Not a fan of giant cruise ships? This might be the year to put Celestyal Cruises on your radar, especially if your dream family destinations are the Greek Islands, the eastern Mediterranean and, new for next year, the Adriatic.
Unlike mainstream megaships, you won’t find supervised kids’ clubs onboard the line’s two ships — the 836-passenger Celestyal Odyssey and the 1,200-passenger Celestyal Crystal — but for families with school-age or older children, you probably won’t even notice — especially if your kids are interested in mythology and tales of ancient gods and goddesses. You also won’t be competing with casts of thousands for dinner and shore excursions, and the onboard entertainment and cuisine take full advantage of the company’s Greek heritage.
Family-friendly amenities include a swimming pool and a selection of adjoining staterooms, as well as a wide range of on-shore programming.
Travelers can choose from a variety of itineraries including a one-time, special Adriatic cruise marking Celestyal’s entry into this region for the first time in 2020. The five-night itinerary from Athens to Venice, set for Nov. 30, 2020, will call in Montenegro and Croatia with prices starting at just $490 per person, double. Or sail on a one-time, seven-night Adriatic cruise from Venice to Athens on Jan. 2, 2021, which will include two overnight stays in both cities and is priced from $630 per passenger. Seven-night Adriatic sailings visiting Venice, Corfu, Patras, Kotor, Dubrovnik and Split start as low as $750 per passenger.
Love Greece and Turkey? Next year, weeklong Idyllic Aegean sailings from Athens will stop in Kusadasi, Turkey, and Rhodes, Crete and Milos in Greece. To give families more time to enjoy some of the Greek Islands’ most famous destinations, the cruise will also stop overnight in Mykonos and Santorini. The cruise is priced from $889 per passenger.
The seven-night Eclectic Aegean voyage, also priced at $889 per passenger in 2020, will sail from Athens with an overnight in Istanbul and will feature stops in Canakkale, Turkey, and Volos, Crete, Mykonos and Santorini in Greece. In 2021 booking prices will start at $795 per passenger on this itinerary.
Families looking for a broader experience can opt for Celestyal’s seven-night Three Continents cruise, which calls at Alexandria and Port Said, Egypt; at Ashdod, Israel; at Kusadasi, Turkey; at Limassol, Cyprus; and at Rhodes, Greece. The cruise is priced from $889 per passenger for 2020; $795 in 2021.
Finally, in 2020 and 2021 Celestyal will introduce 14-night immersive sailings to Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel and Turkey, that will include six excursions. The cruises will start from $1,330.
All Celestyal Cruises include onboard dining, a standard unlimited drinks package, select shore excursions, entertainment, port fees and gratuities.
If you’re looking for a charming new island escape on the East Coast, get away to a locale many have yet to discover. Daufuskie Island considers itself the Nantucket of the South, a hidden gem off the Southeast Coast, near Savannah, Georgia, and Hilton Head. The luxurious environment is unpretentious, but filled with all the amenities discerning family travelers need.
A beach vacation is a family favorite in the summertime; the weather is nice, towns are thriving and there are fun activities all season. For families looking for the ultimate summer beach vacation, consider Ocean City, New Jersey.
Prior to any family trip, every responsible adult will have a checklist to ensure the journey and destination can be made as safe as possible for everybody. A packing list can incorporate healthy snacks, bug repellant, a first-aid kit and minor illness remedies (cold and flu meds; anti-diarrhea pills) while pre-trip cautions — depending on the location — immunizations and family discussions on how to avoid injury.
While urban wine country might sound like an oxymoron, it’s actually a reality at the stunning City Vineyard in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. The water-side venue is the perfect host for your next event — whatever that may be, from 20 to 200 guests and from cocktail party to plated dinner.
You don’t need a passport for a family-friendly island vacation — just a car to take you over the Causeway Bridge in Ft. Myers to Sanibel and Captiva islands in Florida. South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island offers sugar white-sand beaches, 20 swimming pools, watersports, golf and more than a dozen dining options.