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WHY CRUISING IS THE BEST WAY TO
Vacation with the family.
Trying to plan the ultimate family vacation? Royal Caribbean offers thrills for everyone onboard
Pulling off the perfect family vacation isn’t always easy, especially when you’re trying to cater to different ages and preferences. Fortunately, Royal Caribbean is known for delivering great family getaways designed to wow guests across multiple generations. Every ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet is packed with palate-pleasing dining options, incredible entertainment, and unforgettable activities for all ages included in your cruise fare — not to mention itineraries that take you to some of the world’s most adventure-filled shores. The best part? All the planning has been taking care of for you, so you can focus on bonding with your loved ones while doing as much or as little as you like.
GETAWAYS THE WHOLE CREW WILL LOVE
Your next family getaway is a click away — where will you wander next?
BOLDER FAMILY BONDING STARTS HERE
Family-friendly vacation destinations are always on the itinerary when you sail with Royal Caribbean®. From thrill-topping island hopping to exploring the Last Frontier, max memories like never before onboard the best family cruise ships in the world.
Kick family bonding up a notch at Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas — voted Best Private Island Experience by Travel Weekly readers. Turn up the thrills, like conquering Daredevil’s Peak®, the tallest waterslide in North America. Or unplug and chill along Oasis Lagoon®, the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean.
EXPLORE OUR PRIVATE ISLAND
Sun-kissed shores are yours to explore. Build epic castles on the pink sand beaches of Barbados . Splash into the turquoise waters of Curaçao. Or wander through legendary forts in Puerto Rico . No one does kid-friendly cruises better than Royal Caribbean® — the cruise line voted Best Overall for 20 years running by Travel Weekly readers.
EXPLORE CARIBBEAN CRUISES
WILDEST WEEK EVER
Discover the magic of Alaska, where snowcapped mountains, towering forests and misty fjords dare you to deny their majesty. Spot bears hunting for salmon in Tongass National Forest. Listen to the thunderous roar of Hubbard Glacier . And cross once-in-a-lifetime experiences off your list together — on one unforgettable journey.
EXPLORE ALASKA CRUISES
WEST COAST WANDER
Nothing fuels bolder bonding like an epic adventure with your squad. Set out from L.A. on the family vacation you’ve been waiting for onboard the best cruises for kids. From whale-watching in Ensenada to post-card pretty shores in Puerto Vallarta and lounging on Cabo’s world-famous beaches — make memories that last a lifetime.
EXPLORE THE MEXICAN RIVIERA
SET SAIL ABOARD THE BEST SHIPS FOR FAMILIES
Cruise Planner is the place to get the most out of your adventure. Securing reservations and purchasing packages before you sail lets you score the best savings available anywhere. Add peace of mind to the mix — and you’re ready for big adventure.
OF THE SEAS
CUE THE MEMORY MAKING
From record breaking rides — like the tallest slide at sea — to dining that offers a taste of every culture and shows that will leave you in awe, being onboard a Royal Caribbean ship makes the journey as bold as the destinations you’ll visit.
Each ship offers endless ways for families to fill their sea days. Think epic experiences like a plunge down the tallest slide at sea, Ultimate Abyss℠, and glow-in-the-dark laser tag battles that are bound to boost your adrenaline. Sun-soaked pool parties and hang ten sessions on the FlowRider® surf simulator. A round of Mini Golf with a side of sea views and a rushing zip line ride ten stories above deck — and that’s barely scratching the surface.
EXPLORE ONBOARD ACTIVITIES
DIAL UP YOUR DINNER
With so many delicious dining options onboard, everyone in your family will find something to satisfy their cravings in between adventures. From the endless selection of complimentary flavors at Windjammer Café and family-friendly feasting with My Family Time Dining at the Main Dining Room, to specialty restaurants that take you from the Far East to Italy to Wonderland, there’s something to please every taste onboard.
EXPLORE ONBOARD DINING
NEXT LEVEL SHOWS
Every night is an opportunity for the whole family to enjoy some of the best entertainment at sea. Dazzling original productions and fan favorites straight from Broadway, deck-defying high dives and aerial stunts at the AquaTheater, and the coolest moves you’ve ever seen on ice at the skating rink — you’ll quickly discover that on these ships, every performance is a show-stopper.
EXPLORE SHOWS & ENTERTAINMENT
room for everyone
Finding your crew’s just-right stay-place is easy, with spacious rooms designed with families in mind. Choose from rooms with endless ocean views or suites with wrap-around balconies. And if you’re craving next-level luxury, the first-ever Ultimate Family Townhouse on Icon of the Seas℠ maxes the memories with three tiers of unbelievable amenities and direct access to the Surfside℠ neighborhood from your private patio.
ENDLESS WAYS TO DO DATE NIGHT RIGHT
Who says a family vacation has to be all about the kids? While the young ones are off exploring onboard or having a blast at the award-winning Adventure Ocean youth program, reconnect with your partner over dinner at one of the fleet’s world class specialty restaurants, catch a Broadway spectacular in the Main Theater, or get down on the dance floor to the sounds of a DJ or a talented live band.
KID APPROVED CARE
Craving a little grownup time? Both Adventure Ocean and the Royal Babies & Tots programs provide care and educational activities for kids in different age groups. Adventure Ocean also offers a Late Night Party Zone group sitting for children ages 3-11 between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., so you can enjoy a stress-free adults-only night out on deck.
EXPLORE YOUTH & TEEN PROGRAMS
PENCIL IN A PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT
While the kids are at play, indulge in the ultimate date night with your partner in adventure. Kick things off with a dinner to remember, followed by a glass of your favorite wine at Vintages or a singalong session at Schooner Bar. Then keep the party going long into the night at a live stand-up comedy show before you take a whirl on the dancefloor at Club Twenty.
EXPLORE CRUISE NIGHTLIFE
FAMILY VACAY MODE ON
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO Don’t sweat the details — they’re all taken care of so you can focus on making lifelong family memories.
Family vacations should be stress-free, and Royal Caribbean makes it easy to fuel your wanderlust without worry. You can book unforgettable shore excursions , onboard activities and shows online before you board, making the planning process a breeze. Once you’re on deck, you’ll enjoy award winning service by dedicated staff members that strive to meet every request, whether you’re traveling with special needs or just looking for ways to celebrate a special occasion onboard.
You can even get started customizing every aspect of your vacation from the moment you book. Browse and save big on onshore experiences, beverage and specialty dining packages, spa treatments and more when you reserve in advance online through Cruise Planner . That way, you can go straight to enjoying your vacation as soon as you come aboard the ship.
Perfect Summer Getaways for the Best Family Vacations
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How to pack for a Family Cruise
A Mom's Foolproof Packing Tips for a Family Cruise....
Many of the attractions onboard require closed-toed shoes and socks, so pack accordingly.
Even if you’re on a summer sailing to the tropics, pack a sweater if you plan to use the ice skating rink.
Luggage might not arrive in your stateroom until later. Pack a swimsuit in your carry-on so you can dive into adventure early.
Fill every minute with everything you love, anytime you want. Indulge in gourmet globetrotting, applaud show-stopping entertainment, and take on fleet favorites like rock climbing and the FlowRider® surf simulator, plus so much more!
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Best Family & Kid Friendly Cruises
3 night cruise to the bahamas.
- You want a fun, value-packed cruise on a manageable scale
- You don't need the flashy features of MSC's newer ships
- You want a cruise experience that focuses on unique itineraries
- You want splash parks, waterslides and bowling alleys onboard
- You are looking for a cruise that caters to North Americans
5 Night Cruise to the Western Caribbean
- You want a big-ship experience with plenty of classy spaces
- You appreciate good cuisine, wine and beverage offerings
- You enjoy a more upscale cruise experience on a big ship
- You always cruise on ships that are brand-new and innovative
- You want the latest technological advances and features
- You aren’t interested on longer, more unique itineraries
4 Night Cruise to the Bahamas
7 Night Cruise to the Bahamas
- You want a cutting-edge family cruise with European flair
- You like nonstop activities with round-the-clock fun for all
- You want dozens of different bars, lounges and restaurants
- You don't want cruise catering to European tastes first
- You dislike announcements made in up to six different languages
10 Night Cruise to the Southern Caribbean
- You appreciate innovative ships with plenty of airy public rooms
- You enjoy keeping busy and want lots of onboard options
- You want a big ship cruise with a touch of upscale class
- You are put off by having exclusive areas only for suite guests
- You want an upscale cruise with no additional onboard costs
7 Night Cruise to the Eastern Caribbean
- You want big-ship amenities on a ship that's reasonably sized
- You like having all the latest technological advancements at sea
- You crave choice when it comes to dining and entertainment
- You want a ship with activities like waterslides and ziplines
- You prefer a more quiet, subdued experience on a small ship
- You want to save even more money by traveling on a standard mainstream cruise line
7 Night Cruise to the Middle East
- You want a European-style cruise on a contemporary ship
- You like easy-to-navigate ships with plenty of cozy nooks
- You enjoy traveling with an international mix of passengers
- You want the jaw-dropping diversions on MSC's newer ships
- You dislike hearing announcements made in multiple languages
4 Night Cruise to the Mexican Riviera
- You love ships packed with activities and restaurants
- You enjoy great barbecue; Guy's Pig & Anchor is a gem
- You want a new-ship feel without the high price tag
- You dislike lines and traveling with large crowds
- You prefer traveling with adults only and don't like family programming
- You like having plenty of organized activities by day and night
- You want a classy cruise on a big ship for a reasonable price
- You value stylish interior design and innovative amenities
- You don’t want to have extra fees and costs for dining and drinks
- You are looking for a ship holding fewer than 2,000 passengers
5 Night Cruise to Bermuda
- You want mega-ship fun with innovative onboard features
- You need a cruise that is suitable for families of all ages
- You want your ships big and bold but with a touch of class
- You hate crowds; things can get competitive at the buffet
- You are looking for cruises longer than a week in duration
- You don't enjoy being upsold for promotions and packages
5 Night Cruise to the Caribbean
- You want activities that will appeal to the whole family
- You love diversity in choice when it comes to dining
- You want to sail a new ship without the new ship price tag
- You want high-end luxury and nonstop pampering
- You don't care for traveling with children and families
- You like the idea of traveling on a fully refitted ship
- You want to take a family-friendly, activity-filled cruise
- You value a casual atmosphere that encourages you to have fun
- You dislike traveling with large groups of families and friends
- You need the latest spa treatment and fitness facilities
- You want a cruise that lasts for more than a week in duration
8 Night Cruise to the Bahamas
8 night cruise to the southern caribbean.
