Is A Multi-Generational Cruise For You?

Written by Stephanie Lamberth

Have you ever dreamt of a vacation that will bridge generations and bring your family closer than ever? If so, look no further than a family cruise! A multi-generational cruise with grandparents, parents, and children allows you to explore, experience, and enjoy the salty air of the open sea together, creating memories you’ll never forget.

Cruising is a unique vacation experience because it can be whatever you want it to be. Want adventure? You’ve got it! Are you looking to rest and relax? No problem! Want a mix of both? You can totally make it happen! The best part about multi-generational cruising is that each part of the family can choose the type of vacation they want while still enjoying time, creating memories, and strengthening bonds with other family members.

Go ahead and get a text message to your family started so you can share all the unique pros of multi-generational cruising you’re about to read in this post!


While there are plenty of adventures to be hard on shore, many family cruise lines have heart-pounding adventures on the ship! Many cruise ships have water slides that are a blast, but others take it up a notch.

Our whole family went on the Norwegian Escape at the beginning of the year, and my oldest, who was about to turn 10, and my dad, in his 60s, both loved the high-ropes course on the aft of the ship.

It’s something only they did together, and those memories are so sweet! Some ships even have go-cart tracks! Can you imagine driving a car in the very middle of the ocean?! Talk about once-in-a-lifetime opportunities!


If relaxation is more up your alley, cruises have you covered!

  • Cruise ship pool decks are made for relaxation! There are lounge chairs as far as you can see, plenty of pool to play in, and several hot tubs you can relax inside. Young kids shouldn’t stay in long, but I know my kids have never said no to a trip to a hot tub. They play, I relax, it’s a win-win!
  •  You also can’t beat movies under the stars. Most cruise lines will show a (relatively) family-friendly movie each night after the sun goes down. It’s a great chance to grab one last treat from the buffet, grab a towel or blanket, and cuddle up together.
  • There are so many games for your family to enjoy, too. We did many trivia and group games during our big family cruise during the day. Did our kids know any of the questions? No– except one about Spongebob Squarepants– but they had a blast “competing” every morning, and the whole family could enjoy it together!

Childcare Support

Our family likes to say, “Traveling with kids is a trip. It’s not relaxing enough to be a vacation.” But on a cruise, there are options to give you snippets of true rest and relaxation while your kids have a blast with someone else!

  • Grandparents Bonding Time - Grandparents can take the kids to the Main Dining Room while parents eat at a specialty restaurant one evening. Or maybe it’s grandparent/grandchild morning on the pool deck! That gives parents a chance to hang out in the tranquil adults-only area or to get a massage in the spa.
  • Kid Clubs - Maybe you want all the adults to have kid-free time? Perfect! Cruise Kid Clubs are what children’s dreams are made of! On most cruise lines, Kid Clubs welcome kids ages 3-12 to party, play, craft, dance, and more throughout the cruise. My kids have cruised on Disney, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean and have loved every single one of the clubs. In fact, they were crying about going to Norwegian’s Kid’s Club after dinner on the last night of our seven-night cruise because they didn’t want to leave. Staff in these spaces are safe, love kids, and are from all over the world. Our kids have spent time with people from Argentina, Puerto Rico, Thailand, New Zealand, and more!

Inclusive Dining

Dining on a cruise ship is one of the top three reasons to plan a multi-generational cruise!

  • Buffets - We love exploring the buffets when we cruise as a big family! They are chock full of foods from around the world and childhood favorites. Adventurous eaters can try Indian, Asian, or Italian cuisines, while pickier eaters can stay in the safe zone with chicken fingers and a side of mac and cheese. Our kids love hitting the buffet up with grandparents because they’re a little more lenient on the food options than their “strict” parents. I hope you can read the sarcasm coming through the screen! Buffets are also wonderful for an extended family because they offer flexibility in the time you go eat. Everyone can meet there at the same time, or early risers can go eat and then sit and enjoy the company of the rest of the family when they get to breakfast.
  • Main Dining Room - The Main Dining Room (sometimes referred to as MDR online and in cruise groups) is the highlight of the cruise for our family. We love that our kids have the option to try new foods or stick to tried and true favorites. Every cruise, we tell our kids they’ve got to try one new food a day, and all of them have tried escargot at the MDR! These meals can be a bit on the long side, depending on the cruise line and how they have their dining set up, but it gives the family plenty of time to chat and enjoy each other. It’s a great opportunity to bring along conversation starters and get to know each other better.
  • One of my favorite cruising memories with my parents and my kids was when we all went on a Disney cruise together. My kids were 6 (fresh, like turned 6 on the cruise), 3, and 18 months old. At LEAST once a day, my mom ended up with an entire cup of water spilled on her lap from a child’s wild arm. I think she was frustrated at first, but in the end, you’ve just got to laugh. We still laugh about it years later!

Start Planning NOW!

It's never too early to begin planning your cruise vacation, especially for larger groups. If looking far enough out, there may even be opportunities for us to set all of your family up as their own group. This could open up the potential for better pricing, as well as more perks and amenities.

If you're looking to cruise sometime in the next 18-24 months, let's schedule a discovery call to talk about it. This is a great way for us to get know each other and for me to learn more about you, your family and what you're looking for in your next cruise. Click here to schedule your Discovery Call.

Not quite ready to schedule a call? That's quite alright. Take your time, enjoy the weekly emails and when you're ready…I'll be here waiting to help. In the meantime, click here to join our private Facebook group focused on all things family cruising related.