April 2020 Caribbean Cruising: Bring the Kids or Adults Only?

Caribbean Cruising: Bring the Kids or Adults Only?

Fun for all ages abounds on Caribbean beaches. 
Fun for all ages abounds on Caribbean beaches. 
Photo by Ingal/Getty Images
Turquoise waters and balmy shores beckon to both types of traveler.
Jesse Taylor expresses an understandable bias toward the Caribbean. The region is a hop, skip, and a jump away from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, home base for many ships headed to the islands. “The Caribbean is a fantastic destination,” Taylor says, ticking off a list of reasons why: rain-forest zip lines and volcano treks for adventurers, a slew of water activities on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, and a dynamic culture with historic towns and UNESCO World Heritage sites. Cruising is the way to go, he continues: “You can see and do it all while only having to unpack once.”

Families find plenty of onboard activities to keep everyone entertained day and night while traveling between the islands. The advisor recommends cruise lines with the most engaging children’s programs so the adults have some time to kick back and relax. Likewise, a Caribbean cruise just for big kids offers upscale dining experiences and a chance to recharge, reconnect, and enjoy some downtime with your partner or friends, Taylor says.
Little ones love the top-deck "campfires" on Celebrity Cruises’ ships. 
Little ones love the top-deck "campfires" on Celebrity Cruises’ ships. 

Bring the Kids 

Taylor gives the nod to Celebrity Cruises for its Camp at Sea youth program, which changes depending on the interests of children on board. There are STEM activities created in partnership with Miami’s Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, junior cooking and art classes, Xbox video-game tournaments, and teen-only disco parties. “Our boys absolutely loved it,” says the advisor. The cruise line also trains its Camp at Sea staff on best practices for welcoming kids with autism and offers sensory-friendly films and toys.
One of many adults-only diversions on the soon-to-launch Scarlet Lady from Virgin Voyages. 
One of many adults-only diversions on the soon-to-launch Scarlet Lady from Virgin Voyages. 

Adults Only

Virgin Voyages’ new 2,770-passenger Scarlet Lady is as far from the cruise cliché as you can get, appealing to “young-at-heart, fun-filled adults,” Taylor says. Expect tricked-out staterooms, high-end dining, on-demand Champagne, and unique entertainment, such as a vinyl-stocked record shop – all with a heavy emphasis on fitness and well-being. The ship is currently scheduled to embark on its maiden voyage later this summer. 

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