Are the Kids Alright?

Cruising with – and without – kids.


For parents everywhere, Greta Garbo said it best. A cruise would seem to be just the ticket (and well deserved) to garner precious moments of solitude, but how do you escape the munchkins of others? Several cruise lines have answered the call with innovative ways to claim your dream of solace in the sun.

The upcoming Virgin Voyages will feature an adults-only policy, pushing the envelope a step closer towards that parental escape. This cruise brainchild of Richard Branson will be a concept that allows guests to focus on their own enjoyment, escaping the distraction of the little ones.

Viking Ocean Cruises, while not outright banning children, at the same time offers little that would encourage family-bonding opportunities on board. The peace and quiet, supplemented by the classic elegance of their ships and complimentary excursions, embellish the absence of rambunctious “young-uns”.



Ok, I concede. In spite of the need to get away, the guilt of leaving those little angels at home while you seek pleasure at sea is unthinkable. (As well as the dread of sticking them with the grandparents). Well, there are ideal solutions to that predicament – you can have your cake and eat it too!

Norwegian Cruise Line steps up to the plate with The Haven accommodations. While there’s no restriction from bringing your family with you, these secluded suites are a cordoned-off section of the ship with the inherent bonus of peace and tranquility. While you have access to all other amenities, Haven guests enjoy a private sundeck, 24-hour butler service, plus priority in dining, onboard entertainment, and debarkation and tender-boarding times. Your own ship within a ship.

MSC Cruises takes it up a notch further. The MSC Yacht Club offers lavish suites, exclusive access to a private restaurant, bar and lounge and unlimited drinks in Yacht Club areas. While you indulge in your own hedonistic pleasure, younger family members enjoy specifically designed and hosted activities. Their newer ships like the stunning, high-tech MSC Seaside, feature kids and teen clubs, water parks, 4D cinema, zip line and more. A “Kids Sail Free” program is also offered on select sailings throughout the year.

Even the magical kingdom of Disney Cruise Line offers an adults-only respite from the little would-be Mouseketeers. While the kids are occupied under the spell of Mickey and friends, moms and dads can enjoy the Quiet Cove pool, state-of-the-art fitness center and spa and sophisticated nightclubs and lounges, plus adult-only dining in themed restaurants.



The same policies can also be found on exclusive land-based resort properties. Well-known Sandals and Couples of Jamaica tout a couples-only policy. A Google search of adult-only resorts would expose a slew of individual properties around the globe.

Catering to the “can’t live with them, can’t live without them” demographic, all-inclusive resorts enter into the mix. The amazing and chic Nizuc Resort and Spa on Mexico’s Riviera Maya makes the case for family bonding time with a kids’ club, keeping the angels occupied while you soak up the sun at the adult-only pool or beach.

However or wherever you choose to spend your holiday retreat, there are more choices than ever before. Let’s face it, you need a break. There is no room for excuses, so what’s holding you back.

Steve Leland



As a former Cruise Director, Steve has been cruising the world for the past forty years. Bringing a new dimension to cruise journalism, he continues to spin the globe searching for off the grid cruise adventures and unplugged destinations to share with Porthole Cruise Magazine readers.