- You want to sail aboard one of Celebrity’s newer ships
- You like plenty of activities, dining options and lounges
- You want a classy cruise experience at a reasonable price
- You dislike the idea of sailing with over 3,000 passengers
- You don’t want to be bothered with upsells and other costs
- You want a cruise with plenty of poolside fun in the sun
- You're bringing the family, kids or friends along with you
- You value casual informality over rigid dining times and dress
- You're not a fan of wacky, organized poolside activities
- You need top-notch suites and lavish amenities to go with them
6 Night Cruise to the Western Caribbean
Disney Cruise Line for Families
A Disney cruise brings families together to create long-lasting memories with original, musical live shows, spectacular fireworks at sea, incredible destinations like our private island and so much more.
Enchanting Family Entertainment
Designed with your family in mind.
Dining for Every Taste
Chef's recommendation, pools & waterslides.
Our Private Island
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Posted: November 13, 2023 | Last updated: November 15, 2023
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Despite the war between Israel and Hamas in the Middle East, gasoline prices are dropping in the United States, to the delight of drivers.
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So, what is driving gas prices down?
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“We have high production and we’ve got sickly economies around the world -- some of it because of wars, some of it because of other things -- but the general world economy is not in the greatest shape.”
Last week in its short-term outlook, the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasted that U.S. gasoline consumption will decline by 1% in 2024, saying that would result in the lowest per capita gasoline consumption in two decades. Among other things, it points to an increase in remote work and improvements in fuel efficiency in the U.S. vehicle fleet.
The time of year also impacts prices at the gas pump.
“The refineries generally go through a period where they reduce production in the late summer and then they switch over to the low-emission fuel blend, particularly in California, for the winter months,” Smith said.
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If you're searching for an incredible family cruise at an unbelievably low price, you've come to the right place! We offer the lowest price on every sailing from the world's best family cruise lines. A cruise is a terrific way for explorers of all ages to enjoy fun and enriching experiences together. Every ship we feature has appealing kids-only facilities, fun activities and trained youth counselors. The ship offers ample dining and entertainment options, and at each port travelers can choose from a wide variety of family-friendly shore excursions. You can see virtually any region of the world on a cruise. The planning and booking process is easy with our fast and friendly Family Cruise Specialists. Please give us a call and we'll be happy to help!
Now in our 40 th year, Vacations To Go is the largest cruise-selling company in the world. We've built a reputation for discounts, service and professionalism that is second to none.
Price Guarantee We work with every major cruise line in the world, and you'll find their lowest authorized prices with us. However, if you ever find a lower price for the same ship, date and stateroom category, before booking, we'll match it.*
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How Much Does a Family Cruise Cost?
[fa icon="calendar"] Dec 4, 2012 11:31:00 AM / by Sally Black
Editor's note - This post was updated May 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Family cruises are a great value for a family vacation. If you're trying to plan a family cruise vacation, cost and budgets are top considerations for most parents.
If you're new to family cruises, how do you know how they will cost for your family and how much to budget for such a trip?
Cruise prices start at average cost of $79 per person per day. Remember cruise ships charge by the number of passengers sharing the same cabin. This is an AVERAGE price based on four family members sharing an inside cabin on a Carnival ship sailing to the Caribbean.
This $79 per person/per day price includes your inside cabin (meaning a cabin with no windows), All of your meals and snacks, regular coffee, tea, ice tea, lemonade, taxes and port charges. It also includes many ship board activities, nightly entertainment and daytime child care for ages 2 thru teens. So to expand on this math a bit...for a family of four it would cost @ $316 per day. You can expect a 3 day Caribbean sailing to cost this family of four roughly $948. An entire week at sea would have a price tag of about $2212.
Have we got your attention?
When you look at the idea of $2212 for four people to enjoy a week in the Caribbean - room, food, activities, a family cruise is a great bargain! Many folks don't realize how affordable family cruises can be.
Factors that influence the price of your family cruise:
1) cruise lines and ships .
Again, we based this price on a family of four aboard a Carnival Cruise Line. Carnival is one of the largest Cruise lines and their volume translates into great values for families. Royal Caribbean and Norwegian are the next lines as far as family popularity and options for kids. Disney is considered a favorite for families but it is considered a premium cruise line. This means families can expect to pay almost three times as much for a Disney cruise and they would for Carnival. If you're looking to keep your price tag low, bear in mind the newer the ship the more in demand it will be and the price to sail on it will also be higher. The newer ships offer more ship board amenities and those translate into higher price tags.
Some destinations like Alaska come with higher price tags starting at around $100 per person per night. This is because this destination is in high demand and there is a short summer sailing season. The Caribbean offers shorter 3 night sailings all year round but depending on your departure city, if you need to add flights to get to port that will add to your vacation budget.
As with all family vacations, prices for family cruises are based on supply and demand. Popular family vacation weeks like the December holidays and spring break often come with the highest price tags. If you can vary your sail dates, sometimes by just a couple of days, you'll find extra savings. If you're kids are little or your family is not tied to a school calendar then you will reap big rewards by sailing some of the off season dates like early Sept or Dec.
4) Departure Ports
When budgeting the cost of family cruises, parents need to factor in their travel costs to get everybody to their departure port in order to sail on their family cruise. It's generally cheaper for four people to drive to port than it is to fly, especially if your traveling less than 400 miles. Bear in mind parking your car at the cruise ship terminal can run about $30 per day.
If you're flying then airfare will need to be calculated into your overall budget. Hopefully you can use loyalty or credit card points to help with these costs for your family. If you do fly, you'll need to factor in airport to pier transfers. This can be a little as a $25 roundtrip cab fare in a port like Fort Lauderdale or $50 per person each way from say Orlando airport to Port Canaveral.
5) Pre Cruise Stay
Our Travel Agents at Vacationkids HIGHLY recommend that families arrive in port at least one day prior to sailing. Remember...ships wait for NO one! If you experience any traffic or flight delays and arrive late to port, you're simply out of luck. You will forfeit the entire cost of your cruise. Who wants to start their family vacation under that kind of stress? Vacationkids offers many park & stay or fly & stay packages at local port hotels that include a room for your family the night before your cruise in addition to free parking for the week or transportation to pier. Many of these options cost around $250 for a family of four. These affordable options can really cut down on stress and agnst making them worth the few extra pennies.
Cabin upgrades - $59 per person per night is based on an inside cabin for four people without any windows. If you choose to upgrade to an ocean view cabin with a window, figure on an additional $30-$50 per person to stay in that type of cabin. A balcony cabin will cost an additional $125-$175 per person. Suites start around $300 per person per night and their prices climb with added amenities like hot tubs, butlers and even baby grand pianos.
Tips - Just about everyone on board from housekeeping, to kids club staff to your waiters will expect a tip. The cruise lines make it very easy for passengers to pay gratuities. Most cruise lines charge between $12-$15 per day for "gratuities" or tips. Children are expected to pay tips too because they too receive the care an attention of the crew. Gratuities can be added into the total cost of your family cruise right from the beginning. If not, it will be charged to your ship board account before you leave.
Soda & Drinks -Alcoholic beverages, soda and bottled water are not included. Passengers must pay extra for any or all of these beverages. The cruise lines do offer Soda cards for both adults and kids. The average cost is $5-$7 per person per day and they definitely are worth it if your family members plan to drink one or more sodas per day. Open bar alcohol packages are offered on board. Full packages start at around $50 per person/per day. Just know there is an additional 15% bar gratuity added to the total amount. Some cruise lines will offer drink packages as a perk or limited sale option. Just know if you select that option for free, there will still be a 15% gratuity charge.
Activities - Many activities on board your cruise are free but there are charges for some activities. For example, using the on board fitness center is free but taking a spinning or yoga class may have a $16 price tag. Daily kids clubs are free but evening babysitting starts at $7 per hour with a 15% gratuity. Most activity prices are clearly marked but if you're ever in doubt, just ask.
Sightseeing - Every time your cruise ship docks in another port, passengers can take local sightseeing excursions or experience different local activities. These activities can range from a round of golf to scuba diving to dog sledding to helicopter tours. They can last for a couple hours to the entire day complete with meals and transportation. The average cost for some of the more average sightseeing options is about $100 per person per excursion but with longer or more exotic experiences prices can run several hundred dollars. If your ship is stopping at 3 or 4 ports of call, these excursion prices can add up very quickly. Remember guests are free to stay aboard the ship and enjoy all of the ship board activities. Often there are great deals for things like spa treatments on port days when most folks are off the ship.
One of the great things about family cruises is that every ship and every sailing offers both affordable and luxury options depending on your particular budget. Our Vacationkids travel agents are experienced and knowledegable and can help you get the most value for your cruise dollars.
Of of the great features to help with the cost of family cruises is our vacation layaway program. family cruise vacations can be booked up to two years in advance. With a minimal deposit our vacationkids staff can set up a monthly credit card payment program. You can pay off your cruise a little each month so that you can set sail without worry.
And here's a secret, become a group leader . Invite 8 cabins of family and friends to sail with you and you get to sail for free!
Speak to one of our Vacationkids travel agents about planning a fun filled cruise for your family. Our agents will make sure you get the best pricing and best values. We monitor your cruise and we can apply any sales or perks to your vacation, even after you make your initial deposit. If you're new to cruising, our team will be with you every step of the way so by the time you get on board, you'll be a cruise expert.
Topics: Family Cruises , Affordable Family Vacations
Written by Sally Black
Sally is the Founder of Vacationkids.com Travel Agency and author of the book "Fearless Family Vacations". She is also the Director of Travel Agent Initiatives and Training at The Family Travel Association.
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The Family Vacation Guide
How Much Does It Cost to Go On a Cruise as a Family?
posted by James Brockbank on March 18, 2022 // last updated on March 18, 2022
Cruising has become such a popular choice for family vacations that, in 2019 alone, at least 13.7 million US citizens took a cruise ship to explore different parts of the world.
