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Choose Your Favourite Cruise for an Amazing Family Getaway!

Planning a family cruise? Tiana Templeman reveals the top options for a holiday at sea

Going on a cruise with your family isn’t just a fun holiday – cruising immerses children in different cultures and teaches them how to master new skills, such as surfing, hip-hop dancing and filmmaking. But it’s not just the kids who get to have all the fun. Grown-ups are not forgotten, with adult-only options including luxurious spas, cooking classes and serenity decks. With kids’ club facilities for tots, teens and every age in between, entertainment and dining options galore and accommodation to suit every family, one of the following cruises is sure to float your boat.

As cruise ships return to Australia, here are the nation’s best-loved family cruise options. 

Carnival Cruise Line: Perfect for cruising with kids and teens

Ride the Green Thunder waterslide on Carnival Spirit scaled
Ride the Green Thunder waterslide on Carnival Spirit

Are you game to take on the fastest, steepest waterslide at sea? Children taller than 120cm and (brave) adults can ride the squeal-inducing Green Thunder on Carnival Spirit, which starts with a freefall drop before reaching speeds of up to 65km per hour. If you and your kids are feeling less adventurous, the tamer Twister waterslide is the way to go. Littlies will enjoy the Carnival Waterworks SplashZone, which includes a huge tipping bucket, squirters and a tot-sized waterslide. Carnival Cruise ships also offer dance lessons, pool games and dancing waiters in the dining room every evening. The Carnival Luminosa also sails from Brisbane.

Read: 8 amazing Carnival Cruise destinations for families 

Disney Cruise Line: Filled with unforgettable excitement and enchantment!

Image 1 Meet a princess on a Disney Cruises sailing. Photo Matt Stroshane Image 2 Meet a princess on a Disney Cruises sailing Photo Matt Stroshane
Image 1: Meet a princess on a Disney Cruises sailing; Photo: Matt Stroshane. Image 2: Meet a princess on a Disney Cruises sailing; Photo: Matt Stroshane

If your cruise-loving family is also into Disney, then Disney Cruises is the line for you. Disney ships offer princess-themed dining, character meet-and-greets, Disney movie marathons featuring Marvel, Pixar, Disney and Star Wars films, and adult-only restaurants for ‘date nights’. The family dining program ensures kids are served within 40 minutes and collected by kids’ club staff so adults can enjoy the rest of their meal at leisure.

Read: Why Australia’s first Disney cruise is ‘Magic at Sea’ for kids

P&O Cruises: Featuring an outdoor adventure park for families

Have fun with your kids on a P&O Cruise with the Edge Adventure Park, an outdoor activities area on the top deck where you can fly through the air on a zipline, challenge yourself on the ropes course or choose from a dozen other activities including a Titanic experience, which recreates the iconic moment from the famous movie. Some P&O ships have waterslides, others have a teen club with VR gaming, or a luxe adult-only pool area: the choice is yours. Older kids (and their parents) will laugh out loud on a comedy cruise – a long weekend sailing, with stand-up shows from some of the country’s top comedians.

Read: Discover P&O Cruises’ newest ship, the Pacific Adventure

Captain Cook Cruises: Experience Fiji's natural wonders

The Reef Endeavour in Fiji
The Reef Endeavour in Fiji

Book a culturally immersive small ship cruise on Captain Cook Cruises Fiji’s 130-passenger Reef Endeavour. The most popular itineraries for families are the weekly three to seven-night cruises to the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands. Activities include visiting villages, talks by an onboard marine biologist and glass bottom boat tours. A traditional feast is also offered on cruises of seven nights or more. All cruises include a stop at the company’s private island, Tivua, for snorkelling, swimming and relaxing on the beach. A kids’ program for children aged five to nine is available throughout the year.

Book your 7 Night Mamanuca & Yasawa Islands Captain Cook Cruise from Denarau here!

Princess Cruises: Fun for the whole family!

Play dress ups at Camp Discovery on Princess Cruises r scaled
Play dress ups at Camp Discovery on Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises’ ships feature Camp Discovery – a Discovery Channel-themed kids club for kids aged three to 17. Children can learn as they play, with activities including The Greatest Catch and Just Squiddin’ Around. In the evening, settle back with complimentary popcorn and warm cookies and milk, and catch a movie under the stars. There is also The Voice of the Ocean, an entertaining onboard talent quest inspired by popular TV show The Voice.

Royal Caribbean cruises: Endless fun for kids and grown-ups

Ride the FlowRider on Royal Caribbean ships 1
Ride the FlowRider on Royal Caribbean ships

The fun never stops on Royal Caribbean, with activities such as ice skating, circus school, onboard surfing and iFly skydiving included in the fare. It’s free to ride the FlowRider surf simulator, which is available on every Australian-based Royal Caribbean ship, except Radiance of the Seas. Boogie boarding is the best option for families as it’s easy to master and suitable for all ages. Pack swimmers in your carry-on bag and why not hit the waves on the very day you embark? While you might need a holiday after your holiday on these action-packed ships, there is little chance you’ll hear those dreaded words” “I’m bored”.

Read: We review Icon of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship 


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