The Top 3 Family-Friendly Cruises in Northern Europe

From nature’s spectacular display of Northern Lights to the majestic Norwegian fjords, Northern Europe is the perfect place to find adventure, and not just for adults. From ship to shore, cruises offer a range of activities and interests for the entire family. So, if you’re wondering where to go on your next family vacation, let us help. These top three cruises to Northern Europe are a great way to bond in the British Isles and connect as a family in Copenhagen.


Lego Experience Credit: MSC

Brimming with enchanted castles, glistening fjords and postcard-worthy landscapes Northern Europe offers a host of amusement for the entire family. And, no one quite understands discovering amazing destinations as a family quite like MSC. After all, they are a family-owned company. Aqua Parks and high tech gaming attractions entertain tech-savvy teens. Even meal times make dining pleasant with three innovative activities: Fun Time Dinner, Happy Dinners, and Kids Around the Clock. But everyone knows it’s also essential to have some quality adult time away from our brood.  MSC recently launched the MSC Baby Care Service, for children 1 to 3 years, at the Mini Club. Equally appealing to parents is the baby laundry service, because let’s face it, kids are messy. Clothes are collected from your cabin and delivered back to you. Young kids and teens have their very own club away from the little ones with weekly events to rival any adult function like the Teens White Party, The Proms Teen Formal Night and Hey Mr. DJ. Sports tournaments, dance contests, and so much more assures that everyone is having fun, even hard-to-please teens.

Holland America

Credit: Shutterstock

A dazzling array of delights await on Holland America Line’s Northern Europe cruise. While you may think Holland America Line appeals to more mature guests, it’s a great choice for families as well. Club HAL, for those 3-17 years, keeps the kids entertained with arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, themed parties, and more. Three unique programs cater to kids, tweens, and teens, ensuring they are with other guests their age. Holland America Line will even assist with the placement of a child with special needs into the appropriate HAL Club. And mom and dad can relax with a signature treatment at Greenhouse Salon & Spa. Well-appointed accommodations make cruising with your family a comfortable experience. Book the Pinnacle Suite for up to 1290 square feet of living space including a verandah.

Disney Cruise Line

Rapunzel’s Royal Table Credit: DCL

Yes, Disney Cruise Line often tops our list of family favorite cruises, but it goes without saying, Disney knows how to create magical family memories. Sail the 7-night Northern Europe cruise to Copenhagen in accommodations designed for families with privacy curtains and storage spaces. Kids will love the Disney themed entertainment with their favorite characters. Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab offer engaging activities and once in a lifetime encounters with Star Wars, Marvel and Disney Pixar characters. And don’t worry about your picky eaters, even they will find something delicious between themed restaurants, buffets and room service. While the little ones are entertained at the kid’s club, sneak away to the adults-only Quiet Cove Pool for some much-needed relaxation and libations or an intimate, romantic dinner at the all adult exclusive Palo or Remy.

Our Favorite Cruises from Galveston

Galveston, Texas is a great port to depart from as you begin your next cruise. It’s a coastal town with miles of sandy beaches and an exciting historic district. The port itself is nearby many attractions, so you can easily spend a few days here having fun before or after your cruise. Here are our favorite cruises from Galveston.

Enjoy a 7-Night Western Caribbean Holiday Cruise with Royal Caribbean

Get ready for an unforgettable vacation! For this fantastic cruise adventure, you’ll hop aboard the Liberty of the Seas. The roundtrip cruise ports out of Galveston and heads to Cozumel; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Falmouth, Jamaica. If you’ve been dreaming of paradise, this is a great way to experience it.

Celebrate Christmas with Disney on the 7-Night Very Merrytime Bahamian Cruise

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Disney Cruise Line is the company to choose when planning an exciting family cruise experience. During the winter, their 7-Night Very Merrytime Bahamian Cruise offers an excellent way to celebrate the holiday season. This cruise is a roundtrip journey out of Galveston, and you’ll get to see Disney Castaway and Cay, Key West, and of course will get plenty of time to spend at sea.

Explore the Panama Canal on a 14-Day Journey with Carnival

Soak up lots of sun and sand on the 14-Day Panama Canal cruise with Carnival Cruise Line. You’ll begin your trip by boarding the Carnival Freedom, and you’ll get to visit Grand Cayman, Aruba, Curacao, Cartagena, the Panama Canal, Limón, and Cozumel. With two weeks of adventure, you’ll head home refreshed and stress-free.