But like any holiday, going on a cruise takes planning. You’ll need to know not just which cruise to choose, but how much it will cost. In addition to the upfront cost of the cruise, you’ll need to think about hotels, restaurants, transfers, and activities. Regardless of the part of the world, you would like to visit, it helps to have a solid financial plan.
The high cost of the cruise itself is due to the high value of the experience. You’ll get the chance to mingle with people from different parts of the world and connect with nature in a unique, refreshing way.
If the ship is large enough, you’ll enjoy accommodations, food, entertainment, and the ability to reach your loved ones back at home thanks to a reliable internet connection. However, to have the best experience, you might have to dig deeper into your pockets.
Here, we’ve compiled all the details you need to find a cruise vacation that maximizes fun and minimizes cost.
How Much Will the Cruise Cost?
Cruise cabins, shore excursions, onboard activities, drinks and drink packages, specialty restaurants, additional considerations.
In the US, for each person, you should be ready to spend at least $212. This fee covers many things, beginning with an average $152.12 for the ticket price and some for the onboard spending. But you should know that it’s still possible to land some of the best deals.
If you have a large visit for your cruise, you might be interested in checking out the most luxurious cruise ships in the US . These might charge more than $1,000 for each person, but you can be sure that your experience will be exceptional. Regent Seven Seas Cruises are some of the most expensive and luxurious deals you can get, provided you’re ready to spend more than the regular cruise lines.
The prices will always vary based on a vast range of factors. Before we break down the different factors that determine your total cost, let’s take a look at the different calibers of cruise lines. That way, you can plan out your cruise trip from start to finish.
What Kinds of Cruises Are There, and How Much Do They Cost?
There is a vast range of cruise lines, and they differ from one another in what they offer and what they cost. That’s why a cruise ship that looks and feels excellent for you might not have the same effect on someone else. The cruise line you decide to go with will largely determine the amount of money you end up paying.
There are various ways to break down the types of cruise lines, and the different categories can get complicated. Here, however, we have simplified things for you below. We’ve broken it down into three main cruise categories and their average price range:
- Mainstream- $50-$450 (per person per day for basic cabin)
- Premium- $280-$680 (per person per day for basic cabin)
- Luxury- $600-$1,000 (per person per day for basic cabin)
Are you looking for a casual Caribbean cruise, or a simple tour around the Mexican Riviera? Then you want something fun and family-friendly to make your trip as phenomenal as possible. These are likely to be Royal Caribbean or Carnival Cruise itineraries. These two cruise lines and a few others are the best options for those looking for something budget-friendly yet fun.
If you’re looking to splurge on a good meal, you’ll enjoy the luxury of upgrading and purchasing a la carte.
Mainstream cruises are known for their solid experience and fun features for you and your family, such as ice skating rinks, rock climbing walls, and water slides. They also have kids clubs, grand shows, nightclubs, and eateries where you can party at any time of the day. This means your fun will not end until your trip does.
What’s even better is that, with all that fun, you won’t have to spend an arm and a leg. If you choose to go with the mainstream option, the ship is likely to be older and less fancy than on a more expensive cruise. However, that doesn’t affect the quality of the time you’ll have during your itinerary.
Mainstream cruises have many ways to entertain you and your fellow passengers. The chance you’ll have to interact with the thousands of other people on the same ship will make you appreciate the choice you made. You might even make some new friends!
Premium cruise lines are designed for those looking to explore the world comfortably. Though they share many of the same features as the mainstream lines, their services and amenities are way above average.
If this is what you’re looking for, then think Princess Cruises , Celebrity Cruises, Cunard Line, and Holland America Line . Here, you’ll enjoy dining options of high caliber, accompanied by some of the best wine pairings to keep you relaxed.
While premium cruise ships can be family-friendly, some of them don’t have extensive facilities compared to those you find on mainstream cruise ships. Also, premium ships don’t carry as many guests at one time. Most of them will only have between 500 and 1500 guests, which may still appeal to you if you’re someone with excellent social skills.
The smaller number of people on board means more space for cabins and other public areas set aside for mingling. The higher ticket cost will also mean a nicer ship with more modern decor.
As you might expect, luxury-level cruises are the most expensive. However, many of their features are fairly comparable to those of premium cruise ships, such as Silversea. Often, however, luxury lines will include pre- and post-cruise hotel stays and flights. They also offer private transfers, shore excursions, and other services.
One important distinction is that these luxury cruise ships are not as big. Most of them are essentially mega yachts that can only accommodate 100 individuals. Some of them are also medium-sized ships that come with luxurious features for the most pleasurable experience on the water.
Over the course of your luxury cruise, you’re likely to find that staff and other guests begin to know you by name. You’ll be treated as a valued guest, which is to be expected considering the price you paid.
You’ll enjoy plenty of space, as well as food and drink prepared by some of the best chefs in the world. You’ll never have to pull out your wallet when you need anything. If you’ve opted to pay the highest price, everything will be included throughout your stay.
Did you know that the cabin you choose can also impact the amount of money you end up paying for the itinerary? It’s true—which is why it’s important to look into all your cabin options when planning your cruise.
Cruise ship cabins come in many designs. Some are small and without windows, while others are huge with separate bedrooms and suits, marbled bathrooms, and verandas.
It all depends on how you would like to experience your expedition. However, no cabin is “bad”—it all comes down to your preference. The best cabin for you depends on what you want to spend and the amount of space you want during the trip.
Choosing a cabin feels more like picking your ideal class in a flight, but each spot you select comes with some benefits. The economy class will still get you to your perfect location, but if you want to get there in comfort and style, then you’ll go for First Class or Business Class.
When it comes to cruise ships, it helps to understand that the cabin you choose determines whether you are granted certain premium services or access to certain areas within the ship. For instance, Carnival Havana Staterooms give you access to a great bar and pool area. The likes of Cloud 9 Staterooms come with additional in-room amenities, such as free fitness classes and priority spa reservations.
Other Expenses to Keep in Mind
Now that you know the different cruise levels and charges, we can discuss the additional expenses to plan for. Note that some of these expenses are optional, so they should not discourage you from taking a cruise with your family.
As a starting point, your trip should include meals, accommodations, and onboard entertainment for all family members. But there can be more to your experience; you might not be aware of the other factors that could compel you to spend a few more bucks on your trip.
You may intend to lounge on the ship and watch the waves for the duration of your trip. For some, that describes the ideal cruise. Most cruises also include onboard entertainment and activities. But if you’re looking for more excitement, you can take part in a few recreational activities to spice things up.
Many itineraries include port days, where the ship will dock and allow the guests to disembark and explore the mainland.
Note that most cruise lines do not provide shore excursions in the cruise fare. Therefore, you’ll have to spend money on anything you choose to do off the ship. On the upside, if you choose to do so, there are a myriad of different activities. You can choose to book a private guide or seek out your own fun. For example, ziplining and snorkeling are popular activities that can also be perfect for families with kids.
While shore excursions may mean extra cost, there is no limit on what you can do, provided you have more money to pay for the experience. For example, for as little as $30, you can take a walk around Barcelona, or board a private jet in Monaco. Some people spend as much as $2,000 on extra activities to have a lifetime experience, and you could be one of them if you’re financially prepared.
You won’t have to worry about your pocketbook when you want to participate in onboard activities, since most of them are included in your trip fare. However, there has been a recent trend in which cruise lines will charge passengers for some of the most exciting experiences onboard.
Mainstream cruises are famous for this. Though they always have more than enough options, you might still be tempted to try a few more things, and you might end up spending more. If you have a budget and you’re looking for specific onboard activity or amenity, be sure to research your cruise line ahead of time to determine whether or not it’s included in your fare.
Gyms, for instance, might have some fitness classes to offer, and they’ll charge you a fee that’s not included in your cruise fare. Most of them will have you pay around $30 for such a class.
On the upside, kids’ clubs are generally free, so you won’t have to worry about spending more to keep your children entertained.
Other activities your cruise might offer for an additional cost include:
- Escape rooms
- Spa and Salon treatments
- Behind the scenes tour
- IMAX movies
- FlowRider private session
Regardless of the cruise line you choose, you’ll always receive drinking water at no extra cost. You’ll also enjoy complimentary tea, coffee, and other non-alcoholic drinks as part of the cruise fare. Other beverages like soda and alcoholic drinks may not be not included unless you paid an all-inclusive fare.
Some cruises can add all beverages to the cruise tab, but if that’s not available, you should be ready to spend money on each drink you order during the trip.
Some lines, such as Azamara, include non-alcoholic drinks, select beers, and spirits in the fare. Others, however, will only include lunch and dinner. Before you choose a line, it helps to find out what to expect from your fare so that you don’t end up having to spend more than you anticipated.
Each cruise line is unique, operating under different terms and conditions. Ask them about the drink packages available and what you’ll be expected to pay for drinks if they’re not included Most drink packages will begin at $12 for various soft drinks and can go up to $130 for premium drink packages.
Inside the main dining room/buffet, you can be sure to find free meals, provided you’re in the main venue. However, today, many cruise ships offer more than one meal venue, which can mean spending more money.
If you want a special dinner with someone you hold dear, then chances are you’ll have to pay extra. If you want to indulge in some high-end beverages, then you’ll report to the alternative venues and pay for anything you choose to drink.
Most likely, you’ll need a good internet connection to stay in touch with your loved ones at home and to surf the internet. It helps to know ahead of time if the internet connection will not be included in your cruise fare; in many cases, it will not be, and you’ll have to pay more to include it as an add-on. On some lines, you’ll find several internet package options, and can choose the right one for your family based on the amount of data you need to use during the trip.
Carnival Cruises , for instance, has a social media plan that costs around $7 each day. If you’re on the Disney Cruise Line , you can enjoy 1,000 megabytes for $89. Take your time and ask them about the internet connectivity, and they’ll share the necessary details with you.
When planning for something exciting like a cruise holiday, it can be easy to forget the less-glamorous and everyday services you’ll need, like laundry! Some cruise ships provide laundry services, but the cost of using them isn’t included in your basic cruise fare, meaning you’ll have to pay extra for them. Most of the time, you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket for all non-basic services, so you need to arm yourself with a few more bucks if you want to ensure the best experience.
