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Best cruise ship for families? Readers vote Carnival Breeze

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This winning Fun Ship is packed with activities for all ages

Thanks to their excellent travel value, more and more families are turning to cruising when planning their vacations. These 10 cruise lines, nominated as the best in the industry by our panel of cruising experts and voted to the top by 10Best readers, cater to young passengers in many ways, including family friendly at-sea experiences (bumper cars, bowling and waterparks to name a few), family cabins and kid-approved dining options. 

  • Carnival Breeze
    Carnival Cruise Lines

    Breeze is a breath of fresh air for cruising parents. Kids have a blast at Camp Ocean in hang-outs lively with activities, and tweens and teens love the thrill of plummeting down the 320-foot Twister Waterslide at WaterWorks. While the youngins are enjoying thrills at the SportsSquare ropes course or the 5D Thrill Theater, parents can indulge in some R&R at the Cloud 9 Spa.
    Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines

  • Regal Princess
    Princess Cruises

    A favorite feature among kids aboard the Regal Princess is the SeaWalk, a glass-bottomed walkway extending 28 feet over ship’s edge. The ship's youth and teen center has teamed up with the California Science Center for some interactive edutainment at sea. The three kids spaces are excellent, and teens even have their own outdoor hot tub.
    Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises

  • Carnival Horizon
    Carnival Cruise Lines

    Carnival’s latest and greatest ship, Carnival Horizon, sails from Miami to the Caribbean with plenty of family fun onboard. Kid-approved amenities include two movie theaters (including an IMAX screen), Dr. Seuss Waterworks waterpark, nighttime babysitting and reduced prices for kids at some specialty restaurants.
    Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines

  • Carnival Vista
    Carnival Cruise Lines

    Carnival elevated its already very family-friendly offerings with the debut of Carnival Vista. Kids can ride a bike through the sky, go mini bowling or play ping pong at SportSquare, and the onboard water park is the largest in the fleet. Kids love the Cherry On Top candy store and ice cream counter, and parents will appreciate the Family Harbor staterooms equipped with board games, family movies and video games.
    Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines

  • Royal Princess
    Princess Cruises

    Royal Princess, launched in 2013, is Regal’s twin, with many of the same kid-centric features, like the thrilling SeaWalk, glass-bottomed walkway over ship’s edge. While it might be a tie with its sister ship from a kid's perspective, Royal is a foodie ship, so while the little ones are off having fun, mom and dad could plan a WineMaker’s dinner onboard or sip a crisp white at Vines.
    Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises

  • MSC Seaside
    MSC Cruises

    MSC Seaside brings loads of family friendly amenities to the fleet, including family suites, an expanded kids club in partnership with LEGO and Chicco, multi-story waterpark with four slides, two full size bowling lanes, a teens club and a high-tech theater.
    Photo courtesy of MSC Cruises

  • Disney Dream
    Disney Cruise Line

    Aboard the Disney Dream, Donald gets his due with AquaDuck, a 4-deck-drop water coaster (the first at sea) that zips riders through transparent tube. The host of Disney-themed kids programs get points for their organization; costumed characters–Mickey, Minnie and friends–keep the pre-school set happy. Character greetings and Broadway-style productions (with a Disney twist of course) make this 4,000-passenger vessel a hit with the young and the young at heart.
    Photo courtesy of Disney Cruise Line

  • Disney Magic
    Disney Cruise Line

    The Disney wand waved in 2013, turning Disney Magic into a modern member of the sailing Mickeys. AquaLab’s splashy play park plus two water slides boost Magic’s fun quotient. Even more cool: kids can train as superheroes at Marvel Avenger Academy. Magic also added the adults-only AfterHours bars and nightclub, making Magic sweeter for everyday heroes – mom and dad.
    Photo courtesy of Disney Cruise Line

  • Disney Fantasy
    Disney Cruise Line

    On the Disney Fantasy, kids programs are Disney-crafted and predictably high-quality; the older set loves bulleting down 4-deck-drop AquaDuck water coaster. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique delights kids with princess or pirate makeovers. Mom and Dad can refresh at Quiet Cove Pool.
    Photo courtesy of Disney Cruise Line

  • Allure of the Seas
    Royal Caribbean International

    One of the world’s largest cruise ships features one of the most robust and diverse kids programs. A highlight for young passengers is the DreamWorks Experience, where kids can interact with their favorite characters from ShrekKung Fu Panda and the penguins of Madagascar. Amazing acrobatics at the AquaTheater, surf simulators, an old-fashioned carousel, two rock climbing walls, a zip line, mini golf and classic carnival games at the Boardwalk Arcade mean kids can kiss boredom goodbye.
    Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

The top 10 winners in the Best Cruise Ship for Families category are as follows:

  1. Carnival Breeze - Carnival Cruise Lines
  2. Regal Princess - Princess Cruises
  3. Carnival Horizon - Carnival Cruise Lines
  4. Carnival Vista - Carnival Cruise Lines
  5. Royal Princess - Princess Cruises
  6. MSC Seaside - MSC Cruises
  7. Disney Dream - Disney Cruise Line
  8. Disney Magic - Disney Cruise Line
  9. Disney Fantasy - Disney Cruise Line
  10. Allure of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Don and Heidi Bucolo (EatSleepCruise.com), Carrie Finley Bajak (CruiseBuzz.net), Danielle Fear (Cruise Miss), Sherry Laskin (CruiseMaven.com), Jason Leppert (Popular Cruising), Chris Owen, Doug Parker (Cruise Radio) and Ming Tappin (Your Cruise Coach) were chosen for their knowledge of the cruising industry.

Congratulations to all these winning cruise ships.

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AlertThe Experts

Don and Heidi Bucolo

Don and Heidi Bucolo

Don and Heidi Bucolo

Carrie Finley Bajak

Carrie Finley Bajak

Carrie Finley Bajak

Danielle Fear

Danielle Fear

Danielle Fear

Sherry Laskin

Sherry Laskin

Sherry Laskin

Jason Leppert

Jason Leppert

Jason Leppert

Chris Owen

Chris Owen

Chris Owen

Doug Parker

Doug Parker

Doug Parker

Ming Tappin

Ming Tappin

Ming Tappin

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