Multi-generational family cruise in French Polynesia

Multi-generational family cruise in French Polynesia

Cruise ships are proving to be a popular and cost-effective option for multi-generational vacations.

Ever thought of taking the whole extended family on a sea cruise? Well, you’re not alone. In fact, multi-generational family cruise vacations have become one of the fastest growing trends in the cruise industry.

Multi-generational cruises are when two or more generations of the same family take a sea voyage together. It used to be that the main form of multi-generational cruise was when parents took their own children with them on a voyage. But now it is not uncommon to see three generations of the same family board a cruise ship as in parents, children, and grandchildren.

Carousel on Harmony of the Seas

Carousel on Harmony of the Seas

Most cruise lines have embraced this trend and have begun to introduce new innovations such as family-style cabins, more cabins with connecting doors, balcony cabins with removable partitions, and depending on the size of the group, even private receptions on the ship. In addition, a lot of cruise ships now have larger staterooms and suites that can easily accommodate families of four or more.

Royal Caribbean International (RCI) offers a whole range of suites including two-level Sky Loft suites that can connect for larger groups, and a Family Suite that offers 4 bedrooms for larger groups. And Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has a number of spacious villas with two bedrooms on its newer ships that are perfect for families travelling together.

Modern cruise ships also offer a wide diversity of activities that appeal to every generation. For example, NCL’s Norwegian Epic has six bowling lanes, an aqua park with three water slides, rock climbing and rappelling walls, an ice bar, evening entertainment from the likes of Cirque du Soleil and Blue Man Group, and more restaurants than some small cities. And while aboard RCI’s colossal twin ships the Allure and Oasis of the Seas, passengers can zip line, play miniature golf, go rock climbing, surf in a special FlowRider pool, play basketball, have a massage, play volley ball, take a yoga class and work out in a huge state-of-the-art spa.

Celebrity Cruise Line Captain with guests

Celebrity Cruise Line Captain with guests

The multi-generational vacation concept doesn’t have to be limited to just the immediate family. For example, many people are now organizing reunions on cruise ships that not only involve several generations, but extend to all the branches of the family (cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.).  And if the group is large enough (sometimes as few as 10 to 15 cabins), it may even qualify for special group rates or a free cabin for the organizer.

The most popular voyages for family reunion cruises tend to be destinations that are the easiest to reach from North America and carry the lowest tariff. For example, Caribbean cruises departing from Florida and Mexican Riviera leaving from California usually top the list for family reunion cruises. But Alaska and New England/Canada have become popular alternatives even if the cruise fare is a bit higher.

Family bowling on Allure of the Seas

Family bowling on Allure of the Seas

Europe is another good option, particularly for smaller family gatherings. In fact, the Mediterranean is a popular choice for grandparents who want to spend a summer vacation with the grandchildren while giving them an educational experience they can share in.

So if you’ve ever thought about getting the immediate or extended family together for a vacation or reunion, it may be time to consider a cruise. Not only will it take you to exciting destinations at a reasonable price, but you will enjoy the safety of travelling together on a modern cruise ship where there’s plenty to do in a comfortable environment. After all, when it comes to a family cruise, it’s all relative!

Featured image – Courtesy Royal Caribbean International (Kent Miller)


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