Refined, but by no means stuffy, Celebrity Cruises sails to every continent, including more niche—but increasingly popular—destinations like the Galapagos (with specially designed vessels). Families will love the “Camp at Sea” program, which has activities for toddlers up through teens, like movie nights, cooking classes, and on-board educational opps such as sailing and navigation. Their newest ship, Celebrity Beyond—part of the Edge series—launched in 2022 and takes the ‘something for everyone’ mantra to heart, with 32 (yup, you read that right) dining and drinking spots, including celeb chef Daniel Boulud’s first at-sea restaurant, multiple entertainment venues, and distinct amenities, like The Magic Carpet, a first-of-its-kind floating platform. Accommodations are also spot-on: The Retreat, billed as a “resort within a resort” offers suite-style stays, with exclusive guest amenities. (Fun fact? Simone Biles is the “godmother” of the ship!) Others to consider: Celebrity Apex, launched in 2021, and Celebrity Ascent, which sets sail in 2023—both also part of the Edge series.
Norwegian Cruise Line
The well-appointed cruise line recently debuted Norwegian Prima, the first ship from the new Prima class. And their offerings are what multi-gen dream trips are made of. A quick look at some of the activities: a three-level race track, kids’ aqua park, 10-story slides, and an all-new spa. Entertainment-minded family members will be wowed by the signature Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, as well as live, guests-can-participate game shows (The Price is Right, Supermarket Sweep) and other productions. Pro-tip: See what’s on and make things easier once you’re at sea by downloading the cruise app, which also allows for fast check-in and more info, recommends F1S advisor Arno Schuechen. (All the cruise lines mentioned here have apps.) On Prima, there are suites and villas—the largest of which can sleep up to 6—with rooms geared towards families at almost every level. For butler service and other exclusive amenities, consider booking a Haven suite. Currently, Prima sails to a number of places, including the Caribbean, Europe and the Mediterranean, starting with 5-day stints to upwards of 15-day journeys.
Princess Cruise Lines
Princess—the original “Love Boat”!—has retained the charm and elevated it with modern amenities. That includes cabins that can connect to sleep upwards of 8, baby-friendly offerings, like cribs and baby food, and Camp Discovery, a partnership with Discovery for kid- and teen-specific activities—from cake decorating to endangered species lessons to video game tournaments. Thinking of an Alaska cruise? Their ‘North to Alaska’ program is particularly great for families: There’s an ‘Alaska Explorers Youth Program’, festivals and activities that celebrate local culture, on-board sled dog visits and more. One of their most recent ships, the Discovery Princess, began sailing to Alaska in 2022 and offers suites with large balconies to take in the scenery. For 2024 and beyond, keep an eye out for the Sun Princess, the debut ship in a brand-new fleet—and the first to run on liquified natural gas, one of many sustainability measures that have become important to veteran and new cruisers alike, says F1S advisor Mayla Melo.