The Best Family Cruise Lines - Royal Caribbean International
|ACTION STATIONS: Freedom of the Seas' FlowRider surf simulator (courtesy, RCI)|
"Action" is Royal Caribbean's catchwordyou've seen the Iggy Pop-scored ads, right?and the May 2006 launch of Freedom of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world, certainly befit the mantra. Among its firsts are FlowRider, an onboard surf simulator that generates small waves for boogie boarding or, if you've got the skillz, hanging tenwith guaranteed breaks when it's your turn to rip. Another plus for families: the H2O Zone, an inviting waterpark whose whimsical spraying fountains, geysers, and sprinklers mean the kids no longer have to annoy those hardcore sunbathers around the poser pool. Liberty of the Seas, Freedom's sister ship debuting May 2007, will have the same features. Each behemoth weighs 160,000 ocean-displacing tons and carries 3,634 guests at double-occupancy.
Along with rock-climbing walls, standard on all RCI vessels, families find basketball courts and ice-skating rinks on Voyager and Liberty class vessels. Teens can hang out at two separate juice bars/discos, one for ages 12 to 14, the other ages 15 to 17, meaning that shy ninth graders won't feel overwhelmed by sassy high-school seniors.
RCI's Adventure Ocean program provides supervised activities for age-appropriate groups of young passengers, with everything from nautical-themed arts and crafts to science experiments to reggae beach parties and movie nights. At select times, parents and their toddlers take part in organized play. Aqua Babies serves ages six to 18 months and Aqua Tots is for ages 18 months to three years.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication