With a variety of activities for the kids, plenty to do for tweens and teens, and a chance for the adults to relax and catch up, cruising is one of the best ways for families to see the world and spend time together.
Multigenerational cruising and celebrating “milestones” at sea – birthdays, anniversaries, retirement and more - are among the fastest-growing segments in travel. Whether in port or onboard, the beauty of a multigenerational cruise vacation is that by day everyone can do their own thing or do things together, convene each night at dinner to share the day’s adventures, and then disperse to age-appropriate entertainment after-hours.
Cruises truly bring everyone together and appeal to all family members because they offer endless activities, dozens of dining options, and age-appropriate adventure, not to mention unmatched value.
From family-friendly river cruises aboard AmaWaterways to more upscale ocean options like Crystal, Oceania and Azamara, our Cruise Insider experts can recommend the perfect ship, voyage and cabin to fit every demographic and demand.
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Thinking of planning a family reunion at-sea? Consider the following tips:
- Connecting cabins. If you don’t want to splurge on a multi-room luxury suite for everyone, consider adjoining rooms. Perfect for families with several kids or for family reunions, you can open the doors in these staterooms to make a spacious family suite or close them when you need some privacy
- Group discounts. If you’re going to need eight or more cabins, many cruise lines will offer a group discount for large parties - and maybe even some unique extra perks onboard - so be sure to ask your Cruise Insider expert about your options when booking a large party.
- Tight squeeze. If you’re on a budget or just love being together, many cruise lines will allow up to four people in one stateroom. In some cabins it might seem tight, but it’s doable. Young kids often love climbing up to the “bunk” (upper) berths and more importantly, you might save some money since the third or fourth person in a cabin is often charged less.
- Kids clubs. Most family-oriented cruise lines have fabulous supervised children’s programs that offer a mix of activities, with a bit of education combined with the fun. In addition, many ships have areas just for teens – lounges with games, movies, technology, sports and more – to ensure that mom and dad get a little break while the kids are off on their own adventure.
- Alone time. Being with the family is great, but it’s good to carve some alone time for yourself and/or your immediate family. Consider the adults only area onboard like the spa or casino, spend some quiet time in the ship’s library or relax on your private balcony to avoid the craziness around the pool. Cruise ships offer plenty of areas away from the crowds – ask our experts exactly where to find them.
- Stay connected. With lots of people and lots to do onboard, staying in-touch with each other can be a challenge. Some cruise lines have their own Apps that allow you to communicate while at-sea, but consider bringing walkie-talkies for each family - a fun and free way for your group to stay connected. ("We’re all meeting in the at the pool in 30 minutes"). Easy, fun and the kids will love it!
- Getting around. While in port, it’s often cheaper and more flexible to hire a van or private (large) car & driver for your family to explore the sights at their own pace. Our experts can help you find the perfect option to accommodate any sized group or for any adventure so everyone stays and plays together.
- Photo ops. Cruises are memories that will last a lifetime. So don’t miss the many photo opportunities onboard the ship – embarkation, formal nights, ports-of-call, etc. – when everyone is together and happy. There are often great deals to be found on the photo packages or you can apply shipboard credit to buy these once-in-a-lifetime memories.
- Dining options. Most cruise lines offer a variety of restaurants, hundreds of menu items and even choices for early or late dining. To accommodate both kids’ bed times and early bird eaters, we recommend the early dining option, which often fills up first and allows you the most time to enjoy the nighttime entertainment. But depending on your party’s preferences, we’ll ensure your dining details are perfect so everyone breaks bread together.
- Shore excursions. If you’re traveling with a large family, consider avoiding the large group tours and customize your very own private shore excursion. You’ll save on the cost with a “group” rate, plus you’ll get better service, a tailored tour and can explore at your own pace without any strangers around. Our specialists can help you arrange authentic, unique, personalized experiences that everyone will enjoy and the cruise lines simply don’t offer.
We're here to answer any of your cruise related questions and help make your next multigenerational vacation absolutely magical! Speak to an expert at 1 (877) 734-6858 for inspiration or search a variety of itineraries.
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