With the summer holidays approaching fast, a cruise makes for a great holiday choice. More and more cruise lines realise the importance of a family traveling together, whilst also understanding that all involved have their own needs.
Many cruise lines make it easy for the adults to dine alone away from the children. Yes, couple’s can still have dinner for two in a specialty restaurant indulge in the spa and head to a casino or view the sunset.
Meanwhile, during these couple alone periods, children can enjoy their own activities to the fullest in a supervised and safe environment.
Cunard’s Queen Mary 2
When people think of Cunard’s elegant style, it comes as a surprise to see that children are well catered for. The Queen Mary 2 more than delivers in the child friendly aspect with a packed daily activities programme, especially for their summer holiday voyages.
The Play Zone and The Zone are located on Deck six and cater to all age groups. Deck 6 is home to Minnows Splash pool too, a favourite amongst the toddler set. The Play Zone is suitable for toddlers to 7 year olds with fun competitions and arts and crafts.
Older children and teenagers can have fun at The Zone with activities such as table tennis, video games and sports on the deck. Teens also have access to Apple Mac computers and can learn amongst other things, new graphic design software.
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The Queen Mary also has a designated nursery just for infants, so even the youngest member of the family will be well looked after, whist the parents can visit a port or dine alone.
Many sailings depart from Southampton, making it a huge convenience for those who reside in the UK.
Besides transatlantic sailings to or from New York, first time cruisers can venture on one of the short three or four day sailings to Le Havre, Hamburg or Bruges. A longer closer to home adventure offered this summer is an eight day Norwegian Fjords sailing.
Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Magic
Well known for their family friendly entertainment, Disney has spared no expense when it comes to fun on their ocean liners such as the Disney Magic. Disney’s Oceaneer Club stands out from other cruise lines as it features detailed replicas from classic Disney and Pixar films such as Andy’s Room or the factory of Monsters Inc.
Of course, kids have plenty of chances to play with their favourite characters and take part in special events all trip long. Teenagers aged 14 to 17 can also enjoy themselves in the Vibe Club with movie screenings, karaoke competitions and other fun filled activities.
Disney Cruise Line offers cruise holidays varying from five to ten days for their cruise holidays aboard the Disney Magic Cruise Ship.
Watch these kids remembering their Disney Cruise
Enjoy the Western Mediterranean out of Barcelona or take one of the few sailings right out of Dover, which will alleviate the need for air travel. These voyages visit Copenhagen, Oslo, Kristiansand and Stavanger. The Disney Magic Cruise Ship is also scheduled to depart from Copenhagen making port of calls at Stockholm, Helsinki, Saint Petersburg and Tallinn.
MSC Cruises has expanded and caters to children more than ever before. The newest ship to MSC’s fleet, MSC Meraviglia will begin sailings in June 2017.
Look for attractions onboard such as a dedicated lounge for all family quality time activities called the DOREMI Studio Lounge. For children who love technology send them off to the DOREMI Tech Lab. Get together and see the world famous Cirque de Solei.
Planned facilities for the youngest have been designed in partnership with the LEGO Group and Chicco. Other age appropriate activities are scheduled through children’s’ clubs. The double-deck indoor amusement park will assure parents that their children will never be bored.
Watch the MSC family cruises video
Summer 2017 sailings have the MSC Meraviglia cruising around the Western Mediterranean visiting Genoa, Marseille, Sicily, Naples Malta and Barcelona. Passengers can embark in Barcelona, Genoa or Marseille.
Although it may not be as large as the other cruise ships, P&O Cruises Ventura still manages to go above and beyond when it comes to children’s entertainment. The Ventura, which had an upgrade in 2013, has a large Kids Club and is the most family friendly ship of the P&O fleet.
This club includes an entire water fun area complete with a splash pool and a substantial water slide as well as a kid’s disco, the Reef Rangers where children can dance to their heart’s content.
For parents wanting a night on the town, they offer a night nursery for the under 4 age group. Besides designated areas for both the adults and kids, there are family friendly swimming pools and dedicated family restaurants with early eating times.
Watch the P&O family entertainment video
This certainly makes for a balance of parents having periods to themselves without worries and food family quality time spent together.
Besides all the advantages of taking your children on holiday with you and still having time alone, the Ventura’s 2017 summer sailings depart from Southampton. Various sailings from four to seventeen days makes it just the right fit for all. Ports of calls include those in the Greek Isles, Western Mediterranean, Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands.
Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas
It should come as no surprise that there are many things to do for young passengers on a Royal Caribbean ship and the fifteen deck Independence of the Seas does just that.
The ship has a unique aspect that appeals to both young and old; an ice skating rink which is a real challenge with some winter fun in the midst of the summer! The FlowRider surf simulators located on the very top deck lets the whole family catch a wave or two.
The Adventure Ocean Club is well known amongst Royal Caribbean fans and has an abundance of activities, that entails enrichment, creativity and recreational. With five different age levels, each age group have their own dedicated facilities. The younger set can get a chance to meet some favourite DreamWorks characters too.
“My Family Time Dining” is a huge hit on the Independence of the Seas and gives families a chance to dine together and expedites service for the children at the table. When they finish, they are whisked back to the Adventure Ocean Club by a staff member. Parents can finish their meals leisurely and catch some entertainment such as the show, “Grease”, the musical.
Watch the Royal Caribbean top 5 family destinations video
Just in time for the summer holidays, with various dates available from May to October, the Independence of the Seas will leave and return on a various number of nights to and from Southampton. Itineraries include the Canary Islands, Western Mediterranean and the British Isles.
Without having to weigh the pros and cons of every cruise line and ship, any of these five top cruise ships are bound to be a hit for families looking to go on holiday this summer.
Written by Veronica Shine