Cruises get a bad rap these days. We’ve all heard the horror stories of cruises gone terribly wrong. But those cases are incredibly rare. And cruises are still a wonderful vacation option. Especially for families! But be careful when looking for the right one for you and your family, because some of them aren’t right for everyone.
That’s why we made this list breaking down the best cruise options for all family types. Read through to find the one that’s best for your family!
THE BEST CRUISE FOR FAMILIES WITH A BABY
Most cruises have a minimum age limit of six months. And let’s be honest, that’s a good thing. But even babies in that 6-12+ month range can make travel pretty complicated as you’ll be spending so much time tending to them. Especially when considering that most cruises with a kids’ area have their own age minimum of two years or older.
That’s why Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas is the absolute best option for any family looking to take a cruise with a young baby. That’s because their Royal Babies and Tots program includes beautiful nurseries that cater to babies from 6-36 months. And they have all the safety requirements and activities you (and your baby) could ask for.
You’ll be charged by the hour, with higher rates at night, and everyone that works in the nurseries have been properly certified. So you won’t be worried because you’re leaving your baby with someone inexperienced. They work in pairs, can bottle feed, and can change as many diapers as need changing.
THE BEST CRUISE FOR FAMILIES WITH YOUNG KIDS
As your children get older, the troubles of traveling with a baby disappear, and all new problems arise. Keeping your kids (and, let’s be honest, yourself) in a good mood is suddenly a very difficult task. And it can become nearly impossible to provide your kids with consistent activities to keep them occupied and happy.
So, with all that in mind, the Carnival Vista cruise is the best cruise out there for any family with kids ages 5-11. From the Dr. Seuss based entertainment to the slide-heavy waterpark to the IMAX theater to the bike and ropes courses, your kids will have plenty of things to keep them busy and having fun while you and your partner can find your own fun.
They also offer a babysitting service and plenty of nighttime entertainment geared towards adults. So you can certainly have some adult fun of your own on this great cruise.
THE BEST CRUISE FOR FAMILIES WITH TEENS
Teenagers. Sometimes it seems like there are few things more frustrating! And trying to have a fun family vacation with a few moody teens can be a downright nightmare when done wrong. But the Anthem of the Seas cruise from Royal Caribbean is a fantastic option that has clearly been catered to keep your angsty teens happy.
They have awesome activities that teens can enjoy by themselves, or you can do as a family. This list is amazing: daily scavenger hunts, karaoke nights, skydiving and surfing simulators, a rock-climbing wall, circus school (what?!), a DJ academy, multiple sports courses, and nightly outdoor movies. I mean… how much more could you possibly need?!
THE BEST CRUISE FOR FAMILIES WITH ADULT CHILDREN
It’s tough to still pull off family vacations once the kids are all grown up and have their own lives. And even if you do manage to get everyone together, it’s hard to keep anyone excited and having fun. But cruises can still be a great option in that department, and the Norwegian Escape is one of the best cruises in the world for families with adult children.
For one, your children can get their own rooms. Because – don’t kid yourself – your kid hasn’t wanted to stay in the same hotel room with you since they hit puberty. This progressive cruise even lets guests under 21 drink alcohol as long as they’re under the supervision of a parent and the parent signed a release form. That’s pretty dang cool if you ask me!
But that’s not all there is to it. This cruise also offers plenty of fun activities for anyone and everyone. They have a ropes course, a lot of awesome live shows, a casino, and even a Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville at Sea.
THE BEST CRUISE FOR FAMILY REUNIONS
Honestly, cruises are probably one of the best ideas for family reunions. They can so easily become awkward as you’re spending so much time with people that are family, sure, but technically you barely know them! So a cruise is a great way to keep things rowdy and fun and make sure the reunion isn’t a bore.
And the Carnival Triumph cruise is definitely the best cruise option for a fun family reunion. It’s cheap, which is always good, and they definitely bring a party atmosphere. There are two pool areas, plenty of good restaurants that can be included in your rate, fun options for kids, a pool with a waterslide, and some great, nightly live shows.
