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 Breakaway, MSC Meraviglia and Independence 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. There are even specialised kid’s clubs for children aged from less than a year old to their teens, and on Carnival cruises, fantastical Dr. Seuss at Sea experiences!

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. Royal Caribbean even has adult-only Solariums where you can swim, sunbathe or read a book in complete tranquillity.

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 a huge collection of restaurants. 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. And if you really want to go against the grain? Some cruise lines offer character dining experiences such as Carnival’s Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast.

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

It’s no secret that cruising can be expensive, but family cruises 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.

Most impressively, some cruise lines offer ‘kids cruise free’ promotions. Take MSC Cruises: a family-run line allowing kids aged 11 and under to sail for free on selected sailings when they share a cabin with their parents.

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! Carnival Vista has been designed with family-friendly staterooms throughout the ship, including Family Harbor staterooms that come complete with fun décor, board games and child-size bathrobes. Royal Caribbean has some of the biggest family cabins in the industry (from interiors to suites), while NCL has plenty of connecting cabins that will stop you feeling like you are getting in one another’s way.

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 0207 980 2847 for expert advice. They will help your gang find your perfect sailing.

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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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