We are having difficulty deciding on a cruise to take with our two children. I think where we differ from most is that we don't want to 'drop' off our kids in the kids programs. We want to do things that our whole family can enjoy doing together. We took a cruise two years ago with Royal Caribbean and found that in the evening a lot of their shows and other entertainment were for adults only. I've looked into Disney Cruises, thinking it would be more family focused. But it seems to be all about dropping off the kids for the kid programs (and on there, our kids would be separated into two different age groups). So what cruise line/ship offers the most activities/shows where the family can enjoy the vacation together?
I have sailed with my kids on 4 of my 6 cruises and they loved Carnival the best. There is so much for them to do. It depends on what port you are sailing out of to say what cruise to take, and what itinerary. My kids were 8 and 10 when we first cruised with them.
We are just like you -- we travel with our son and don't necessarily want to leave him with a kids program. We've found almost all the cruise lines to be pretty good at providing entertainment the whole family could enjoy together, particularly NCL, Carnival, and Princess. I'd also give Royal Caribbean another look, specifically their newer ships, as they've expanded their activities the past couple of years.
Many lines do have adult-only shows, yet those generally begin later in the evening.
What itinerary are you considering, and what length of cruise?
Ty Rusty and LisaP for your comments. We are looking at a 5-7 day cruise with the itinerary flexible. We took a cruise on RC Freedom of the Seas in 07 that visited San Juan, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas. So most likely we'll look for a cruise that may take us to other ports.
We loved Freedom of the Seas, however, the majority of their shows in the evening were adults only. So in the evening, there wasn't much for us to do as a family other than hang out at pool side or go play a few video games.
So we were hoping to find more kid friendly shows, activities in the evening that our kids would be able to attend with us.
I would love to hear some input from anyone that has cruised with Disney.
I have heard from several people that Carnival is a better option for families than Royal Caribbean.
We went on a Disney cruise in 2007 and we are going on one again on Jan. 24. All I can say is we absolutely loved the cruise. We had such a good time that when last year we cruised on Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas we docked next to the Disney Magic I wanted to sneak back on the Disney Magic Ship. I highly recommend any family going on these cruise ships.
I have cruised with my kids, now ages 11 and 13 for years on Carnival, NCL, and Royal Carribbean. It's funny, when the kids were younger, they really liked the kids programs. Then they went through a stage where they didn't like it. I always signed them up, though, in case they decided to try something. They usually have "Family Games" on the days at sea, where we would all participate together, like scavenger hunts, etc.
The kids also liked going to the shows in the main auditorium every night. We had fun going to the photo gallery at night and finding our pictures, or watching one of the movies in our cabin. We always did the dinner in the main dining room, so that takes time just getting ready for.
On this last cruise, my teenager just loved hanging out in the teen section. Of course, she had an older cousin that she hung out with, but I hardly ever saw her during the day, she was having so much fun. It was great to see her so grown up, and having teen interests.
Feel free to ask me more questions. Have fun.
RCI Radiance of the Seas Sep 2009
NCL Sun March 2008
Carnival Destiny June 2006
Carnival Ecstasy June 2002
Carnival Elation August 2000
Celebrity Century June 1998
Carnival Carnivale August 1993
Our kids are 8 and 12 and we have been on Carnival and Disney with our kids. Our Disney cruise was fun - the shows were made for the whole family, but Disney was not our favorite. I felt like the cost was not worth the experience. My kids were not interested in having pictures taken with the characters in the lobby - which is a lot of fun for many families. Castaway Key was nice, but I am happy on any beach. The table service and food was the LEAST favorite of all of the cruises I have taken (Carnival/Royal Caribbean/Disney)We even complained but it did not get much better. The kids program is from 9 am to 9 pm (or later - can't remember for sure). We went to see shows together on Disney and they were wonderful! We also saw a 3-D movie on Disney.
Carnival has the big water slides which both of our kids love. My kids said they enjoyed the Carnival cruise "way better". We spent most of our time in port or at the ship's pool. I hope that helps a little.
2008 Navigator of the Seas
2008 Carnival Inspiration
2009 Disney Wonder
2010 Carnival Conquest (June)
Hi I have a 2 year old and want take her with on a cruise. Should I pay for her when i book, or when i get to the ship
You can't show up at the pier with people not listed on your booking, even if it is a child.
You have to list everyone going on the cruise when you make the booking, pay a deposit for them, and then make the final payment for the entire booking well before the cruise starts. So the simple answer to your question is: you have to pay for her when you book the cruise.
I'm also planning a cruise for my 9 & 12 girls and myself. I have it narrowed down to 3 options with the ships being Carnival Triumph or Elation. My question is I also plan to spend our time together and not putting them in camps. This is my 2nd cruise, their 1st. I'm torn between choosing a 4 day with a cabin with a balcony (really cool!) or going for the additional day w/ just regular oceanview. I'm also having trouble deciding between ships: ports are same.
Any suggestions for helping with these decisions? I haven't asked them b/c I wanted to make this a surprise. Maybe I should just ask them?