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Traffic, long security lines and flight delays are known factors of travel, but when you are traveling with multiple kids or extended family, it may be too much to bear. Family cruise vacation to the rescue! With multiple ports in the New York Metro Area (Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey), taking a cruise as a family can be convenient, cost-effective, and yes—fun!. New Yorkers have several options for cruising, with access to cruise lines like Carnival, Celebrity, Cunard, Disney, Holland America, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean among others. Whether it is a two-day cruise to nowhere or a multi-week transatlantic journey—cruising is great for family travel. Below, our picks for the best cruises from New York City for families. Bon voyage!
Bermuda is a sunny, beautiful and fun family destination! A visit to this port will expose you to nature, history and culture. Of course, the pink sand beaches are a draw for many visitors. Your little ones can snorkel in shallow waters or play in the sand. Most ships dock near Bermuda’s Royal Naval Dockyard, which is now a shopping complex that also houses restaurants and museums. Grab a hand-blown glass souvenir or try the delicious Bermuda rum cake – when the kids aren’t looking. In the city of Hamilton, you’ll find great shopping in the colorful and inviting storefronts of Front Street. There are plenty of activities for the whole family while your ship is docked—the aquarium, caves and beaches. You’ll want to enjoy every minute on the island. (Per Person Rates start at $639)
We recommend: Royal Caribbean’s 5-night cruise starting at $548 each. Leaving form New Jersey is so convenient for New Yorkers. Little cruisers will love the activities onboard and the whole family will love group activities like mini golf and bumper cars.
Canada and New England
Many ships sail along coastal Canada and New England. The region is packed with history, natural vegetation and amazing views. Cruisers young and old will learn so much about some of the oldest cities along the Atlantic Coast. Your family will sail with a living backdrop of breathtaking scenery. From Nova Scotia to Quebec to Maine, there is so much to discover with your family. (Per Person Rates start at $629)
We recommend: Carnival Cruise Line’s 7-night cruise starting at $454 each. Young adventurers will be excited to try SkyCourse and SkyRide with views of the ship below.
Eastern Caribbean region boasts British, Dutch, French and Spanish history and culture with any cruises sailing to islands like Antigua, Barbados, Martinique, St, Kitts, St. Lucia and many more destinations. Your little beachgoer will enjoy each port with warm sand, water sports and soft adventure activities. Along the way, many cruise lines include a stop at their own private islands. For instance, Carnival Cruise Line’s Half Moon Cay or Norwegian Cruise Line’s Great Stirrup Cay. Whether your kiddos are butterfly-chasing nature lovers or little history buffs, they are bound to have a great time on these islands. Per Person Rates start at $549)
We recommend: Norwegian Cruise Line’s 11-night cruise starting at $679 each. The kiddos will love the aqua park with pools and water slides.
Mexico and Central America
Adventure-seeking families will want to explore cities in destinations such as Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. The diverse terrain will suit all interests, from playing on the beach to horseback riding. There are several excursions that will appeal to families. Learn about the lush vegetation and if you’re up for it—zipline through it. Young explorers may want to see the region from the ground while hiking in a national park, while others will want to see it from the water while parasailing or swimming in the clear waters. (Per Person Rates start at $729)
We recommend: Norwegian Cruise Line 14-day cruise starting at $999 each. The grownups can take full advantage of the spa and adults only sone while the little ones play at the kids club.
Nassau and Paradise Island
Sandy beaches, turquoise waters, boutiques and local markets await you in Nassau/Paradise Island. Families cruising to the Bahamas can explore the town by horse and carriage, shop at the local market, enjoy the beach or visit luxurious resorts. One of the most magical experiences that a family can have is to view and interact with marine life at the Atlantis. There are also day pass options for purchase at the Atlantis, which grants access to the beach property, use of the water park activities and other tour options. (Per Person Rates start at $549)
Imagine a two-week journey sailing across the Atlantic Ocean to London. Your family could experience transatlantic cruising and then disembark in London. Little explorers will love seeing all the sights from a double decker bus. Hop on and off to take photos and tour the city. Pose in front of Big Ben, go for a whirl on the London Eye, and visit a palace before flying home to New York. With luck, you might witness the changing of the guards. (Per Person Rates start at $649)
We recommend: Cunard’s 7-night cruise starting at $1099 each. An enjoyable journey from Brooklyn to England. Your young voyager will love the children’s activities onboard with programming to keep them busy throughout the day (and night).
Where will you sail away to? Tell us in the comments!
— Shnieka Johnson