Family-Friendly Cruise Destinations and Activities

Keeping kids entertained (and thereby freeing up parents for cocktails and reading poolside) is a primary aim for a significant number of families while on a cruise, so look for lines with kids’ clubs, supervised activities and children’s menus. The best way to ensure that your expedition cruiser provides excellent programmes for teens on board is to choose a higher-end line like Expeditions, which offers an array of special learning modules for kids and teens.

An idyllic cruise vacation in the Caribbean is filled with diversions for children of all ages. In Grand Cayman, kids will delight in the unique spectacle that is Stingray City, where you float on the surface with softly waving Southern stingrays swarming past you.


Progreso, a strikingly beautiful, oceanfront city on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, has long been earmarked by cruise line interests and property speculators as the next emerging port port of call and balneario resort leverage, and recently emergent Latin American ‘cruise capital’. Many cruise ships now dock directly outside Progreso with a four-mile-long pier extending into the Gulf of Mexico.

Progreso’s beaches and downtown are busy too. Along the boardwalk that follows its shoreline are ocean-side bars, restaurants and vendors selling everything from wood carvings to hand-woven blankets to onyx carvings – don’t miss Progreso’s Craft Market on your exploration of Progreso’s downtown.

Since Progreso takes place during spring break, it is only fitting that the students put in the effort to take tours to the town’s main attraction—the Uxmal Mayan Ruins, an extensive city with palaces, pyramids, even a ball court where the ancient Mayans played games of ballon (similar to soccer). Book your Uxmal Mayan Ruins and Dzibilchaltun Tour to create the experience of seeing these ruins.


Welcome to Cozumel. Paradise is waiting for your family to explore its spectacular blend of wildlife, history and culture, insuring fun for families of every generation.

Become one with the turquoise waters and coral reefs of Cozumel on a family snorkelling expedition that also features an interactive dolphin session complete with sonar listening for participants of all ages. Marine life – including angelfish, blue tang, and even sea turtles – will keep jaded-looking kids glued to their masks and snorkels.

With the whole family onboard an open-top bus, go sightseeing at Cozumel’s best spots; afterwards go to Playa Palancar or Paradise Beach – the water activities range from jet-ski and parasailing to snorkelling adventures, but aren’t limited to them. There are fun beach activities, so bring a towel and get sand castle building or swim and picnic with family. At Pueblo del Maiz, an historical walking tour, there are more cultural activities, including making pottery for kids, or trying mask painting – the adults can experience the Mayan heritage with interactive demonstrations and exhibits.

Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula

The Yucatán Peninsula (whoosh until you get to c-tán), with its jungle-flanked mountains and gorgeous, cenote-pocked beaches, is an enormous, exciting swirl of Mayan, Spanish colonial and modern Mexican culture.

November through April is the best time to explore the Yucatán Peninsula. Temperatures during this time of year are warm and the waters of the sea are flat, and most of the top draws — from Chichen Itza to the great cenotes — are at their least crowded.

Laze on the beach of laid-back Tulum or Isla Mujeres, or gather your whole family in the beautiful colonial city of Merida. Take the kids snorkelling in the turquoise waters of Riviera Maya, keeping an eye out for thought-provoking installations that double as artificial reefs built to nurture coral growth. Head to Chemuyil cenotes and snorkel among natural wonders with local entrepreneurs protecting the environment.

Canada & New England

A cruise along the coasts of Canada and New England takes you on a journey of contrasts – showcasing the majesty of rugged nature and the charm of historic cities, not to mention culinary treats aplenty along the way. From the lighthouses of Halifax to Boston’s Freedom Trail, a voyage with children makes for a great family holiday.

Intriguing coastal villages blend New England chic with Canada’s dramatic mountain peaks. Eat like a local in little port cities, where fresh Maine lobster and butter roll off the grill, or time-travel to the Gilded Age in Newport or among Bar Harbor’s regal summer estates on a cruise tour to Nova Scotia.

The blue waters around New England and Canadian waters are great places for whale-watching, with breaching humpbacks late summer into early fall.

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