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Explore Multigenerational Cruise Trends While You Can

Are you looking for a different type of getaway for your next family travel plans? Do you want to find a vacation where several generations of your family can escape the pressures of work and the demands of everyday life, spend time together, and strengthen and reinforce family ties?

Whether you are a grandparent seeking more quality time with your grandkids or an adult child juggling competing family demands, a multigenerational cruise could be the escape you’re looking for. Keep reading to learn more about multigenerational cruise trends and decide if this is right for you.


  • Multigenerational cruises are a family-oriented travel trend that satisfies diverse interests across all ages.
  • Cruise lines are increasingly creating experiences and services tailored to the needs of extended families.
  • Effective planning and a variety of on-board and off-board activities unite families in a unique, shared travel experience.

Related Post:  5 Reasons To Cruise Alaska For Awesome Multigenerational Family Travel

Multigenerational cruise trends | extended family playing in waves at the beach

Exploring Multigenerational Cruise Trends

As cruise lines recognize this family-oriented trend, they are tailoring their services and itineraries to entice multigenerational groups. This makes cruise vacations more accessible and enjoyable than ever for extended families.

On multigenerational cruises, planning and booking strategies have evolved to streamline the process for large family groups. This ensures that accommodations, dining, and activities are suitable for everyone.

The cruises frequently feature diverse on-board entertainment, comfortable stateroom options, and dining experiences meant to bring the whole family together.

Shore excursions and land tours are also synchronized to offer a range of options that cater to different age groups and preferences, further enhancing the appeal of multigenerational cruising.

A cruise ship sailing with multiple generations of families enjoying various onboard activities and amenities

The cruising industry has witnessed a distinctive shift with families seeking vacations that cater to all ages, especially following the pandemic. You might’ve noticed how these trends emphasize shared experiences and activities that appeal broadly from kids to grandparents.

Influence of Pandemic on Cruise Choices

The pandemic reshaped your cruise options significantly. You now see enhanced safety protocols and cruise lines offering new itineraries designed to reassure and attract customers like you who value the well-being of all family members.

Attractions include open-air activities and more access to private shore excursions conducive to intergenerational enjoyment and health safety.

Popular Multigenerational Cruise Destinations

Choosing the right cruise destination can ensure an unforgettable experience for every family member, from the youngest to the eldest.

European Adventures

Europe is a tapestry of history and culture, making it an exceptional choice for families seeking an enriching experience.

Imagine sailing through the Mediterranean, where you can explore ancient ruins in Rome or enjoy the art and cuisine of Barcelona.

Northern European cruises might take you to the fjords of Norway or the grandeur of St. Petersburg, Russia. These European destinations offer a blend of educational and immersive experiences.

Caribbean Getaways

The Caribbean is synonymous with crystal-clear waters and sunshine, offering a laid-back ambiance perfect for multigenerational relaxation.

You can soak up the sun on the beaches of the Bahamas, dive into the vibrant aquatic life in Cozumel, or experience the rich history and flavors of Old San Juan in Puerto Rico.

There’s something for everyone, whether it’s adventure or tranquility you’re after.

Alaskan Explorations

Alaska is a natural wonderland that provides awe-inspiring experiences unlike anywhere else.

Cruise through the Inside Passage and witness glaciers calving or spot wildlife like whales, eagles, and bears.

Delve into the frontier spirit in towns like Juneau and Skagway, where you can learn about the Gold Rush history. An Alaskan cruise is a chance to connect with nature and create lasting family memories amidst breathtaking scenery.

Cruise Lines Catering to Multigenerational Families

When planning your family travel, it’s essential to choose a cruise line that offers activities and amenities that cater to every age group.

Royal Caribbean Has Something For Everyone

Royal Caribbean is a good choice for a multigenerational cruise because it offers a variety of amenities and activities that cater to all ages. Known for delivering great family vacations, Royal Caribbean cruise ships have the best dining options, activities, and onboard entertainment that can appeal to children, parents, and grandparents alike.

