Family Cruising

There can be no denying it, cruising is booming! Cruise lines are increasing the size of their fleets and new and exciting ports are introduced to cruise programs every year. However, the big drawcard for families are the fantastic inclusions that cruising offers: all your onboard meals, activities to entertain the whole family, and amazing facilities onboard with some ships featuring ice skating rinks, rock climbing walls, bumper cars, water slides and much, much more. Combine this with fantastic affordability plus itineraries visiting beautiful ports and you’ve ticked all the boxes for your next family holiday. To answer some of your family cruising questions, check out our guide below.

Kids’ Club Facilities

Cruising is a fantastic opportunity to spend time with the family, with activities and onboard amenities providing copious fun for small children and adult children alike. But with the growing pressures on parents in this ever-evolving, electronic world, they need a break too. Cue kids’ clubs! These facilities dedicate themselves to giving your kids an entertaining cruise holiday with other children their own age, while their parents spend quality time to themselves. You could bask in the sun on a deck chair with a cocktail in hand, enjoy an intimate culinary experience at one of the onboard specialty restaurants, or just take advantage of the quiet by taking a well-deserved holiday nap. The possibilities are endless, and the kids will be having so much fun in your absence you might find that they never want to leave!

Please note, in most instances, children are only permitted to participate in the kids club facilities if they are fully toilet trained (no nappies or pull-ups) and they must be able to independently use the bathroom. The staff at the kids’ clubs are unable to assist in the bathroom in any way. Please contact one of our friendly reservations consultants should you wish to confirm the specific toilet training requirements of your desired cruise line.

Carnival Australia and Carnival International

Penguin Colony Stingrays Sharks Circle C Club O₂
2 – 5 years 6 – 8 years 9 – 11 years 12 – 14 years 15 – 17 years

NB: Children who are not toilet trained (and those in diapers or swim nappies) are not allowed in any of the water facilities onboard.

Babysitting: ‘Night Owls’ is Carnival’s group babysitting service within the kids club and is available for a fee between 10pm and 1am. Service is only available for children between the ages of 12 months and 11 years.

Celebrity Cruises

Toddler Time Shipmates Cadets Ensigns X-Club Teens
Under 3 years# 3 – 5 years 6 – 8 years 9 – 11 years 12 – 17 years

#Must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Babysitting: Group babysitting in the Fun Factory is available for children aged between 3 and 11 between 10pm and 1am for a fee. Alternatively, in room babysitting is open to children 12 months or older for up to three children from the same family at a fee.

Costa

Mini & Maxi Club Teen Club Junior Teen Club
3 – 11 years 12 – 14 years 15 – 17 years

Babysitting: The Mini & Maxi Club facilities are open for 3 to 11 year olds between the hours of 9am and midnight. No other babysitting service is available.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney Oceaneers Club & Disney Oceaneers Lab Edge Vibe
3 – 12 years 11 – 14 years 14 – 17 years

Babysitting: Group babysitting is available for children up to 3 years of age at the ‘It’s a Small World Nursery’. Additional fees apply and this service is subject to availability.

Holland America

Kids Program Tweens Program Teens Program
3 – 6 years 7 – 12 years 13 – 17 years

NB: Some ships in the Holland America fleet do not offer kids club facilities.

Babysitting: Group babysitting is available for a fee from 10pm until midnight at ‘Club HAL After Hours’ for children aged three and over. At other times and for children under the age of three limited babysitting is available and can be requested through the front desk for a fee.

MSC

Baby Time Mini Club Junior Club Young Club Teenager Club
Under 3 years+ 3 – 6 years 7 – 11 years 12 – 14 years 15 – 17 years

+ Must be accompanied by a parent.

Babysitting: Not offered

Norwegian Cruise Line

Teeny-Weeny Tots~ Turtles Seals Dolphins Entourage
6 months – 2 years 3 – 5 years 6 – 9 years 10 – 12 years 13 – 14 years
15 – 17 years

~Available on select ships only. Enables infants to enjoy 2 hours of play per day with parents.

Babysitting:Late Night Fun Zone’ is available for a fee between 10.30pm and 1.30am and is for children between the ages of 2 and 12. Children in nappies are allowed to participate, however staff cannot change nappies or pull-ups. Parents of children in nappies will be provided with a pager when they drop their children off, and will be alerted when their child needs assistance. All pages must be responded to within 15 minutes.

Princess Cruises

The Treehouse^ The Lodge The Beach House Club 1820
3 – 7 years 8 – 12 years 13 – 17 years 18 – 20 years

^Children under the age of three are able to use the Children’s Centre Facilities under the direct supervision of their Parent/Legal guardian.

NB: Some ships in the Princess fleet have limited childcare facilities.

Babysitting: Group childminding is available for a fee for children aged between 3 and 12 years between 10pm and 1am.

Royal Caribbean

Royal Babies & Tots Nursery¥ Aquanauts Explorers Voyagers Tweens Teen
6 – 36 months 3 – 5 years 6 – 8 years 9 – 11 years 12 – 14 years 15 – 17 years

¥Only available on certain ships. Parents will be contacted should their child require a nappy change.

NB: Children who are not toilet trained (and those in diapers or swim nappies) are not allowed in any of the water facilities onboard.

Babysitting: In cabin child minding available for children over the age of one between 8am and 2am at a per hour fee.

