I am taking my kids on a RRC cruise next week and we are so excite. What a better way to travel with kids, sure beats a resort where they can get board, or a road trip, which gets uncomfortable. What I am excited about is family shore excursions, two for the whole family, and a snorkling one where we get to leave the little one at the adventure club on the ship and don't have to constantly be worried about him. Looks like there are plenty of family activites on the ship and even more activities that the kids can do without us, so we can go play and have grown up time.
Why have kids if you are going to leave them at home??? I may have misunderstood something though...but here are my 2 cents....
Yes - choose a ship geared for kids and choose a shorter Itin as there will be other kids. In this day and age there is no reason (other than finacial) for you not to take your kids but then I have to be critical again most people don't have enough time for their kids anyway so vacation times are really important family times...If you can't afford to cruise with them look for something else you CAN afford to do!!!
I agree that if you can only do one vacation a year definately take the kids with. However there is something terribly romantic about a 3 day cruise alone with a spouse, especially if you see much more of your kids than your spouse.
I like to keep the longer vacations of any sort for my whole family, but every now and then I like to do a night or two away with my hubby.
I have taken my daughter on two cruises (both Celebrity) and she really enjoyed both. The one concern I had was that a few of the children she met on board the first cruise were drinking alcohol (a group of 8-10 children, the youngest being about 12). The alcohol was brought on board by the parents of a 15yr old, who knew they were drinking. Needless to say I kept a close eye on my daughter who was 15yrs at the time.
I think RCCL is you best bet with the kids. There is tons for them to do but be warned that you will probably almost never see them while on board if they are older. On our last cruise we traveled with our 16 yr old son and my brother in law's family that included 3 other teen agers (12-18). We ran into them on their way to the snack bar area in the promenade or Johnny Rockets but really only saw them other than that if we went looking for them (usually at the pool, on the sports deck or in the arcade) or at dinner and bedtimes whenever we were on the ship. They even rushed after we got back from excursions to meet up with the friends they had made on ship up in the kids area so they could share their experiences from the day. It was a great experience for all of them and they made some great friends. My son had such a great time he requested that our next trip be a cruise (booked for Alaska 06/07 on Celebrity).
I will also warn you that cruising with kids is VERY different than going without. We have done the exact same cruise both ways (Mariner of the Seas - Western Caribbean) and had 2 very different cruises. They both were awesome in their own ways but just very different. Our first cruise (ever I might add) was a belated honeymoon and that trip was all about us and what we wanted to do. It was nothing short of magical. When we got home and told our family about it, my brother in law's family decided that they wanted to do it as a family trip. We ended up going along with them, bringing our son. It was still an incredible time but we were not able to just focus on the two of us and do exactly what we wanted to do so it was a little different but still awesome. A long as you know and are prepared for not having that alone time that you had on the parents only cruise you will not be disappointed. It is well worth watching their faces the first time you watch the sunset together over the water when you are in the middle of nowhere or when you get to discover something new with them.