center, a private pool area, and a variety of nightlife lounges.
  • For the entire family: 9 different dining options, Disney productions including newly released Disney films, and 3 designated family pools with a poolside movie screen.

Disney’s Magic Class of ships (Disney Magic & Wonder) provide similar amenities and activities for families.

Breeze - Day 5 - Curacao 028Carnival Dream, Magic, & Breeze (Carnival Cruise Line)

Editor Rating: ★  ★  ★

Carnival’s Dream Class of ships offers guests an affordable family vacation at sea. These new generation ships for Carnival have widely expanded the offerings found aboard their predecessors. Guests now have more dining options, more activities, expanded entertainment areas, as well as refreshed staterooms. These new ships have redefined Carnival and will continue to move the line into the future.

Why choose Carnival Dream, Magic, or Breeze?

  • For the kids and young at heart: 2 larger than usual pools, a water park featuring a twister slide, bowl slide, and two kid’s slides; a ropes course*, mini golf, basketball, the EA Sports complex*, a kid’s club, and a teen club.
  • For the parents: A large spa and fitness center, the adult’s only Serenity, and a variety of nightlife lounges.
  • For the entire family: 8 different dining options, a variety of productions hows, including Hasbro The Game Show; a pool side movie theater, and the 5D Thrill Theater.
*Only available onboard Carnival Magic and Breeze. For copyright information on the photos featured in this article, please refer to our legal information.

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Mike Faust

Mike Faust is an avid world traveler, often found traversing city streets in Asia and Europe rather than his home city of Boca Raton. Mike has touched down in 39 countries, set sail on 35 cruises, and flown over 400,000 lifetime miles.