While we all love cruise ships for their ability to help us relax, it’s also important to remember that there’s plenty of entertainment to go around. Of course, with live music and superb shore excursions on offer, cruises are certainly giving their all when it comes to keeping us smiling.

The good news when booking cruise deals for families is that this commitment to customer satisfaction also extends to younger guests. If you’re thinking of boarding your next voyage alongside your nearest and dearest, consider our recommendations as you discover the best cruises for children.

Entertaining everyone: Marella Cruises

With the addition of the Kidzone and Palmy kids’ club, the family-focused cruise line Marella Cruises has made a bold attempt to eliminate the words “I’m bored” from kids’ vocabularies. It’s safe to say that they’ve succeeded with flying colours in this respect, as the activity menu applies mainly to kids aged 3 to 12, who now have pools and dedicated play areas onboard.

Teens get their own space at The Hideout, complete with computer games, while little ones will love the interactive evening show Splash Live!, which runs in the high season. But what really makes these kids’ cruises shine are the behind-the-scenes tours, which give little ones the chance to learn how the mighty cruise ship is steered and powered.

Aside from this entertainment, Marella’s biggest and newest ships, Marella Discovery and Marella Discovery 2, come complete with all the family facilities you could wish for. Watch Movies by Moonlight beside the outdoor pool, play mini golf or challenge each other on the rock-climbing wall. These two ships also offer All Inclusive as standard, meaning you’re covered for meals, drinks and the majority of activities. If you’re flying to your cruise port, the flight is also included in the price, so you don’t have to budget for anything extra.

Across the fleet you’ll also find all the customary benefits for parents, such as a wide selection of bars, restaurants, shops, nightclubs, health clubs, and casinos, plus adult-only sections for quiet time when the kids are in their clubs. More recently, Marella Cruises ships have welcomed escape room puzzles to their list of activities, which are brilliant brain teasers for the whole family to solve together.

The great outdoors: P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises family-friendly fleet was designed with enjoyment and comfort in mind. In particular, Ventura stands out for its four pools, sports courts and circus school. Indeed, a circus school gives young aspiring acrobats a chance to trapeze, tightrope, and bungee trampoline on the high seas.

P&O Cruises organise a whole slew of kids’ activities under its Reef Youth Programme, which gives parents a chance to relax and enjoy the scenery. As you might expect, these activities are divided by age bracket. While toddlers and preschoolers get stuck into face painting and educational games, tweens hit the video game arcade and teens organise film nights, electric guitar sessions or even DJ classes.

On all of P&O’s family-friendly cruise ships – AuroraAzuraBritanniaOceana and Ventura – there are a host of activities you can enjoy with the kids, from pool tables to video games. You can also choose what type of family room you want, from a suite or mini-suite with extra sofa beds to a twin cabin – the majority of which have extra beds that fold down from the ceiling or wall.

Focused on family: Princess Cruises

With the addition of aptly named Fun Zones on each of its cruise ships, each measuring 10,000 square feet, Princess Cruises has officially captivated the younger crowd with a huge range of onboard activities.

The zones are the Princess Pelicans (for ages 3 to 7) with arts and games; Shockwaves (8-12) with scavenger hunts and science experiments; and Remix (13-17) dance parties, shipboard Olympics and karaoke concerts.

Outside of the clubs, kids can also take part in any number of competitions, from video games tournaments to air hockey and ping pong challenges, as well as dodgeball and basketball games on the outdoor sports courts. You can also spend time together at family movie nights, productions, dance parties, trivia and games nights.

What’s really put Princess Cruises on the map, however, is the partnership that the line has with Discovery Communications. Through that connection, activities onboard Princess Cruises’ ships often incorporate science and nature lessons that leave your little ones filled with more knowledge than when they first embarked.

Whether you’re cruising on a budget or splashing out on an epic voyage that will make many a magical memory for you and your family, cruise ships are going to ensure that minds of every age stay engaged. With every cruise line sailing nowadays actively ensuring we’ve got the best in games, creative pursuits and exercise for body and mind, you only need to decide where to go and when.

Time to jump onboard?

Let your tiny tots have the adventure of a lifetime and check out our amazing deals here – you can also use our Marella Cruises search to find all the latest offers!

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