A cruise vacation has a lot of value, meaning it may not be cheap to book your stay if you’re looking for luxury. Mainstream cruise lines are best for large families without deep pockets, and you’ll still have food, accommodations, and an amazing experience. Premium cruise lines are designed for those looking to explore the world most comfortably without breaking the bank. But if you need something outstanding and have money to spend, luxury lines have it all. No matter what you’re looking for, however, be sure to look carefully at the details of your package and what’s included with your ticket. And at the end of the day, don’t worry—you’re sure to have a great time at sea!
More about our TFVG Author
A seasoned traveller, Dad, and avid sports tourist, James foundered The Family Vacation Guide to share his expert vacation experiences- especially when it comes to being a travelling family man.
Featured in Travel articles such as Travel + Leisure, TripSavvy and SFGate, you know you're reading some of the best vacation tips online.
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5 Perks Of Cruising With Family
Before your family cruise trip even begins, you will enjoy the thrill of an unforgettable vacation.
Book A Cruise Now
If you long for more than just a dinner - table conversation with your family, a cruise will prove to be the perfect vacation plan to spend quality time with your family! Let your kids frolic on water park rides on the deck while you sip drinks with your spouse by the pool.
We present to you some concrete reasons for going on a cruise vacation with your family.
5 Amazing Benefits of Cruising With Family
1. family cruise packages are economical.
You can easily book a value for money cruise for your entire family . All-inclusive packages are offered by a number of cruise lines . Travel lavishly and sail to ports far away on a mega-ship with your family at extremely reasonable prices. Mainstream cruise lines offer cheapest booking prices during the offseason period with all the same amenities.
2. Entertainment for All Ages
Entertainment on a cruise is truly impeccable! They leave no stone unturned when it comes to keeping you engaged in their floating city. There are designated entertainment areas allocated for all age groups. Children have separate play areas supervised by the crew. Adults will never fall short of entertainment onboard with the pools, theatre shows, sports and much more.
3. Scope for An Exotic Vacation
Cruise itineraries often include uncommon and unspoiled ports in the interior coasts of the country. Apart from the mainstream ports that have become tourist hubs, you will get to delve into the exotic culture of the destination with your family.
4. Socializing with Other Families Onboard
You will bump into several other friendly families on a cruise . People of diverse nationalities travel on a cruise. The intermingling can teach your child a thing or two about other cultures and maybe you will make some new friends. Do not shy away from interacting with your fellow cruisers.
5. Easy to Plan
Finding the perfect cruise vacation is quite simple with cruisebooking.com . Simply select the date you wish to travel and many options will be presented to you. Compare the options and confirm your booking in just a few clicks. Before you know it you will be packing for your dream cruise vacation.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CRUISING WITH FAMILY
1. What amenities and facilities are available on board for families?
2. Are there specific family-friendly cruise lines or ships?
3. Are there family-friendly shore excursions available?
4. What should I pack for a family cruise?
5. Are there any special cruise discounts or promotions for families?
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From Virgin Voyages to Carnival: These 10 cruises are worth the money, travelers say
When it comes to a cruise vacation, it's all aboard. An October survey from Condé Nast Traveler revealed that 47% of people said they would be interested in setting sail on a ship.
A study by the Cruise Lines International Association also found that traveling by cruise is becoming one of the fastest-growing tourism sectors.
In October, U.S. News and World Report published its 2023 ranking of the best cruises for the money. The report ranked the top ships out of 17 of the most popular ocean cruise lines and gave them a rating of one through five.
U.S. News and World Report ranked the cruise lines based on the following factors:
- Average overall rating
- Average nightly pricing on a scale of one to five
- Value-added benefits included in the base fare, such as prepaid gratuities, free onboard Wi-Fi access, etc.
Virgin Voyages is worth the money, travelers say
Overall rating: 4.39
Created by British entrepreneur Richard Branson, Virgin Voyages ranked as the best cruise line for the money.
The adults-only cruise has three ships in the fleet, with a fourth debuting in 2024. Virgin Voyages stands out thanks to its free Wi-Fi access onboard, over 20 dining venues, unlimited group workouts and all essential drinks, which include sodas, drip coffee, water and more.
All Virgin Voyage ships are nearly identical and feature similar layouts, according to the U.S. News and World Report. The cruise line offers sailings to the Caribbean, Europe and the South Pacific and has ports in Miami, Puerto Rico, Spain and more.
According to Bloomberg , rates start at $1,550 per double-occupancy cabin.
Top 10 cruise lines that are worth the money
- Virgin Voyages
- Celebrity Cruises
- Princess Cruises
- Royal Caribbean International
- Holland America Line
- MSC Cruises
- Carnival Cruise Line
- Norwegian Cruise Line
- Cunard Line
- Costa Cruises
Celebrity Cruises is the No. 2 cruise line that is worth the money, according to travelers. It has an overall rating of 4.36.
The line has 16 ships and stops in Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and more. Each ship carries approximately one crew member for every two passengers, according to the report.
Voyages range anywhere from three to 18 nights. Since late 2020, Celebrity Cruises has included free Wi-Fi, unlimited drinks and daily gratuities in its base fare .
Princess Cruises ranked as the No. 3 cruise line for the money, with an overall rating of 4.02.
It is the fifth largest cruise line in the world with 17 ships and trips that last between two and 116 days. It sails to popular destinations in Europe, the Caribbean, Alaska and more.
Princess Cruises has approximately one crew member for every two or three passengers, according to the report.
As an homage to its Hollywood debut on the 1977 TV series, "The Love Boat," Princess Cruises offers versatile itineraries like "Movies Under the Stars" poolside screenings and their takes on "The Voice," "Deal or No Deal" and more.
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The 2,713-passenger Disney Magic is the oldest ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet (it first launched in 1998). It was last refurbished in May 2023, when it received updates like a "Soul"-themed lounge, concierge-level upgrades and a new "Encanto" live show. The ship also features family favorites such as the AquaDuck waterslide, the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique dress-up shop and Edge, an interactive game center for tweens.
Disney Magic features diverse entertainment, including live shows, an open-air Wide World of Sports deck, three pools and a splash area for children younger than 3. Unique to the Magic is the teens-only Chill Spa. When it comes to dining, the ship offers eight eateries, including an adults-only specialty restaurant and buffet options. Recent cruisers gave the food quality mixed reviews.
In terms of lodging, 70% of cabins offer ocean views or verandas. All cabins are outfitted with flat-screen TVs, sitting areas and bathrooms with separate showers and tubs. Suites include extra perks such as concierge service and media libraries. Past cruisers noted that the service on this ship is up to Disney's standards, but so is the price tag.
Disney Magic sails from Galveston, Texas ; San Diego ; Miami ; Fort Lauderdale, Florida ; New Orleans ; and San Juan, Puerto Rico . It visits destinations across the Bahamas , the Caribbean, Mexico and the Panama Canal.
U.S. News Insider Tip : Once per sailing, guests are invited to watch Tangled: The Musical in the Walt Disney Theater. This Broadway-style show retells the story of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider with three new original songs, puppets, and beautiful costumes. This show is very popular, so it's best to get to the theater about an hour before the show starts to get a good seat. Doors open 30 minutes prior to showtime. – Megan duBois, Contributor
Symphony of the Seas
The 6,680-passenger, 2,200-crew-member Symphony of the Seas set sail in 2018 and features 18 decks packed with activities.
For heart-pounding fun, travelers will find a surf simulator, an indoor ice skating rink, two 40-foot rock walls, a zip line and a 10-story slide. Meanwhile, relaxation seekers can unwind in the spa, sip cocktails made by robotic bartenders or stroll through the Central Park -inspired neighborhood.
Onboard snacks and meals are served at 20 quick-service and sit-down eateries. The Main Dining Room is where the ship's traditional, complimentary dinners are provided nightly, but specialty options like a steakhouse, a bistro and a Johnny Rockets outpost are also available. What's more, cruisers can dine at Jamie's Italian, a restaurant helmed by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.
After filling up on gourmet fare, passengers can retreat to their cabins, all of which include work desks, flat-screen TVs and minibars. Guests can choose from 149-square-foot Interior Staterooms, some of which have virtual balconies with real-time views of the ocean, or opt for upgraded cabins with furnished balconies and up to 1,524 square feet of space. Select suites also feature two bedrooms, whirlpool tubs and dining rooms.
Symphony of the Seas departs from Cape Liberty, New Jersey, Miami , Fort Lauderdale, Rome and Barcelona for sailings throughout the Caribbean and Europe.
U.S. News Insider Tip: If you’re on one of the 19 Royal Caribbean ships that have a FlowRider, like Symphony of the Seas (which has two!), reserve a private lesson with a pro. For a small fee, you'll save yourself some embarrassment and get more ride time. – Skye Sherman, Contributor
Odyssey of the Seas
Launched in July 2021, the Odyssey of the Seas holds 5,498 passengers and 1,550 crew members. Royal Caribbean's latest ship is the first Quantum Ultra Class vessel to sail in the United States. As a member of this class, Odyssey of the Seas offers standout amenities like RipCord by iFLY, billed as the only skydiving simulator available at sea, and the FlowRider, a 40-foot-long surf simulator. There is also the North Star observation capsule, which hoists guests 300 feet above sea level over the cruise ship to enjoy unparalleled views below.
In addition to these thrilling activities, the ship comes equipped with standard facilities like pools, an arcade, a spa, a fitness center with classes, kids clubs and shopping venues. There are also 15 dining options, ranging from Japanese fare to all-you-can-eat buffets to Starbucks. For drinks, the ship offers nine bars and lounges, giving passengers plenty of places to enjoy libations. Entertainment options include theatrical performances, live music, a casino, outdoor movie nights and more.
As far as cabins go, cruisers can choose between Interior, Ocean View, and Balcony staterooms, as well as suite accommodations and new Virtual Balcony rooms. These technologically advanced cabins feature floor-to-ceiling displays that project real-time views of the sights and sounds from the outside of the ship.
Odyssey of the Seas sails to ports in Europe, as well as to various destinations in the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Cape Liberty, New Jersey.
Last renovated in 2015 (after being introduced in 2011), the 4,000-passenger Disney Dream is one of Disney's largest ships. Highlights include the 765-foot AquaDuck water coaster, a virtual sports simulator (for an extra fee) and theatrical performances that bring Disney animated favorites – like "Beauty and the Beast" – to life.
