10 Reasons You Should Book a Cruise for Your Family Vacation

Cruises offer something for everyone in the family — alone or as a group.
Last updated May 31, 2023 | By Olivia Christensen Edited By Ellen Cannon
Cruise ship

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With the world slowly opening up, summer 2022 is the first opportunity many people will have to get out of town for vacation for the first time in two years. Considering Oceania Cruises 2023 world cruise sold out in a single day, it’s safe to say that many people are eager to ship out for their vacation.

With most cruise lines offering food, entertainment, shopping, childcare, and excursions to some of the coolest (and warmest) destinations in the world, their popularity makes a whole lot of sense. And if you’re still brainstorming ideas for your next family vacation, you might want to join the cruise-loving crowd yourself. Like all forms of travel this year, cruises are going to be pricey. Consider these legit ways to make extra money to help offset the increase in travel costs.

Here are 10 reasons why you might take a cruise for your next family vacation.

Unlimited food

Solarisys/Adobe dining room buffet aboard the luxury abstract cruise ship

For many people, the best part of taking a vacation is the opportunity to have beautifully prepared meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that were made by someone else. But this can get pricey, and figuring out where to eat can grow tiresome.

The thing about cruises is that you get all the yummy food you can eat and it’s all included in your fare. As for decision fatigue, you’ll have plenty of shipboard options to choose from, but you won’t have to scour an entire city trying to find a hidden gem for every meal.

An impressive variety of foods

Irina Schmidt/Adobe  boys and father eating hamburger sitting in cafe on cruise ship

If trying new restaurants is your favorite part of traveling, you’ll have plenty to choose from on a cruise. Fortunately, there’s something for everyone. 

If the kiddos won’t eat anything that isn’t doused in cheese, you won’t struggle to find a restaurant that serves macaroni and cheese. If you have a gluten allergy, you will be able to find safe and scrumptious options. And if your dad simply won't survive a whole week without fried chicken, you can rest assured that his needs will be met many times over.

Lots of entertainment

satyrenko/Adobe  magician with two flying white doves

If you’re the type of vacationer who enjoys a good show, cruise ships are loaded with entertainment options. Experience a world-class pianist in concert, enjoy a Broadway-style cabaret show, or be mesmerized by a magician.

If you’re more of a hands-on type who likes to participate in your entertainment, you can dance, take a class, or play games. The choices are endless on a cruise.

Activities for kids of all ages

vvoe/Adobe many tourists relaxing on the deck of cruise liner

The incredible entertainment options aren’t just for adults. From water parks to activities designed for kids and facilitated by the cruise ship’s staff, kids will likely be so busy trying out all the cool activities the ship has to offer that you’ll hardly see them (unless you want to, of course).


oksix/Adobe educational group activity at the kindergarten

If having your kids go off and do their own thing most of the time sounds relaxing but also a little scary, you can rest easy knowing that all major cruise lines have childminders on staff. 

So, you can have a night of romance and dancing, and your kids will have the opportunity to play with children their own age while being supervised by staff who have planned the best activities to give your child a vacation full of fun.

Plenty of shopping

Solarisys/Adobe passengers at cruise liner Oasis of the Seas by Royal Caribbean

If one of your favorite parts of a vacation is the opportunity to shop at stores with merchandise you can’t find anywhere else, you can find those on a cruise ship as well. Most cruises have at least five stores, and some of them even have designer stores like Coach and Guess.

Pro tip: Cruises can get expensive. If you're looking for ways to save money, check out these genius hacks for Costco shoppers

Incredible on-shore excursions

jon/Adobe Tourist standing in an ice cave

Maybe one of the reasons you’re on the fence about taking a cruise is that you prefer your travel to be destination-oriented and not journey-oriented. But cruises offer excursions at ports along your route. You will have many opportunities to not only sightsee but to experience the culture of the different locales you visit.

Unpack once

davit85/Adobe girl collects a suitcase in a hotel room

One easy-to-overlook perk of cruise travel is that you only have to unpack once. Between outfit planning, wrinkle problems, and having to turn your suitcase inside out to find anything, unpacking for the journey can be a seriously underrated relief. You can fill the stateroom dresser, and live like you’re at home.

Pro tip: If you unpack your suitcase only to find that you’ve forgotten some essential toiletries, take your cashback credit card to the cruise store and earn cash rewards while you rescue your vacation.

Get family discounts

Pavel Losevsky/Adobe girl and boy with mother enter in white passenger liner

If you like to vacation with your extended family, you can hardly do better than a cruise. Cruise lines often offer family discounts that will give you, your parents, your in-laws, and all of your grown siblings a vacation to remember.

Pro tip: If you’re worried about the likelihood of an entire family being healthy and able to follow through on a travel commitment, invest in travel insurance and you’ll be covered in case someone can’t go.


Miljan Živković/Adobe woman sitting on the deck of the ship sailing in summer day

There are generally two types of vacationers: The type who want to pack every single moment with an experience to remember and the type who just wants to unwind by the pool with a good book.

Cruises are absolutely brimming with activities and adventure, but they are also full of opportunities to lay back and take a nap. That’s a perk of bundling your transportation and lodging with your vacation spot — you can duck out of the family activities for a relaxation session any time you please.

Bottom line

Phuong/Adobe aerial view of Spectrum of the Sea cruise

With cruise lines offering just about everything most people are looking for in a vacation, you can hardly go wrong by taking the whole family aboard a cruise ship this summer. Keep in mind that most cruise lines are requiring all passengers 18 and older to be fully vaccinated in order to board. Additionally, you can plan ahead by looking into legit ways to make extra money to help offset the increase in travel costs.

So, check your calendar and your destination bucket list and start searching for the perfect cruise for your next family vacation.

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Olivia Christensen Olivia Christensen is a freelance writer and columnist whose work has been featured in HuffPost, Business Insider, and more. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with her husband and three kids, and when she isn't writing, she's probably hiking.