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Top 5 Best Cruise Lines for Families

Cruises are fun for the whole family, but some cruise lines and cruise ships cater to groups of all ages! Here are our reader's top picks!

The best family vacations are the ones that bring everyone together to share new experiences and of course, have a ton of fun! Cruise lines may have been geared towards adults in the past, but modern ships are floating amusement parks with special areas catering to young children, pre-teens and teenagers so parents and other family members can enjoy the other amenities without worrying about what their kids are up to.

Porthole Cruise readers love nothing more than enjoying a cruise vacation with the whole family, and here are their Best Cruise Lines for Families for 2020. Click the link below to navigate to each section! 

  1. Disney Cruise Line
  2. Carnival Cruise Line
  3. Royal Caribbean International
  4. Princess Cruises
  5. MSC Cruises

Disney Cruise Line

When you’re cruising with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and the rest of the cast of Disney characters, you know you’re going to have a great time. Obviously everyone knows that Disney is a leader in entertainment content for kids and their cruise line is no different. Each Disney Cruise Line ship features the most popular Disney characters who interact with guests, live shows based on Disney movies, themed deck parties, brand new Disney movies in the onboard theater and more. The cruise line caters to keeping kids engaged and excited about every new day at sea with special clubs, events and, of course, pools and waterslides. That’s great news for parents who can relax knowing their kids are safe and happy. There’s no doubt Disney Cruise Line is one of the most kid-friendly at sea! 

Captain Minnie Mouse is delighting children aboard all Disney Cruise Line ships, spreading the message of exploring new horizons as part of a collection of new initiatives aiming to inspire the next generation of female leaders in the maritime industry. The debut of Captain Minnie Mouse, plus new youth programs and the funding of scholarships, are designed to empower girls and young women to pursue careers in the cruise industry and chart a course for success. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

Photo: Disney Cruise Line/Matt Stroshane

Carnival Cruise Line

When it comes to a family-friendly cruise, Carnival Cruise Line consistently ranks at the top thanks to a ton of activities geared towards children, teenagers and adults. It can be a challenge finding the perfect vacation for multiple generations, but Carnival has perfected the art of the family vacation with features like staterooms built for the whole group, tons of dining options so everyone finds something they like, and — the best part of a cruise vacation — getting to visit new places and share new experiences with the people you love! Activities on board like mini-golf, live interactive shows and high-flying features like the brand new SkyRide and Bolt roller coaster are fun for the whole family. 

Carnival Cruise Line

Photo: Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Line

Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean makes planning a cruise for the whole family a breeze thanks to most dining, activities and entertainment included in the fare. The cruise line focuses their time on helping guests create memories through new cultural experiences, exciting activities and fun shows for all ages. With dedicated spaces for kids and adults alike, Royal Caribbean ships are some of the most fun for cruisers to explore. Kids will love the tallest water slide at sea – Ultimate Abyss – plus glow-in-the-dark laser tag, the Aqua Theater and the FlowRider surfing simulator while parents can enjoy the comedy clubs, late-night dance venues and the impressive wine bars. New ships in the fleet feature impressive technology and features that everyone will love! 

Symphony of the Seas

Photo: Royal Caribbean International

Princess Cruises

Some may not think of Princess Cruises as a line that caters to families, but think again! A favorite of Porthole Cruise readers, the cruise line is dedicated to helping families spend quality time together on their special cruise getaway. From unique shore excursions created by Discovery and Animal Planet to family dining and entertainment, there’s something for all ages on board a Princess Cruises ship. Whether your family is in love with discovering new cultures or relaxing on a soft, sandy beach, Princess offers a number of cruise itineraries designed with families in mind. Shoot hoops at the basketball court before taking a dance class then enjoy a late-night movie in the theater. There’s always something to do on board. If you’re looking for a vacation to bring the whole family together, Princess Cruises is a great choice! 

Princess Cruises

Photo: Princess Cruises

MSC Cruises

Water parks, kids clubs, bowling alleys, nightly shows and a whole lot more. MSC Cruises has ships built for families. Extra space family staterooms and dining venues means spending quality time with everyone without worry. Parents will love the child care options for little kids, tweens and teengaers alike so they can sneak away for a spa day or a romantic dinner for two. The Family Explorer Club curates land excursions full of fun and adventure while also enriching guest’s knowledge of the experience. The best part about the Explorer Club? Kids are always half-price. MSC Cruises has several brand new ships featuring the latest in technology and entertainment so there’s something for all ages to enjoy. A stop at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, the cruise line’s private island, is the cherry on top of any cruise vacation! The island has beaches, water activities, shopping, dining and more. Going the extra mile for families is what MSC Cruises does best! 

MSC Cruises

Photo: MSC Cruises

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