4 Tips for Cruising with a Large Family

So, your family doesn’t fit the typical two adult, two child model {mine sure doesn’t!} Does this mean cruising is out of the question?

Ten years ago the answer might have been yes. Not only were cruises cost prohibitive, there were few rooms available that could accommodate a larger family. Today the situation is different. Larger families are choosing to take cruises, whether it’s with immediate family members or multigenerational, extended families. Cruise lines are responding. If you want to take a cruise with your larger family here are some ideas to help you get the most for your money.

4 Tips for Cruising with a Large Family


Here are 4 Tips for Cruising with a Large Family


While cruise lines have responded to consumer demands for more space in staterooms for larger families the options are still somewhat limited. You’ll need to plan well in advance to ensure you can snag one of the highly prized larger rooms. Not all lines have rooms that are big enough to accommodate more than four people so you also will need to take the time to research what your options are. Plan to book at least 12-18 months ahead of your sailing time to get a larger room at a reasonable price.

A group of people on a boat


Some lines like Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruise Lines offer family rooms that can fit four, five, or six people. There’s also the option of booking a suite, though that’s an expense you may not be willing to stomach. A third option is to book two adjoining rooms. In this scenario you can fit up to 8 people in two rooms and chances are the price will be less than booking a single suite. You’ll also have much more room to spread out. If you’re traveling with younger children who still nap, booking an adjoining room with a balcony gives you some extra space. Enjoy sitting on the balcony while still being within earshot of your napping child.

A little girl sitting on a cruise bed


If you’re traveling with several children of different ages finding ways to keep them busy and happy can seem like an insurmountable challenge. Cruise lines have done a great job planning activities for all ages. Older children may be able to participate in the activities of their choice, and need only to check in with parents on a regular basis. Check with the cruise line to see what age children are allowed to be unattended by an adult. Younger kids can get involved in onboard kids clubs or play in special kids pools or splash pads.

royal caribbean cruise ship


Taking shore excursions can be a big expense and if you have a large family even more so. Instead of booking an excursion in every port, why not select one activity that everyone can agree on. Then in the remaining ports look for free or low cost activities. Parents may need to split up, each taking a smaller group to keep everyone happy. Look into group rates on excursions as your family may qualify – or team up with another family onboard and get the discount.

A group of people standing in front of a large ship in the water

It may seem like cruising with a large family is an out of reach expense, however you may discover the savings in food and lodging is much greater than a vacation on land. As always, do your research and know that it is possible to cruise with a larger family!

Have you ever been on a cruise?



  1. I have never been on a cruise, alone or with my family. I would love to do so one day.

  2. We’ve been dreaming of a cruise with our kids. We have 5 boys, though, so I wondered how you would do that. An adjoining room would be perfect!!!

  3. I still have not yet been on a cruise. But, I would love to someday! Thanks for the tips.

  4. I don’t have a large family – it’s just me, my husband, and my son – but these are still awesome tips that I’ll definitely be using if we ever take a cruise.

  5. Thanks for these great tips. We’re currently waiting on the kids to get just a little older before we try a cruise, but I’ll definitely be following these tips!

  6. I have not been on a cruise yet — but I want to go on one so bad! Hopefully one day I can,

  7. We went on a cruise for our honeymoon and also one with my husbands extended family. I can;t wait to take my kids when they are a little older.

  8. Great tips! I hope to one day go on a cruise with our family, but we’d need these tips as we are a family that won’t fit in just one small cabin!

  9. I have never been on a cruise but really want to go. It would be great to go with the whole family. I never knew that they offered rooms big enough for my family of 5

  10. I would love to take a cruise with my family! Looks like you had a wonderful time! thanks for sharing!

  11. We have four kids, so I didn’t think cruising was that feasible. But, I can see otherwise after your post.

  12. Nope, we have yet to go on a cruise, but we may get that opportunity next year. Fingers crossed!

  13. A cruise is something that we would love to do one day. We wouldn’t need a larger room but it is nice to know that it is an option for those that do!

  14. I would love to take the kiddo on a cruise! I think it would be a great way to pack a ton of fun all in 1 shot Great tips, thanks!

  15. I love going on a cruise! So much to do and see! Great tips for bringing the whole family!

  16. We have taken a number of cruises but I’ve always been paranoid about taking the kids. I thought I would wait until they were older.

  17. I would love to go on a cruise someday, i seen some of these ships and they have everything, like wow just amazing!!

  18. I have never been on a cruise and you’re right that I do have the assumption that they are very expensive!

  19. These are great tips. I would love to go on a cruise with my extended family, but wasn’t sure how to accomplish it.

  20. would love to take a cruise with our family but thought it would be too hard-your tips are extremely helpful and I might have to look into one now!

  21. We are soon (very soon) going to be a family of five. I would love to take a cruise someday with my family. They seem like such a laid back vacation option. 🙂

  22. would so love to go on a Cruise … looks like a ton of fun , thanks for sharing and great tips 🙂

  23. We went on one cruise and needed 2 rooms as we didn’t know to book ahead. We also didn’t get adjoining rooms, but they were next to each other. My mom came with so our oldest could stay with her as our younger two stayed with us. I am glad to know now for the future, but wish I knew before!

  24. Pingback: Have Kids, Will Travel! Family Travel Tips Roundup | MyBabyStuff Blog
  25. We went on one cruise, we have 3 boys and my mom came with. We couldn’t get adjoining rooms, but my mom and our oldest boy had a room next to ours. We did find it expensive but maybe we need to plan better. Thanks for the tips. Happy Mother’s Day Tammi! 🙂

  26. Thanks for the tips! We’re only a family of 3 for now. But with GranMa, GranPa, and Uncle in tow it makes for a party of 6. We haven’t been to any cruise at all. So definitely looking forward to planning a cruise vacation. Hopefully next year! 🙂

  27. When I was married my ex and I took our 2 kids (young) at the time on a Disney cruise and it was fantastic. They really do such a great job. My kids loved it so much. Before I was married I took my mom on an Alaskan cruise with Celebrity Cruises (another fantastic line). My niece came with us and they ended up giving us a great cabin and a sliding door from my mom’s bed to the bunk beds where my niece and I slept and it was so perfect….and a great price.

  28. Our dream is to be able to take our grandkids on a cruise! I believe we’d have a blast!

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