Travel

Cruise vacation ideas with Seniors and Kids

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 15th, 2019 2:13 am
[OP]
Newbie
May 11, 2016
55 posts
7 upvotes

Cruise vacation ideas with Seniors and Kids

Grandparents in the 70s: Enjoy more the on-board activities (casino / shows etc.) and maybe some sight-seeings. Prefer less walking
Kids (6 to 12): 1st time cruisers. Have been "brainwashed" only Disney Cruise in this world!
Parents: prefer more outdoor excursions. Last cruise experience was like 10+ years ago visiting Western Carribbean and loved it

Unfortunately we can go together only in peak months like in summer (Alaska?) / X'mas (Carribbean )

Any tips / suggestions for Cruise Line / Ships are welcomed. Thanks
13 replies
Deal Fanatic
Feb 7, 2017
9895 posts
7182 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
I think that Norwegian or one of the RCL Big Ships would be the ticket for this multi-generational cruise.

Both of those offers tons to do / keep restless kids occupied be it rock climbing, flow riders, zip lining, water slides or a skating rink at sea.

And still generally civilized enough to please Mom & Dad, and the Grandparents

(I will defer Norwegian to @Pete_Coach as I know he’s got a similar cruise on the books with his grand kiddies... and as a seasoned cruiser probably has done a lot of research that I won’t be able to match)

My personal choice I think would be one of the RCL Mega Ships, either Oasis Class / Series (4 Ships) or Quantum Class / Series (3+ Ships) which definitely will capture the kids imagination / attention.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_C ... ernational

These ships are huge, but they truly specialize in extended family vacations... even offering family cabin categories and / or suites... or just lots of other workable accommodation solutions (adjoining cabins via enclosed alcoves ... or adjacent Verandas & Insides etc).

And being RCL the food & Entertainment are both decent. Including the UNIQUE Aqua Theatre Show at the aft pool & stage area (Oasis Class / Series)

At least 2 of these mega ships are typically wintering in the Caribbean.. alternating Itineraries, one week East and one week West... so you can easily get to the Desrinations you want to see, on the week you want to be there.

Suggest you read up on the various ships (already gave you the link to Wikipedia, which is an easy place to start)... and their itineraries and Deck Plans, Stateroom Categories, Prices etc on the RCL Website, and then post again if you have more questions

https://www.royalcaribbean.com
Deal Expert
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May 10, 2005
33456 posts
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Ottawa
We are leaving in a few days for 7 days on NCL Bliss. 4000 people. I have concerns about a ship that big.
While there is a tremendous amount to do on board these big ships, it also means that there is lots of people trying to do them. I have been following the Bliss on Cruise Critic and there are quite a few complaints, primarily about lack of relaxing space due to the amount if space used for the go carts, laser tag, water slides and so on. We are looking forward to it regardless because it has been a while since all of us have been able to go on vacation together.
If it was up to me, I would choose a Celebrity ship ( I have been on many of them) with as many port visits that they can make in the 7 days. Many cruise lines are reducing port stops because they want to keep you on board to you can sped more money on the ship. Celebrity has things for kids as well. The ports will have something for every member of the family to do.
Food, well, I am not even going int that debate. Some food is better than others but to me, it is a ship and if you don't like what is served to you, get something else and, in my opinion, any time I am served food, not having to cook and not having to do dishes, it is a bonus.
Last edited by Pete_Coach on Feb 10th, 2019 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
Best line I have heard in a very long time LOL "I don't argue....I educate." Anonymous
Deal Fanatic
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Sep 12, 2007
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Greely
We were in a similar situation in December, cruising with our two boys (10 and 12) as well as 3 grandparents in their 70s. This was our first cruise ever. We sailed Carnival Horizon - we picked Carnival over Royal and NCL only for the itinerary; we were tied to a specific week and the other options included Mexico stops and we've all been to Mexico too many times. Horizon visited Grand Turk, La Romana, Aruba and Curacao. The ports were fantastic.

I know Carnival has a bad rep out there. I've heard so many friends say "oh, that's the Walmart of the Seas". Honestly, we had a fantastic time. The ship was full, but never felt busy anywhere. The food was excellent, and the service was fantastic. I would go back in a heartbeat.

That said, because want to see what others have to offer - we've booked Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas for New Year's Eve. This ship is much larger but I'm hoping it doesn't feel "busy" either.

Also, I'm sure you're already aware - but as you've mentioned you'd be looking at Christmas or holiday sailings... Keep in mind the incredible premium. It's costing a small fortune for the NYE cruise ;)

