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Latest Family travel articles

The children's pool on Disney Wonder.

Previewing Disney Cruise Line’s enhanced Disney Wonder

November 8, 2016

From via

Come November 10, 2016, Disney Cruise Line will reintroduce the Disney Wonder to the fleet with new improvements, and we’ll be onboard to share them all with you. Until then, let’s take a look at what work has been done to the ship before her next grand unveiling.Gene Sloan at USA Today got a sneak peek at the ship being remodeled during its extensive September 9 to October 23 dry-dock in Cadiz, Spain, showing a little of what went on to soon bring new venues to life. Most significantly, the kids facilities, one of the three main dining rooms and adults-only spaces were retooled.“Frozen” will be integrated into Disney’s Oceaneer Club for ages 3 to 12 and open to all ages during select open house hours to check out. The new Frozen Adventures space we now know will feature Wandering Oaken’s, the trading post from the amusing character known for his signature “woo hoo” call.

Walter Christen's insight:

I think most people would agree that Disney Cruise Lines ships make for the perfect cruise vacation for families with with small children.  The additions and enhancements being made to the Disney Wonder while in dry dock will only enhance this reputation.


Walltopia Rollglider

Walltopia’s Rollglider might be the wildest cruise ship attraction yet

November 7, 2016

From via

Just weeks after speculating that a zip-line roller coaster type of attraction might at some point make its way aboard a cruise ship, Walltopia, a climbing wall manufacturer, has actually modeled what its Rollglider product, called a “safe proximity flight,” would look like onboard.The company has even produced a fully rendered video, embedded below, showcasing what its zip-line roller coaster hybrid product might look like installed on one of Royal Caribbean International’s Sovereign-class vessels like the Majesty of the Seas. While it doesn’t actually show it running, it does give you a sense for how such an attraction would scale and potentially traverse high above and out beyond the upper decks of a relatively small ship.In reality, the Rollglider would probably be better suited to a larger cruise ship like Royal Caribbean’s own Harmony of the Seas, the biggest one in the world currently, where it could really sprawl a much longer distance. The pairing of the video-rendered attraction with a ropes course even suggests it could be well suited to Carnival Cruise Line or Norwegian Cruise Line which already have such structures perched on their decks.

Walter Christen's insight:

All I can say is WOW.  This looks like a fun thing to do and would make a welcome cruise ship attraction.  Even with my fear of heights I think I would give this a try.  I wonder which cruise line will be the first to give this a go.


World's three biggest-ever cruise ships sail together for the first time

November 6, 2016

From via

The three largest cruise ships in the world have ‘met’ for the first time in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.Royal Caribbean International's Oasis-class ships, Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and the new Harmony of the Seas appeared together to mark the latter’s arrival at her new permanent home at Port Everglades.All three feature seven themed ‘neighborhoods’, a Central Park with nearly 12,000 plants and trees, FlowRider surf simulators, an 82-foot zip wire, luxurious multi-level loft suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, an outdoor ‘aqua theatre’ that hosts high-diving, aquatic and acrobatic performances, and a Boardwalk with a hand-carved carousel. Until recently Oasis of the Seas, which sailed in 2009, and Allure of the Seas, which followed in 2010, had held the record as the largest cruise ships in the world.

Walter Christen's insight:

I have sailed aboard the Oasis of the Seas twice and the Allure of the Seas once. My family found them to be fantastic ships with plenty to keep them occupied while aboard.  I especially liked Central Park and the Aqua theater.  Now that Harmony of the Seas will be berthed in Florida, I am planning a family vacation aboard for later next year.


Kids can keep cool and have some splashy fun in the water-themed splash zone on deck 9 of Disney Magic.

Riding the Rails – Disney Cruise Line

September 28, 2016

From via

Disney Cruise Line was named recently named the Top Mega-Ship Cruise Line and Top Mega-Ship Cruise Line for Families by Travel + Leisure readers in the magazine’s World’s Best Awards 2014.
Walter Christen's insight:

For families, Disney Cruise Lines is one of the best.  There is so much entertainment for children it is doubtful you would ever here the dreadful term "I'm Bored"  Years ago when my kids were small we did a Disney Wonder cruise.  Even though they are older now they still remember so much of the details of what they did on that cruise.


Carnival Vista, the newest ship in the Carnival fleet, will be joined by two even larger ships in 2020 and 2022.

Carnival orders its two largest cruise ships

September 6, 2016


Carnival is going bigger and better. The world's largest cruise line has just announced it's building two new 180,000 gross registered ton ships that will be the largest in its massive fleet.

The ships will also be Carnival's first powered by liquefied natural gas — a decidedly green development by the Carnival Corp., which runs 48 percent of the world's cruise ships.

Carnival Cruise Line is scheduled to take delivery of the two new family-friendly ships, which are now under construction at Turku shipyard in Finland, in 2020 and 2022.

