I know this topic has probably been discussed here but I am planning a cruise for next Feb. probably out of florida not sure where and not sure of the destination. My main concern is to have plenty to do for my kids whose ages vary widely. they will be 4, 6, 15, & 18. So I would love a cruise that can make us all HAPPY!
We need 2 cabins so my thinking was to have an outside cabin maybe with a balcony or at least a large window for dh and I, and the kids could be in an inside cabin across the hall.
Can anybody suggest a cruise line and ship?
We stick with Royal Carib. and Celebrity. Our next cruise in Jan. will make it 4 and 4. Although we have had fabulous cruises every time, my favorite ship of all is Jewel of the Seas. It's the most beautiful, even though I never thought anything could beat Explorer, our first ship. Celebrity ships are nice, but not as visually appealing as Jewel. The food, service, shows, excursions and everything else were on the same level as any Celebrity cruise we've done.
That said, you can see from the list below we also love Celebrity. We book our cruises almost always for the itinerary. Celebrity is not always more expensive.
1/02 Explorer E. Carib.
1/03 Explorer W. Carib.
8/03 Summit Alaska cruise/tour
2/04 Adventure S. Carib.
2/05 Galaxy Panama Canal
6/06 Jewel Brit. Isles/Nor. Fjords + 3 days in London
1/07 Mercury Mexican Riviera
1/08 Mercury Aust/NZ
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.
My thinking is HAL is NOT the ship that will please all ages.
The RCI Freedom would be my choice as well. I sailed her last year. The kids pool is awesome, for the wee ones. The flow rider for the teens will enthrall them. The parade they have, will enchant everyone..This ship offers so many choices, plus a good childrens program. Thta's my 2 cents worth. Whatever you decide, have a ball!
Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator
IMHO - ditto Mike and Trip - The Freedom class of RCI.
Freedom Of The Seas -07
Radiance Of The Seas-07
Adventure Of The Seas-05
Navigator Of The Seas-04
Soverign Of The Seas-02
Big Red Boat-93
We Loved the Rhapsody RCCL But shes not sailing for the months of Sept, Oct or Nov. to the Western Caribbean! We sailed 5 times on the Rhapsody, and weve sailed twice on Carnival, One on The Celebration and One on the Elation and the Next one on The Conquest Because they are going to the Western Caribbean! We are Locked into the Monthes of Sept, Oct, And Nov. Due to our Vacation Schedules and also its just 5 Hours drive time to Galveston! When me and DW Retire we will travel to different Ports!
I would go with Mariner of the Seas, it is a great multi-generational ship. My DS is a teenager and he thought it was outstanding. We also had my Mom along and she had just turned 80 and had a great time! Next we are going to try the Liberty of the Seas! Happy Sailing
The best advice to give is to find out what the kids want to do and then decide. I agree that RCI's Freedom OTS or Liberty OTS are good for those who are adventurous and want to rock climb, ice skate, surf, etc. However, if your kids don't want to ice skate, surf, or rock climb, then any of the Carnival ships will occupy them from wakeup to sleep time.
Research which cruise line will fit you the best based on what you and your family want out of the vacation. You should consider cost vs what they offer (activities) in your decision.
I choose Carnival because the price was right and the ship fit what we wanted to do. I don't do rock climbing walls, can't skate, and don't have a desire to surf, or don't care about "enrichment" activities--I wanted unlimited fun where I can do what I want and when.Balcony cabins are the way to go, best thing about a balcony is you can come back down to the cabin, plunk yourself on the balcony, and unwind until you feel like going to bed.