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  1. #1
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    Default Family cruise in Europe?

    Has anyone done a cruise with kids either around Northern Europe (fjords and such) or Spain/Italy/Greece area? Our family has never done a cruise at all, but my kids are saying they want to do one, and I wondered whether hitting a few cities in Europe might be an option and helpful for the cruise ship to be a floating hotel. If you’ve done this, what were the pros and cons? Did you use a line like Disney? Any tips for me if we’re thinking about this sort of trip? My kids are 10 and 7.


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  2. #2
    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    My friends did the Northern Europe Disney one and really liked it.
    My in laws have done some of the really small cruise ships in Europe but it always looks like theirs cater to adults only. Lovely though with the small size- you aren’t walking miles to get around the boat.


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  3. #3
    gymnbomb is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    European cruises are so port intensive I would never pay the premium to do Disney. Any of the mainstream family oriented cruise lines would be fine (Royal Caribbean, NCL, etc.) Look at how far it is from where the ship docks to the actual city you are interested in. I believe in northern Europe these distances are much shorter than in the Mediterranean, which may be an important factor with kids. In the end I would choose almost entirely based on itinerary, as opposed to something like a Caribbean cruise where I would care more about the ship itself.


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  4. #4
    pharmjenn is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by gymnbomb View Post
    European cruises are so port intensive I would never pay the premium to do Disney. Any of the mainstream family oriented cruise lines would be fine (Royal Caribbean, NCL, etc.) Look at how far it is from where the ship docks to the actual city you are interested in. I believe in northern Europe these distances are much shorter than in the Mediterranean, which may be an important factor with kids. In the end I would choose almost entirely based on itinerary, as opposed to something like a Caribbean cruise where I would care more about the ship itself.


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    We did a Transatlantic on Disney when DS was 6. We only had 2 ports in Europe before cruising for 4 days to the Caribbean. I have had friends do both the Med and British Isles cruises with young children though.
    I agree with gymnbomb about not doing Disney for a Med cruise. You are off the ship more than you are on it during daytime hours, so not worth the extra cost (Unless your family are diehard Disney fans, as the characters do cute European costumes) Also, in the Med the cities you want to tour are often far from the port, requiring long bus or train rides which kids might not enjoy. For most of Europe, my preference is a land trip, but I am usually a plan it myself traveler rather than a tourgroup person.
    I just finished an Alaska trip on Princess with 14 family members. My 9yo nephew loved the kids club, and the 13 and 17yo loved the teen clubs. Poor DS11 didn't want the kids club, but wasn't allowed in with his older cousins to the teen club, but otherwise, he has enjoyed cruising Princess, and they do a good job with the kids.
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  5. #5
    ged is offline Gold level (500+ posts)
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    We've done 2 such cruises, one a 12-night Holy Land cruise (Romes, Naples, Athens, Haifa, Ashdod (Jerusalem), Kusadasi, Rhodes, Chania) with Royal Caribbean and then a 7-night that started & ended in Genoa (Naples, Messina (Sicily), Tunisia, Barcelona, Marseille) with MSC. Both were great experiences, and like PP have stated, rather port intensive. I would definitely prioritize the itinerary you are most interested in and not worry too much about the ship/cruiseline (that being said, of the European lines, I'm not the most comfortable with Costa, and I don't like Carnival, for "American" lines). Also take a look at port times. Some are so short that you can't do much even while in port (e.g., we did not have enough time in Naples to make it to Pompeii and back). I've never visited Santorini, but I know when I was considering a cruise there, I made sure to only consider the ships that were there long enough the catch the sunset, b/c to me, that is imp. Of course, to each her own!

    My next European cruise, if ever, will hopefully to Scandinavia/fjords...
    Last edited by ged; 08-13-2019 at 06:53 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ged View Post
    We've done 2 such cruises, one a 12-night Holy Land cruise (Romes, Naples, Athens, Haifa, Ashdod (Jerusalem), Kusadasi, Rhodes, Chania) with Royal Caribbean and then a 7-night that started & ended in Genoa (Naples, Messina (Sicily), Tunisia, Barcelona, Marseille) with MSC. Both were great experiences, and like PP have stated, rather port intensive. I would definitely prioritize the itinerary you are most interested in and not worry too much about the ship/cruiseline (that being said, of the European lines, I'm not the most comfortable with Costa, and I don't like Carnival, for "American" lines). Also take a look at port times. Some are so short that you can't do much even while in port (e.g., we did not have enough time in Naples to make it to Pompeii and back). I've never visited Santorini, but I know when I was considering a cruise there, I made sure to only consider the ships that were there long enough the catch the sunset, b/c to me, that is imp. Of course, to each her own!

    My next European cruise, if ever, will hopefully to Scandinavia/fjords...
    That 12 night cruise sounds amazing!!! I wouldn’t be happy to go to Naples and not get to take the littles to Pompeii, though. When I last was in that part of the world, we did Sienna, Naples, and Pompeii.


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  7. #7
    MMMommy is online now Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    We did a Celebrity "Best of Western Mediterranean Cruise" last summer with my sister's family and my parents. The ship was the Celebrity Reflection. It started and ended in Rome (Civitavecchia) and the ports were--Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Gibraltar, Malaga, Cartagena, and Palma de Mallorca. I really liked Nice and Barcelona a lot. Cruising is very convenient, but I feel like you don't fully immerse yourself in the cities because you are there such a short time. Also, I am not a fan of cruise food, no matter how nice the ship. I would rather eat the native, local food than cruise food. When the kids were younger, we did a similar cruise with family--also Celebrity, and it went to ports in Santorini, Capri, Athens, and other ports. The ship back then was very nice as well. The Celebrity Solstice class ships are all very clean and modern with very nice staterooms.
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