Family Vacation: Celebrity Cruise Line Features for Families

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Are you thinking about traveling to a faraway place that offers an inclusive package with an award-winning experience? If so, consider booking a Celebrity Cruise. After cruising seven times, I can attest to the fact that Celebrity adheres to its motto “to provide guests with a cruise experience that exceeds expectations.”

Celebrity Silhouette

Are Celebrity cruises specifically designed for children like a Disney Cruise?

The answer is no.

If you’re looking for Disney characters and a lively atmosphere filled with young families, then Disney Cruises should be your first choice. On the other hand, if you’re open to a more subdued and sophisticated experience that caters to a diverse guest list of individuals, newlyweds, couples, retirees, and families from a multitude of locations, then Celebrity Cruises should be a consideration.

Every family has to match their particular vacation needs and budget with the available options. Shopping for a cruise is just like any other major purchase. The product has to be a good fit.

Celebrity Cruise Line Features for Families


  • Wide variety of modern, clean staterooms at different price categories (inside cabins to suites)
  • 3rd and 4th passenger travel at a reduced rate
  • Promotions offered throughout the year

Food—Award winning recipes created by featured chef James Beard

  • Main dining room—set hours for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Two dinner menus in main dining room—fixed continental menu and a menu where all the choices change daily (you can choose items from both menus)
  • Casual dining—large cafeteria offering dozens of choices, poolside grill, and healthy alternative cafeteria by the spa
  • Room Service—wide selection throughout the day
  • Specialty dining—smaller settings with an additional cost
  • No one ever goes hungry aboard a ship
  • Even picky eaters will find something to eat

Child and Teen Programs Determined by Age Groupings

  •      Toddler Time—under 3 years old
  •      Shipmates—ages 3-5
  •      Cadets—ages 6-8
  •      Ensigns—ages 9-11
  •      Teens—ages 12-17

Qualified Youth Staff

  • Four-year college degree in childcare or education
  • Two years of related experience
  • Most of the staff is in their 20s and 30s
  • International and fluent in a variety of languages

Safety Measures

  • Children wear wristbands
  • Participate in emergency drill before leaving embarkation port
  • Guidelines for staff to child ratio
  • Check-in and check-out procedures for childcare

Attractively Decorated and Maintained Kid Area with Appropriate Appointments

  • Each ship might vary slightly
  • Age appropriate materials and facilities configured for each age group

Inside Fun Factory Aboard Celebrity Silhouette

Younger Kids

  • Nerdel—food and fitness program featuring Nerdel, an alien from planet Zendel
  • Puppet performances
  • Games and books

Inside fun factory - computer area - aboard Celebrity Silhouette

Older Children

  • Karaoke
  • Computers and video games
  • Basketball, Ping-Pong, and board games

Child Center Activities and Babysitting

  • Daily scheduled activities for each age group
  • Group parties for lunch, dinner, and late evening
  • Family centered organized activities—scavenger hunt, family bingo, outside activities, etc.
  • Babysitting available in the Fun Factory and private stateroom

Teen Club abourd Celebrity Silhouette

Teen Club

  • Separate programming and location for teens
  • Late night dances and entertainment (supervised)
  • Access to video game room

Video room aboard Celebrity Silhouette

Shore Excursions

  • Some are family friendly, while others are more adult orientated
  • Childcare provided for children not leaving the ship with their parents

General Activities for All Guests

  • Classes, movies, demonstrations, games, competitions, etc. planned throughout the day
  • Nightly shows—singers, dancers, musicians, comedians, acrobats, and magicians
  • Musicians playing around the ship throughout the day

 Loyalty Program

  • Captain’s Club—provides incentives for repeat customers

Not Included in Inclusive Package

  • Some childcare programs and babysitting
  • Gratuities for dining room and cabin
  • Laundry
  • Internet
  • Meals and beverages at specialty restaurants
  • Special programs—wine/alcoholic tasting, special tours, etc.
  • Shore excursions
  • Soft drinks, specialty coffees, and alcoholic beverages
  • Spa services
  • Gambling costs

Create a Memorable Family Experience Aboard Celebrity

My sons went on many family vacations throughout their childhood and college years. Some of our best memories are from our Celebrity cruises. We found cruising to be an affordable way to travel with four sons who were always hungry or thirsty. The wide variety of daily activities and interesting ports of call kept our sons busy from the beginning of their day until they went to sleep. Exposing children to different cultures is a wonderful educational experience that cannot be duplicated in a classroom. Although Celebrity does not specifically market to young families, the cruise line provides exceptional child friendly activities and programs with a well-trained international staff.

Have you cruised with your family before? What was your favorite part of your cruise?

Sandra Bornstein, an international educator and writer, has taught K-12 students in the United States and abroad as well as college level courses. She is the author of May This Be the Best Year of Your Life: A Memoir ( ). She has two master’s degrees- one in education and another in Jewish Studies and is a licensed Colorado teacher with a K-12 Linguistically Diverse Education endorsement. She lives in Colorado with her husband and has four adult sons.See and

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