For families looking for an exceptional experience, Royal Caribbean offers the Ultimate Family Suite, which provides access to VIP perks like complimentary drinks, specialty dining, and VOOM, the fastest internet at sea. This can be especially appealing for families who want to stay connected and enjoy a more exclusive experience.

Additionally, Royal Caribbean’s complimentary, year-round Adventure Ocean program is one of the industry’s leading youth programs, ensuring that the youngest members of the family will have age-appropriate, engaging activities to participate in while adults can enjoy other aspects of the cruise.

Royal Caribbean also offers a helpful guide on the best activities for grandparents sailing with grandkids.

Royal Caribbean’s focus on providing a wide range of options to suit different interests and age groups makes it an attractive choice for multigenerational family cruises.

Mutigenerational Cruise Trends | photo of grandma chatting with grandson next to ship's railing.

Carnival’s Family-Friendly Offerings

Carnival Cruise Line ensures that your family getaway is filled with moments of joy and entertainment.

They offer Camp Ocean, an aquatic-themed children’s program, and Seuss at Sea for the little ones, making it a vibrant setting for family members of all ages.

With their wide range of activities and dining options, everyone from toddlers to grandparents will find something to love.

Cunard’s Luxury Experience

Cunard Line redefines elegance with a more traditional cruising experience, featuring luxurious touches that appeal to older generations while still providing for younger family members.

Children can engage in the ship’s Play Zone while adults savor afternoon tea, workshops, and balls. You’ll experience a blend of fine dining, art classes, and gala nights on these storied ocean liners.

Disney’s Enchanting Voyages

Step aboard a Disney Cruise Line ship and immerse your family in an enchanting world where Disney characters come to life.

From Broadway-caliber shows to Deck Parties and themed dining experiences, Disney cruises are created to captivate the imagination of children while providing the service and relaxation adults appreciate.

Their private island, Castaway Cay, offers tropical leisure for all ages.

Booking and Planning Strategies

Families gather around a cruise ship itinerary, discussing activities and excursions, while a planner organizes schedules and bookings

A travel advisor can be invaluable in ensuring a trip that meets the diverse needs of all family members.

Using a Travel Advisor for Custom Plans

Employing a travel advisor is like having a personal cruise concierge.

They are well-versed in matching your family’s specific preferences with the right cruise line and the perfect itinerary.

With their insight, you can navigate wave season—a period when cruise lines offer significant deals—to secure the best value on your bookings.

Your travel advisor can orchestrate custom plans that cater to the ages and interests in your group. They take the stress out of sifting through the wide range of options and can often unlock special amenities and experiences.

With their assistance, your multigenerational trip is not just another booking, but a tailored journey that promises enduring memories for every family member.

Onboard Activities and Entertainment

As we all know, just because you are all in the same family doesn’t mean everyone will enjoy the same things. Nor will everyone want to spend all of their time together. While reconnecting and getting to know each other is one of the main reasons to host a family cruise, a little time away from each other is also a good idea.

Cruise ships have activities, classes, and peer groups that appeal to everyone. Children can enjoy supervised play, teens and tweens can find peer clubs and activities, parents can relax in the ship’s spa, and grandparents can find adventures and activities among their own age group. When everyone comes together again, they’ll have more to talk about and be happier to spend time with the family.

Your multigenerational cruise is designed with diverse interests in mind, ensuring that every family member finds something enjoyable.

Educational Programs for All Ages

Every member of your family can broaden their horizons with educational programs available on the cruise.

These programs cater to various age groups and interests, from marine biology workshops for the curious child, to digital photography seminars for the artistic adult and scrapbooking for everyone!

Engaging lectures on a range of subjects can intrigue the intellectually-minded grandparents as well.

A recent Cunard example

Cunard provides an excellent example of unique options you may find onboard.

Cunard recently announced a continuation of its partnership with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and revealed its extensive speaker line-up for the Alaska 2024 season, showcasing an RCGS speaker on every Alaska voyage.

