Ready to turn your 2020 vacation plans way, way up? Picture your family on a two-week Aloha cruise to Hawaii, sailing through the Panama Canal over Thanksgiving, on a dazzling Disney ship or a luxury yacht in the Sea of Cortez. Yep, these incredible family cruises sailing out of San Diego are seriously next-level. It’s a whole new decade and time to make some travel memories. Read on to check out these dream family cruises and make plans to set sail on a vacation your family will never forget.

Hawaiian Islands on Carnival Miracle

Kerry Cushman

The anticipated return of Carnival to the Port of San Diego means families can set sail in 2020 with an affordable price tag. While a weekend cruise to Ensenada or weeklong trip to Mexico is always a good idea, Carnival’s 15-day dream cruise to Hawaii is a top pick. Hop aboard the Carnival Miracle for a round-trip sailing from San Diego to Hawaii with stops in Maui, Honolulu, Kauai, Kona and Hilo.

While you’ll love catching the aloha spirit exploring the Hawaiian Islands, life onboard is also pretty sweet. The whole family can get into the groove with karaoke, onboard pools, mini-golf and a waterslide. You'll also love Seuss at Sea, where the pages of the beloved books come to life in a Green Eggs & Ham Breakfast, story time and parade. When you’re ready to hit the adults-only pool or spa, kids ages 2-11 will have a blast at the complimentary kids camp, Camp Ocean. With age-based groups and activities, they’ll play games, dance, explore science and even share a kid-time meal together under the watchful eye of experienced counselors. Throw in 24-hour pizza and ice cream and your little ones will surely believe in miracles.

Sailing: Carnival Miracle

South Pacific on Holland America's Oosterdam

Alexander P.F. Stijlaart via flickr

Go all-in on vacation with an epic 28-day cruise to Hawaii and the South Pacific on Holland America’s Oosterdam. This dream-come-true cruise departs San Diego and heads west exploring Hawaii before it crosses the equator to the magical islands of the South Pacific. Here, you'll stop to explore Christmas Island, Bora Bora, Papeete and Moorea before returning nearly a month later to San Diego.

While it’ll be hard to pull yourself away from the stunning aqua waters, onboard you’ll want to explore Holland America’s BBC Earth Experiences, which brings the ocean and natural world closer through concerts and film. Or, catch a live performance on the Lincoln Center Stage. Kids and teens have a space of their own to explore at Club Hal, a supervised spot with age-appropriate games and activities such as LEGO's, Xbox, scavenger hunts and karaoke disco parties. While they’re having fun, parents can relax by the pool, order room service or work on their personal growth with Holland America’s partnership with O, The Oprah Magazine, which brings to life the magazine’s commitment to wellness and the inspirational power of travel.

Sailing: Holland America's Oosterdam

Panama Canal on Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Cruises

Thanksgiving just went from frazzled to care-free on a holiday cruise aboard Celebrity Summit. Celebrity Cruises is known for elevated dining options, modern decor and world-class entertainment, which means you can leave the gourmet cooking to them while you take in the American Ballet Theatre or a musical show. Kids and teens will love Camp at Sea with more than 500 activities designed just for them.

This 15-night dream cruise departs San Diego and stops in Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica before it heads through the Panama Canal to Columbia and Fort Lauderdale. Take your vacay up a notch further and book a suite-class room, which includes 24-hour personal butler service, menus by a Michelin-starred chef and exclusive access to The Retreat, a posh sundeck with modern design and dedicated attendants.

Sailing: Celebrity Summit

Sea of Cortez on Ponant L'Austral

Filippo Vinardi via Ponant

If you prefer a more intimate experience, consider an expedition ship aboard French luxury cruise line, Ponant. This 12-night sailing aboard mega-yacht L'Austral departs San Diego and ends in Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala. Along the way, families will marvel and experience the Sea of Cortez, an area known for its aquarium-like marine life. Here, families can take a Zodiac inflatable to shore with an experienced naturalist guide who provides an expert insight into the land, sea, animals and culture. Families will also have the opportunity to get up close & personal to sea lions in Los Islotes or discover marine wildlife with an experienced instructor. With only 132 staterooms, guests will be treated to a luxury experience typically not available on a larger ship, including personal service, gastronomic cuisine and the priceless feeling of being on your own private yacht.

Sailing: Ponant's L'Austral

Mexican Riviera on Disney Cruise Lines


Disney fans will flip for an epic spring vacation or holiday cruise with their favorite Disney pals. Onboard you’ll not only find your little one’s favorite Disney characters, but fireworks at sea, pools, deck parties and broadway-quality shows. Choose a 7-night Mexican Riviera Cruise in March or April and you'll cruise round-trip from San Diego with stops in Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada. Or make it the merriest Christmas of all time with a 14-night holiday cruise from San Diego through Mexico, the Panama Canal and ending in Galveston, Texas.

Sailing: Disney Cruises

World Cruise on Holland America's Maasdam

Boris Kasimov via flickr

If you’re ready to flip the switch on regular life, a world cruise on Holland America will be a trip your family will never forget. Imagine world-schooling on a 63-night cruise departing San Diego and sailing through Hawaii, French Polynesia and the Cook Islands before crossing the International Dateline. Next you'll stop in Tonga before circumnavigating Australia, including the Great Barrier Reef. This epic trip is aboard Holland America’s Maasdam and includes experiences highlighting regional culture through programs such as Port to Table food demonstrations and live dance performances. Gain a greater appreciation of the world through BBC Earth Experiences or Explorations Central, which offers local port insights to make your epic trip even more meaningful.

Sailing: Holland America's Maasdam

—Kerry Cushman


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