When you are looking for a family friendly cruise, there is much to consider besides price, where you are going and how many days you’ll be on board – though those things are still important. You need to know what the cruise offers that will interest your kids. You have come to the right place as I have researched and listed the top family cruises here. Find useful tips about each family cruise!

I have separated the ships by cruise line so it will be easier for you to traverse it. I did not rank the cruises because all parents have differing opinions on special features, but know that there are no cruises here that rank less then a 10 on a scale from 1 to 10 ;)

Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line
Click here for dates and rates on all Disney Cruise Ships.

Disney has always been synonymous with the term ‘family friendly‘ and their cruise line is no different. All of their ships offer a magical experience for your entire family. Here is a list of their family friendly cruise ships – with Disney, it’s the entire line:

disney wonder top family cruisesDisney Magic and Disney Wonder
Disney Magic blends classic beauty and grace with all the modern luxuries, technology and comforts that make cruising with your family a pleasure. Disney Wonder is a family cruise ship that is distinguished for its modern innovation and sophisticated design. Both ships include Disney’s Oceaneer Lab, a children’s activity center, Disney’s Oceaneer Club, a children’s activity center, kids 11 to 14 years of age can steer a virtual ship, play videogames, watch television and participate in arts and crafts at Edge, Flounder’s Reef Nursery, Quarter Masters, an arcade, Studio Sea, a family entertainment center, and Vibe, a teens-exclusive activity center. Has two kids pools, Goofy’s and Mickey’s and a Quiet Cove pool for adults.

Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy
disney dream top family cruisesThe fourth cruise liner in the expanding Disney Cruise Line fleet, the Disney Fantasy, was built upon the many amenities of it’s sister ships to make the most amazing Disney cruise ship yet, boasts an opulent Art Nouveau design and state-of-the-art facilities. The third ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, the Disney Dream, is renowned for its timeless Art Deco design and innovative on board facilities. Both ships include a children’s activity center, Disney’s Oceaneer Lab, a teens-exclusive space, Vibe, A Muppet “The Case of the Stolen Show,” an interactive mystery game, a family club and lounge the D Lounge, It’s A Small World Nursery, and Edge, a tweens-exclusive space. The pools and water fun include AquaDuck which is an exciting transparent tube water coaster(!!), a water play area the Aqua Lab, Donald’s and Mickey’s Pools, Nemo’s Reef, a Wading Pool and two adult’s only pools: Satellite Falls and Quiet Cove Pool… all this and much more family fun.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line
Click here for dates and rates on all Norwegian Cruise Ships.

norwegian cruise ship top family cruisesNorwegian Epic
Voted “Best Cruise Ship” by Travel Weekly in 2011 & 2012; Norwegian Epic is the ship of choice for families sailing to the Caribbean and Europe. The only cruise line teamed up with Nickelodeon to create a one-of-kind, family-friendly experience
onboard with lots of exciting and engaging activities and events. They have it all, Sponge Bob, Dora and yup, slime.

Introducing Entourage program for teens ages 13-17. Play a pickup game of soccer. Take part in a theater or fashion workshop. Dive into an interactive pool party. With so much to do around our ship, your teens can choose the activities they want to do.

norwegian cruise top family cruisesSplash Academy program is specifically designed to engage active and creative kids ages 6 months – 12 years old. Whether it’s learning to juggle at circus school with Cirque du Jour presented by Hilario Productions, working on arts & crafts projects or getting the high score on Wii™, there’s plenty of fun for everyone throughout the ship.

Suit up and splash down at our first ever Aqua Park. Choose from two pools, five hot tubs, kid’s pool, three multi-story water slides including the the 200-foot Epic Plunge, the only bowl slide at sea.

There are also port and late night sitting services.

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
Click here for dates and rates on all Royal Caribbean Ships.

royal caribbean top family cruisesThe cruise line has tons to offer kids for entertainment and fun family activities. They’ve taken a cue from Walt and contracted with DreamWorks and got some famous characters from Shrek, Kung Fu Panda to help with their cause. These are offered on these ships:
~ Allure of the Seas
~ Oasis of the Seas
~ Freedom of the Seas
~ Liberty of the Seas
~ Voyager of the Seas
~ Mariner of the Seas

For family with babies over the age of 6-months, there are programs for you as well. You can have everything you need delivered to your room, including anything from a library of Fisher Price Toys that you can borrow. For kids that are older, they have a kids eat early and get to go to activities while mom and dad enjoy a leisurely dinner – that is perfect!

royal caribbean shrek top family cruisesKids will have a blast at their complimentary, award-winning Adventure Ocean® Youth Program. Every member of our youth team holds a four-year degree in education, recreation or a related field and has extensive experience working with children. They break kids and teens out into age groups so that they can enjoy specialized programs made to expand their imaginations in interactive, multi-room spaces designed just for them.

Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Cruise Lines
Click here for dates and rates on all Carnival Cruise Lines.
to family cruises carnival dreamCamp Carnival Night Owls offers kids ages 11 and under can fun it up with others their age until as late as 3 a.m. They’ll enjoy music, activities, games and giveaways at supervised parties while you enjoy time alone.

Camp Carnival offers tons of activities designed for children in three different age groups: 2 to 5 years, 6 to 8 years, and 9 to 11 years. Our counselors, each with education or childcare experience, are on the clock making sure everyone in the small groups of kids are having fun.

Circle “C” offers young teens ages 12 to 14 go to hang out, meet new friends, and enjoy some pretty awesome activities like dance parties, games, outdoor movies and more, in the special Circle “C” area or around the ship. It’s all supervised by friendly and fun-loving counselors who want your young teens to have the best vacation ever.

For teens at 02: hang out and do stuff like watch movies, listen to music from this decade, play sports and video games, join karaoke jam sessions, maybe even have a pool party or two, all with other high schoolers between the ages of 15 and 17. We’ve even set up teen-only shore excursions so you can enjoy the sights at our beautiful ports with people you actually aren’t embarrassed to be seen with.

to family cruises carnival wark parkCarnival WaterWorks is a huge water park on the ship. First up, there’s the Twister Waterslide, designed to make other waterslides jealous.Select ships feature side-by-side racing slides, which make serious competition seriously fun. You’ll want to wear your speed suit for Speedway Splash, coming soon to Carnival Sunshine, which features hundreds of feet of racing action, plus special lighting effects you can experience while on the road to victory. DrainPipe ends your slide experience with one major swirl of a finish, while PowerDrencher takes soaking seriously — imagine the biggest bucket of water you’ve ever seen, raining down on you from above. Available on Carnival Breeze, Carnival Dream, Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Fascination, Carnival Imagination, Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Magic, Carnival Sensation and Carnival Sunshine.

Princess Cruises

Princess Cruise Line
Click here for dates and rates on all Princess Cruises.
princess ruby family cruisesYouth Centers are staffed by entertaining and experienced counselors, all of whom are dedicated and trained to make sure kids are having the best vacation ever. Pizza parties, Video Games, Scavenger hunts, Karaoke and talent shows, Sports tournaments, California Science Center workshops and more.

Teens-only exclusive Lounges, passengers ages 13-17 can make new friends while enjoying all of the coolest amenities. Lounges are packed with PS2/PS3 and Wii games, the latest movies, music, and foosball tables. They also offer exciting events to dress up and enjoy.

Edutainment from dissecting squid and building roller coasters to learning about endangered species, kids will have fun and learn too!

Celebrity Cruise Line

Celebrity Cruise Line
Click here for dates and rates on all Celebrity Cruise Ships.
Celebrity top family cruiseAward-winning cruise experience is designed for kids. There’s so much for children and teens to do onboard a Celebrity Cruise. All programs are geared to specific age groups and supervised by experienced youth staff members. Celebrity kids are happy, engaged, and entertained. You’ll get all the details once you’ve boarded, but here’s a peek at what’s available:

Fun Factory for ages 3-11: The fun starts here It’s a place designed exclusively for our junior cruisers. Activities and program are available 9AM-10PM every day. The Fun Factory is the entertainment center filled with the latest gaming technology and the hottest titles. Junior cruises have the opportunity to participate in exciting games, sports, crafts, music, karaoke, treasure hunts, theme parties, movies and lots more. An assortment of LeapFrog® interactive toys are available for use in the Fun Factory and can also be checked out for private use.

For young adults, Celebrity offers the ultimate hangout place for teens, featuring social activities, the newest gaming consoles and titles, sports activities, even teens-only late night dances. All activities are hosted and supervised by Youth Counselors. All very cool.