When Disney came up with its cruise lines in 1998, everyone knew it would spark a revolution. It was a game-changer for the entire cruising industry. Currently, in its third decade of operations, the Disney Cruise lines are one of the top contenders for the best family cruise. With another ship launching in 2022, families are all set to rejoice with anticipation for what the next cruise will get them in the coming years.
Of course, there are other contenders in the list of best family cruises and not just Disney. Cruise lines like Princess, Carnival, Norwegian, MSC, and many more have ushered in a new era for family cruise vacations. They offer hundreds of amenities and things to do, including kids clubs, family-friendly stage shows, fine dining experiences, waterslides, reduced fares for children, and much more.
The best cruise lines meant for kids are also great for adults. Everyone in the entire family will have plenty of things to do and have great options to find themselves the best onboard activities. Here are a few of the best family cruises for your next vacation post-pandemic.
Disney cruise fleet claims to be the best cruise line for families. There is no denying that they are the trendsetters for family cruises. The original Disney cruise ship, Disney Magic, hit the top of our list and gets a special mention for revolutionizing the entire industry. The Disney Cruise Line launched Disney Magic in 1998, and with current standards of upkeep and improvements, the ship has managed to look and feel modern, premium, and updated as per the current times.
Aboard the ship, you will be witnessing pirates, superheroes, Disney princesses, thrilling water slides, and other activities that make Disney Magic a true legacy cruise experience. 2013 saw AquaDunk added to the Disney Magic ship, along with the thrilling Marvel Avengers kids club. The famous Tangled dinner theater restaurant made its debut in 2018 on the ship.
Though Disney Magic is one of the smaller ships in the entire cruise fleet, it is still a mind-blowing experience for both kids and adults alike.
Munch on the artfully-prepared Italian cooking amidst the breathtaking sea views and sophisticated adult-friendly restaurant.
Spend a day with your entire family with the enthralling experience of the mighty Marvel superheroes on a day-long celebration.
The restaurant is known to draw people toward it like a hypnotizing magnet by serving up delicious meals along with a uniquely splendid dinner show starring Disney characters.
This intimate, adults-only nightclub will strike a chord with you with its stylishly luxurious piano bar, inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
Step inside the fascinating and magical world of Disney and let your children get a head-to-toe makeover into a princess or a knight. This enchanted beauty salon will take care of your kids while you sip on some mimosas.
The Next 3-Nights Disney Magic cruise to the Bahamas from Miami.
Starting from $600 per person.
Disney Dream is newer, larger, and grander than the other Disney ships. Launched in 2011, Disney Dream includes everything for kids as well as for adults and is our pick for the best family cruises.
Daily routine dinners and theatrical shows are the number one reason why families love the cruise line. The cruise ship is also lined with Broadway-Esque productions, often headlined by a high-tech state show. Some of the productions in the past have included the famous Beauty and the Beast and others.
It is essential to know that the cruise sails to the Caribbean and the Bahamas and include a highlighting stop at Disney’s private island, the Castaway Cay. The private, family-friendly beach is excellent for swimming, biking, kayaking, and snorkeling.
One of the most popular features of the Disney Dream cruise ship is the roller coaster at sea; the AquaDuck is approximately 250 yards of simply transparent tube, sending guests soaring along the deck and then over the ocean.
The Disney Dream cruise offers an Art Deco-like atmosphere, contemporary staterooms, exquisite restaurants, and fabulous entertainment.
There are entertainment options for everyone on the cruise. For the kids, there are fun and frolic kids clubs, and as far as the adults are concerned, there are nightclubs and lounges, along with theaters and live shows.
The next 3-Nights Disney Dream cruise to the Bahamas departs.
Starting from $813 per person for an oceanview room.
Carnival cruise line’s latest addition to the fleet, the Carnival Panorama, is well-suited for both kids and adults, making it to our list of the best family cruises.
Carnival Panorama house aqua park, SkyRide attractions, SkyCourse, SkyZone, well-supervised kids programs for kids of all ages, trampoline park, and much more.
Carnival cruise lines have exclusive partnerships with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, offering a dedicated and enchanting Seuss at Sea experience to the people on the cruise. The experiences include Dr. Seuss Bookville, Seuss-a-palooza, and the ever-amazing green eggs and ham breakfast.
Heroes Tribute Bar
One of the most exclusive features of the Carnival Panorama is the Heroes Tribute Bar. Military folks are going to love cruising on the ship with their families. The bar is an ongoing recognition of sacrifices built exclusively by Armed Services personnel. It is open to everyone who wants to salute the heroes. A friendly bar where you can simply grab a drink and sip on it while you enjoy the rustic charms of the place.
