This is a hard question to answer. It really depends on what your family likes to do.
If your family likes going to the beach, snorkeling, diving or relaxing I would suggest a Western Caribbean cruise. You can also see some great Mayan ruins on many of these itineraries. There is also some good shopping in Cozumel.
If your family is more into shopping then an Eastern Caribbean cruise is an option. There are still great beaches in St. Thomas and Grand Turk that will provide you with a great beach experience.
If you like history and old world charm then a European cruise may be just up your alley.
You can also go exotic and cruise to Asia and Australia.
If your family is into natural beauty, mountains, glaciers and wild life, Alaska is a great choice.
If you can tell us more about what you and your family like to do then we can give you a better recommendation. One great thing about cruising is that there is an itinerary and ship for just about anyone.
__________________ Cruisemates Community Leader/Moderator
"There is a great difference between being well traveled and just having been to many places." ~Me
Please share more, so we can zone in better for you. During the summer,there are less ships in the Caribbean, and more in Europe. Do you have small children or grown up kids....summer will have more kids,which may bea good thing or not for some people? You might want to check into sailing the southern Caribbean itinerary, my very favorite...let us know some more.
Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator
I agree with Mike, whom I thought put it the best. There are just too many wonderful places to visit and it really does depend on exactly what you're looking for. There's definitely something out there for everyone, that's for sure.
The only thing no one has mentioned yet is the ship. Sometimes, it's not the ports that are of interest to the kids, but the ship itself. As they always say, "If the kids are happy, the parents are happy!" So perhaps looking at something like the Oasis of the Seas or the Allure of the Seas, which are definitely a destination in themselves.
Let us know more about what you're interested in doing or seeing and there are plenty of great people here that will be happy to help.
__________________ Travel Agent/Cruise Specialist w/12 yrs exp and 47 Cruises on 11 cruise lines! Favorites: Paul Gauguin - Tahiti: Uniworld River Cruises - Europe; Celebrity Solstice-class ships; Holland America - 12-nights Baltics & Russia; RCCL - 14-nights Greek Isles, Turkey, & Croatia; Holland America - 14-day Alaskan cruisetour; 10-night Canada/New England cruise; 21 days Hawaii w/7-night NCL cruise; Oceania - 25 days in Asia; more than 3 months touring Europe by train. And many all-inclusive resorts!
I'm in Oz so I'll let you know about some options down this way.
I wouldn't recommend New Zealand or most of Australia during the Northern Hemisphere summer unless you want to ski. It's cold! Far North Queensland would be pleasant though.
Destinations that occur to me from down this end of the world are Pacific Islands or South-East Asia.
If you want to cruise, a northern Great Barrier Reef cruise could be idyllic, and no stingers around at that time of year. If money is no object I believe Orion does a cruise from Cairns and across the Spice Islands that looks fascinating. Cruises across the Pacific would be good if you've got the stomach for ocean crossings, or you can do shorter cruises just around French Polynesia, or hire a bareboat and sail around Tonga.
For a land-based holiday, there are three options I'd recommend, depending on your budget.
Your best budget option is Thailand. If you go for one of the less well known spots such as Koh Lanta, you can get fantastic bargains. eg the small family-run beach-front resort we stayed in there cost $36 a night for a family bungalow, with breakfast and unlimited wifi included. Meals out cost less than buying groceries at home, and the food is fabulous. Getting laundry done cost about $2 a kilo. I never lifted a finger all the time we were there and it cost less than just living at home. We took boat trips to places like the Emerald Cave, snorkelling trips etc. (You can hire a longtail boat just for your family quite cheaply or join a tour operator's tours.) But actually just being there was an education for kids - everything is so different, you only have to take a walk down the street to see something new and interesting. The people are incredibly kind and friendly.
For a mid-priced option, I'd recommend Port Douglas or a Fiji resort. Port Douglas gives you plenty of options for activities on water or land. Many Fiji resorts have fantastic kids clubs so they're a good option if you have little ones and you want to relax.
For a luxury option, I'd recommend the Cook Islands or French Polynesia. Cook Islands is the most relaxing place in the world IMO - time and cares just melt away. On Rarotonga there are hotels in a range of price brackets. Get to Aitutaki at least for a day trip if you can. French Polynesia is very expensive, so with a family I'd look into an all-inclusive place like Club Med Bora Bora, otherwise your costs will spin out once you arrive.