Book a 7-Night Bahamas and Perfect Day Cruise with Royal Caribbean

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Hop aboard the Enchantment of the Sea and take part in a weeklong Bahamas trip. On this journey, you get to explore Key West, CocoCay, and Nassau. There are also fun days at sea built into this trip so that you can sit back and relax or take part in the many onboard activities. While in the Bahamas, you’ll understand why it’s such a favorite vacation paradise spot for many.

Disney Cruises 101

If you’re planning the most magical cruise on the sea, there are a few things you’ll need to know. Follow our top Disney Cruise tips, and you can expect smooth sailing with your favorite Disney characters.

Get the Disney Cruise Planning Tools.

Both the vacation planning video and e-brochure provide an excellent overview of destinations, ships, restaurants, activities and more.

Cruise During the Off Season

Disney rarely offers discounts on cruises, so if you’re looking to save money, journey during the offseason. Generally, January, early February, May, September, and October draw fewer crowds which mean better prices. Also, watch for “last minute restricted fares.” Available when regularly priced cruises don’t fill up, these fares are typically released 1-2 months before the sailing date. If you’re flexible with planning “restricted” are a great option, but book as soon as you see them as they often sell out quickly.

Ask About “Secret” Verandah Rooms

Certain rooms on Disney ships offer a little more bang for your buck. While not officially classified as verandah rooms due to obstructed views, these staterooms do feature balconies. Ask your Disney Cruise agent about these staterooms; Disney’s Magic & Wonder rooms 6134, 6634, 7120 and 7620; Disney’s Dream & Fantasy rooms 8022, 8164, 8520, 8662. There are even “secret” connecting staterooms on all ships.  Folding back the dividing panel in these rooms connects the verandahs.  And, while there are no guarantees, you can always ask for an upgrade at the port when you check in.

Make Reservations In Advance

To ensure you get your preferred times and activities, book spa treatments, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, popular character breakfasts, babysitting, and the adult-only restaurants in advance. Don’t forget to register for the kid’s club online as well, but remember your cruise does need to be paid in full to take advantage of advanced reservations.

Download the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App

Let the countdown begin. The newly redesigned app lets you access vacation information, send messages to your party once on the ship and even count down the days to your Disney Cruise with the built-in cruise countdown.

Stay in the Port City Before Your Cruise

Avoid any unforeseen delays and stress by arriving the day before your cruise and staying in a hotel near the port. This is also a great way to add on a few Disney days. Often less expensive than booking separately, combining park days with a Disney Cruise cuts down on costs. Ground transportation is available for an additional fee. Speak to your Disney cruise representative for details.

Request a Call from Mickey or Minnie

Get the kids excited about their upcoming cruise by requesting a call from their favorite characters. From the Disney cruise website, login to your reservation and just choose the date and time you want your child to receive the call.

Become A Castaway Club Member

Become a Castaway Club Member from the moment you sail on your first Disney Cruise. Silver membership begins with your first Disney Cruise.  Complete five cruises and become a Gold Member, while 10 or more Disney cruise vacations earn you Platinum status. Membership entitles you to exclusive offers, reservations for port adventures and dining, a dedicated Castaway Club phone line, welcome aboard gifts and much more.

Beverage Options

Soft drinks are available at meals and the beverage stations on each included at no extra charge. While Disney Cruise Lines does not offer daily alcoholic beverage packages, they do provide discounts for bottles of wine during dinner. If you do not finish the bottle, your server corks the wine for your meal the next evening.

Check Out Inside Tips For Your Next Disney Cruise

These tips should get you started on planning your Disney Cruise, but for even more great pointers, check out our post Tips For Your Next Disney Cruise.

The Best Musicals at Sea

Broadway and London’s West End may be the epicenter of award-winning musicals and plays, but the cruise industry has been making waves when it comes to onboard entertainment. Cruise companies have been teaming up with directors, composers, choreographers and renowned talent to deliver show-stopping musicals. While there are so many exciting performances to choose from, we’re highlighting the best musicals at sea this year.

CATS: Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas

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Royal Caribbean is known for its Tony-Award Winning Broadway performances, and each ship has a fantastic line up of shows. Currently, Oasis of the Seas has us singing praises with the second longest running show on Broadway, CATS, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s famed story about a group of cats named the Jellicles.

We Will Rock You: Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas

Rock fans will revel in the musical sensation, We Will Rock You, the Olivier Award-winning musical from London’s Dominion Theatre. Comedian and author Ben Elton will have you singing along to scores of Queen tunes such as I want to Break Free, Bohemian Rhapsody and of course We Will Rock You.

