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Best cruise lines for families

Looking for a family cruise that the entire clan can get on board with? Forget about the usual routine of school and work, opt instead for adventure, relaxation and quality time aboard a family-friendly cruise ship that’s a destination in itself. Thanks to a boom in multi-generational cruising, cruise lines are now offering innovative programs that bring family members together while also offering age-appropriate entertainment. From water parks to bumper cars, character meet and greets to poolside fun, here are the best cruise lines for families:

P&O Cruises

The oldest cruise line in the world, P&O Cruises is a firm favourite with the British cruising market thanks to their generous variety of no-fly cruises from Southampton. Though P&O may not initially spring to mind when planning a family cruise, the line offers fun for all; a selection of child-friendly shore excursions, excellent kids clubs for children aged 2 to 17, an abundance of group activities including karaoke, board games, deck games, mini-golf and table tennis as well as swimming pools, jacuzzis and splash areas for the little ones.

Steph from Cruise with Amber loves P&O Cruises and has spent over 100 nights on board with them. She said, “P&O Cruises offer so much variety for all the family; popular destinations, family-focused shore excursions and fun on board activities whilst still retaining a relaxed, classic cruise ship ambience. P&O’s no-fly cruises from Southampton are also a convenient and stress-free way for families to get on board quickly.

“When sailing with P&O Cruises, our children love the kids’ tea served at 5 pm each day in the Horizon Restaurant, which is exclusively for younger guests. As parents, we also love the opportunity for rare date nights while the kids enjoy time with their friends in the Reef Club.”

Four of the fleets sevens ships are child-friendly, look out for family cruises aboard Azura, Britannia, Iona and Ventura.

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Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises offers a voyage like no other. Journeying to over 380 destinations around the world, the cruise line offers unique, immersive experiences for the whole family both on board and at shore. The cruise line have joined forces with Discovery™ to bring enriching new experiences with their Discovery at Sea programme; enjoy meet and greets with local animals, tours around indoor planetariums, impressive entertainment including The Voice of the Ocean and storytime, photos, games and crafts with Princess Cruises’ beloved mascot, Stanley.

Alongside this, families can splash around in the many swimming pools found on board, be entertained at one of the poolside cinemas which feature child-friendly matinees and art and craft projects or learn at one of the relevant kids’ clubs that host educational programmes.

Princess Cruises make it easy for families to sail together in comfort. Families can stay in mini-suites, suites or family suites. Family suites are two interconnecting staterooms that accommodate up to eight people and feature more living space, a balcony and two bathrooms.

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Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean wins the title for best family cruise line hands down. With the biggest and boldest ships, the cruise line pairs innovative ideas with one-of-a-kind activities not found elsewhere. Ice rinks, basketball courts, rock climbing walls, escape rooms, laser tag and much, much more keep the whole family occupied during voyages to all four corners of the world.

Each vessel in the soon-to-be 26 ship fleet is family-friendly and offers superb kids clubs to keep the children entertained while the parents relax by the pool. An exclusive arrangement with DreamWorks means there are lots of free films playing in your cabin and movie theatres - plus, don’t forget to look out for movie characters as they wander the ship, the perfect photo opportunity and a moment the children will never forget. 

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Featured cruises

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Princess Cruises

The 2021 No-Fly Belfast & Liverpool

  • 09 Sep 2021
  • 7 nights
  • Ship: Regal Princess
  • No-Fly Cruise

Itinerary: Southampton, England - Belfast - Liverpool - Southampton, England

Includes: Drinks Package Included for ALL Bookings*, Wi-Fi & Gratuities Included*, Just a Low Deposit required to book*, FREE Car Parking for Suites*

Inside from £5,099pp (was £6,149)
Celebrity Cruises

2023 All-Inclusive Australia & New Zealand Exploration

  • 12 Feb 2023
  • 27 nights
  • Ship: Celebrity Eclipse
  • Fly Cruise
  • Flights Included

Itinerary: Sydney, Australia - Cruising Milford Sound, New Zealand - Cruising Doubtful Sound, New Zealand - Cruising Dusky Sound, New Zealand - Dunedin, New Zealand - Christchurch -...

Includes: Three night 4★ hotel stay in Sydney included*, Just a Deposit Required, then Nothing to Pay until 2022*, Classic Drinks, Surf WI-FI & Gratuities, Always Included*, Exclusive FREE..…

Inside from £2,229pp (was £2,349)
P&O Cruises

The No-Fly 2023 Caribbean Discovery

  • 10 Jan 2023
  • 28 nights
  • Ship: Ventura
  • No-Fly Cruise

Itinerary: Southampton - Madeira, Portugal - Philipsburg, St.Maarten - St. John's, Antigua - St Kitts, St Kitts and Nevis - Guadeloupe - St. George's, Grenada - Castries, St. Lucia -...

Includes: Earn Exclusive DOUBLE Cruise Miles®*, Choose From: FREE On Board Spend* | FREE Car Parking* | FREE Coach Transfers*, Past Guests SAVE 10% off the Full Price*, Exclusive FREE...

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