Visit the Quieter Side of the Caribbean
Let’s get away from the crowds and find a vacation spot that is just as beautiful and affordable while we visit the quieter side of the Caribbean.
Summer vacation is around the corner and now is the time to start planning your beach trip. If you are thinking Caribbean then you most likely are looking into Cancun, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, the three most popular destinations. These places are awesome, cheap and beautiful but also the busiest, so maybe a quieter destination ids for you. Let’s get away from the crowds and find a vacation spot that is just as beautiful and affordable while we visit the quieter side of the Caribbean.
If surf is your goal then Costa Rica is your paradise. Considered the best surfing in the world, with warm waters and consistent breaks all year long, Costa Rica needs to be on your list if you like water activities. Costa Rica straddles both coasts with the Caribbean side being the calmer side with smaller waves and thicker jungles. The Caribbean side is generally cheaper than the Pacific side and much more laid back.
Honduras isn’t on most people’s lists because the city of San Pedro Sula is currently the murder capital of the world but its well over an hour away from the beaches. This beautiful country sits right on the Caribbean Sea and boasts some of the most beautiful beaches around. Check out Roatan, the largest island off the coast and a major vacation hub. You can fly direct from major US cities like Houston, so no need to worry about the crime riddled central cities.
Nobody thinks of Panama when booking Caribbean vacations but that is their fault. This Central American country boast some of the region’s most secluded private islands and luxurious retreats. Find the above water villas you’ve been searching for with unspoiled marine life just waiting to be explored. Panama has some awesome wildlife and plenty of sanctuaries you can explore and enjoy all that nature has to offer. Panama also has a rich history so you can see some really cool ruins.
Trinidad and Tobago
Tourists still under utilize the only actual Caribbean islands on this list, Trinidad and Tobago. The country isn’t focused on tourism like the other Caribbean nations so they don’t offer as much variety of resorts as the other islands. Trinidad is the business island and Tobago is the pleasure center of the two, so I advise you stay on Tobago. These islands have those authentic laid back vibes you’ve been searching for.
If you want the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the region than look no further than the Barrier reef off the coast of Belize. The largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere is full of marine life and intense coral reefs. Belize also has some radical Mayan ruins you can check out that are located deep in the lush rainforests. There are plenty of guided hikes and activities to keep you entertained and more than enough sandy beaches to relax on. Belize is nestled between Mexico and Guatemala, so it’s easy to get to and affordable.
Try one of these less traveled paths and your vacation will be filled with chill Caribbean vibes.
Luxurious Private Island Escapes
Steer clear of all the tourists, long lines and other common vacation annoyances and instead party like a rock star on your own private island.
We’ve all dreamt of being marooned on a desert island filled with coconuts and privacy, but we all can’t be Robinson Crusoe. Being trapped on a desert island is actually a nightmare, but what isn’t, is staying on one of these luxury private island resorts. Steer clear of all the tourists, long lines and other common vacation annoyances and instead party like a rock star on your own private island.
The Meridian Club
This ultimate all-inclusive resort will show you what luxury is really all about as you bask in the beautiful Caribbean sun in Turks & Caicos. The Meridian Club offers everything a regular all-inclusive would offer but they do it with sophistication and class. You won’t need cash because it’s a cashless experience, in fact you won’t need anything when you cruise around the archipelago. Just be prepared to smile, a lot. You can stay here for as little as $900 per night, which in the grand scheme of things, it’s pretty affordable.
Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
The Renaissance Aruba isn’t your typical private island resort, because it’s not on a private island at all. Instead, this luxury resort has its own private island you can book and enjoy some truly quiet time. The 40-acre private island has two separate sides, a family and adult side. You can feed flamingos, hang in hammocks, drink tropical beverages or check out the nude beach. You can get a room for around $175 a night, so jump on that.
