Families love cruising to the Caribbean! it's the perfect family vacation destination any time of year. Crystal clear water in a million shades of blue, sun drenched, powder white beaches, diverse cultures, incredible adventures and delicious foods. What's not to love?
A family cruise to the Caribbean is the type of vacation experience that can be as fast paced or as laid back as you choose. A family cruise allows your family to conveniently travel and discover many different destinations and ports of call and only unpack once. Discover new places for future vacations when you can go back and explore in depth. Family friendly cruise ships are full of features and activities that will appeal to every member of the family regardless of age or interests. Seriously, when was the last time you got everyone in the family to agree?
If this is your family's first cruise or a visit to the Caribbean has long been on your vacation wish list, we'll go over some important information so that you can make the right vacation decisions for your family. There is no such thing as the "best family Caribbean cruise" or the "best cruise itinerary" - it's out find a fun filled family cruise that best fits your family's needs and wishes. Remember, there are no wrong answers here. All of these ports of all offer plenty of incredible experiences ready to be turned into future memories that your family will share for a lifetime. Creating the perfect vacation is like putting puzzle piece together and making the best choices.
Where Can You Go?
All the Family Friendly cruise lines offer sailings to popular Caribbean ports of call. There are itineraries offered for sailings to the Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean, Southern Caribbean and exotic ports of Central American. Your family can also choose sailings to Bermuda and the Bahamas. With so many different fun options it's hard to make a decision. The good news here is that there are no wrong answers. Any one of these itineraries will offer your family amazing vacation experiences. If you are having a hard time making a decision, we suggest opting for an itinerary that offers multiple ports of call. This way you can experience several different countries and islands.
Private Islands for Families
All of the family friendly cruise lines have their own private island in the Caribbean. Often these ports of call are the highlight of the week for parents and kids alike. Families can expect all sorts of fun like gorgeous beaches, waterparks, watersports, zip lines, kids clubs, excursions and more. Many activities are included as part of your cruise experience. Some come with an upcharge.
- Disney Cruise Line - Castaway Cay
- Royal Caribbean - CoCoCay and Labadee
- Carnival Cruise Line/ Holland America - Half Moon Caye and Amber Caye
- Norwegian - Great Stirrup Cay and Harvest Caye
- Princess Cruises - Princess Cay
- MSC Cruises - Ocean Cay
Best Family Cruise Lines to the Caribbean
When we listed the private islands, we gave you a big clue as to which cruise lines are the most family friendly. Not all family friendly cruise companies are created equally. We've done a comparison for you which will also help you understand pricing. For example while many folks argue that Disney is the most kid friendly ship on the seven seas, it is also considered a premium cruise line like Princess, Holland America and Celebrity. This means cruise fares can be up to three times more expensive than the contemporary cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Carnival and MSC which all offer incredible family experiences without mouse ears that are easier on the budget.
In addition to the specific cruise lines themselves, each ship offers different features of interest for families. The good news is that each of these cruise lines offer specific features and activities with families in mind whether you're traveling with an infant or teenagers. Older ships may have less bells, whistles and water parks. Also longer itineraries may have less kids onboard and more retirees who don't need to worry about work or school schedules.
How Much Do Family Caribbean Cruises Cost?
A family cruise vacation to the Caribbean can be fairly all inclusive depending upon the cruise you choose. Your cruise price should include your choice of accommodations, all your meals & snacks, shipboard activities, complimentary kids clubs, port charges and taxes. Expect to pay an additional $13-$15 per person per day in gratuities. Guest can either pay this in advance or it's charged to the credit card you use to register at embarkation (fancy word for check in) at the end of your cruise. This amount is divided between all of the crew who serve, care and pamper your family while you're on board. Some family friendly cruise lines are now including drink packages for alcohol and soda.
When it comes to affordability, family Caribbean cruises with everything they include start at a cost of approximately $75 per person, per night. When you consider everything that is included often families can find a decent plain old hotel room for a comparable price. A couple of tips to keep in mind are longer sailings cost a bit less and are a better value than shorter 3-4 days cruises if your family can afford the time away from work or school. Second, cruise lines deploy their best ships and crews on longer sailings.
There will be additional expenses as part of your family cruise package to the Caribbean that you'll need to budget and expect. We mentioned driving to the pier in which you'll need to consider parking. Depending upon distances and preferences, some families may need or prefer to fly to port. In either case, we HIGHLY recommend arriving in your port city at least one day prior to departure because who needs stress on vacation and cruise ships wait for no one. When your cruise ship docks in these exotic ports you'll want to plan activities and adventures to enjoy each location. Most ports offer dozens of tours or shore excursions to choose from.
If this is your family's first time cruising, it may be your first time visiting foreign countries. You may have questions on documentation for your children and obtaining passports. Most health insurance doesn't cover you in foreign countries so you'll need to be prepared with travel insurance.
So if you're new to cruising, it's your family's first vacation to the Caribbean or the information if the tips you learned in this video were things you didn't know before then chances are you will benefit from working with an experienced cruise travel agent that specializes in family travel. Something else you may not know is that Vacationkids often gets deals and perks you won't find if you book online yourself or call the cruise lines. So set up a call with one of the family cruise experts on your team and make that Caribbean cruise dream a reality for your family.