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  • Writer's pictureKrista Tovell

Family Friendly Cruise Lines

A family cruise offers the luxury of spending time together and with enough activities to keep everyone entertained! Imagine the excitement of waking up to a new port of call each day or spending a day at sea with the adrenaline-pumping waterslides and activities on board.

Whether it’s your first time on a cruise, or you are well versed in cruising, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite family-friendly cruise lines to help you create memories to last a lifetime on your next holiday.


Reputed as a family-friendly cruise line, Carnival offers shorter (three to four-day cruises) for first-time cruisers or longer for those planning to take in a few more destinations and more time at sea. With a range of ports accessible via a long- or short-haul flight from Canada, the options include the popular Caribbean as well as New Zealand, Asia, Europe, and Alaska to name a few. The on-board Skyride won Best Onboard Thrill and brings thrills to passengers of all ages as they pedal over the sea and play structures provide fun for all ages while adults-only are also on board.

Included activities onboard Carnival are:

  • Waterworks Waterslides

  • Skyride

  • Make it with Michaels Crafts

  • Cooking Demonstrations

  • Mixologist

  • Serenity Adult-Only Retreat

Additional expense activities include:

  • Skyzone

  • Build-a-Bear workshop

  • Carnival Kitchen

  • Bingo

  • Candy Shop

  • Portrait studio

Royal Caribbean

Dubbing themselves as the ultimate family vacation, Royal Caribbean, is just that - Royal. Two-night cruise options from popular departure ports including Fort Lauderdale and Brisbane, Australia allow the adventurous family to make this an add-on to a city break or week-long family vacation. With youth and teen programs, onboard activities including the Typhoon and Cycle waterslides, lively shows, and entertainment from morning to night, you may not want to disembark! Royal Caribbean also holds an Autism-Friendly certification to ensure their products and services are accessible to all individuals.

Included activities onboard Royal Caribbean are:

  • Supercell, The Perfect Storm, Typhoon and Cyclone Waterslides

  • Splashaway Bay Splash park

  • Captains Reception

  • Teen Hideout Hangout (ages 13-17)

  • Adventure Ocean

  • Up and Away Musical at Sea

  • Art Auctions

  • Royal Escape Room (ages 12+)

  • North Star (360-degree views)

  • Flowrider surf simulator

  • Sports court

  • Ultimate abyss dark tunnel slide

  • Ripcord by iFly

  • Bumper cars

  • Dance lessons

  • and much more!


With spectacular dining, award-winning entertainment, contemporary accommodations, specialty itineraries, a large selection of destinations, and a plethora of onboard activities, Norwegian is one of the most favorite family-friendly cruise lines. With shore excursion vouchers, depending on the destination, guests could enjoy snorkeling on a barrier reef, venturing through Game of Thrones territory, or exploring the best neighborhoods for selfies. For older children, the Mediterranean cruise taking in Barcelona, Cannes, and Rome makes for an exciting itinerary. The contemporary onboard accommodations are spacious and the option for your own “haven” is a possibility.

Included activities onboard Norwegian are:

  • Race tracks,

  • Laser-tag

  • Ropes courses,

  • Waterpark with waterslides and splash pad

  • Oceanfront promenade

  • Broadway shows including Kinky Boots

  • Live entertainment

  • Casino

  • Sports complex

  • Fitness center

  • Kids Boxing club

  • Exclusive Teen Zone

Disney Cruise Lines

This is the ultimate in family fun for all ages. Expect visits from your favorite Disney characters, clubs for children of all ages where play is themed, imaginative, spacious family rooms, and live shows every evening to enhance your experience. As this cruise line is well versed in catering to all audiences, activities start at sunrise and continue past sunset. The Bahamas is the most popular route with shore excursions including banana boating, dolphin watching, and snorkeling. However, Adventures by Disney takes river cruising in Europe to a new level with family fun activities at every port of call and while onboard.

Included activities onboard Disney are:

  • Live shows

  • Character experiences

  • Fireworks at sea

  • Youth clubs (ages 3-17)

  • Adult only pool area

  • Waterslides and splash pad

  • Salon

  • Sports and fitness centre


Planning a weeklong family getaway? Hop aboard one of Princess Cruise Line’s ships to spend seven days sailing through Mexico, Alaska or even the Mediterranean Sea for a vacation that packs luxury with adventure and culture. Onboard activities include excursions for the whole family and cultural immersions, children and teens, and even just the adults,

Included activities onboard Princess are:

  • Discovery at Sea enrichment programs

  • Encounters with Discovery at Sea

  • Festival experiences from around the world including Rio's Carnival, Oktoberfest, and Celtic festivals

  • Destination themed activities

  • Culinary demonstrations and wine tasting

  • Casino

  • Art gallery and art courses

  • Pools and hot tubs

  • Sporting area with mini-golf, ping pong, and basketball

  • Book clubs

  • Dancing

  • Specialty dining and cuisine

If you've become inspired by any one of these cruise lines and everything that they have to offer, contact Krista Tovell to start planning your next family vacation getaway.

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