The Big Three: Long haul cruises for families with toddlers

The Big Three: Long haul cruises for families with toddlers

Travelling with children aged two and under can be a wonderful thing. For one, you are not held down by school term-times and the extra costs that go with those golden summer months; secondly, many cruise lines will charge you a minimal amount for bringing on children that young. Many also offer great child care facilities, too, as long as your baby is more than six months old. For those who want to keep the flying time to a minimum, we have selected some potential cruises for you below.

Following on from the publication of Cruise Adviser’s Family 2015-16 guide, each week we will be running our Big Three feature, which gives you a trio of cruise options to choose from. This week it’s long haul cruises for families with kids aged six months to two years.

To request a copy of Cruise Adviser’s Family guide email: or read it online now.


Cruise line: Carnival
Destination: Caribbean
Date: January 11, 2016
Duration: Four nights
Departure port: Miami
Price: £730

Carnival Cruise Line’s youth programme is extensive but only covers children who are two years old and above. However, for those that do qualify, there is a host of options available. Free activities such as kids’ party time, Camp Carnival and digital play are on offer as well as those that come with fee, such as night owls (the night time babysitting service) and Beary Cuddly Workshop (where children make their own teddy bear).


Cruise line: Norwegian Cruise Line
Destination: Hawaii
Date: October 3, 2015
Duration: Seven nights
Departure port: Honolulu, Hawaii
Price: £2,520


Norwegian’s Splash Academy covers children from six months up to 12 years (with teen clubs available for older children). The company also offers a ‘late night fun zone’ babysitting package for adults who want a few hours on their own (for a small fee). Activities include interactive workshops, learning circus tricks and access to computer consoles. They will never want to leave.


Cruise line: Royal Caribbean International
Destination: Caribbean
Date: November 28, 2015
Duration: Seven nights
Departure port: Fort Lauderdale
Price: £2,114


RCI boasts both Royal Babies (six to 18-month-olds) and Royal Tots (18 to 36-month-olds). The programme is primarily made up of 45-minute playtime sessions for which a parent must be present. However, the company does offer an extra, paid babysitting service ($6 an hour in the day or $8 an hour at night) for six-36-month-old children. The service is only currently available on Oasis, Freedom and Radiance class ships.

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