One of the perks of being on vacation is dining out, so when planning a family cruise, it’s important to do some research on which lines cater best to the family dining experience. Whether you want to dine with underwater décor, attend a formal tea party, or simply finish a meal quietly as the children are entertained, these cruise lines each have something unique to offer.
Below, are CruiseCompete’s picks for the top 4 cruise lines for children’s dining:
1. Cunard Line
Cunard Line offers children’s tea parties (parental supervision required) that take place at the following locations and approximate times:
Queen Mary 2 – Chef’s Galley 4:45 to 5:30 p.m. daily
Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth – If there is a considerable number of under 10-year-olds, a children’s tea buffet is held in the Lido from 5:00 to 5:45 p.m. daily. If there are only a few children on board, a formal set-up is not offered. However, the food is always available in the Lido.
2. Disney Cruise Line
With the all the main dining rooms featuring a different theme based on Disney’s favorite characters and movies, the dining experience is just as important as the food for kids onboard a Disney Cruise. Disney offers children’s menus in their main dining rooms, and you’ll find Mickey-shaped waffles for breakfast, and kid’s favorites like pizza, chicken, burgers and fun dessert options in the casual dining areas. With Disney’s Rotational Dining, you can experience each of the three themed restaurants on board, rotating to a new venue each night.
Some of the dining themes onboard include:
- The Royal Court Dining Room aboard the Disney Fantasy and The Royal Palace aboard the Disney Dream are modeled after Disney Princess favorites like Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast. All around the space you’ll find touches that incorporate these movies.
- Enchanted Garden Dining Room aboard the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream offers a magical French Conservatory theme with glass flower lights and a fountain featuring a stone cherub Mickey. The ceiling changes from daytime to sun set, and finally a nighttime complete with stars. The flower lights bloom, wall sconces turn into folding fans and more magical touches provide entertainment.
- Tritons’s aboard the Disney Wonder is based on The Little Mermaid with Ariel statues and underwater décor.
- Carioca aboard the Disney Magic is named after Disney’s classic film The Three Caballeros. Carioca’s boasts a Brazilian theme of hanging festival lanterns and marketplace baskets, wavy floor patterns that recall the breezy beach sidewalks of Copacabana, and colorful facades reminiscent of South American architecture.
- Lumiere’s aboard the Disney Magic is based on Beauty and the Beast.
- Norwegian Cruise Line
With Norwegian’sFreestyle Dining, families can eat where they want, when they want. Plus, kids age 3 and under always eat for free, and kids 4-12 can order from the complimentary kids’ menu at most specialty restaurants.
4. Royal Caribbean International
What makes Royal Caribbeanstand out for families is My Family Time Dining. When you opt for My Family Time Dining, within 40 minutes of seating in the dining room your children will have their meal. They can then join the Adventure Ocean children’s program to have fun in numerous activities, leaving you to enjoy finishing your meal.
My Family Time Dining is offered for the first seating time in our main dining room, for children ages three to 11. Kids enjoy their meal within 40 minutes of seating, before heading to the evening’s Adventure Ocean activities. The program starts the second evening you’re onboard.
For a list of all the cruise line restaurants, and what they offer, click here.
It’s important to know what is included on your cruise vacation. This chart details everything from bottled waters, to specialty coffees, to Wi-Fi and shore excursions included in your cruise fare. See the all-inclusive amenities chart here.