While the ship emphasizes family-focused entertainment with five specialized kids clubs, parents can enjoy the adults-only Quiet Cove pool and the Senses Spa & Salon. At night, a section of the ship called The District transforms into an adult oasis with host of bars and lounges. In terms of dining, the ship offers nine themed venues including two specialty adults-only restaurants.
Staterooms also cater to cruising clans, offering perks like sofa beds. Over 85 percent of cabins have ocean views or verandas. Those looking for extra space can opt for Concierge Suites, which range from 622 to 1,781 square feet.
While some recent cruisers commented that the ship is more expensive than other mainstream competitors, most said it was well worth the price due to the personalized attention they received from the staff.
Disney Dream departs from Fort Lauderdale, Florida ; New York ; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Southampton, England; and more for sailings in the Bahamas , Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean and Europe. The cruise line also offers some transatlantic voyages.
U.S. News Insider Tip : Don't skip dinner at Animator's Palate and its Undersea Magic dinner show. During the meal, you'll be immersed in the world of Finding Nemo, as Crush the turtle from the movie swims by virtually to chat with families between courses. (This dinner show is also available on the Disney Fantasy ). – Megan duBois, Contributor
Disney Fantasy launched in 2012 and underwent a dry dock in 2017. The ship features activities such as Pixar Day at Sea, Disney's Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular and the 765-foot AquaDuck water ride.
Staterooms are designed with families in mind. Inside cabins can accommodate up to four guests, and over 85% of the ship's cabins have an ocean view or a veranda. All cabins are outfitted with flat-screen TVs, minifridges and iPod docking stations.
Onboard entertainment is just as family-oriented, with Goofy’s Sports Deck activity center, a virtual sports simulator (for an extra fee), nightly live performances and 3D movies. While younger guests play in age-appropriate youth clubs, adults can relax at the Quiet Cove Pool or enjoy an evening at an adults-only bar or lounge.
When it comes to dining, the ship offers 10 themed dining venues, including two adults-only specialty venues, three main dining rooms and an ice cream shop: Sweet on You.
Fantasy sails from Port Canaveral (Orlando), Florida , to the Bahamas , Bermuda and a variety of ports in the Caribbean.
U.S. News Insider Tip : Between Palo and Remy is a secluded adults-only bar called Meridian. The bar is known for its martini program, where the bartenders will ask you a few questions and then whip up something off-menu for you to enjoy inside or outside on the exclusive patio. (Meridian can also be found on the Disney Dream ). – Megan duBois, Contributor
Wonder of the Seas
Wonder of the Seas, which embarked on its maiden voyage in March 2022, holds 7,084 passengers and 2,204 crew members. The ship measures 1,188 feet long and 215 feet wide, and it weighs 235,600 gross tons. It surpasses its sister ship, Symphony of the Seas , as one of the largest cruise ships in the world.
Guests can enjoy plenty of thrill activities on board, such as the Ultimate Abyss – a 10-story dark tunnel slide – or the 40-foot-long FlowRider surf stimulator. The ship also offers a fitness center, shopping venues, rock climbing, a carousel and clubs for kids and teens. When it's time to dine, cruisers have the option of 21 dining venues ranging from Italian fare to Southern cuisine. Travelers can also indulge in a few cocktails at 14 bars and lounges.
Accommodations include Interior, Ocean View, Balcony and Suite staterooms. If you're looking for something more spacious, check out the ship's all-new Suite Neighborhood. Located on the upper decks, these suites offer guests ample private quarters to recharge during the cruise. Amenities included in the exclusive suites include priority boarding, a members-only dining facility and a dedicated check-in line. For families, the new neighborhood may be of particular interest because it features the Ultimate Family Suite. The family suite offers two floors of space with stunning ocean views, in-suite movies and video games and a kids slide between the floors.
Wonder of the Seas sails from Orlando , Florida, to ports in the Caribbean.
A member of Carnival Cruise Line's Vista class, the Carnival Panorama debuted in December 2019 as the first new Carnival ship homeported on the West Coast in 20 years. With a capacity of 4,008 guests and 1,450 crew, Panorama is one of Carnival's largest ships.
Among the ship's standout amenities is the Sky Zone – a trampoline park that offers dodgeball and basketball games, toddler bounce sessions and more. Other unique Carnival amenities found on the ship include a suspended bicycle in the air called SkyRide, a sprawling water park, the Cloud 9 Spa and an open-air recreation area and ropes course.
Dining options on board are just as diverse. In fact, there are more than a dozen dining venues aboard Carnival Panorama, including multiple Guy Fieri eateries, a sushi restaurant, a steakhouse, a seafood eatery and more.
Carnival Panorama offers the line's typical range of accommodation classes (Interior, Ocean View, Balcony and Suite) along with Family Harbor and Havana staterooms and suites. Havana Cabana Suites feature rain showers and patios equipped with hammock chairs, along with exclusive access to the Havana Bar & Pool. Meanwhile, Family Harbor accommodations are located next to the ship's Family Harbor Lounge and afford guests special perks, such as a free evening of babysitting and complimentary kids meals in the onboard specialty restaurants.
Sailing from Los Angeles , the ship cruises to destinations in Mexico, including Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas . It also departs from Singapore for transpacific voyages.
Carnival Radiance (previously Carnival Victory) set sail in December 2021 after a full transformation. The ship, which holds 2,984 guests and 1,108 crew members, boasts plenty of fun indoors and outdoors for cruisers of all ages.
Carnival Radiance features a ropes course, waterslides, a mini-golf course, dive-in movies in the evening and a sports area for activities like soccer, basketball, volleyball and boxing. The ship also offers a kids club for youths ages 2 to 17. The pool is surrounded by lounge chairs – perfect for relaxing – and those seeking additional quiet space can spend some time at the Serenity Adult-Only Retreat. Inside, the spa, the piano bar, the comedy club and the performance event venue, which features musicals, concerts and more, round out some of Carnival Radiance's most popular offerings. Dining options (14 eateries in total, including a Chef's Table experience) abound on this ship as well: Cruisers can enjoy casual fare at Big Chicken or Guy's Burger Joint, or sit down for a more upscale meal at Cucina del Capitano, Bonsai Sushi or the Steakhouse.
Staterooms aboard the ship include Interior (porthole and picture window choices are available), Ocean View, Balcony and Suite category options. Carnival Radiance sets sail from Los Angeles to destinations in Hawaii and Mexico .
Allure of the Seas
The 6,826-passenger Allure of the Seas, unveiled in 2010, is among the largest cruise ships in the world. There are a whopping 2,054 crew members on board to cater to passengers' needs. Along with signature line amenities like rock climbing walls and ice skating rinks, the ship houses seven unique neighborhoods with a variety of activities, shows and dining options. The ship underwent a $165 million refurbishment in 2020, which added approximately 50 new staterooms, the Ultimate Abyss (the tallest slide at sea), redesigned kids and teens spaces, new dining venues and more.
Other standout features include a zip line that descends 10 decks, two surf simulators and a science lab. Plus, with 19 dining options – and a Starbucks at sea – every member of the family will be satisfied.
In terms of lodging, about 65% of cabins feature balconies, and all staterooms are appointed with TVs and minifridges. Interior staterooms are the most economical option, but those who splurge on Suites are granted larger balconies and concierge service. Crowd-free areas might be difficult to find due to the outrageous capacity of the ship, but some recent cruisers praise the nonstop activity and entertainment.
Allure of the Seas departs from Miami, Orlando, Florida, and Galveston , Texas, for sailings in the Caribbean.
Harmony of the Seas
Welcoming up to 6,687 passengers and 2,200 crew members, Harmony of the Seas is one of the largest cruise ships in the world. Launched in 2016 and tuned up in 2021, the ship features Royal Caribbean staples like surf simulators and rock climbing walls, as well as innovative amenities like the Ultimate Abyss (a 10-story slide) and three multistory waterslides. Plus, while younger passengers play in the arcade or at age-appropriate clubs, adults can relax at the spa or sip cocktails at multiple bars and lounges.
After working up an appetite, guests can choose from 20 dining options. Past cruisers especially praised the multitude of specialty restaurants, which range from Mexican to Japanese fare and require reservations and an additional fee.
When it comes to lodging, Harmony of the Seas offers a wide variety of cabin categories, with more than 70% of cabins featuring balconies. While Interior staterooms are the most economical choice, those looking for a little more space and luxury should consider upgrading to a Suite, which range from Junior Suites to four-bedroom Villa Suites. While all cabins offer flat-screen TVs and minibars, suites include access to a private restaurant, lounge and sun deck.
Harmony of the Seas sails from Miami and Galveston, Texas , to destinations throughout the Caribbean.
Disclaimers about ship ratings: A ship’s Health Rating is based on vessel inspection scores published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If a ship did not receive a CDC score within 22 months prior to the calculation of its Overall Rating, its Health Rating appears as N/A; in such a case, the ship’s Overall Rating is calculated using the average Health Rating of all CDC-rated ships within the cruise line. All ship Traveler Ratings are based on ratings provided under license by Cruiseline.com.
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7 Affordable Cruise Lines for Families (Kids Sail Free Deals)
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These days, planning a family vacation can be expensive. However, cruising offers families a great value vacation, at an affordable price.
Over the last few years, cruising has become very popular with families and kids . The great food, entertainment and an opportunity to visit beautiful destinations, makes cruising the ultimate family vacation.
Plus, cruise lines have “kids sail free” deals and promotions, that are particularly attractive to family cruisers.
In this post, I share 7 affordable cruise lines for families.
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Affordable Family Cruise Lines – A Comparison
1. carnival cruise line.
Carnival is known for their affordable cruise prices and cruise ships that the whole family can enjoy. Often referred to as “America’s Cruise Line”, Carnival is one of the best cruise lines for a families on a budget.
The great thing about cruising with Carnival, is that they have great promotions year round. Whether you’re cruising off-season cruise or during the holidays, you will always be able to find cruise deals on Carnival ships.
Carnival Family Cruise Sample Pricing
For example, we found a 5 day Eastern Caribbean cruise on Carnival Freedom, leaving out of Port Canaveral (Orlando) is priced at $1,325 USD for four family members in interior cabin. It also includes a $50 onboard credit.
Please note that prices vary and depend on many factors, including date of booking and date of sailing.
