The Best Family Cruise Lines - Norwegian Cruise Line

Sample '07 NCL Cruise

Sample '07 NCL Cruise

Where: Western Caribbean on Norwegian Dream
When: March 17-23, 2007
Ports of Call: Houston, Texas; Progreso, Yucátan, Mexico; Playa del Carmen, Mexico; Cozumel, Mexico; Belize City, Belize.
What It'll Cost: Inside quads start from $629 per person for first two guests; $349 per person for third and fourth guests. Outside quads start from $679 per person for first two guests; $399 per person for third and fourth guests.
Off the Ship: Visit the Maya ruins at Chichén Itzá, Progreso; snorkel, swim, and encounter animals at Playa del Carmen's Xcaret ecological park; snorkel the colorful reefs in Chankanaab Park, Cozumel; visit the Belize Zoo to see the country's indigenous animals or tour Altun Ha Maya ruins.

advertisement

Foodies are in heaven aboard NCL, where "freestyle cruising" means never having to eat dinner in the same place twice. Choose from six to ten onboard restaurants, including sushi, tapas, trattorias, and French bistros; some eateries cost extra and require reservations. Choice also extends to how you dress for dinner—don a tuxedo or gown, or don't bother and go casual.

When the Norwegian Pearl debuts in December 2006, it will add a rock-climbing wall plus a full-size bowling alley that transforms into a lounge with music, dancing, and mood-lit lanes at night.

For little kids, several of NCL's ships, including the Jewel, Dawn, Star, and Spirit, feature colorfully themed children's pools with pint-sized slides and splash areas. The Kid's Crew and Teen's Crew programs offer age-specific fun for two- through 17-year-olds, including crafts and pajama parties for tots and pool parties and a video arcade for the older crowd. Although little ones don't have to be potty trained, counselors beep the parents when it's time to redo the Pampers. While most lines allow junior cruisers ages eight and older, with parental permission, to sign themselves in and out of the children's program, NCL gives this privilege only to teens, something that will annoy gradeschoolers if they've enjoyed the freedom to roam on other cruise lines.

Dreaming of Hawaii? Then think NCL America, a division of NCL, and the only line offering regularly scheduled inter-island itineraries. The three ships plying this slice of Pacific paradise are the Pride of Aloha, Pride of America, and the Pride of Hawaii.


Away.com'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 Amazon.com.

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

advertisement

Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »