Click here to turn music onClick here to switch to broadband
DestinationsShips and Cruise LinesFind A CruiseBest CruisesGroups & IncentivesLuxury CruisingHot Weekly DealsHelp
Home > Best Cruises > Multi-generations > FAQs Email To A Friend
Email To A Friend
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 Are there cruises out there that fit all generations of my family?
 So, what's a cruise got to have to make it best for my family get-together?
 Which cruise lines do you recommend for multi-generation family groups?

 Are there cruises out there that fit all generations of my family?
      Yes, there are. But it usually takes a mighty big ship (80,000+ tons) to provide the necessary "something-for-everyone" facilities inside! Small, "boutique" ships and cruise lines simply can't - and don't even try to - appeal to multi-generation cruisers. They've got other niches to fill and they fill them very well.

But this niche is best filled by the larger, more full-facility ships. Don't forget to visit our list of "Best Cruises for Multi-generations" page!

Back to the Top
 So, what's a cruise got to have to make it best for my family get-together?
      It's got to have more of everything. There are two big factors in getting "more" - the Ship and the Itinerary.

The Ship:

  • Choose a big one. 80,000+ tons qualifies most ships as "big." Ships ranging between 90,000 tons and 160,000 (the max at this writing) are probably the best choices. But keep in mind that older members of your family may have problems with the ultra-big ships with ultra-long hallways!
  • More facilities. Big ships tend to have more facilities. By this we mean more pools - maybe some for adults or kids only; more elaborate spas and fully-equipped fitness facilities; full-sized sports courts for volleyball or basketball, maybe a golf simulator or two; onboard enrichment facilities like culinary centers, computer centers or language labs; more specialty restaurants for a wider choice of cuisines; spacious, age-specific youth program activity centers.
  • Variety of family-focused accommodations. A ship with a wide choice of "family staterooms," connecting rooms and other family-friendly accommodations has the edge. More choices usually translates as fewer compromises and more money saved.

The Itinerary:

  • Convenient departure city. Not all members of your family may be coming from the same city or region. A cruise that departs from an easy-to-get-to city such as Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, New Orleans, New York or Los Angeles may have an edge over a cruise departing from Anchorage, Charleston or Montreal.
  • Relatively short itinerary. Parents or grandparents may love that certain 11-night Southern Caribbean cruise but will the little ones last through it? If your family group includes all age groups, consider a 5 to 7-night cruise.
  • Port variety. A cruise which visits beach city after beach city aft beach city may be fine for the divers and snorkelers in your family, but what about the shoppers, history buffs, golfers or hikers?

Don't forget to visit our list of "Best Cruises for Multi-generations" page!

Back to the Top
 Which cruise lines do you recommend for multi-generation family groups?
      Generally, the larger the ship, the more likely there's going to be something aboard (pool slides, bingo, discos, play areas, card rooms, Internet centers, etc.) for every generation of your family. Here are our recommendations, listed in general order of preference. Keep in mind that all these lines make excellent choices!
  1. Royal Caribbean. This is the line with the really "Big" ships - you know, the ones with the rock-climbing walls and ice-skating rinks, bungee trampolines, and the like. Kids, teens, adults - even today's seniors - keep these venues busy! But also onhand are the timeless activities of shuffleboard, Bingo tournaments, dance lessons, enrichment seminars, trivia contests, and Broadway and Las Vegas-style entertainment. Plus, this line is introducing more and more in the way of family-friendly accommodations - staterooms large enough to accommodate families; more inter-connecting rooms, etc.
  2. Norwegian. From the line that introduced "Freestyle Cruising" (almost total flexibility in dining times, multiple restaurants, eased-up dress code) come some of the most multi-generation-friendly cruise ships. There's a huge variety of activities, lounges and restaurants on their newer, larger ships and most "family-friendly" accommodations are available with Norwegian, too. Norwegian's subsidiary, NCL America, has exclusive rights to operate 7-night Hawaii "island hopping" cruises - itineraries bound to please every generation in your family!
  3. Princess. It's always hard to pin down the "Princess-type" passenger - so broad is their appeal. For this very reason, Princess makes our list of best cruise lines for multi-generation families. "Movies Under the Stars," one of the best shore excursion programs in the business, huge youth/teen facilities and flexible dining options - all factor in to make Princess - particularly their larger ships - a great pick!
  4. Disney. Take a trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney World and look around. You'll see kids, brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, uncles, aunts...and you'll see the same aboard their ships, too. This premium-level line also offers some of the largest standard-category staterooms - many with fourth and fifth-guest berths and most with separate half-baths (sink and toilet).
  5. Holland America. Choose the largest, "Vista-class" ships of this line (Noordam, Oosterdam, Westerdam or Zuiderdam) and you're more likely to find a winner. These big ships have terrific kids programs, teen discos, and all the activities and facilities - including a terrific Culinary Arts venue - for adults and their parents.
Don't forget to also consider the ship's itinerary! Choose a cruise whose itinerary offers as broad an appeal as possible. Then, oh! the stories your family can share each evening at dinner!
Back to the Top