Updated 13.12.2022

Whether you want to get away with the kids or take a break with your extended family, cruises are a fantastic way to holiday. Still, this doesn’t stop the circulation of a few myths about family cruises! Here are five of the most common, and why you should take them with a pinch of (sea) salt.

1. The kids will get bored

Toddler playing colourful crazy golf on a Carnival Cruise Lines ship
Crazy golf on-board Carnival cruises

Ignore everything you have heard about cruise ships being stuffy, slow-paced and more suited to elderly passengers. Over the past decade, cruising has undergone a revolution designed to make ships more accessible to all.

Hop on-board the likes of Norwegian Epic, MSC Virtuosa and Anthem of the Seas and you can find sprawling waterparks, F1 simulators and Escape Room experiences, plus a range of children’s activity programmes including craft workshops and science clubs. Royal Caribbean ships offer super amenities like the FlowRider Surf Simulator and a skydiving experience courtesy of RipCord by iFly. NCL specialises in thrilling high-ropes courses. On  Carnival cruise ships like Mardi Gras you can even find rollercoasters! With hundreds of cruises for designed for fun, it’s no surprise that they are a firm favourite when it comes to cruises for family.

Plus, there are some fantastic kids’ clubs to entertain your youngsters on a family cruise- like NCL’s Splash Academy.

2. There will be nothing for adults to do

A couple enjoying time in the spa
Carnival Vista spa

That said, family-friendly cruise ships aren’t just made for youngsters. There is still plenty to help the adults in your group recharge their batteries. The on-board gym is the perfect place to start your day while the kids relax with a professional on-board babysitter. And when they are having a whale of a time in the kid’s clubs, you can slip away for an indulgent spa treatment or a tipple at one of the on-board bars. Some ships even have adults-only areas where you can swim, sunbathe or read a book in complete tranquillity. These include Royal Caribbean’s Solarium and Princess Cruises’ Sanctuary.

3. There is too little choice of food

A family dining on Asian cuisine at Royal Caribbean's Izumi restaurant
Royal Caribbean’s Izumi restaurant

Gone are the days when cruise ship food consisted of buffets laden with sad salads and greasy pizza. You will still find these staples on many cruise ships (though of much tastier quality!). Alongside them, you can now sample a huge collection of restaurants on-board. Whether your family is craving authentic Italian food, a prime steak or something a little more exotic, you will find a dish even the fussiest eater will love.

Johnny Rockets on Royal Caribbean is always a hit with kids, no matter how picky they might be, as is Shaq’s Big Chicken on Carnival. Children more willing to step out of their comfort zone will love checking out the different cuisines of Princess’ World Fresh Marketplace. And on Celebrity Cruises, Le Petit Chef’s combination of fine dining and cute animation is sure to entertain little ones and parents alike.

And if you really want to go against the grain, some cruise lines offer character dining experiences such as Disney Cruise Line’s Royal Court Royal Tea.

4. Family cruises are too expensive

Children leaping into the swimming pool on-board Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas
Royal Caribbean – Harmony of the Seas

Family cruising won’t necessarily cost you the earth. Cruise lines like NCL and Royal Caribbean offer discounts to those travelling as part of a group; perfect for both small family cruises and multi-generational voyages. Depending on current cruise deals, guests booking for a group can also snag on-board credits or pre-book beverage packages meaning you won’t need to spend a penny on-board.

Most impressively, some cruise lines offer ‘kids cruise free’ promotions. Take MSC Cruises: a family-run line allowing kids aged 17 and under to sail for free on selected sailings when they share a cabin with their parents, whilst kids under 2 always sail for free.

5. The cabins are too small

The living area of a Haven Family Villa on an NCL cruise ship
NCL’s Haven Family Villa

If you thought cruise ship cabins were cramped, think again! Family suites with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, plus a communal space and balcony, mean that the whole clan has plenty of breathing room. With cabins able to provide up to four berths, a turn down service is available to ensure beds are ready for the evening and stowed away for living space during the day.

Royal Caribbean has some of the biggest family cabins in the industry (from interiors to suites), including the epic Ultimate Family Suite. This mega suite is packed with fabulous features like an in-suite slide, table tennis and air hockey. NCL has plenty of connecting cabins that allow for the family to have some breathing room, or for more space to move discover The Haven suites which grant you access to exclusive areas on-board.

There are countless family-friendly cruise ships and facilities that will turn your holiday into an unforgettable voyage of discovery. To find out more and dispel any family cruise myths you may be worried about, call our Cruise Concierge team on 0808 278 3940 or head to Cruise118.com to discover your itinerary.


Emma Smith
Emma has more than seven years' experience as a writer and has been in the travel industry for nearly five years. She loves learning about new places and cruise ships coming to market, as well as discovering fun and exciting activities to do while you sail. She has cruised with Princess Cruises, Cunard, Celebrity Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Avalon Waterways and Royal Caribbean and is looking to get something in her diary for 2024! Her favourite things to see on a ship include excellent entertainment, a delicious cocktail menu and extraordinary dining venues.

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