Good luck!
Deal Addict
Nov 13, 2013
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Ottawa
Previous answer all good. Also check out MSC. The price is right and we really liked the shows. A bit amateur compared to big NCL or RCL ships but a different short show every night was perfect for the whole family. They have some nice new ships also.
Deal Addict
Aug 16, 2009
1059 posts
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Toronto
We came back from our Eastern Caribbean cruise 3 weeks ago. 2 adults + 3 seniors + 2 kids. We were on the Oasis which was a good choice because there were lots of activities for the kids. The casino kept 1 senior happy (probably lost the equivalent of our total cruise cost but hey, he enjoyed it) while the other 2 strolled around the ship most of the time. On port days, they got off the ship and walked around for a short bit until they were tired or their knees started hurting. The kids were in the kids club most of the time. We usually all just meet up for b/fast, lunch, dinner but the rest of the time just did our own things...
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
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+1 for Alaska on Celebrity.
Not much entertainment for the pre-teens on the ship, but lots of things to do at the various port of calls.
I forget which port (we sailed back in 2015), but there's a trail that the kids would love that leads to a glacier waterfall.
Deal Addict
Jan 12, 2005
4124 posts
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Scarborough
I was on the MSC Seaside in September and I think it's an excellent deal for what you get. Most of their prices includes (cheap) drinks and Wifi and I. I paid $550USD per person for a balcony. Entertainment is a bit lacking, but food is decent, especially if you like Italian food.
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
2533 posts
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steve-0101 wrote:
Feb 10th, 2019 8:35 am
...
I know Carnival has a bad rep out there. I've heard so many friends say "oh, that's the Walmart of the Seas". Honestly, we had a fantastic time. The ship was full, but never felt busy anywhere. The food was excellent, and the service was fantastic. I would go back in a heartbeat.
....
My SIL sailed exclusively with Celebrity for over 20 years. Friends invited them on Carnival and they went. Have now jumped ship and continue to sail on Carnival.
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
2533 posts
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Have you considered Holland America (HAL)? HAL is considered one of the best in Alaska with its land & cruise options. And when it comes to the Caribbean, HAL offers some of the best itineraries with more ports than other lines. Plus, for the kids, HAL offers Club HAL, its youth program with full-time supervised staff: https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/on ... b-hal.html
Sr. Member
Sep 28, 2006
628 posts
61 upvotes
Toronto
I'm looking into booking for the parents to Alaska. Which cruise line is good? And where do you guys usually book from?
Deal Fanatic
Feb 15, 2006
8283 posts
2560 upvotes
Toronto
For kids of that age, they may not enjoy or appreciate Alaska. A nephew in the teens went to a cruise with the parents, and kept saying boring, boring, boring, boring, for the entire cruise. The younger niece wasn't too much better.

For Alaska, a cruise + land tour option can be good if you have the money and don't want to drive or do too much research. We did NCL cruise northbound to Seward. In Seward, took a Major marine cruise to see whales, tidewater glaciers, etc. Then took train from Seward to Anchorage (a good scenic train ride).

In Anchorage we ented car and drove to Denali and Fairbanks. In Fairbanks, drove to UA to tour the Geophysical Institute (they research in conjuncction with NASA), the Morris Thompson cultural center, antler's arch, and the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics. Strolled the Chena Riverwalk and Pioneer Park. Oh, we also drove to North Pole (city name, 15min. away), and to seek a chunk of the Alaska Oil Pipeline. We did all that driving ourselves. You won't get that in land tours on a bus with 50 other people which would take a lot of time just for washroom breaks.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 7, 2017
9895 posts
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Eastern Ontario
kkl1208 wrote:
Feb 15th, 2019 12:35 am
I'm looking into booking for the parents to Alaska. Which cruise line is good? And where do you guys usually book from?
Really should have started a new thread...
For your Alaska Cruise question

All the big names are in Alaska... Celebrity, Princess, HAL, Norwegian etc
(And size of ship matters too... the bigger ships spend less time in the inside passage... they have no choice but to go out to sea)

Each line serves a different demographic as well, I would figure that bit out first

What you want in terms of being onboard the ship, as it’s your home base “hotel at sea”

And each are different from the other

Although, HAL has a reputation as being the geriatric cruise line (70+)
It does offer a lot of unique opportunities for Itineraries in the Northwest / Alaska

Like it’s land & sea combo that goes thru Northern BC
Into the Yukon, and then onto Alaska
Cruise Ship, Train, Bus etc
It’s by far the best way to see this part of the world, and it’s many aspects, if you aren’t about to take weeks and drive the Alaska Hwy from Dawson Creek North
[OP]
Newbie
May 11, 2016
55 posts
7 upvotes
If not with the grandparents I would consider Alaska Cruise too. I know I cannot resist to add those land tours that would break my bank :) but those adventureous activities not necessary to the seniors liking.

Not too concerned about my boys being bored on board.. their first time anyway.

Afterall taking Alaska crusie considerd a family-friendly way to appreciate the natural beauty like glaciers. That could also save me a trip to Yellowknife for the Northern Light! https://traveltips.usatoday.com/alaska- ... 17540.html

Could consider if finding any "reasonable" deal... Expecting to be paying more than Carribean destinations
Arrgh wrote:
Feb 15th, 2019 1:23 am
For kids of that age, they may not enjoy or appreciate Alaska. A nephew in the teens went to a cruise with the parents, and kept saying boring, boring, boring, boring, for the entire cruise. The younger niece wasn't too much better.

For Alaska, a cruise + land tour option can be good if you have the money and don't want to drive or do too much research. We did NCL cruise northbound to Seward. In Seward, took a Major marine cruise to see whales, tidewater glaciers, etc. Then took train from Seward to Anchorage (a good scenic train ride).

In Anchorage we ented car and drove to Denali and Fairbanks. In Fairbanks, drove to UA to tour the Geophysical Institute (they research in conjuncction with NASA), the Morris Thompson cultural center, antler's arch, and the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics. Strolled the Chena Riverwalk and Pioneer Park. Oh, we also drove to North Pole (city name, 15min. away), and to seek a chunk of the Alaska Oil Pipeline. We did all that driving ourselves. You won't get that in land tours on a bus with 50 other people which would take a lot of time just for washroom breaks.

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