Related: What’s Included on a Carnival Cruise – Everything You Need to Know
What to Expect on a Carnival Family Cruise
If you’re looking for a kid-friendly cruise that the whole family can enjoy, then you will love cruising with Carnival. On select Carnival cruise ships, you’ll find water slides, water parks, roller coasters, ropes courses and entertainment, like Family Feud Live as well as other family-friendly shows.
Carnival Cruise Line Kids Club Information
The kid’s club on Carnival cruise line is lots of fun for children aged 2-17. There are supervised activities that vary by age group, including dancing, movie nights, theme parties and much more.
Here’s how the Carnival kid’s club is separated by age:
- Camp Ocean (ages 2-11)
- Circle “C” (ages 12-14)
- Club O2 (ages 15-17)
If you’re cruising with family members that are 17 and under, they will have a blast. Both the kid’s camp and onboard activities will keep kids busy throughout the duration of your cruise.
Related: What to Pack for a Carnival Cruise (packing list)
2. MSC Cruises
MSC Cruises is an Italian cruise line known that has some amazing cruise ships families will love! MSC cruises can be a very good value, especially for families. On select cruises, MSC has a “kids sail free” promotion, where kids 17 and under can sail for free, when booked in the same cabin as their parents.
Depending on the sailing and promotion, you’ll often find free or discounted fares on 3rd and 4th passengers. Other sales may include an an onboard credit, included Wifi and the Kids Sail Free deal.
What to Expect on an MSC Family Cruise
When you cruise with MSC, you can expect beautiful ship designs, fun activities, pools, waterparks and hot tub areas. MSC cruises tend to be reasonably priced and provide an affordable way for the whole family to travel together.
Related: Best MSC Cruises For Families & Kids – Complete Guide
MSC Family Cruise Sample Pricing
For example, at the time of writing this article, a 5 day Bahamas cruise leaving out of Miami that is $350 per adult in an interior cabin before taxes. This cruise is part of the “Kids Sail Free” promotion, so you will only have pay the taxes and port fees for your children.
Overall, MSC is a family-friendly cruise line that is well suited for kids of all ages. Onboard select MSC cruise ships, you will find water slides, splash parks, ropes courses, spas and a casino.
MSC Kids Club Information
The kid’s clubs on the newest MSC cruises are pretty cool! Your kids will be able to hang out, participate in activities and make new friends in a supervised and safe environment. Plus, MSC’s kids camps have some of the latest video games and gaming consoles.
Here’s how the MSC kids club is separated by age:
- Baby Club (ages 0-3)
- Mini Club (ages 3-6)
- Junior Club (ages 7-11)
- Young Club (ages 12-14)
- Teen Club (ages 15-17)
MSC creates a really fun, family-friendly environment that the whole family will enjoy. Whether if it’s spending time at the pool areas, in the kid’s club or the onboard attractions, your family will have a great time on an MSC cruise.
Related: 50 Most Popular Amazon Cruise Essentials
3. Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line is a family friendly cruise line that will occasionally have the Kids Sail Free promotion, as part of the Free at Sea perks. On Norwegian cruises, there are many attractions, the entertainment is great and there is a wide variety of dining options.
Newer Norwegian cruise ships like the Norwegian Prima is on the pricey side. However, Norwegian Cruise Line offers some amazing deals on some of their other cruises.
Norwegian Family Cruise Sample Pricing
For example, there is a 7 day Southern Caribbean cruise on the Norwegian Epic that is $1,978 for the whole family before taxes. This price includes two specialty dining dinners for the first and second passenger.
What to Expect on a Norwegian Family Cruise
If your family enjoys exciting attractions and fun activities, then they will love cruising with Norwegian . Onboard certain Norwegian cruises, you will find water slides, virtual reality, bowling, mini golf, basketball courts, ropes courses and more.
Related: What’s Included on Norwegian Cruise Line and What Is Not
Norwegian Cruise Line Kids Club Information
Norwegian has one of the best kids clubs at sea . As a kid who grew up cruising, I remember going on Norwegian cruises and my parents having trouble getting me out of the kids club!
Here’s how the Norwegian kids club is separated:
- Splash Academy (ages 3-12)
- Entourage (ages 13-17)
If you’re planning to cruise with children or teenagers 17 and under, they will absolutely love the kids clubs and teens clubs onboard Norwegian cruise line.
Related: Norwegian Cruise Line’s Free at Sea Perks Explained
4. Royal Caribbean
When it comes to a cruise line for families, it doesn’t get much better than Royal Caribbean. Royal Caribbean is known for making the largest cruise ships in the world and for having cruise ships with amazing attractions.
Although, newer Royal Caribbean ships can be pricey, they do offer some great deals on their older ships. Additionally at certain times of the year, Royal Caribbean will have Kids Sail Free promotions.
Royal Caribbean Family Cruise Sample Pricing
For example, there is a 4 day Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay (private island) itinerary leaving from Florida, which starts at $277 plus taxes for the first two passenger and the kids sail free in an interior cabin.
What to Expect on a Royal Caribbean Family Cruise
If you’re looking to have a fun, action packed vacation, then you have to check out Royal Caribbean cruises. Onboard select Royal Caribbean ships , you’ll find water slides, water parks, zip lines, laser tag, rock climbing, arcade games, ice skating and much more.
Related: Best Royal Caribbean Ships For Families
Royal Caribbean Kids Club Information
Royal Caribbean has great youth programs where your kids can participate in scavenger hunts, themed parties and sports. The Adventure Ocean Youth Program separates children by age group.
Here’s how the Royal Caribbean kids club is seperated:
- Aquanauts (ages 3-5)
- Explorers (ages 6-8)
- Voyagers (ages 9-12)
For teenagers , there is a teens club which is for 13-17 year olds. This is a great place for you teenagers to hangout, make new friends, play video games and participate in fun activities.
For those with children between 6-36 months, there is a babies and tots program. If you’re cruising with babies and toddlers, you can leave them in a supervised environment throughout the day on select ships.
Related: Royal Caribbean vs Norwegian Cruise Line – Everything You Need to Know
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5. Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises won’t usually be the cheapest option when planning a family cruise . However, they do often have really good deals on third and fourth passengers in the same cabin.
During the year, some of the best cruise deals for families have been kids sailing for $0 or $1 when cruising in the same cabin as their parents on select sailings. Typically, 3rd and 4th passengers are heavily discounted and may cruise for free or at lower rates.
Princess Cruises Family Cruise Sample Pricing
For example, Wave Season has a 5 day Caribbean cruise leaving from Fort Lauderdale starting at $418 for guest 1 and 2 and $148 for 3rd and 4th guests plus taxes.
Related: Princess Cruises vs Royal Caribbean – Everything You Need to Know
What to Expect on a Princess Family Cruise
Princess Cruises is known for its beautiful cruise ships, great food options and dining. They also have a fun kids club (Camp Discovery Kid & Teen Centers), which is a great place for your children to make friends and participate in interactive activities.
Princess Cruises is best for families that enjoy traditional cruising and family friendly fun. Such as poolside games, Movies Under the Stars and entertainment including game shows, guest entertainers and production shows.
Related: 10 Reasons Cruisers Will Love the New Sun Princess (coming in 2024)
6. Holland America
Holland America is a classic and traditional cruise line that is popular among an older demographic of cruise passengers. However, this is changing in recent years.
With newer cruise ships, Holland America has modernized their entertainment and live music onboard its ships. They’ve also made their cruise ships more family friendly and are popular among those planning multi-generational cruises.
The best part for families looking for an affordable cruise, is that Holland America offers a “Kids Cruise Free” promotion on select sailings at different times of the year.
Holland America Family Cruise Sample Pricing
For example, a 5 day Caribbean cruise leaving from Fort Lauderdale in an ocean view cabin is $488.99 plus taxes for the 1st and 2nd passenger, and the additional two passengers are free.
What to Expect on a Holland America Family Cruise
A Holland America cruise is best for a family that enjoys spending time together and appreciates quality food and service on a cruise. There is a kids club onboard (Club HAL), however don’t expect water slides and pool games.
Related: What to Wear on a Caribbean Cruise – Cruise Outfit Ideas
7. Celebrity Cruises
While Celebrity Cruises is not typically a low price cruise, it is possible to find a really good deal on a luxury family vacation. In particular, if you are cruising off-season or outside of the holiday’s and spring break, you can cruise with Celebrity for less than you think.
Celebrity Family Cruise Sample Pricing
For example, we were able to find a 7-day Caribbean cruise sailing in October, in a Veranda cabin for four, for $1,988 plus taxes. For those who prefer an all-inclusive rate, including tips, Wifi and beverage package, Celebrity’s all-included rate can add to the value of this family vacation.
What to Expect on a Celebrity Family Cruise
Although, Celebrity Cruises doesn’t have water slides and thrill rides, they do offer a luxury family-friendly experience.
Celebrity has a great kids club (Camp At Sea), which is fun for kids and teenagers 17 and under. The Celebrity kids club has activities, videos games and places for the kids to hang out in a supervised and safe environment.
Related: Celebrity Beyond Infinite Veranda Cabins: Pros & Cons
*All prices used as examples in this article were found in February 2023 and are subject to change. Prices and promotions may vary and you may have access to resident specials. Always check current prices on the cruise line website or with your travel agent.
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Final Thoughts on Affordable Cruise Lines For Families
Well there it is, everything you need to know about affordable cruise lines for families!
A family cruise vacation is a great way to travel , experience different cultures and spend time with your children. The cruise lines mentioned in this article, do a great job at being family friendly and offering promotions to make planning a cruise affordable.
No matter what cruise line you choose to travel with, you’ll have a memorable vacation that the whole family will enjoy.
In his post, I shared the 7 most affordable cruise lines for families.
What cruise line are you planning on cruising with? Please let me know in the comments below.
If you enjoy this post please don’t keep it to yourself ;-). Please feel free to share on Facebook or Pinterest (share buttons at the top). Thanks so much!
Author Bio: Ethan Schattauer writes about fashion, travel and college advice on the website WhatToWearMen.com . As a frequent cruiser, Ethan shares his unique perspective on what cruising is like for teens and young adults.
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Find the best cruise vacation for you
How can i find a cheap cruise.
