5 fun cruise destinations for families

There can be a lot to think about when choosing your first family cruise – just one of which is the destination. All families are different, so to pick a great destination for your cruise, it’s important to think about what kinds of things you like to do on holiday. Do you like to relax on a nice beach, swim in the sea and hunt for shells? Or do you prefer adventure sports, hiking and cycling? Whatever you’re in to, there’s a cruise to suit every family. 

In this article, we discuss the most popular cruise destinations, and what you can expect from each one.

1. The Caribbean 
Topping the list of the world’s most popular cruise destinations is the Caribbean. With hundreds of cruise ships to choose from in this region all year round, the Caribbean is a great place to visit for winter sun. But isn’t the Caribbean all about lazing on beaches? Isn’t it a bit boring for kids? This is a popular misconception. In reality, there are actually lots of activities for families of all ages to enjoy. 

Booking shore excursions with your cruise line or independently, you can enjoy a whole host of active pursuits such as scuba diving, ziplining, kayaking, fishing and swimming through caves. If that all sounds a bit much, opt for island tours where you can learn about the rich history and culture of this reason, visiting historic monuments and traditional Caribbean towns. 

2. The Mediterranean 
The second most popular cruise destination in the world is the Mediterranean. Most families visit during the summer months for the best weather and the widest choice of cruises (as many ships relocate to the Caribbean for the winter). 

You can reach as far as Italy on a two-week round-trip cruise from the UK. If you only have a week to devote to your cruise holiday, flying to a port such as Barcelona to start your cruise may be a good idea. Visiting several countries in one cruise is great for children as it opens their eyes to different European cultures as they explore ports in Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Croatia. 

3. The Norwegian Fjords 
The Norwegian Fjords is a destination which is best explored by cruise ship. This is partly because food and accommodation can be eye-wateringly expensive in Norway – a cruise negates that issue as you sleep and eat most of your meals on the ship. And partly because a cruise enables you to see many different aspects of Norway in a relatively short period of time. 

As well as the obvious selling point of the stunning scenery (it’s definitely worth buying your child a cheap pair of binoculars), Norway is a fantastic destination for active families. Hike up to top of mountains for the best view or kayak past waterfalls for an experience they’ll never forget. For those with younger children, alternatives include taking the funicular railway to the top of the hill, or taking a boat ride instead of kayaking. 

4. The Bahamas 
For the most fun-filled family holiday possible, how about combining a short cruise to the Bahamas with a few days in Florida, exploring theme parks such as Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Busch Gardens? You’ll find some great fly-cruise deals which combine flights, a cruise and hotel stays into one package holiday, which can work out cheaper than booking everything separately. 

On a short cruise to the Bahamas, one of the best places to visit is Royal Caribbean’s private island of CocoCay. This magical paradise island is only accessible by cruise ship and features amazing water slides and activities such as ziplining and a helium balloon ride. 

5. Europe 
For UK families on a budget, European cruises offer the best value for money. Many destinations in Europe are easily reached on a cruise from the UK, without the need for flights, including France, Northern Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Holland and Germany. 

You can opt to take a cheap mini cruise for two or three nights to see if you like cruising, or dive straight in to a longer voyage which enables you to see many destinations in one holiday. The many port cities of Northern Europe are great for families to visit all year round, although you might like to avoid the depths of winter when it can be a little cold to spend full days exploring outdoors. 

Which cruise to choose? 
Which of the most popular destinations for families would you choose? 
Once you’ve decided on a destination and time of year, it’s important to have a look at the various cruise ships which are available. With over 300 cruise ships in the ocean and more being built every year, it can be a bit daunting trying to choose the one which is best for your family. The first step is to choose a family-friendly cruise line. Each cruise line has between three and 25+ ships. Once you know which cruise line you like the sound of, you can then begin to work out which ships are in the region that you want to visit. 

This article was provided by Jenni Fielding who writes for Cruise118.com.


  1. I would love a Caribbean cruise that is definitely a dream

  2. Wouldnt mind any of these - bloomin freezing today

  3. I would love to go on a cruise one day!

  4. We have never been drawn to cruising, but a European cruise visiting a few places we haven't been to before, would be a great way of seeing if they are worth holidaying in!

  5. A mini cruise looks like a great way for a family to try a cruise holiday.

  6. never been on a cruise, sounds great

  7. I would love any cruise every year i say lets take a cruise, then something goes wrong which we have to spend the money on, but one day, i think a Caribbean cruise is the one i would go on first

  8. great ideas thanks

  9. Never been on a cruise,some great ideas x