Ask LP Kids: are cruises family-friendly?

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How many children are enjoying the sunset from this cruise-liner in Montenegro? © Sergey Lyashenko / Shutterstock

Long gone is the time when you only went on a cruise after you'd reached a certain age, maturity and amount of disposable income, and certainly not when you had little people snapping at your ankles. The cruise industry has redefined itself with a new style of sailing including small ship expeditions, itineraries built around interests such as food or wellness and – importantly for us – a real focus on providing family-friendly fun. But are these cruises really as focussed on providing an amazing experience for families as they claim to be? We asked our well-travelled community what they thought.

The expert view

Cruises are family friendly if you choose the right one. They cater to all ages with their kid’s club programs, ship amenities and attractions like basketball courts, mini-golf, swimming pools and water slides. There are a wide variety of restaurants to choose from and the evening entertainment shows will delight kids. Off-shore excursions will also cater to families. Our daughters love cruising and I enjoy the relaxing break with minimal planning and responsibility. However, cruises may not be great for families who don't like organised travel experiences and prefer to travel like a local.

– Caroline and Craig Makepeace, founders of

Until now, cruising wasn't exactly a hot holiday choice for multigenerational families. But with so many ships and cruise lines offering a wide range of on-board activities and destination itineraries, there really is something compelling for every member of the family – whether it’s spa treatments for mum, rock-climbing for dad, zip-lining or go-karting for the kids, golf for grandpa or skydiving for grandma.  A cruise holiday is ideal for families because of the convenience of an all-in-one holiday, appealing to a variety of tastes and hitting multiple destinations at once.

– Adam Coulter, UK Managing Editor, Cruise Critic

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The above comments and more family travel tips can be found on our Facebook feed.

Want to investigate further? Try these helpful extra resources:

1. Read about the 7 best cruise ships for kids on

2. Cruisecritic has a list of family cruise tips.

4. Today's Parent has an article on the best cruise ships for children.

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