The almost all-inclusive nature of a cruise makes it easier for families to budget for lodging, meals, and most entertainment.  When it comes to choosing a cruise ship there are some basics to consider when traveling with kids for a family holiday.

what are your best cruise tips?

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A cruise is the perfect way to accommodate everyone in your family. There is truly something for everyone, making it a fun-filled vacation from start to finish. if you are taking a cruise over the holidays, these cruise ship tips should help ensure smooth sailing!

Booking Rooms:

If you have a large family (more than 4) consider getting two staterooms. I have a lot of parents that like to get a balcony cabin for them and an inside (no window) cabin across the hall for the older kids. This practice makes it easier for everyone to enjoy some much needed space.

Choosing a Cruise:

When choosing a cruise line make sure to select a cruise company that attracts a lot of families. Brands like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), Disney, and Princess are the most popular with North American family cruisers.


Large ships like Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and the Liberty of the Seas are hard to compete with. These ships are packed with non-stop activitiess and programs designed to keep people busy. These ships are famous for their rock climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, mini-golf, water parks, and the popular FlowRider surf park.

Carnival Cruise Lines has newer ships equipped with almost the same features sans the ice-skating rink. Carnival Cruise Line ships get a big thumbs-up from teens who really enjoy ClubO2. This high-energy hangout for ages 15-17 is a supervised lounge dedicated just for older teens. This ClubO2 staff are trained to engage the teens and get everyone in the spirit of fun.  A couple hours hanging here, and teens have made friends for life.

Activities, Activities, Activities

Tips to make your cruise more enjoyable

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NCL also provides great programs for teens. The NCL teen program is supervised by youth counselors and is dedicated to teens between the ages 13-17. Teens can hang out, use the Nintendo Wii, enjoy theme parties, and participate in daily teen focused games and activities.

The real trick in finding the best cruise product for an older teen is to make sure that you are getting what you think. For example, there are many cruise ships within each cruiseline’s fleet.  The older ships in the fleet don’t have all the newer amenities and that could cause some major disappointment for your teen. So make sure when you are selecting a a ship with your teen’s best interests at heart, that you do some homework and make sure that the ship has what you are looking for.

Are you a first-time cruiser or planning a cruise for a larger family vacation? Let me know if you have any questions in the comment area below and please feel free to share your favorite cruise ship tips!