Cruising Your Way to Family Fun

Taking a family cruise is a terrific way to visit a number of places while only having to unpack your belongings once. Cruise lines know families want more from their days at sea and in port, and continue to develop new itineraries to suit passengers’ desires. Here, we take a look at some of the new cruise itineraries and destinations ready for booking.

It’s no surprise Disney specializes in family cruising, and Disney Cruise Line makes sure kids and kids at heart have plenty to do on and off the water. What’s really fun about Disney Cruise Line is they bring their characters to the sea. Starting in November, Very Merrytime Cruises bring holiday festivities from the land to sea; this year and next, Super Heroes and Super Villains from the Marvel Universe will spend a Marvel Day at Sea on 15 select voyages from New York City and Miami; and Star Wars Days at Sea return with 15 special sailings to the Caribbean from January through April. On each of the cruises, days will be filled with themed entertainment, activities and exclusive interactions with the heroes and villains, and Mickey and his friends.

In June, Carnival Cruise Lines debuted its cruises to Cuba from Tampa aboard Carnival Paradise. The four-day itinerary spends two days in Havana and includes a day at sea, and the five-day itinerary spends one night in Havana, another in Cozumel and two days at sea. Just a month earlier, the cruise line added Princess Cays in the Bahamas to its Caribbean itineraries. Additionally, its most family-friendly ship, the Carnival Vista, is also its newest, and features a SkyRide, a pedal-powered bike high above the deck; WaterWorks, a water park at sea; and an IMAX theater onboard.

Cruise Line Pool with guests

© Ritu Jethani | Dreamstime

Families with kids ages 8 and older will enjoy Windstar Cruises’ new seven-day Costa Rica & Panama Canal itinerary aboard the four-masted sailing ship, Wind Star. In addition to transmitting the Panama Canal, families can add to their adventures by rafting, fishing, surfing and zip lining. For those families with more time, land packages to Arenal Volcano, Monteverde Cloudforest and Tortuguero National Park — to see sea turtles! — are available.

Norwegian Cruise Lines introduced its Harvest Caye to its Western Caribbean itinerary late last year. What’s fun about this tropical island one mile off the coast of Southern Belize is it’s full of adventure, from zip lining, suspension bridges and free-fall jumps to stand-up paddling and wildlife tours. Or, choose to relax on the white-sand beach, splash in the crystal-blue waters, or play in the 15,000-square-foot pool.

With all these new cruise offerings, it’s time for you and your family to hit the high seas!