Cheap cruise deals are fairly easy to find in most cases, and you can begin by considering what kind of features and itinerary you want. The more simplistic the experience is, the cheaper it is in general. On Expedia.com, you can filter for specific features and sort your results by price. By mixing and matching certain features, unforgettable experiences may be available with discount cruises. For example, booking a cruise with stunning restaurants and live performances while opting for an inside cabin without an ocean view window or balcony could be ideal for a traveler who doesn't plan on spending much time in their cabin anyways
What is the cheapest month to take a cruise?
The cheapest month to take a cruise varies based on your destination and the cruise line company that runs the ship. A Caribbean cruise , for example, is generally cheapest in the late summer and early fall since it's the local hurricane season.
Can I cancel my cruise booking?
Yes, you can cancel, but there may be fees for canceling depending on how far in advance you cancel and what kind of booking you have. You can check the specific cruise lines’ cancellation policies in your itinerary on Expedia.com.
Are river cruises worth the money?
River cruises are quite relaxing, with much more varied scenery than you'd experience on an ocean cruise. These ships often also feature several stops along the river, so passengers can enjoy a greater variety of destinations to explore. Viking river cruises are especially adept at providing this unforgettable experience.
What cruises are best for families?
The best family cruises in 2023 / 2024 tend to be Disney cruises with plenty of offerings for kids and adults alike, though MSC cruises are known for their iconic Children Cruise Free promotion. Disney cruises, specifically, are essentially a Disney theme park on a boat with live shows, rides, and attractions with your kids' favorite characters.
How much does a cruise ship cost?
Cruise prices can vary quite a bit, with cheap cruises and especially luxurious all-inclusive cruises available. Budget lines can offer cruise tickets as low as $50 per night in some cases, while the more high-end experiences can reach up to $1,000 per night and more.
What are some of the best cruise lines?
Several different cruise lines have a lot to offer, such as Viking cruises , which are known for traversing oceans and rivers with a style that blends outdoor and indoor splendor. Celebrity cruise line is more upscale with luxurious features like WiFi, included beverages, champagne, and suites with panoramic views. Other top cruise lines include Royal Caribbean International , Carnival Cruise , Disney Cruise , and Norwegian Cruise .
How far in advance do you need to book a cruise?
It's generally best to book a cruise about 6 to 12 months before your cruise departure. That's the safest way to balance availability and affordability. Technically, you can book earlier or later than that, with some last-minute cruise deals occasionally available up to a weekbefore cruise departure.
Are cruise trips affordable?
They can be, and it's especially simple to search for more affordable cruises with Expedia.com. Not only can you filter by cruise length, cruise line, and cabin experience, but you may also sort your results by price to put the more affordable options first on your search results page.
What is it like to go on a cruise?
A cruise is generally designed to offer the most relaxing experience possible. Despite the size of the ship, it's possible to feel the wave. Many passengers report that the movements help them sleep. Additionally, many fun cruises offer live stage performances, several restaurants, and shopping opportunities. When the ship is in international waters, you may even be able to enjoy a bit of tax-free shopping.
Are cruises a good way to travel?
Cruise travel is great if you're looking for some varied fun. Compared to a plane or a train, cruises have their own attractions and can be considered an integral part of cruise vacations. Plus, a cruise can hit several different destinations as well, with plenty of time to enjoy the cruise and scenic locales. It's certainly worth it for a unique experience no other method of travel can match.
Which cruise line is the cheapest?
The actual cheapest cruise available depends on a variety of different factors. Still, Carnival Cruise tends to be very affordable overall, most of the time with great options like the Carnival Sunrise and Carnival Horizon . Royal Caribbean is also another fantastic cruise line offering great deals if you are watching your budget.
How can I get the best cruise deals in 2023 / 2024?
If you're looking for some of the best cruise deals, booking through Expedia.com makes it easy since you can sort your cruise search results by price and have access to special deals. One Key members can earn OneKeyCash on all eligible bookings and get instant discounts with Member Prices. Sign up today!
What do I need to know when I book a cruise?
To book a cruise, you'll need to know where you'll be setting off from and where you'll be going, in addition to how many people will be with you and the features of the specific cruise you book. Keep in mind that you'll want to factor in spending money in your budget for the cruise's restaurants and shops in most cases.
Where should I go on a cruise in 2023 / 2024?
Plenty of incredible cruise destinations are accessible such as cruises to the Bahamas and cruises to Mexico . You may also be interested in cruises to Alaska or cruises to Europe for something outside of the Caribbean.
What countries are best to visit by cruise ship?
A lot of countries are accessible via a cruise, but the best include a cruise to Australia . However, a cruise to Australia is quite a long trip at sea and really allows you to take in everything the cruise ship has to offer.
Can I get last-minute cruise deals?
Yes, last-minute cruise deals are often available, and you can find them on Expedia.com by inputting your travel dates in your search and sorting your results by price. The deals will automatically be applied to the price estimates so that the cheapest estimates will show up first on your search results page.
Are cruises all-inclusive?
Cruises aren't always all-inclusive, but they can be. If you're interested in all-inclusive cruises, you can activate a search filter for it to ensure your search results only show cruises that meet your all-inclusive standard.
Is food free on a cruise?
Food is sometimes free on a cruise, but there are often specialty restaurants that aren't included with the general booking that you'll have to pay for separately. Check the details of each cruise before you book in the "What's included" section after clicking the cruise on your search results page.
What cruise lines are adults only?
Several lines offer adults-only cruise experiences, including Viking cruises , Carnival cruises , and Princess cruises . With an adults-only cruise, you can relax in a tranquil and laid-back setting without kids running around and enjoy all the cocktails you want.
What cruise lines are considered to be the most luxurious?
Viking cruises are considered exceptionally luxurious, with smaller ships and larger cabins that make them feel more exclusive, but Celebrity cruises offer luxury cruise lines too. Booking a luxury cruise means you can expect high-end amenities including gourmet restaurants, sizable suites, top-tier performances, massive pools, and much more.
What are the best cruises for couples?
Viking Cruises have much to offer for a more romantic experience. Holland America Line cruises can be quite refined and romantic as well, with an adult-oriented experience that's sophisticated rather than rowdy. Romantic cruises offer exceptional service as well as cozy suites for you and your partner to enjoy that's complemented by delicious food often themed around the cruise destination.
Why should I go on a cruise for my honeymoon?
Going on a cruise is a great way for you and your new spouse to be pampered with luxury while also being able to explore a new destination. Whether you're taking a cruise to Hawaii or a cruise to Bermuda , a particularly romantic experience is almost guaranteed thanks to the sheer number of things to do.
Are there any Christmas cruises?
Yes, quite a few cruise lines operate around Christmas, and you can find them easily by entering travel dates around Christmas into your 2023 cruise search. Some of the most popular Christmas cruises are available with Carnival and Disney.
Do I need a passport to go on a cruise?
Whether or not you need a passport depends on where you're going and the kind of cruise it is. Any US territory like Bermuda and Puerto Rico won't require a passport, of course, but you also don't need one if you're on a closed-loop cruise. This is a cruise that begins and ends at a US cruise terminal, even if there are stops in other countries on the way.
Why should I book a cruise with Expedia.com?
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The great land awaits – set sail with princess, the #1 alaska cruise line.
#1 Cruise Line In Alaska *
Our Alaska cruises are your ticket to adventure amidst the Great Land’s glaciers, wildlife and national parks. Voyage through the untamed beauty from the comfort of our world-class ships, exclusive rail service and Princess Wilderness Lodges near national parks. Choose from a variety of Alaska cruise and cruisetour itineraries and connect with loved ones, locals and Alaska's wilderness with Princess ® .
* More guests choose Princess in Alaska than any other cruise line
For a limited time during Black Friday get up to 50% off cruise fares + 3rd & 4th guests FREE †
Alaska Cruises & Cruisetours
Alaska cruisetours, see denali on an alaska cruisetour.
Alaska cruisetours combine our top-rated Voyage of the Glaciers cruise with three to ten nights on land exploring Denali National Park. Travel aboard our exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness® train and unwind at Princess Wilderness Lodges®. Every year Princess introduces more people to Denali National Park than any other cruise line.
Voyage of the Glaciers
Twice the glaciers.
Sail 500 miles deeper into the Gulf of Alaska and Prince William Sound on our top-rated Voyage of the Glaciers Alaska cruise. Spend seven days traveling from Anchorage (Whittier) to Vancouver, B.C., stopping in historic port cities like Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway. Enjoy two glacier-viewing experiences on every itinerary — including Glacier Bay National Park, and Hubbard Glacier or College Fjord.
Inside Passage Roundtrip Seattle
7-day Alaska cruises
Sail the Inside Passage, a series of channels and waterways formed by the march of glaciers, on your 7-day roundtrip Alaska cruise from Seattle. With an abundance of landmarks and wildlife, take in the sights and sounds of the Inside Passage from the comfort of your ship or on a thrilling excursion ashore. Explore fjords, glaciers and Gold Rush-era towns on weekend voyages out of Seattle.
Inside Passage Roundtrip San Francisco
10 or 11-day Alaska cruises
Travel the Inside Passage on 10 or 11-day Alaska cruises from San Francisco and allow the natural landscapes to inspire your day’s adventures. Begin by sailing beneath the Golden Gate Bridge and along the Pacific Coast. As you voyage into the Inside Passage, enjoy one of the best ways to explore the fjords, small towns and natural landmarks with your favorite people.
Inside Passage Roundtrip Vancouver
Alaska cruises that inspire
Feed your hunger for adventure on a roundtrip Alaska cruise from Vancouver, B.C. Wind your way through fjords, by bright-green forests and through quaint Gold Rush-era towns on your way to the wonders of Glacier Bay National Park. Then experience age-old traditions with the locals.
Voyage of the Glaciers Grand Adventure
14-day Alaska cruises
Sail 500 miles deeper into the Gulf of Alaska and Prince William Sound on our back-to-back Voyage of the Glaciers Alaska cruise. Spend 14 days roundtrip from Vancouver, B.C., stopping in historic port cities like Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway. Enjoy three glacier-viewing experiences on every itinerary — including Glacier Bay National Park, Hubbard Glacier and College Fjord.
NEW Alaska long voyages
New for 2025, we have crafted longer adventures at sea with a 22-day roundtrip voyage sailing from San Francisco that coincides with Summer Solstice and a 17-day roundtrip cruise from Seattle, featuring three days of scenic glacier viewing as well as charming ports like Wrangell and Valdez. For those voyagers seeking to sail from Southern California all the way up the Pacific coast to Alaska, try a new 16-day roundtrip Inside Passage voyage from Los Angeles.
