This week, I set out to investigate some cruising options for families other than the mega ocean liners that dominate the industry today. If you’re like me and love the idea of traveling by ship but don’t want to spend your holiday waiting on line for buffets or taking mass excursions onto islands owned by the cruise line you’re sailing on, there are some terrific alternatives that are very family-friendly and still get you out on the open seas. You may not get the climbing walls or lounges/kids clubs designated solely for young people, but smaller ships do allow you the opportunity to explore more unique destinations while still keeping your kids plenty engaged.
As I started researching the choices, I quickly realized that most of the small ships that include trips specifically for families don’t refer to themselves as cruise lines at all. This seems appropriate since the experiences they provide are so different than what’s typically offered by the larger companies. Lines like Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line and Disney clearly accentuate their on-board attractions and services while most smaller outfitters place more attention on the destinations on the itinerary. This is not to suggest that the latter don’t offer some outstanding services, staterooms and dining. I guess it’s just a question of why you’re really on a ship in the first place – for the ship itself or the places it takes you?
Read more at National Geographic
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