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Family Cruising Discuss family cruising - kids programs, babysitting, infant care, etc.

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Old January 1st, 2010, 06:54 PM
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Hi! I am Heather and I am planning our very 1st cruise-as a family and all together. It is my husband and I 10 year anniversary in April, and we want to spend it with our children and go on a cruise. That said, there are so many options I just do not know where to begin. Can anyone tell me, location wise, what the best areas are to visit on a cruise with children? My kids ages are 4-13 (I have 5 kids). Thanks!
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 05:38 AM
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I'd suggest somewhere in the Caribbean and a good shop for cruising with kids/family. Check into Carnival and Royal Caribbean and find a good cruise T/A to help you find what will be good for the entire family. Do you have an idea where you want to cruise out of? How long a cruise are you looking at?
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Donna View Post
I'd suggest somewhere in the Caribbean and a good shop for cruising with kids/family. Check into Carnival and Royal Caribbean and find a good cruise T/A to help you find what will be good for the entire family. Do you have an idea where you want to cruise out of? How long a cruise are you looking at?
I am looking at a 5 day cruise, possibly 7. Ideally I'd like to sail out of Port Canaveral or Miami. Personally, I'd love to do a western carribean one, but my husband wants to do a bahamas cruise. It is all going to come down to which one the kids would more enjoy. One that goes to various Bahama islands, or one that goes to Cozumel and Cayman isl.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 04:00 AM
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I think the kids would enjoy a western carribean cruise more than a bahamas cruise......look at the Freedom of the Seas out of Port Canaveral....it alternates between a western and eastern caribbean itinerary. The Freedom has so much for kids and families on her.........along with plenty of adult only areas. I was on her last September and really loved the ship.

Also, if you are looking at a 5 to 7 day time frame, that would rule a bahamas cruise out.......those really are only 3 - 4 day itineraries out of Florida.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 10:48 AM
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Family Cruises; CruiseMates Guide

This is the URL for our family cruising area for articles. Our family editor, Luisa Frey, has just finished a wrap up of Caribbean and Hawaii features for family cruises.

I se you are in Western Mass. The question is what kind of budget you have, how long a cruise you want, etc.

With kids, I assume you want to cruise in the summer. Prices go up a little then but there are more options. Cruises sail out of New York and Baltimore year-round. In the winter they sail to Florida and the bahamas.

In Florida you visit Port Canaveral where the Kennedy Space Center is a FANTASTIC thing for older kids. That is also close enough to get to Orlando for the day as well.

You go on to Nassau in the Bahamas which has Atlantis which kids will also enjoy.

You can catch the Carnival Pride from Baltimore (one of the better Carnival Spirit-class ships) with a seven hour drive from Boston ($84 fuel costs).

In the summer from NYC or even Boston you can cruise to Bermuda. The island is not that exciting for the kids, but they will enjoy the cruising on the ship. Explorer of the Seas leaves from New York harbor (actually NJ) on 5-night cruises June - August. This is a good family ship. NCL Spirit leaves from Boston on 7-day cruises to Bermuda.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 11:13 PM
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My vote goes to the Western Caribbean and not Bahamas. There is not a lot to do in the Bahamas and there aren't many great beaches near Nassau. And since you have a teenager, you definitely want an itinerary that offers plenty of action -- be it wave runners, climbing waterfalls and more.
Check out the family Caribbean destination guide article I just wrote per Paul's email above for more helpful tips.

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Luisa Frey
Family Cruise Editor
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Old January 8th, 2010, 10:40 AM
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I think you'll also find many more options if looking at a 7 day cruise. When you consider any traveling to just get to the port, just makes more sense.
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Old January 8th, 2010, 12:01 PM
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I don't mean mine is the only choice. I just happened to be researching drive-to cruises and i was surprised by what I found.

So I was just making suggestions to avoid flying. I did research on how much it costs to fly a family of four and the savings of a drive-to cruise is substantial. Plus, Carnival pride is of the Spirit-class, one of the nicer Carnival ships. I just think it is worth a look.

Also - I stand by my recommendations for Kennedy Space Center and Atlantis. The amount of money you save by driving means you can afford day passes for the kids at Atlantis which has an amazing water park, probably the best in the world. And you can afford to go to Disney World for a day. That's pretty good fun for kids, too.

If you want snorkeling then go to the deeper Caribbean, but for kids, in fact, I think cruises to St Thomas, St Martin and a private island only offers swimming and not that much more.

The western caribbean will give you stingrays in Grand Cayman and zip-lining in Jamaica. Cozumel is good for snorkeling as well.
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