The Caribbean, Mexico, the Bahamas and Bermuda are certainly the most popular cruise destinations for American families. These family friendly ports of all offer fun experiences for kids of all ages. Depending on the specific sailing you choose, your family can visit a several different countries and Caribbean islands on a single cruise. Ports of call and the length of time your ship will be docked in port will vary between different cruise lines.
It's also important to realize not all islands or ports of call are offered year around. For example Bermuda can have cooler weather during winter months when most families want to escape the cold. For this reason, Bermuda sailings are usually offered spring, summer and fall.
Cruise ports offering family friendly ships sailing off to the Caribbean line the coast from Boston to Texas. This allows many families the option of driving to port, offering parents the affordable option of saving tons of money on airfares. So in theory, your entire family can drive to the Caribbean!...road trip, park at the port and sail away on a tricked out Cruise ship. Vacationkids offers pre cruise hotels that include parking for the week and transportation to your cruise port making your cruise vacation even more affordable.
Not all Caribbean destinations are offered from all U.S. departure ports. For example, you won't find Bermuda cruises sailing from Galveston or cruises to Mexico departing from Boston. The cost of a family Caribbean Cruise will vary based on the time of year, the number of nights at sea, the cruise line and the specific ship.
For families living on the West coast, a cruise can off your family easy way to visit the Caribbean islands. Often a Caribbean resort stay will require West coast families take a connecting red eye flight, even double connections. Usually there are nonstop flights from major west coast cities into U.S. Caribbean Cruise embarkation ports on the east coast.
Family Eastern Caribbean Cruises
With an Eastern Caribbean sailing your family cruise will likely visit ports like Jamaica, Grand Turk, St. Thomas, St. Martin, Grand Cayman, Tortola and Puerto Rico. Many Eastern cruises will also dock in either Freeport or Nassau in the Bahamas. Some Eastern sailings that depart from north east ports like Boston, New York or Baltimore may also include a stop in Port Canaveral. This means families can spend the day in one of the Orlando theme parks.
Western Caribbean Cruises for Families
On a western Caribbean cruise, your family will enjoy fun port stops in places like Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Key West Florida or multiple stops in Mexico like Cozumel or Costa Maya. Many of these destinations offer family friendly resorts for a day. It's a great way to enjoy the beach in style and once again consider options for a future family vacation.
Southern Caribbean or Exotic Sailings
Less touristy and packed full of discovery and adventure, these itineraries offer ports of call including Belize, Roatan and Costa Rica as well as Mexico, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. On other southern sailings your family can visit exciting ports like Antiqua, St. Lucia, Aruba, Barbado, Bonaire, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Martinique and St. Kitts. Often flights to these destinations means limited access, long connections and expensive airfares so visiting via a cruise makes these amazing places affordable and convenient for many families.
Bermuda Cruises for Families
Technically Bermuda (and Turks & Caicos & the Bahamas for that matter) is located in the North Atlantic and is a British Territory. We'll blame well intentioned travel marketing people for the geography confusion. It's at about the same latitude as Savannah Georgia. It's average high and low temperatures are between 76 and 68 degrees fahrenheit. Families will love it's world renown pink sand beaches, historic forts and tea parties.
With so many incredible and exotic ports of call to choose from just think of all the exciting adventures your family will have. It may be hard to make a decision but the good news is that there are no wrong answers here. Any of these amazing destinations will offer your family wonderful vacation memories for years to come.