It may come as a surprise to learn that you can sail off on a romantic cruise — to celebrate Valentine’s Day or any special occasion — with not only your significant other but with the kids as well. The trick is to combine the best parts of a romantic getaway with a family cruise.
If you're still deciding what to get your sweetie beyond the usual flowers or See's chocolates, here's an idea: Surprise your loved one with a Valentine's Day card announcing plans for a romantic cruise — with the children in tow.
Here are some top options for finding romance and family fun on the high seas.
Disney Cruise Line
Probably the most obvious family voyage to come to mind is a Disney Cruise Line sailing — and for good reason. Disney is the industry leader in keeping parents and children alike well-entertained both on board and off, and they offer are a wealth of options so you're not obliged to spend every activity together (although you could if you’d like).
While there are plenty of things to participate in together, there are also exclusive venues for both children and adults. In fact, Disney has no casino on its ships to dedicate that much more space to engaging, immersive kids clubs, and thankfully there’s plenty of room left over for venues exclusive to adults, too.
While the kids are off having the time of their lives with Mickey and the gang in the Disney’s Oceaneer Club or Oceaneer Lab, parents (or adults without children) can head for their own entertainment districts, cafes, bars, restaurants and pool decks for a moment to themselves. On the lower levels, a nightclub features everything from dancing to stand-up comedians, and themed bars offer fun escapes to spend an evening with a cocktail in hand.
Meanwhile, upstairs an adults-only pool and cafe area await, and one or two specialty restaurants make for the perfect romantic meal, either for delicious Italian or French cuisine, to peer into each other’s eyes over candlelight and perhaps for a soufflé, too.
Disney, as you may know, is a premium line priced more on par with Celebrity Cruises and Holland America Line, and its overall quality matches those as well. So, if you’d prefer a less expensive alternative, other mainstream choices such as Carnival Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International and Princess Cruises may be more to your liking.
Like Disney, these offer venues for the kids to enjoy while parents are off enjoying their own amorous time.
Carnival also has its Sanctuary deck just for adults across the fleet to take advantage of the outdoors, and Royal Caribbean has plenty of upscale dining venues, particularly on its largest vessels like the new Harmony of the Seas, to enjoy special culinary moments without the offspring.
Ship-within-a-ship on Norwegian & MSC Cruises
Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC Cruises offer distinctive ship-within-a-ship experiences aboard many of their ships. Essentially guests can book higher end cabin and suite categories to be granted privileged access to exclusive venues. Now, technically even children in said accommodations can take advantage of the private pools, observation lounges and restaurants. Generally, the experience here is more akin to a luxury line one.
Still, these brands afford parents perhaps more accustomed to luxury lines the chance to bring their kids or grandkids along in less expensive staterooms below — with a guardian, of course — freeing up adults to potentially enjoy their own upscale spaces while the kids enjoy entertainment suited just to them. It’s a unique win-win found in the cruise industry.
Of course, the other benefit of parents taking their kids along for the ride is the chance to enjoy experiences together as well, and the freedom always exists therein to enjoy as much or as little as a family unit, whether that's on board or ashore.
How about you? Have you combined romance and family fun on a cruise before?
— Cruiseable news services
If you're interested in exploring a romantic getaway, contact a Cruiseable travel advocate at 1-877-322-3773 to get the best value and the lowest prices.