Cruising with a family can always can be a tricky thing but it is becoming a bit easier to find ships that cater to a wider range of cruisers. Companies such as Disney, Carnival, Royal Caribbean and NCL have always catered to families but now Holland America and Princess are making more of a concentrated effort to do so. They are expanding their children's program and increasing the size of their teen clubs. There are also more choices for families in the size of ships on these lines.
For me, if I was taking my family on a cruise I would take a Voyager or Freedom class, Royal Caribbean, ship. They have everything you would want for the adults and for the kids. The adult activities from night clubs, alternative dining, ice and production shows plus onboard baby sitting services. They also have a great kids program geared to age levels.
I would definitely go with the balcony. I wouldn't cruise without one.
You can find out more in our Family Cruising