Two new theater-rocking Playlist Productions will be a part of the cruise if you travel on the Panorama. You can enjoy broadway beats, larger-than-life stage show tunes, the rhythmic dance beats and bold street arts of New York City, the legendary rock revolution; everything comes alive with the soundtracks in LED backdrops, contemporary bold fashion choices, and dancing drones.
Havana Bar and Pool
The cruise line’s exclusive retreat to paradise, the Havana Bar and Pool, has become a hot dance spot during the sunset. Just grab a seat and order yourself a Cuban cocktail, and let nature take you in on a ride. The bar is a few steps away from the pool; the ocean view mingles with the bar’s atmosphere; added to this, the Cuban flavors in your hands will speak life into anything.
Serenity Adults-Only Retreat
Well, the name says it all. Imagine having your kids spend time in a safe environment engaged in onboard activities while other adults can have a quiet calm time. Well, it is possible with Carnival. You can simply forget about everything in the world and spend time with your spouse in a peaceful environment laden with hammocks, sea breezes, and a bar. What else do we need in life? It is the place that helps you reconnect with your partner, or finish that book you have meant to complete, or rather, just take a nap!
The next 7-Day cruise to Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles.
Starting from $424 per person.
As seen on the famous ‘80s TV classic, The Love Boat, the Caribbean Princess cruise hosts over 2 million passengers every year. The cruise ship is for all kinds of families because of all of the offerings. The ship underwent a renovation in 2017 and now houses various activities like Camp Discovery Youth, Teen Center, HD Movies under the stars, Reef Family splash zone, and others.
Another feature that makes Caribbean Princess stand out from every other cruise ship on this list is its partnership with Discovery Inc. The partnership ensures passengers are offered “Discovery at SEA” activities that combine Animal Planet, and Discovery Channel programming features with Stanley the Bear or JrChef@Sea cooking classes.
Vegas Style Casino
Gaming lessons, slot machines, prize tournaments, does it remind you of Vegas? Well, when on board the Caribbean Princess cruise ship, you are in for a surprise. The princess cruise casino offers you fun and excitement at the same time. So, sit back and enjoy a game of blackjack, 21, or Texas Hold ‘Em. Tables on the cruise ship play exactly by the Vegas rules.
Get into the old-world, rustic charm of the ship’s very own Piazza and stroll through the breathtaking views. The Piazza on the ship is a host to hundreds of activities inspired by the vibrant streets of Europe. Revolutionary street performers, quirky boutiques, spiral staircases, glass walls offer panoramic views of the sea. While you are at the Piazza, visit the International Cafe for some gourmet coffees or just take a stroll down to taste the best wines at Vines.
Art Gallery and Auctions
Art lovers, rejoice! While you are having a fun time, great art is one thing anyone interested in art would never pass up. Truly an awe-inspiring experience, Princess’ extensive art gallery and the art history lectures are one of the best experiences you can get on the ship. Added to this, the charm of Champagne Art Auctions gives you a chance to get into the world of a wide range of fine art pieces by artists like Peter Max, Michael Godard, and others.
The next 4-day cruise to the West Coast Getaway with San Diego on the Caribbean Princess.
Starting from $279 per person.
One of the leading cruises in South America and Europe, MSC Cruises also happens to be the largest cruise line. MSC is working hard to become a powerhouse of a cruise in North America as well, with amazing deals and offers on family cruises. These offers include free sailing on select departures for children under the age of 18. Children of ages two and under get to sail for free, forever.
Truly one of the best family cruises, you should set sail on the MSC Meraviglia, as it is the fleet's newest addition, sailing from the US since 2017. The ship also features kids’ clubs for children of all ages. Teenagers get their own space with game rooms, live stages, and cinema.
The most fantastic addition to the ship has to be the Polar Aquapark with three different waterslides, high-speed champagne flute, and much more!
The Broadway Theatre
The cruise line offers everyone at least six different shows, even on a week-long cruise. The Broadway show features artful, world-class productions.
TV Studio and Bar
The futuristic, multi-purpose high-tech space is home to a radio broadcast suite along with a live broadcasting TV Studio featuring games, quizzes, talent shows, and much more. The studio and bar also serve as a comedy club, music venue, and karaoke bar.
MSC Formula Racer
For people of all ages, the MSC Formula Racer offers an experience of a lifetime with visually stimulated cars competing against each other in an atmospheric race.
There are so many activities onboard the MSC cruise ship; some of them also include a bowling alley, the Attic Club, the Sportsplex, and so much more.
The next 5-night MSC Meraviglia cruise to the Bahamas.
Starting from $299 per person.