For cruisers living in Texas, an adventurous family vacation is easily within reach. The Port of Galveston boasts terminals for some of the country’s top cruise lines. Here we share the two best kid-friendly cruises from Galveston.
1. Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas
The Liberty of the Seas is one of Royal Caribbean’s larger, Freedom-Class ships. Despite accommodating over 3,000 passengers per sailing, it clever design ensures that it rarely feels crowded during the cruise. Ten dining venues will satisfy and delight everyone in the family. Children and adults alike will love the Royal Promenade, a charming boulevard traversing the center of the ship, containing shops, cafes and restaurants. They will also enjoy the Flowrider surf simulator, as well as the three different water slides on the pool deck. Grown-ups will savor the tranquil Solarium, an adults-only area that includes a bar, pool, and two cantilevered Jacuzzis that extend from the sides of the ship. After dinner and seeing the Broadway show Saturday Night Fever, the entire family can head to the pool deck to enjoy movies under the stars.
Childcare and Activities for Kids:
Royal Caribbean has partnered with Dreamworks to provide family-friendly entertainment onboard the ship, including parades, character meet and greets, and a character breakfast. Adventure Ocean is the kids’ program onboard for cruisers between ages 3-17. Specially-designed play spaces and activities will keep children engaged and happy throughout the vacation. Teens will appreciate the Living Room, a special lounge just for them, as well as Fuel, the teen disco. The Royal Babies and Tots Nursery is available for little ones from 6 months-3 years old. All programs are run by trained professionals, and have age-appropriate programming.
This ship offers many lovely suites, however, the most unique is the Four Bedroom Presidential Family Suite. The suite contains two master bedrooms with private baths and two additional bedrooms that can accommodate four passengers each. A living room includes a sofa bed and dining table. An expansive balcony completes the space. Accommodating up to 14 guests, this suite is ideal for extended families who want to cruise in luxury. Guests in this suite receive special privileges, such as priority boarding and tender service, access to the Concierge Club, prime seating in entertainment venues, full menus for in-room dining, private breakfast and lunch seating in specialty restaurants, and complimentary luggage valet service.
Liberty sails 7-night Caribbean itineraries year-round. There are two standout itineraries. The first is an 8-night Western Caribbean that visits Costa Maya, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Falmouth, Jamaica. Savor the beautiful marine life along Costa Maya’s coast while scuba diving. Take a private tour of Punta Sur Ecological Park, in Cozumel. Charter a yacht in Grand Cayman and visit Stingray City, or see starfish up close at Starfish Point. An alternate sailing ports at Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel. Take a quick flight from Belize to Ambergis Caye for excellent snorkeling, diving, ziplining, or cave-tubing. In Roatan, arrange for a private tour including canoeing through mangroves and visiting local villages. In Cozumel, savor an all-inclusive beach day, or take a ferry to the mainland to visit the Mayan ruins at Tulum or Coba.
2. Disney Wonder
As the second ship in Disney Cruise Line’s fleet, the Disney Wonder is perfect for families who desire a vacation filled with Disney’s special brand of magic. In true Disney fashion, the ship’s godmother is Tinker Bell. The Wonder’s ocean-liner design hearkens to the Golden Age of sailing. Throughout the ship, Mickey’s shape is cleverly used to adorn interior spaces. Signature Disney features that are fun for the entire family include live shows such as Toy Story-The Musical or Frozen, a Musical Spectacular, and Pirate night complete with a themed dinner and fireworks show. Animator’s Palate is a dining venue whose walls display an ever-changing scene showing the art of animation from start to finish. Parents will appreciate the adults-only spaces onboard, including the Quiet Cove Pool for relaxation and swimming, Palo for delicious Italian Cuisine, the Cadillac Lounge for drinks, and Wavebands for karaoke and dancing.
Childcare and Activities for Kids:
Children will adore the Oceaneer Club, including age-appropriate activities, interactions with Disney characters, a Marvel Super Hero Academy, and a Magic PlayFloor that immerses children into some of their favorite Disney movies. A nursery with trained staff is available for babies and toddlers for a small fee.
The ship’s most spacious and luxurious cabin is the Concierge Royal Suite with Veranda. This suite contains two bedrooms, and two full bathrooms and one powder room. Guests in the master bedroom can savor a private bathroom with a whirlpool tub. Guests in concierge suites delight in down duvets, a pillow menu, complimentary WiFi thoughout the cruise, in-suite dining from any of the main restaurants, priority tendering in ports of call, and concierge service.
The Disney Wonder offers several 7-night cruises to the Bahamas or the Caribbean year-round. For those who would like a quick getaway, she also sails a 4-night cruise to Cozumel. Take advantage of two days at sea by enjoying AquaDuck, the ship’s water coaster, and having a splashing good time at the AquaLab. Collect the signatures of all your favorite Disney characters at meet and greets throughout the ship. Play a game of basketball or ping-pong outside as a family at the Wide World of Sports Deck. In Cozumel, explore the island in an ATV or dune buggy, or take an authentic Mexican food tour, and finish the day relaxing on the island’s white sand beaches.
The Wonder’s 7-night Bahamas cruise visits Nassau, Key West, and Castaway Cay. In Nassau, spend the day at Atlantis and have fun throughout the Aquaventure, Atlantis’ water park, and The Dig, the resort’s incredible marine life exhibit. Have an adventure deep-sea fishing, or take a food tour in Key West, and don’t leave without savoring a slice of their famous key lime pie. Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island paradise, complete with family and adults-only beaches, biking trails, and a boat charter dock. Here, rent a spacious and thoughtfully-designed cabana as the family’s home base for the day. Snorkel the island’s Discovery Trail, and allow the kids to explore Scuttle’s Cove, which includes supervised youth activities, a water play area, and a whale-bone excavation site. Enjoy the complimentary barbecue lunch available in the afternoon. Don’t forget to send family and friends back home a postcard from the island’s own Post Office, with an original postmark from Castaway Cay.
And those are the best kid-friendly cruises from Galveston
Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, you’re bound to find a cruise experience that will be a perfect fit for your family. And if you’re based in Texas, taking one of these kid-friendly cruises from Galveston will ensure that you won’t even have to jump on a plane!
About Chrystal Anderson
Chrystal Anderson and her husband are the proud co-owners of Cruise Planners-Virtue Travel. They travel often, and love to share their travel experiences with others. Follow Chrystal's adventures on her blog, and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
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