Jersey Boys: Norwegian Bliss

Credit: Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Bliss debuts the first ever Jersey Boys production at sea. Get swept away in the true story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons in the Tony Award-winning Broadway show featuring much-loved hits like Big Girls Don’t Cry, and Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.

Beauty and the Beast: Disney Cruise Line Disney Dream

Credit: Disney Cruise Line

The entertainment magnate produces some of the most spectacular shows, so it shouldn’t be “Ever a Surprise,” that Disney’s creative team would collaborate with top Broadway artists to reinvent Beauty and the Beast for its stage. The original musical production features brilliant puppetry, lavish costumes and much-loved tunes from the Disney classic.

Magic to Do: Princess

Credit: Princess Cruises

Partnering with the Oscar® Grammy® and Tony® award-winning composer of Wicked, Godspell and Pippin, Stephen Schwartz, Princess delivers a spectacular musical revue coupled with magical on-stage illusions, for an exclusive show. Schwartz’s skill and direction bring together a team of Broadway talent to support the production. Magic to Do takes us on a whimsical journey as Schwartz weaves a spellbinding story of magic and song with familiar tunes like Defying Gravity and a brand-new number A Little Magic composed exclusively for Princes.

Silver, Platinum, Gold: Silversea Cruises

Credit: Silversea

Silversea Cruises recently unveiled six new theatrical performances to add to their already show-stopping entertainment programs. The cruise line, in conjunction with Luna Rossa Productions, will feature shows exclusive to each ship in addition to three productions common to all ships. Guests will be mesmerized by high energy performances, elaborate special effects, dazzling costumes and the talent of the international ensemble of accomplished vocalists, The Voices of Silversea. While each show is spectacular, our favorite is the recently debuted Silver, Platinum, Gold; a lively journey back to Motown. Sing along to hits from Marvin Gaye, The Temptations and The Supremes.

The Hottest Ships in the Bahamas

If you’re planning a trip to the Bahamas this year, choose a ship that offers some unique experiences and fun shore adventures. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway or a family vacation, you can look forward to gourmet dining, indulgent spa experiences, and poolside relaxation. Here are our top three picks for cruises to the Bahamas.

Norwegian Sky


The Norwegian Sky makes regular trips to the Bahamas and offers an all-inclusive sailing experience from Miami to the Bahamas throughout the year. The ship was completely refurbished in 2019 and boasts 11 dining options, 8 bars and lounges, an onboard spa and a casino. You can get a head start on working on your tan at one of the outdoor swimming pools and enjoy pampering spa treatments at the Mandara Spa & Salon before you arrive at the islands.

Disney Dream


Make your Bahamas vacation a dream come true with live entertainment, 3D Disney films, and themed restaurants that offer plenty of surprises. The staterooms are designed to offer sweeping views and Inside rooms have a Magical Porthole for real-time views of the sea and animated Disney character sightings. Three pools, an adults-only hotspot, and fun settings make this the perfect ship for experiencing the fun and excitement of Disney while you’re at sea.

Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas

Inspired by Cuban culture, the Majesty of the Seas is the perfect boat for enjoying a tropical getaway to the Bahamas. You’ll find plenty of Key West and Floribbean decor and themes throughout this ship and can set your sights on a few days in Nassau for your getaway. Highlights of this ship include piano sing-alongs, live orchestra performances and family-friendly pool parties. You can also enjoy upscale dining experiences at the Chef’s Table and relax with cocktails at Boleros.

Insider Tips for Your Next Disney Cruise

From unadvertised pin trading nights to Mickey ice cream bars delivered right to your room, we are bringing you the magic with top-secret tips for sailing on the Disney Cruise.

Disney Cruise Lines
Credit: Disney Cruise Lines / David Roark

Prior to the cruise, purchase a plush toy or pillowcase. Upon boarding, give your item to the concierge for the characters to sign. Your autographed item will be delivered to your suite the night before you cruise ends. Bonus, bring a gift bag filled with Disney goodies to have the concierge put the signed merchandise in. The “unexpected” surprise makes for a great departure gift.

Credit: Shutterstock

Check the Personal Navigator, the daily cruise newsletter, for the Officer Pin Trading. On one surprise night, every officer comes to the main lobby with a new lanyard and a collection of pins, some very rare, to trade with collectors.

Download the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App. Rather than using the provided portable phones for getting in touch with family members on the ship or buying the pricy wireless package, the Navigator app allows for free in-app texting and group chats with fellow passengers.

