Destinations Travel Guide Crusies

8 Best Cruise Ships for the Child at Heart

Published Wednesday, Jun 16

Oh, to be a kid again! Full of energy and not a care in the world!

No matter your age, it’s always exciting to let your young spirit run free every now and again (if not more).

What better way to embrace your inner child by going on a cruise?

Cruises are an excellent vacation choice if you’re looking to let loose and have the time of your life!

They provide a fun, relaxing atmosphere for people of all ages.

With plenty of food, activities, and round the clock entertainment- it’s the ultimate setup for a successful getaway!

If this is your first cruise experience, be sure to check out the 8 Best Cruises for First Timers for even more fun-filled options. Either way, you won’t be disappointed!

Get ready to have all the carefree fun you used to have as a kid- these cruise ships are sure to make your inner child jump with joy!

Here are 8 of the best cruise ships out there and what makes them so special- let’s get started!

1. Symphony of the Seas

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International

Symphony of the Seas

Floating as the biggest cruise ship ever built, the Symphony of the Seas will have you reliving your childhood glory days in no time!

What makes this ship so great for the kid at heart (and actual kids as well) is that it has a ton of activities and fun things to do- no one will ever be bored!

This ship is complete with a triple threat of monster waterslides, glow-in-the-dark laser tag, an ice-skating rink, surf simulators, rock climbing walls, a zip line, and a miniature golf course.

It also features an outdoor promenade deck with three acres of space featuring live music from local artists as well as amazing views from every angle.

Another plus about Royal Caribbean International’s Symphony of the Seas?

The food and drink options are plentiful- there’s something on board for everyone!

You’ll find food for all tastes at the many different restaurants, bars, and coffee shops on board.

You can experience dishes with French and Italian flare, traditional Mexican platters, steakhouse classics, vegan, and vegetarian options- the list goes on.

Spend a night testing your luck at the casino or floating on Broadway at the ship’s giant theater, home of many hit Broadway productions.

From top to bottom, you’ll love every floor!

2. Carnival Panorama

Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Panorama

All aboard! This epic cruise liner is decked out with waterslides, bowling, mini golf, basketball, life size games, and ping-pong. Watch a movie on the big screen or catch a concert for some musical fun.

Check out the Sky Ride for some beautiful panoramic views of the ocean as you pedal around on a suspended bike.

You can also get your fill of laughter at the family-friendly comedy club.

You won’t go hungry on this Carnival Cruise Line ship with tons of flavorful food options all around.

Take a bite out of a juicy burger and fries, stop for a slice of pizza, and top it all off with a delicious shake.

A variety of seafood, Asian cuisine, Mexican, and Italian dishes are also readily available to satisfy any cravings you might have during your cruise.

The best part?

You can try a little bit of everything, and you won’t have to wash any dishes afterwards!

3. Norwegian Encore

Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line


The adventure never stops with this cruise ship!

The Norwegian Encore features tons of activities for some ‘knock your socks off’ fun.

There are a few unique showstoppers on the Norwegian Encore ship.

First is the massive go-kart track! Running along two whole decks at approximately 1,150 feet in length, you can cruise and speed across the ocean at the same time.

Second, this cruise ship has the biggest laser tag arena ever to set sail!

And third, there are two over-the-top waterslides that will really get your blood pumping!

Your inner child will be screaming with delight as you plunge downward, spin out over the side of the ship, and come to a splashing stop at the end.

On board the ship you’ll also find mini golf, video games, and a virtual reality zone.

4. Disney Fantasy

Cruise Line: Disney Cruise Line

Disney Fantasy

This award-winning Disney cruise ship brings out the kid in everyone who climbs aboard!

Perfect for all the Disney buffs out there, you will enjoy movie showings, themed activities, and character sightings from many of the different Disney hits.

Soak in the sun by the mickey-shaped pools, sing your heart out at karaoke, visit Andy’s Room from Toy Story, interact with Crush from Finding Nemo, and much more!

The restaurants and bars along the cruise ship are packed with fabulous food, drinks, and tasty treats.

Enjoy some delicious fine dining and French cuisine at Remy or a rich chocolate souffle at Palo.

