Two million kids younger than 15 sailed the high seas in 2013 on lines that are members of the Cruise Lines International Association Industry. To attract and keep that many children happily engaged, cruise lines offer meet and greets with beloved cartoon characters, splash-happy water parks, zip lines, ropes courses and more.
The major family- friendly lines that cater to the North American market and carry most of the junior sailors are (in alphabetical order) Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean International. Celebrity and Crystal offer children’s programs on selected sailings. Holland America Line‘s Club HAL offers supervised activities for ages 3 to 12 and has dedicated facilities for children and teens on most of its ships.
All of these lines offer great cruises. It’s the differences — each line’s signature features, onboard partnerships and the structure and frequency of the kids and teens programs — and how they match up to your children’s ages and interests that will determine which ship is the best fit for your family.