Taking the Kids Cruise Guide 2013

Eileen Ogintz
June 12, 2013
posted under TMS Family Travel

Kids are everywhere-on cruise ships anyway-whether you are in the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska or far flung destinations like the Galapagos Islands and even the Arctic. Welcome to our Taking the Kids Cruise Guide for 2013, researched and updated by our intrepid intern Becca Tash.

Cruise Lines International Association reports that some 1.5 million kids now are cruising every year - more than 1,000 on some sailings. And cruise lines have never done more for them, from featuring hip teen and tween hang-outs with the latest music and video games, to centers for the littlest cruisers (that are better equipped than many preschools) and even nurseries at sea.

Parents love cruising because they get a lot of bang for their vacation buck - activities, meals and lodging all for one price, including supervised morning-till-night programming for kids, at considerably less than many resorts charge. Grandparents are fans because cruises can prove an easy way to get the whole gang on vacation, especially in Alaska and Europe. Kids - especially tweens and teens - give ships a thumbs-up because they love the freedom they can have onboard and the chance to make new friends. Kids and parents alike love the major lines' private Caribbean islands, too.

Kids with special needs and severe allergies routinely are accommodated in organized programming. Another plus: there have never been more ports, from New York to California, eliminating the need for many families to fly. And you can cruise for just a few days or more than a week, checking out beaches or historic sites. Visit the Cruise Lines International Association website for a list of ports. Find online cruise guides complete with deals and specials.

And if you don't want to go on a large ship charter your own boat with a crew or without as we have done several times in Tahiti or the Caribbean.

I've cruised with my family around the world, from the Caribbean to Europe to Greece to Alaska. I've written The Kid's Guide: Cruising Alaska. I've found along the way that key is to choose the right cruise for your family and age kids.

Here are some great options ranging from small yachts to mega-ships, sailing all the world's seas, and brought to you by AdventureSmith, Carnival, Celebrity, Costa, Crystal, Cunard, Disney, Holland America, MSC, Norwegian, Paul Gauguin, Princess, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean, Tauck River Cruises, Un-Cruise Adventures, Uniworld River Cruises and Windstar.

Read more at: TakingtheKids.com

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