If you live in Florida, and have for some time, odds are you have seen and done all the major touristy things that Florida is knows for. If you know places like Sea World and Disney like the back of your hand, perhaps it’s time to take to the water with a family cruise. Florida has a major port for the cruise line industry. As a result, there are a number of great family oriented cruises that leave from here just about every day. Below is a list of some of our favorite family cruises.
Be sure to check out our post on Getting from Orlando to Port St. Lucie
Disney Cruise Lines Wonder
No name is more closely associated with family fun than Disney. Disney Wonder sails from Port Canaveral, Florida on 3, 4, 5 and 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean adventures. She offers the true Disney experience, with the usual cast of characters on board to mingle with guests of all ages. Oceaneers Adventure features an entire deck of kid’s activities. The 1,000-seat Walt Disney Theater brings a different musical spectacular to the stage each night. A unique feature of Disney Cruises is the rotating dining plan, where every evening you dine in a different restaurant. Phone: 1-800-951-3532.
Carnival touts its fleet as “Fun Ships”. Carnival Freedom is one of the newest and at 110,000 tons, also among the largest. Carnival Freedom departs from Fort Lauderdale, Florida for 6 and 8-night Caribbean cruises starting as low as $359 per person. Her interior themes take passengers on a journey through time, from ancient Babylonia to the present. Ports of call include San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Lucia and Cozumel. Phone: 1-888-CARNIVAL.
Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas
The largest cruise ship afloat, Freedom of the Seas sails from Port Canaveral, Florida for 7-night Caribbean adventures. When it comes to a family cruise experience, this ship has it all, including ice rink, rock-climbing wall and a 445-foot long dining, shopping and entertainment arcade called Royal Promenade. Freedom of the Seas Adventure Ocean is one of the most popular kids’ programs at sea. Phone: 1-866-562-7625.
NCL Norwegian Sky
Sail from Miami for a 3 or 4-night getaway to the Bahamas aboard one of Norwegian Cruise Lines most family-friendly cruise ships. Norwegian Sky boasts nearly 250 balcony staterooms, 10 bars, 2 outdoor pools and 5 hot tubs. Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Freestyle” cruising gives you the opportunity to enjoy any one of Norwegian Sky’s 6 family-friendly restaurants at the times you choose. Phone: 1-866-234-7350.
Holland America Zuiderdam
Holland America offers a more upscale cruising experience. The Zuiderdam is one of Holland America’s Vista class fleet of ships. With a more contemporary feel, she is designed to appeal to a more family-oriented clientele. At 85,000 tons, she is also one of the largest in the fleet. She sails from Fort Lauderdale on 10-night journeys to the Panama Canal, making stops in the Bahamas, Aruba, Curacao, Costa Rica and Holland America’s private beach on Half Moon Cay. The Indonesian and Filipino crew is among the best at sea. Club HAL is a favorite activities center for young cruisers. Phone: 1-877-932-4259.
Princess Cruises Emerald Princess
Princess Cruises, the cruise line that made cruising popular in the 70s, still has it all when it comes to enjoyable family cruise vacations. The Emerald Princess offers a wide variety of choices for the cruiser who wants to style their own cruise vacation. Emerald Princess’s Personal Choice Cruising features a number of specialty restaurants the whole family can enjoy, including Sabatini’s Italian Restaurant, The Crown Grill Steakhouse and a Caribbean themed café. Emerald Princess sails from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on 7-night Eastern Caribbean voyages. Phone: 1-800-774-6237.
Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Century
Looking for a quick family getaway? Celebrity Century has Caribbean cruises from 2 to 5 nights out of Miami. Celebrity Century offers a higher level of service and cuisine. Her dining options are rated among the best at sea, including the Italian inspired Murano and a recently added Sushi Bar. Celebrity X-Club Youth Programs cater to kids from 3 to 17. In addition, Celebrity offers a host of family events like Karaoke, Family Disco and Bingo. Phone: 1-877-202-4345.
Tampa, Florida is not only a great city to tour, it’s a great departure point for family cruising. Carnival Legend offers 7-night Western Caribbean Cruises departing from Tampa and calling at such popular ports as Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize City and Roatan. Carnival Legend exemplifies Carnival’s commitment to making the cruise experience a memorable one for the whole family. Carnival Legend was the first Carnival ship to offer flexible dining options. Passengers can choose the traditional early or late sittings or opt to dine at their convenience. Among her many family-friendly highlights, Carnival Legend features a 1,800 square foot kids’ area. Phone 1-888-CARNIVAL.
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas
Jewel of the Seas offers 10 and 11-night voyages combining the Caribbean and Panama Canal. Like all Royal Caribbean ships, Jewel of the Seas is a veritable city when it comes to on-board activities. From volleyball courts to golfing, from boutiques to coffee houses, and from kids’ clubs to water slides, Jewel of the Seas is among the most complete family vacations you’ll find at sea or on land. She also boasts a range of great alternative dining options including the Italian style Portofino and Chops Grille. Phone: 1-866-562-7625.