Carnival, which continues to grow by leaps and bounds, has a dozen ships its current fleet that were constructed in Finland, including its eight Fantasy-class ships and four Spirit-class ships. Its next ship, Carnival Horizon, is set for delivery in 2018. 

“This new ship order signifies an extraordinarily exciting future for Carnival Cruise Line and the opportunities that lie ahead to introduce a variety of magnificent new features and innovations to further enhance our outstanding guest experience,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We are also thrilled to be introducing Carnival Corporation’s ‘green cruising’ design platform to North America. Both of these ships will be fully powered at sea and in port by Liquefied Natural Gas, which is the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel. These ships are being designed for maximum energy efficiency and environmental friendliness,” Duffy added.

Stayed tuned for more details, which Carnival expects to announce shortly.

Black bear cubs in Glacier Bay National Park.

Carnival to sail to Alaska from Long Beach for first time ever in 2017

August 25, 2016

Good news for residents of the greater Los Angeles area, and particularly for those who have always wanted to cruise to Alaska with the least amount of hassle. Starting in 2017, with a short car or train ride,  you'll be able to hop right on an Alaska-bound ship from the port of Long Beach.

 Carnival Miracle.
Radu Ursu / Courtesy of Carnival Cruise LineCruise out of Long Beach to Alaska on a special sailing on Carnival Miracle on Sept. 2, 2017.

Carnival Cruise Line is offering a 14-day round-trip Alaskan adventure aboard Carnival Miracle departing Long Beach on Sept. 2 and returning Sept. 16, 2017. The cruise will show off Alaska's majestic landscape as it sails through Glacier Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and visits Icy Strait Point, an unspoiled wilderness area offering some of the best whale and bear watching in the state and the world’s longest zipline.

It's a not-to-miss experience that will stop at Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau and Sitka, as well as Vancouver, British Columbia — destinations rich in history and culture as well as lots of diversions from bicycling and hiking to just milling around the towns. Shore excursions, which cost extra, will feature helicopter flightseeing and rainforest canopy tours as well as hiking, canoeing and kayaking expeditions, and alpine lake snorkeling (bring a wetsuit).

Carnival Legend will also offer 38 seven- and eight-day Alaska voyages in 2017 and 2018, including seven weeklong Glacier Bay cruises next year — the most voyages by Carnival to this region, which features majestic glaciers and other ice formations and is home to numerous whales, bears and other wildlife. The seven- and eight-day voyages operate either round-trip from Seattle or from Vancouver to Seattle, visiting a variety of stunning ports, including Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Victoria, BC, plus a full-day cruising Tracy Arm Fjord or Glacier Bay.

Both gigantic Carnival Miracle and Carnival Legend provide scads of dining and entertainment choices from the upscale American steakhouse serving U.S.D.A. prime aged beef and other gourmet cuisine and the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub. Carnival caters to kids, who will love the Alaska adventure, with waterslides and supervised programs for three age groups and the popular Seuss at Sea program with fun activities like the Seuss-a-palooza parade, story time and more.

Harvest Caye… developing paradise

August 16, 2016

From via

Earlier this year Norwegian Cruise Line revealed details on their new Western Caribbean destination Harvest Caye, Belize. The resort style port of call is set to open in November this year.

For a closer look at what Norwegian Cruise Line has planned for guests sailing on Western Caribbean cruises from mid-November onwards, visit our post: Harvest Caye… paradise by Norwegian Cruise Line.

International Environments Ltd., the company which was hired to conduct a socio-economic and environment impact assessment, is providing the architectural and engineering services for the $50 million project. This includes taking designs to 100% completion, project administration and construction supervision.

Walter Christen's insight:

I have my first Norwegian Cruise Line vacation aboard the Norwegian Jade to the Western Caribbean in November.  One of the ports of call is to be Harvest Caye.  The pictures in this article show that they are well along on getting this exciting new private island ready.  I cant wait.


Kids big and small will enjoy the waterslides on Carnival Vista.

10 reasons your next family vacation should be aboard Carnival Vista

August 1, 2016

From via

It’s good to be a kid on Carnival’s newest cruise ship, Vista. Which means it’s also great to be a parent sailing aboard Vista. More kids sail on Carnival than other cruise line, and Vista proves the company wants to keep it that way. Carrying 3,936 passengers and 1,450 crew members, she’s a floating resort with everything a vacationing family could ask for, and plenty of things they may not have ever imagined were possible at sea or on land.

Weighing in at more than 133-thousand tons, the list of Carnival Vista’s family-friendly perks is long, entertaining and in many cases adrenaline boosting, but these ten should provide instant vacation inspiration.

1. Ride On.. On the SkyRide
2. Climb to New Heights on the SkyCourse
3. First IMAX at Sea
4. WaterWorks
5. Family Harbor
6. Seuss at Sea
7. Camp Ocean
8. The Clubhouse
9. There’s an app for that
10. Family-Friendly Eats
Walter Christen's insight:

The one phrase that a parent never wants to hear from their children while on vacation is "I'm bored".  Carnival Cruise Line's Vista looks to be just the ticket to ensure those words are never uttered. There are so many different kid friendly activities and venues onboard to keep everyone amused and enjoy their vacation.