Get ready to let your tastebuds and magical memories soar!

5. Mardi Gras

Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Line

Mardi Gras

This massive 17-deck cruise liner is new and exciting, not to mention it has everything a young and free spirit could dream of!

The gripping headliner of this Carnival cruiser is the full-blown deck top roller coaster!

This roller coaster allows two people per cart to ride along the ship across 800 feet of track.

It may not be the biggest or the fastest, but it’s definitely the first of its kind to set sail on the big ocean.

Some of the additional kid-approved activities on this ship are a multi-story water park, miniature golf course, basketball court, and more.

Oh, and we can’t forget the sky-high ropes course!

A noteworthy feature of this particular ship is its fuel source. Mardi Gras is known as the first ship from a cruise line based in North America to operate on liquid natural gas.

So many firsts just itching to be experienced!

6. MSC Meraviglia

Cruise Line: MSC Cruises


The MSC Meraviglia makes it on the list of top 10 biggest cruise ships in the world.

It packs a punch with a wide variety of activities for the young and the young at heart!

You’ll love the polar-themed waterpark, complete with a deck top waterslide- make that three waterslides!

The Himalayan Bridge ropes course will bring out your thrill-seeking side as you climb across the ship suspended in the air.

There’s the huge Aqua Park and pools for some splash-worthy smiles.

The Sportplex offers games and activities to get your body moving.

There’s also the TV Studio Bar, a full-size bowling alley, and F1 simulators that make it feel like you’re really driving on the race track!

As for food and dining? There are more than a dozen restaurant options throughout the ship.

You can also enjoy a spa, casino, and a high-tech theater featuring thrilling Cirque du Soleil shows.

Overall, this is a great option for some young, spirited fun!

7. Caribbean Princess

Cruise Line: Princess Cruises

Caribbean Princess

Some people go on a cruise to get away from the pressures of life. Others want some alone time with their significant other.

Then there are those who simply love meeting new people and exploring different cultures while traveling or just spending time in the great outdoors.

That’s what made Princess Cruises a great pick as one of the best cruise ships for kids, families, and the young at heart.

The Caribbean Princess offers activities and amenities for kids, teens, and adults of all ages!

Tasty treats, movies, music, live entertainment, and so much more.

For adults-who-never-grew up like us, the Caribbean Princess has plenty of kid-approved features.

This includes interactive shows, immersive adventures and excursions, and refreshments delivered right to your hand.

You’ll definitely want to check out the Reef Family Splash zone- rated as one of the best floating waterparks out there!

From pools and play pads to Jacuzzis and lounge areas, this ship fulfills all your water-loving needs.

The Game Zone is another hit for anyone who has some energy to spare.

You can spend the day with your competitive side while playing corn hole and other exciting games- including oversized backyard games!

Aboard this Caribbean cruise ship, you’ll find something amazing for kids and adults- plus everyone in between!

8. Oasis of the Seas

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International

Oasis of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas is a sister ship to the previously mentioned Symphony of the Seas, but it’s just that good- we had to include it on our list.

Fall head over heels for the Caribbean-inspired pool deck and cool aqua park, complete with three fabulous waterslides.

For the adventure-seekers, be sure to test your balance on the Flow Rider surf simulator, rock climbing walls, and zipline.

There’s more glow-in-the-dark laser tag, mini golf, and ice skating aboard this cruise liner- PLUS an escape room!

Treat your tastebuds to some delicious BBQ, Mexican, classic sports bar grub, and much more!

You won’t ever go hungry here.

Dying to put the ole’ vocal cords to the test? What better place to do that than on a cruise with a group of strangers you’ll never see again!

On Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, you can sing your heart out with all the karaoke and live music you can stand!

This floating resort is an absolute dream boat!

Ready to Set Sail?

With hundreds of destinations around the world, these cruises are perfect for the child at heart!

Passengers will find attractions like water parks, beaches, roller coasters and more on board.

You can enjoy everything from ice skating rinks and rock-climbing walls to waterslides and live entertainment.

The adventure never stops!

The question is- are you and the child within ready to set sail on the getaway of a lifetime??

Maybe you want to try a different adventure? Destinations Travel Guide has your back!

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