Expert speakers from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, one of Canada’s largest non-profit geographical and educational organizations, include celebrated and accomplished explorers, naturalists, geographical experts, astronauts, and indigenous advocates who will custom-curate exclusive programming for Cunard guests.

As Katie McAlister, president of Cunard explained, “Cunard is committed to not only exploring the beauty and rich culture of the region but also providing inspiring educational experiences for guests during the time they spend with us.”

Family Activities and Shows

When it’s time for the whole family to unite, a plethora of family activities and shows awaits.

Delight in dazzling performances at the ship’s theater where magicians, acrobats, and comedians entertain audiences of all ages.

Participate in family-friendly competitions, from spirited game shows to poolside trivia, which encourage bonding and create lasting memories. And don’t forget bingo – a cruise industry staple that appeals to all ages.

Multigenerational Cruise Trends | photo of a session of family bingo in main theatre on Odyssey of the Seas.
Bingo on a sea day draws crowds of all ages on Odyssey of the Seas. (Credit: E. Warren 2023)

Accommodations and Dining on Multigenerational Cruises

One of the joys of a multigenerational cruise is that almost every meal can be low maintenance for all family members. Indeed, they can be the highlight of your day on a family cruise.

A cruise easily allows for your family to dine together onboard regularly. The whole family gathered around the table at the end of each day, sharing stories, snapping pics, and planning the next day could be worth the cost of the cruise. Family dinners are also the perfect time to share family lore.

The best part of these family dinners is that the whole family gets to enjoy the meal without all the work that goes into preparing it. Bonus: There’s no cleanup afterward.

Dining Options and Meal Flexibility

Multigenerational cruises offer a variety of dining options to suit every family member’s taste.

From buffet-style meals that are perfect for picky eaters to fine dining experiences that can transform your evening into a special affair, there is something for everyone. Here are some specifics about what you can expect during your cruise:

  • Buffet Dining: Unlimited access to a wide range of dishes, allowing you and your family the flexibility to eat whenever it works best for everyone.
  • Specialty Restaurants: For those nights when you want to celebrate, book a table at one of the cruise’s specialty restaurants that offer gourmet meals and a change of scenery.
  • Main Dining Room: A more traditional dining experience where you may have the opportunity to reserve the same table for your family every night, making it feel like a home away from home.
  • Room Service: Sometimes, you might prefer the comfort of your cabin for your meals. Room service is available, giving you the privacy to enjoy family time without heading to the dining areas.

With all the dining choices available, your meals can be as structured or relaxed as you want. You’ll savor the flavors as much as the moments spent together.

Shore Excursions and Land Tours

When choosing shore excursions on your cruise, you have an array of activities that can cater to the interests of every family member, from cultural discoveries to adrenaline-pumping adventures.

Expect to enrich your cruise experience with specially curated tours that bring the destinations to life.

Cultural and Historical Excursions

Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of local cultures with cultural and historical excursions.

Walk the cobblestone streets on a guided tour that uncovers a city’s past, or visit world-renowned museums with a knowledgeable guide giving insights into historical treasures. These excursions offer a deeper understanding of the places you visit.

Adventure and Wildlife Experiences

For the thrill-seekers and nature lovers, adventure and wildlife experiences await.

Imagine whale watching off the coast, thrilling in the grace of these marine giants, or hiking through lush trails with breathtaking viewpoints.

Choose a private tour to tailor your adventure or join a group excursion for shared discoveries.

Closing Thoughts

Families are spread all over the globe these days. Bringing everyone together on a multigenerational cruise is far superior to scheduling a Zoom call.

When you book a restful yet adventurous cruise with kids, parents, and grandparents, family travel goes from stressful to refreshing. Your family can strengthen bonds across multiple generations and share a one-of-a-kind experience.

Related Post: How To Painlessly Connect With Extended Family Through A Family Reunion Cruise

Elaine Warren

Founder & Crew Chief

Elaine founded this website after publishing the book The Family Cruise Companion’s Guide to Cruising With Kids. She has sailed on 36 cruises (and counting). She loves helping families navigate their way to an adventure-filled, fun, and memorable vacation.

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