Admit it — one of the most attractive features of cruising is the near 24/7 availability of dining. Sure, we pretend not to like having all that food around, but — especially for families with young children — eating three meals a day in a restaurant is challenging over time, and having a range of options can help.
CruiseCompete, an online cruise marketplace that also examines consumer trends, looked into the family dining experience at sea and came up with four recommendations for fun, unique experiences for you and the kids.
This one might surprise you, but Cunard Line offers children’s tea parties on the Queen Mary 2 at the Chef’s Galley every afternoon, 4:45 to 5:30 p.m. Meanwhile, on the Queen Victoria and the Queen Elizabeth, a children’s tea buffet is held in the Lido from 5 p.m. every day, as long as there are enough children on board under the age of 10. Parental supervision is required at these teas, but they’re probably not something you’d want to miss anyway.
You could write a whole book on the kid-friendly, themed dining on a Disney cruise. In a nutshell, all the main dining rooms feature a different theme based on popular Disney characters and movies, and children’s menus include such inventive fare as Mickey-shaped waffles, pizza, chicken, burgers and, of course, fun desserts.
Thanks to the rotational dining system, you can experience each of the three themed restaurants on board, moving to a new venue each night.
- The Royal Court Dining Room aboard the Disney Fantasy, and The Royal Palace aboard the Disney Dream, which highlight such Disney Princess favorites as Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
- Enchanted Garden Dining Room aboard the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream features a French Conservatory theme with glass flower lights and a fountain featuring a stone cherub Mickey.
- Tritons’s aboard the Disney Wonder is based on The Little Mermaid with Ariel statues and underwater décor.
- Carioca aboard the Disney Magic is named after Disney’s The Three Caballeros and offers a colorful Brazilian theme reminiscent of South American architecture.
- Lumiere’s aboard the Disney Magic is based on Beauty and the Beast.
Families who chafe under set dining times and locations will love Norwegian’s Freestyle Dining concept, which allows them eat wherever and whenever they want. Some specialty restaurants incur an added cost, but kids ages 3 and under always eat for free, and kids 4 to 12 can order from the complimentary kids’ menu at most specialty restaurants.
The My Family Time Dining feature is an option that ensures your kids will have dined within 40 minutes of being seated in the dining room. They can then join the Adventure Ocean children’s program to have fun in numerous activities, leaving parents to finish their meal at leisure.
My Family Time Dining is offered for the first seating time in the main dining room, for children ages 3 to 11, starting the second evening of the sailing.
What better setting for grandparents and granddaughters to connect and share than a fairy-tale château set beside a fabulous forest? The Gramping Getaway at Chateau Mcely Spa Hotel & Forest Retreat in Mcely, Czech Republic, offers a themed adventure centering around the charming story of the château’s Princess Nely and her magical cheetah friend Pralinka. The character of the princess is based on the children’s book Nely, the Princess of Chateau Mcely written by château owner Inez Cusumano.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
This October, take the whole family to London and take time to not only enjoy the classic sites but also these scary fun Halloween events and experiences. Whether it’s a spooky-filled trip to the London Zoo or a step into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, here are the three can’t-miss experiences:
It’s time to start dreaming of your next family trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Medellín, Colombia, with us.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Make your family trip to Orlando so much more than just visiting the theme parks. Thanks to new vacation bundles from luxury hotels in Orlando, available as of Sept. 1, you can enjoy exclusive boating experiences during your trip.