Parents who have traveled with their brood in tow will be the first to admit that their children are usually the hardest to please. Fortunately, Travel + Leisure readers chimed in on our annual World’s Best Awards survey about which cruise lines are ideal for everyone in the family, from parents to their teenagers, toddlers, and anyone in between. Rave reviews for the cruise lines featured here helped these top 20 brands earn the distinction of being 2015’s best cruise lines for families. They offer everything from the over-the-top (ice-skating rinks, zip-lines, bumper cars) to simple pleasures (arts and crafts, story telling, scavenger hunts). Some go to even greater lengths to keep kids occupied—and inspired—with dedicated programs for budding chefs, film directors, and more.
“We traveled with [Royal Caribbean],” reported one WBA voter, “and we all agreed it was the best family vacation we have taken to date. There were plenty of activities for [our sons], and the date nights my husband and I had were terrific. Just the other day he said he hopes we cruise again.”
After all, what’s a family holiday until every member of the clan is entertained, relaxed, and in full-on vacation mode?
And a successful getaway isn’t just about activities—it’s also about having a comfortable place to crash at the end of the day. Luckily, cabins on these top cruise lines include dedicated family suites and adjoining staterooms. And for parents who want a night alone on the town—er, onboard—most ships provide babysitting services. Because as much as parents may love their offspring, nothing says “vacation” like a night away.