I’ll be honest, I’ve been on just one cruise, and I’m probably not the best spokesperson for family cruises. It was a cruise to Alaska with my in-laws, my husband and our two oldest daughters, who were four and two at the time. We had fun, but it was cold, rainy (I had no idea it rained 300 days a year in Ketchikan) and we all got sick at one point, as in sick enough to stay in bed one full day. Ugh.
My feelings about cruises have started to change lately. Despite the Costa Concordia tragedy, cruises have been getting a lot of positive press. People have been buzzing about the Disney Fantasy for months, and it still doesn’t set sail for its maiden voyage for another four weeks. Mariah Carey just last week christened the ship in New York.
Every major cruise line now has a fleet of ships dedicated to families. I’m not just talking about ships offering kids clubs that are little more than floating day care centers (I won’t name the cruise line, but this is how it was when we cruised to Alaska). Cruise lines today are going all out in terms of themed entertainment for families.
So I’ve been following these cruise lines, and you should too as we near the end of Wave Season, which is by far the best time to book a cruise. The deals are everywhere right now, so if you’re even thinking about a family cruise, get on Twitter and start getting the scoop from these lines.
@CarnivalCruise: Keep tabs one of the most popular cruise lines for families, especially as we near the launch of the new Carnival Breeze, which sets sail in June and promises 5D movies, scavenger hunts, pool parties, special shore excursions and Camp Carnival. Follow #CarnivalBreeeze to get in on the excitement leading up to the maiden voyage.
@CruiseNorwegian: Get updates on Norwegian cruises, including the popular Norwegian Epic, Gem and Jewel, which offer specialty Nickelodeon-themed cruises year-round in the Caribbean. Get the scoop on Dora’s Music Party, interactive storytimes, pajama character breakfasts, and arts and crafts.
@DisneyCruise: Follow the official Twitter account for the Disney Cruise Line to get the latest scoop on the comings and goings of each of the ships. You can also follow @DCL_Fantasy for the live feed aboard the brand new Disney Fantasy, which sets sail for its maiden voyage on March 31. Or follow hashtags, like #DisneyFantasy and #DisneyDream, for news on each ship in the fleet.
@RoyalCaribbean: Follow this popular family cruise line, which has a number of ships geared toward families, including Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas. You’ll find rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, mini golf and more. Plus, kids and teens are divided up into smaller age categories in an attempt to best cater to the interests of these groups.
Have you been on a family cruise to the Caribbean or to another popular destination? Given I’m still kind of on the fence about cruises, I’d love to hear about your experiences.
Photo Credit: Keoe