The Best Family Cruise Lines - Princess Cruises

St. Thomas
SWEET SPOT: Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas (Digital Vision)
Sample '07 Princess Cruise
Where: Eastern Caribbean on Caribbean Princess
When: March 18-24, 2007
Ports of Call: Fort Lauderdale, Florida; St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles; St. Thomas, USVI; Princess Cays, Bahamas
What It'll Cost: Inside quads start from $849 per person for first two guests; $599 per person for third and fourth guests. Outside quads start from $1,079 per person for first two guests; $699 per person for third and fourth guests.
Off the Ship: On St. Maarten, get a diver's-eye view of sea life from a recreational submarine or crew aboard a yacht for a 12-meter race; shop and swim at beautiful Magens Bay, St. Thomas, or take the ferry from Red Hook for snorkeling at Virgin Islands National Park.

Princess Cruises, the original "Love Boat," although part of the mass-market category, floats upscale ships with tasteful décor and good food. With the line's Personal Choice Dining, choose from either fixed mealtimes with the same tablemates and waiter or come-when-you-want service.

When the Crown Princess debuted in June 2006, the line rolled out an enhanced kids' program, too. Princess Pelicans offers activities for ages three to seven. Kid cruisers renamed the eight- to 12-year-olds' program Shockwaves and christened the teen program Remix. With Junior Chefs@Sea, kids go into the galley to make sushi rolls and decorate cakes. The Hip-Hop Dance Program teaches 'tweens and teens the latest moves, and with Teen Makeover, adolescents get consultations from a beauty advisor in skin care and makeup.

The Remix teen center, along with its Internet access and big-screen television, adds a whirlpool spa. Teens have deck parties, DJ workshops, and midnight movies under the stars; the newer Princess ships feature movies on outdoor LED screens, an experience that marries the fun of an old-fashioned drive-in with the unique ambience of sea breezes. The line's newest ship, the Emerald Princess, debuts April 2007 with a 12-day Greek Isles itinerary.'s resident family expert Candyce Stapen has written the book on family travel, having authored some 1,400 travel articles and 27 books, 26 of them on family travel. She is the winner of the 2004 "Caribbean Travel Writer of the Year for North America" award and a three-time winner of the Society of American Travel Writers' Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism award. Her articles have appeared in publications including Nick Jr , FamilyFun , Parents , Better Homes & Gardens , Conde Nast Traveler , National Geographic Traveler , and the Family Travel Network , among others. Her book, the National Geographic Guide to Caribbean Family Vacations is available from

Published: 27 Sep 2006 | Last Updated: 7 Nov 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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