We have taken our children on many cruises when they were younger and picking a cruise line and ship that has lots of activities for them was a major consideration.


Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

5 things to do in Cape Canaveral while waiting for your cruise

June 8, 2016

From via

We’ve all been there.

The trip is all set, but things aren’t fitting together quite as smoothly as one might like. Between this, that and the other thing with connecting flights, drive time to and from the airport and all sorts of life’s little hurdles, you’re left with hours — sometimes a full day — between getting to Florida and the departure time for that dream cruise. 

Don’t stress out or hole up in a boring hotel room. Instead, enjoy the best of what Cape Canaveral and the surrounding area has to offer. This is vacation! You’re supposed to have fun! Start now and do it in style.

Walter Christen's insight:

Port Canaveral is one of my favorite cruise ports. Not only is it convenient for me to get to, but it also has quite a few nearby attractions and things to do.

Ron Jon’s Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach - I have been to this iconic store and have the t-shirt to prove it.  In addition, Cocoa Beach has some of the best beaches.

Victory Casino Cruises - 5 hour gambling cruises that will even appeal to non gamblers.

Fishlips Waterfront Bar and Grill - One of the best places for dinner in the area before your cruise.

Florida Beer Company - Craft brewing is very big in Florida and the Florida Beer Company is one of the biggest and best. The brewery tour sounds like it would be very interesting.

Kennedy Space Center - This is one of my favorite places to go when I am on the east coast of Florida. Everyone should spend a day here. There is a lot to do and see.


SkyRide: The star of Carnival Vista's new family fun offerings

June 3, 2016

From via

After more than 18 months of hype and teaser photos and an inaugural positioning cruise, the Carnival Vista began a summer of European cruising with a 10-day tour beginning in Barcelona and ending in Spain.

One of the signature strengths of Carnival Cruise Line is its entertainment programs and Camp Oceans kids day camps, the best among family-oriented cruise lines in my humble opinion. The former specifically shines during sea days when boredom is near impossible with activities launching at least every half hour.

So my son and I wondered what would fill our time during the nine port days, an oddity for those used to the Caribbean sailings of the cruise line. Yes, we’d explore shore excursions in some and wander on our own in other ports. But the activities schedule is streamlined by about 80 percent during port days, so what would fill our time?

Walter Christen's insight:

This new attraction on the Carnival Vista looks like a lot of fun.  That and the other offerings like the new Twister and Kaleid-O-Slide slides make me want to book a cruise of this new Carnival ship.


Disney Cruise Line adding two new ships

March 9, 2016

From via

Disney Cruise Lines will add two new cruise ships to its fleet.

Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger made the announcement at today's annual shareholder meeting.


The company has entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany. The schedule calls for the new ships to be completed in 2021 and 2023.

Disney Cruise Line already has four ships. The Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder are 85,000-ton 877-stateroom ships, and the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy are 130,000-ton 1,250-stateroom ships.

Walter Christen's insight:

This is great news for families with children who want to take a cruise. Actually, even if you do not have children I feel that Disney Cruise Lines ships are fantastic.  The entertainment, food and activities are sure to be a hit with both the children and adults alike.

When my children were smaller, we did a cruise on the Disney Wonder.  Even to this day, they can remember it like it was yesterday.


Disney Magic sails to the Caribbean out of San Juan and Galveston, Texas.

The best cruises for families

February 25, 2016

From via

The secret's out that value-packed cruises make for great family getaways, what with fun-for-everyone, multigenerational appeal at every port, and via the plentiful activities, entertainment, and dining options on board.

Now, cruise lines are upping the ante on their accommodations, too, in response to the ever-rising demand of multigenerational family travelers.

These days, you can choose from a wide selection of suites and connecting staterooms that are specifically designed to keep the whole clan connected at sea. Touting plenty of space for you to spread out in comfortable digs (with must-have features like multiple bathrooms), these 5 leading cruise lines are your best bets for finding the perfect suite for your family.

Royal Caribbean International [links go to Cruiseable's 2016 Family Cruise Guide]

Norwegian Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line

Holland America Line

Disney Cruise Line

Walter Christen's insight:

Cruiseable just published its 2016 Family Cruise Guide, give it a look when you start your research.

My wife and I have taken our two children on many cruises. We have also done some multigenerational cruises with my wife's parents. I do agree that connecting rooms are fantastic when travelling with multiple family members.  On most cruise lines that offer connecting rooms not only is there a door connecting the rooms, on balcony rooms, you usually can have the divider between opened making the balcony much longer.

There are so many varied activities onboard a cruise ship and at most ports of call, that with a little research and planning all family can have a great time. Also there are so many food options on cruise ships that even if you have a picky eater, you will not have any issues.