Are you wondering if cruising with the whole family is a good idea? Maybe you worry that the tots or teenagers won’t have a good time.
Well, Holland America thinks its ships are perfect for families from toddlers to grandparents. The line is offering family fares this summer that allow the third and fourth child or adult in the same stateroom to sail free.
So once on board, what do you do with the kids?
Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America, says, “If you want to experience new cultures with family, bring history to life for your children or just have a fun-in-the-sun vacation, then we’re the cruise line for you.”
“We believe family travel should be about spending quality time together while enjoying a variety of activities for every interest,” he added.
To back that up, Orlando outlined just what HAL has to offer on board.
- Club HAL the place where youngsters can go on treasure hunts, play games or eat pizza, while parents do adult things.
- Shore excursions for the whole family include options such as a trip to Legoland, swimming with the rays, whale watching and other tours.
- Half Moon Cay is the line’s private island in the Bahamas. This place is fun for all with waterslides and an aquatic playground for kids and jet skiing for adults. There are also cabanas, glass-bottom boats and other rentables.
- BBC Earth Experiences is the venue where the family can learn to make tasty treats at a live cooking show or take in highlights of the natural world.
- On Alaska cruises, Holland America Line offers a Junior Ranger Program in Glacier Bay. Kids can interact with national park rangers and earn their Junior Ranger Badge during this fun and educational day at Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.
Top-tier family tours
Some top family tours include:
With a small group of guests, board a heated research vessel for an up-close viewing of humpback whales. The guide will discuss the biology, habitat and behavior of these majestic giants. Whale sightings are guaranteed, and it’s also likely that guests will see seals, porpoises and other marine animals.
From Amber Cove enter a tropical jungle and listen to the sounds of nature while keeping a look out for the cute little squirrel monkeys that abound in this natural environment. Guests can offer a plate of fruit to the monkeys and get up close with these lovable, fun little creatures.
The world-famous Legoland amusement park will have everyone in the family feeling like a kid again. The park in Denmark is made entirely of Legos, with millions of colorful bricks snapped together in a perfect blend of imaginative fun, clever design and attention to detail.
This entertaining and educational two-hour cruise in Maine's Bar Harbor on the Lulu — a Downeast Maine-style lobster boat — offers delightful views of Acadia National Park. The captain hauls lobster traps to show what a commercial lobsterman does to catch the lobsters, how the traps work, and how they are baited. Seal-watching is included, and bald eagles are often seen.
Dining options for finicky kids
While parents can dig into gourmet fare, kids can do their favorite Mac ‘n‘ Cheese, pizzas, burgers and hot dogs. They can also join the folks at the alternative dining venues for free when ordering from the children’s menu.
Fitting into one stateroom
Holland America Line’s staterooms and suites come in various sizes and shapes. Family-friendly options include sofa beds, Murphy beds and connecting rooms.
If you're interested in a cruise on Holland America, contact a Cruiseable travel expert and they'll go to work for you for free, setting you up with the best itinerary for your family at the best fare. Call 1-877-322-3773 or email an expert.