For an adult escape, head to the Meridian Bar. While it’s not public knowledge, the Meridian bar, intended for Palo & Remy guests, is open to the public. Anyone can enjoy craft cocktails and fine wine on the private deck of the bar, but proper attire is required.

Credit: Disney Cruise Line

Join a Fish Extender group online and be part of a gift exchange on the cruise. Purchase small items for everyone in your group prior to the cruise. On the cruise, place your gifts in the fish extender pockets hanging on cabin doors. Everyone in the group returns the gesture.

Disney allows each guest, 21 and older, to bring two bottles of unopened wine and six beers in their carry on. Don’t forget to bring a corkscrew. If you chose to drink your bottle at a restaurant, there is a $25 corkage fee.

The nightly buffet begins around 10:30 P.M. It’s a great place to grab chocolate covered strawberries, cheese and crackers, and other goodies to bring back to your cabin.

Credit: Disney Cruise Line

Each Disney cruise ship has secret suites with ocean views and in some cases verandas. These suites are available for the same price as a standard room. Book early and ask about your options.

Disney Cruise Line
Credit: Disney Cruise Line

Book the concierge room and score some great swag! Besides access to the concierge lounge with complimentary beer wine cocktails and snacks, as well a champagne send-off and private wine tastings, concierge suite guests receive a special gift.

Disney Cruise Line
Credit: Disney Cruise Line

Room service is available free of charge (gratuity isn’t included). There are secret items available that are not shown on the menu; Mickey ice cream bars, the cake of the day and Uncrustables.

Regardless of which restaurant you are dining in, if there is a menu item from another restaurant on the ship that you simply must have again, you can order it! Just ask your server.

Disney Cruise Line
Credit:Disney Cruise Line

Remy and Palo are worth the splurge, but if you can’t fit in a dinner opt for the champagne brunch at Remy. For only $50 per person, it’s an epicurean wonderland.

Disney Cruise Line
Credit: Disney Cruise Line

Suitcases must be left in the hall the night before departure. Be sure to pack a carry on with everything you need for the next day.

Bring small bottles of water on your carry on. The bottled water on board is pricy, and you’re going to want some in your ports.

Most Eco-Friendly Cruise Lines

With an increasing awareness surrounding the environment, sustainability at sea continues to be a top travel trend. From energy efficient cabins and abolishing single-use plastics to revamped carbon emission policies, the movement to make cruising eco-friendlier is stronger than ever. These five cruise lines are taking action.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises is going plastic bottle-free and will serve guests Vero Still and Sparkling water fleet-wide, resulting in the approximate elimination of two million plastic bottles annually and a substantial decline in its carbon emissions. Vero Still and Sparkling Water’s onboard purification and filling process will enable the cruise line to purify, chill and serve in Vero luxury glass bottles still and sparkling water on all its ships. Vero Water service will be implemented in two phases during the coming year with Phase One focusing on installing the water service in suites, restaurants, lounges and bars on board its three existing ships, and Phase Two focusing on providing guests their own eco-friendly reusable bottle.

Disney Cruise Line

Credit: Disney Cruise Line

To reduce plastic waste and minimize its carbon footprint, Disney Cruise Line will eliminate all single-use plastic straws and stirrers at all owned and operated locations across the globe, amounting to a reduction of more than 175 million straws and 13 million stirrers annually. In addition to its plastic-free initiatives, Disney Cruise Line also recycles 280 tons of water from its air-conditioning system to utilize for laundry and swabbing the decks, and in the future, the line also plans to reduce its number of plastic shopping bags and polystyrene cups.

Princess Cruises

Credit:Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises has equipped its entire fleet with state-of-the-art waste management technology and by 2020, plans to install exhaust gas cleaning systems. Princess Cruises’ two newest ships will be dual-fuel powered primarily by Liquefied Natural Gas, the marine industry’s most environmentally friendly advanced fuel technology and the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel. This will significantly reduce air emissions and marine gas oil. Additionally, the cruise line works with suppliers to replace plastic packaging with biodegradable materials and incinerates, recycles or offloads all solid waste.

Holland America Cruises

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To minimize its generation of wastewater, Holland America Cruises installed blackwater treatment systems that utilize start-of-the-art reverse osmosis and bioreactor technology. These systems employ a series of filters and disinfecting steps to treat the blackwater before being discharged to the sea, resulting in the mass-generation of clean water. Additionally, to aid in power reduction and reduce fuel usage, the cruise line takes shorter routes, uses silicone paint on the hull of the ship to reduce drag, utilizes scrubbers to reduce Sulphur oxide emissions and runs on plug-on power while in port.

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