The ultimate in private resorts is Necker Island, owned by billionaire Richard Branson and used by the super elite. This destination has it all and you and 33 of your closest amigos can stay here for only $80,000 a night. Sounds affordable… for a prince. Recently former President Obama recently stayed here and was seen frolicking with Branson in the ocean. What is paradise worth, well apparently it’s around 80k, but not to worry, I’ve found some more affordable options as well.
Pelican Beach Resort
Actually sitting on top of the largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere is the Pelican Beach Resort in Belize. This resort has the best location possible for underwater exploration as it literally rests on a lush coral reef system with some of the best dive spots around. For under $300 for two guests a night you can stay on this semi-private island with meals included, sounds like a deal to me. Highlights include the guided nighttime snorkeling tours where you’ll get to see the ocean like you’ve never seen before.
Nangyuan Island Dive Resort
This group of three tiny islands in the Gulf of Thailand is one of the best spots on Earth for underwater exploration. These three islands are actually linked by pure white sandbars so all three are accessible by foot. For as little as $100 USD a night you can have your own private little island to call your own. The snorkeling and scuba diving here is incredible with sea caves, whales sharks and sea turtles to keep you entertained and mesmerized. This tropical location has 15 unique dive sites so you won’t get bored and your mind will be overloaded with stimulus.
Best Shows in Las Vegas
Vegas has all the gambling, shopping and eating you could handle and that doesn’t even include the countless shows you could see, but which are the best?
Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world for a reason, there are more things to do here than anywhere else in the world. Vegas has all the gambling, shopping and eating you could handle and that doesn’t even include the countless shows you could see, but which are the best? While rebranding the city as a family destination, Las Vegas still boils down to what hotel has the best casino, restaurants and shows. I chose my favorite shows for you to see in Vegas and why, so check it out and see some shows next time you are there.
All Shook Up
The King is alive in All Shook Up at Planet Hollywood in this awesome tribute show. Travis Allen is the master impersonator who perfectly embodies Elvis Presley in his voice, demeanor and stage presence. If you can handle the annoying screams of women lusting after Allen, then this show is great.
Blue Man Group
If you haven’t seen this sensory overload of a show then you need to fix that. The Blue Man Group is the ultimate in Vegas shows because it stimulates all the senses. Now at its new home at the Luxor in a specifically designed theater, just for their unique show, the Blue Boys are back and better than ever. Check out their show and scratch it off your list.
The Beatles: Love
The music of the Beatles mixed with the absurdity of a Cirque du Soleil show and you have the formula for an awesome evening. Head on over to The Mirage and checkout “Love” even if you aren’t a Beatles fan. It’s a true Vegas style show with tons of glitz and glamour and all your favorite classics from The Beatles.
Cruise on over to Caesars Palace and check out Absinthe, the seductive variety show is half Cirque-du-Soleil acrobatics and half brash comedy show with a dash of burlesque mixed in for sexuality. The show is meant to induce a form of hallucinations indicative of an Absinthe trip. Seeing this show is like drinking the funky green drink, so be prepared for a crazy time at this adult only show.
Penn & Teller
What’s a trip to Vegas without some magic? A boring trip is what. You have to see Penn & teller because it’s an awesome show and you deserve to laugh after you lost all your money at blackjack. The kings of comedy magic will split your sides and make you wonder, “How the heck did they do that?”
No trip to Vegas is complete without hitting the outskirt hotels for some real deals and possibly the best cover band in the world. Purple Reign is the Prince tribute show at the Westgate that will make you believe that Prince is still walking the Earth.
See Cirque du Soleil in a gigantic pool with acrobatics and synchronized swimming, yep, check that off your bucket list. The Bellagio is home to the famous fountains and O, the most impressive Cirque show to date. This show is so over-the-top that it could only happen in Vegas and at the Bellagio. If you want to see a Cirque show, this is the one to see first. Romantic and beautiful, it will pull at your heartstrings and stimulate your brain.
Le Reve is the Wynn’s answer to O, and it may even be better. This show strays away from a story and focuses more on the incredible skill of its performers. You won’t believe what you see in this aquatic master class in acrobatics and performance.
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