Travelling with Infants

With so much media hype recently about cruising and its amazing offerings for holiday-planning parents, it can be tempting for parents with infants to want to try the family cruising experience. However, limited neonatal facilities onboard cruise ships can mean that an emergency out at sea could have terrible consequences. As such, cruise lines have very strict criteria regarding the minimum age of passengers able to board their ships. Please refer to the below table as a guide, though it is always recommended to confirm the specific criteria for your preferred cruise line prior to booking.

Cruise Line Minimum Age to Travel
Carnival Australia Domestic Cruises = 6 months*

International Cruises = 12 months*

Carnival International Transatlantic, cruises to remote areas, or cruises with more than 2 consecutive sea days = 12 months*

All other = 6 months*

Celebrity Cruises Cruises with more than 2 consecutive sea days, Transatlantic, Transpacific, Hawaii, selected South America cruises and other select cruises/cruise tours = 12 months*

All other = 6 months*

Costa Cruises Transatlantic cruises or cruises of 15 days or more = 12 months*

All other = 6 months*

Disney Cruise Line Transatlantic or Panama Canal = 12 months*

All other = 6 months*

Holland America Transocean crossings and other select sailings = 12 months*

All other = 6 months*

MSC Cruises 6 months*
Norwegian Cruise Line Cruises with more than 2 consecutive sea days = 12 months*

All other = 6 months*

Princess Cruises Alaska (excl. Cruise Tours), Canada and New England, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Europe (excl. Transatlantic) = 6 months*

All other = 12 months*

Royal Caribbean Cruises with more than 2 consecutive sea days, Transatlantic, Transpacific, Hawaii, selected South America cruises and other select cruises/cruise tours = 12 months*

All other = 6 months*

* Upon date of embarkation. Subject to the discretion of the cruise line and can change at any time. All cruises are subject to itinerary changes that may result in infants under 12 months of age being unable to travel. Please always confirm with your cruise consultant prior to booking eligibility for your infant to travel.

Cruising while pregnant

Due to limited neonatal and postnatal facilities onboard cruise ships, cruise lines cannot, for safety reasons, carry passengers who will reach their 24th week of pregnancy by the end of their cruise. In addition, for those women who are less than 24 weeks pregnant, cruise lines may require you to supply doctor’s certificates and/or complete forms to submit to the cruise line prior to travel. If you are pregnant and planning to cruise, please contact our reservations team to confirm the specific requirements for your preferred cruise line to ensure smooth embarkation and safe travels.

Cruise Lines that Accommodate more than Four in a Cabin

If you have a family of four, you will find that most ships can accommodate you within their quad cabins (these rooms tend to be bunk bed style), however any more than four and you’ll start to have troubles. While you can find interconnecting cabins on most ships, many parents would prefer to book a single room to accommodate their whole family. And you do have options! See below a guide of rooms that are able to accommodate more than four to one cabin and on which ships you can find them. Please note, these cabins are extremely popular and tend to book out quickly. As most of these options cannot be booked online, please call our reservations team on 13 13 03 to secure your cabin.

NB: Cabins may be referred to by different names on each ship to those listed. If you are unsure, please contact one of our friendly cruise consultants.

Carnival Cruise Line

Cabin Type Max Passenger Capacity Ships
Family Oceanview Stateroom 5 guests Carnival Dream, Carnival Magic, Carnival Breeze, Carnival Glory, Carnival Valor, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Splendor
Family Harbor Suite 5 guests Carnival Vista, Carnival Horizon

 

Celebrity Cruises

Cabin Type Max Passenger Capacity Ships
Family Balcony Stateroom 5 guests Celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity Silhouette, Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Summit

 

Holland America

Cabin Type Max Passenger Capacity Ships
Family Oceanview 5 guests Koningsdam

 

Norwegian Cruise Line

Cabin Type Max Passenger Capacity Ships
Owners Suite 5 guests Pride of America, Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Star
Family Suite 6 guests Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Star
Two Bedroom Family Suite 6 guests Pride of America, Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Star
Two Bedroom Deluxe Family Suite 5 guests Pride of America
The Haven: 3 Bedroom Garden Villa 8 guests Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Jade, Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Star, Norwegian Jewel
The Haven: Deluxe Owner’s Suite with large balcony 6 guests Norwegian Escape, Norwegian getaway, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Jade
The Haven: Two Bedroom Family Villa with Balcony 6 guests Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Jade, Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Pearl.

 

Royal Caribbean

Cabin Type Max Passenger Capacity Ships
Family Interior Stateroom 6 Guests Harmony of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas
Promenade Family Stateroom 6 Guests Freedom of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas
Family Oceanview Stateroom 6 Guests Adventure of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Vision of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas
Family Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony 6 guests Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas
Two Bedroom Suite 8 guests Brilliance of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas
Family Junior Suite 5 guests Anthem of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas
Royal Loft Suite 6 guests Allure of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas
Presidential Family Suite 8 – 14 guests Freedom of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas
Aqua Theatre Suites 6 guests Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas
Royal Family Suite 8 guests Adventure of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Majesty of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas, Vision of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas

 

Correct as at March 2018. While every effort has been made to ensure this information is as accurate as possible, it is to be used as a guide only, is subject to change, and may vary between different ships within each cruise line.