2025 Alaska New Cruise & Cruisetour Itineraries. Learn more
With its roaring glaciers, rugged mountains and deep fjords, Glacier Bay National Park feels like a dream. With 3.3 million acres to explore, cruise to this world-renowned landmark — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — and let the landscapes inspire your next adventure. Princess Cruises is an authorized concessioner of Glacier Bay National Park.
Alaska Cruise Ports of Call
- College Fjord
- Endicott Arm
- Glacier Bay National Park
- Hubbard Glacier
- Icy Strait Point
- Victoria, B.C.
The Harriman Expedition discovered College Fjord in 1899 and named the towering glaciers after the great East Coast universities of the United States, like the Harvard Glacier. With the largest collection of tidewater glaciers in the world, your scenic Alaska cruise through the fjord will make a lasting memory.
Endicott Arm is a jewel in Alaska’s crown. This 30-mile waterway is surrounded by cliffs, valleys and dozens of waterfalls. Icebergs and harbor seals decorate the water below while Dawes Glacier soars into the sky above. Revel in the beauty of Mother Nature’s masterpiece and listen closely as the scenery whispers secrets of times long ago during your cruise to Alaska.
When you cruise to Alaska with Princess, sail through one of the most iconic locations in the Great Land — Glacier Bay National Park. Listen to Margerie Glacier’s signature crack and boom rumble across the waves. Bring binoculars and scan both the shore and the waves for wildlife like brown bears and migrating whales while Park Rangers teach you the history and geology of the park.
The largest tidewater glacier in North America, Hubbard Glacier has been moving its mass towards the ocean at a rate faster than most of its kind. Towering above the water over 30 stories, the glacier often calves 100-foot chunks of ice into the ocean. What lies beneath the waves is almost as impressive, where ice plunges 1,200 feet beneath the surface. See it for yourself on an Alaska cruise with Princess.
Icy Strait Point is home to the remote Tlingit village of Hoonah, home to fewer than 800 people and a deep Native history. The nearby Spasski River Valley holds one of the world’s largest populations of brown bears, who are often found hunting for salmon in the rivers. Zipline over the wilderness, watch a tribal dance or kayak in coastal waters to see the wildlife up close during your Alaska cruise vacation.
Juneau is unlike any other city in the United States. With no roads connecting it to the rest of Alaska or North America, it is truly a protected destination. Founded as a gold mining town and now the state’s capital, Juneau has one foot in history and one in the future. Embark on a whale watching tour, or sail past Mendenhall Glacier on an Alaska cruise.
Known for its timber, Ketchikan hosts the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show, where athletes throw, race and chop their way to victory. Explore one of the world’s oldest collection of totem poles at the Totem Pole Heritage Center, or stroll along Creek Street. As the salmon capital of the world, Ketchikan’s waters make for incredible fishing. Cast your rod into a sea of opportunity on a cruise to Alaska.
On an Alaska cruise, take your pick of attractions in the port of Sitka. See how bald eagles and local bird populations receive first-class treatment at the Alaska Raptor Center. Encounter wildlife in their natural habitat at the Fortress of the Bear. Or experience the culture of Russian Alaska on a visit to St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Church, and relive Native history at the Sheldon Jackson Museum.
Once the gateway to Alaska's Gold Rush, Skagway strikes a dramatic image nestled between the water's edge and mountains. Follow in the footsteps of miners with a ride on a scenic train along the famous White Pass route through coastal mountains. During your Alaska cruise, explore the Yukon's pristine wilderness, pan for gold with professionals or meet sled dog puppies in training.
Valdez is situated in Prince William Sound and serves as the gateway to the interior of Alaska. Often referred to as the "Little Switzerland", Valdez is known for its breathtaking panorama of snow-capped mountains and glaciers. It is also well-known for its role in the transportation of crude oil from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, which ends in Valdez. Explore the charming waterfront area and take in the flavors of Valdez through culinary experiences at restaurants such as the Valdez Brewery and the Fat Mermaid.
At first glance many mistake Victoria for an English coastal city or northern European town. Full of greenery, pubs and Victorian architecture, it's difficult to believe that this was a tent city full of rough and tumble miners just 150 years ago. On a cruise to Alaska, explore the Butchart Gardens, tour the pub scene and taste some of the local brews or sail the bay for a whale-watching adventure.
Wrangell is a charming and scenic harbor known for its local fishing industry. It is not as bustling as larger ports in Alaska and maintains its historic charm and offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Explore its historic downtown and learn about the local culture and Native heritage while in Wrangell.
Alaska Cruise Experience
We have a 50-year legacy of sharing the best places and experiences with our guests. On an Alaska cruise, unpack once and explore glaciers, wildlife and national parks.
One of the biggest reasons people visit
Glaciers feel alive. They groan, creak and shudder on their march to the sea, punctuated by the booms and crashes of "white thunder" — a sound that echoes across the water when ice calves into the ocean below. On an Alaska cruise, let us show you Glacier Bay National Park — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier, College Fjord or Hubbard Glacier.
Untamed, just like Alaska
Alaska is home to a rich array of wildlife, from the famous Big Five animals that live in Denali National Park — grizzly bears, wolves, moose, Dall sheep and caribou — to bald eagles and humpback whales that migrate through the Inside Passage. On a cruise to Alaska, live a nature lover's dream in the land where guests can catch postcard-worthy sights.
Alaska Mountains & National Parks
With national parks and four of North America’s tallest mountains, Alaska’s wilderness has been preserved for generations. Denali National Park is larger than Vermont and home to the highest peak on the continent. Meanwhile, Glacier Bay National Park has over 2,000 square miles of glacial coverage. Along with Wrangell-St. Elias and Kenai Fjords, a world of natural wonders awaits on an Alaska cruise or cruisetour.
Don't just visit this famous land, live it on Alaska excursions. Rush across the snow on a dog sled with a professional musher, fly fish for salmon in fresh rivers and soar over miles of glacial tundra in a helicopter. Watch migrating humpback whales from the deck of a catamaran or Native craftsman carve a traditional totem pole, and expand your Alaska cruise experience.
Alaska Cruise Onboard Experience
Our award-winning North to Alaska program brings local personalities, culture and cuisine on board and ashore to immerse you in all things Alaska during your cruise to the Great Land.
Fresh and bountiful, like Alaska itself
Alaska's seafood is famous, and we bring the best to you with locally inspired dishes from the state’s best eateries. With Cook My Catch excursions, catch your own salmon or halibut with the help of a local expert, and in the evening our talented chefs will prepare your haul for your dinner — a Princess exclusive. From ship to shore, the best is at your fingertips on our Alaska cruises.
Meet Local Alaskans
Real Alaska from local Alaskans
Alaskans are inviting people who love to share what makes their state unique. Watch lumberjacks in action, learn from Glacier Bay National Park rangers and craft with a Native totem pole carver. Or listen to harrowing Tales from the Deadliest Catch fishermen and climbers who have summited Denali during your Alaska cruise.
Unique Alaska Cruise Experiences
Great experiences from the great land
Travel back in time and pan for gold like a prospector during the Gold Rush. Snuggle sled dog puppies in the ship's Piazza, or see the Northern Lights in the planetarium. At the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, explore our treehouse and enjoy unmatched views of Denali. Or savor tree-inspired bites at our very own Sappy Hour. Dive deeper into what makes the Great Land special on your cruise to Alaska.
Alaska Cruise Articles and Videos
Read about Alaska’s must-see attractions, signature cuisine, and how to prepare for a wild adventure into the heart of The Great Land.
Discover Alaska with Princess in 2023-2024
The best cruise line in Alaska just keeps getting better! From top-rated cruises that visit Glacier Bay National Park to scenic rail travel and exclusive Princess lodges, you will find a seamless Alaska experience with Princess.
Best Dishes to Try on Your Alaska Cruise
No one does seafood quite like Alaska—which is why we brought the best of the Great Land on board, so you can experience it all with Princess.
Top Alaska Cruise Destinations
From exploring Denali National Park to fishing for salmon in Anchorage, discover the top Alaska destinations on a Princess cruise.
Inside Passage Alaska Cruise
From exploring historic gold mines to venturing in the footsteps of early explorers, learn about Alaska’s Inside Passage and discover the wonders awaiting you.
Alaska Ports of Call
From the sweeping mountains of Juneau to the fish-bearing seas of Ketchikan, discover our Alaska cruise ports and set sail into the adventures that await you.
What to Pack for an Alaska Cruise
Check out our helpful checklist so that you know exactly what to pack for an Alaska cruise with Princess.
Travel, Airfare, & Hotels: Let Princess Get You There
Princess EZair® Flights
Remove the hassle from air travel and give yourself the gift of flexibility, time and a thicker wallet with Princess EZair flights. We negotiate lower rates with the airlines, allow you to modify your flight up to 45 days prior with no penalty and protect you if your flight is late or canceled.
EZair flight quotes are available on our cruise search result details pages.
Airplane to Ship Transfer
We get you where you need to go
Let Princess pick you up from the airport and take you directly to your ship or hotel when you arrive, even if you didn't book your airfare through us. A uniformed Princess representative meets you at the airport after you've retrieved your luggage and transports you directly to your ship or hotel without you having to worry about the logistics of navigating a new city.
Cruise Plus Hotel Packages
Stay longer and relax
Extend your cruise vacation, and simplify your travel plans with a hotel stay at the beginning or end of your cruise. With a Cruise Plus Hotel Package, a Princess representative meets you at the airport and pier, transporting you to and from your hotel. The package includes the cost of your hotel stay, transportation, luggage handling and the services of the representative.
Need help planning?
Princess Cruise Vacation Planners are a dedicated resource to help you every step of the way through the planning process of your cruise vacation. And the best part is, they are absolutely FREE!
Cruise deals & promotions
Find our top sales, deals, partnerships and promotions for our destinations all in one place. We run promotions throughout the year and sometimes run sweepstakes where you could win prizes!
#PrincessCruises Alaska Connection
See Alaska through our guests' eyes.
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Combine a cruise + train + lodge + Denali for an in-depth Alaska experience.
Enjoy two glacier-viewing experiences on our top-rated 7-day cruise.
North to Alaska
Immerse yourself in all things Alaska with our onboard program.