June and July are big travel months for families! Between planning out summer vacations and booking summer and winter cruises, parents are busy researching family-friendly and baby-friendly resorts, hotels and cruise lines.
With the help of CruiseCompete, we have put together a list of the top 10 baby-friendly cruise ships. CruiseCompete.com was named by The Wall Street Journal as The Best in Travel and has been a repeat on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s Best List for Cruises in its travel category.
1. Disney Cruise Line
The Flounder’s Reef Nursery accepts children from 3 months to 3 years. Parents must carry a pager and pay $6.00 per hour for the first child, and $5.00 per hour for each additional child. Minimum sailing age is 12 weeks old.
2. Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean has a “Royal Babies/Royal Tots” program (6-18 months), developed by Fisher-Price, however parents must accompany their children. Sailing age is 6 months on most itineraries, but is 12 months on all Transatlantic, Transpacific Hawaii, and other selected cruises.
3. Princess Cruise Lines
Princess accepts children over 6 months of age at the date of sailing on the following itineraries: Alaska, Canada & New England, Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, Transcanal and Australia & New Zealand (coastal cruise only). Only children over the age of one (1) year at the date of sailing will be accepted for the following itineraries: Africa, South America, South Pacific, Hawaii, Tahiti, world cruises including Asia, Antarctica, Indian subcontinent, Transatlantic and Transpacific cruises.
Their Princess Pelicans program is geared towards children ages 3 to 7. Additional programs with a wide range of fun activities are available for youth and teens: Shockwaves, ages 8 to 12 and Remix, designed for teens ages 13 to 17.
4. Carnival Cruise Lines
Camp Carnival, is for children ages 2-11, but there are babysitting services for children younger than two. Rates are $6 for the first child and $4 for each additional child. Minimum age for sailing is 6 months, excepting Transatlantic, Hawaii and South American cruises, which are 12 months.
5. Norwegian Cruise Line
NCL offers youth programs and babysitting for children ages 2-12. Group babysitting runs $6 per child per hour, $4/hour for additional siblings. Minimum sailing age is 6 months.
Nickelodeon™ at Sea, is a new one-of-a-kind program exclusive to Norwegian Cruise Line. It will start sailing year-round on Norwegian Jewel and on Norwegian Epic beginning in July 2010.
6. Cunard Line
Certified British nannies are on board to care for babies aged one and above and there are supervised nurseries with baby toys and cribs. Children must be one year old to participate in Cunard’s children’s center without parental supervision.
Minimum sailing age is 6 months on Alaska, Canada/New England, Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, Transcanal and Australia/New Zealand voyages. Minimum age on all other voyages is 12 months.
7. Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity offers babysitters for children over 12 months old (limit 2 per babysitter). Minimum sailing age is 6 months, excepting Transatlantic, Transpacific, and select South American cruises, which require a child be 12 months old. In addition to their youth programs, Celebrity offers the Toddler Time program for children under 3 years old and the Ship MatesSM (ages 3-5).
8. P&O Cruises
Splashers, (for ages 2-4) has activities and designed for young children. There is also a supervised night nursery. Minimum sailing age is 12 months.
9. Holland America Line
Holland America does not provide children’s programs or babysitting for children under three, but high chairs, booster seats and cribs are available to cruisers. Minimum age for sailing is 6 months, 12 months on transoceanic.
Activities for children ages 3-17 are offered through their Club Hal® Youth Program
10. Costa Cruises
Costa does not offer organized activities for children under the age of three however group baby-sitting in their “Miniclub”, cribs, high chairs, baby bath, bottle warmers and liquidized food are available upon request. Minimum sailing age is 6 months.