Traveling With Kids: Sailing Free, Adult Supervision at Disney

by  Maryrose Mullen | Mar 20, 2013
Family on a cruise ship
Family on a cruise ship / MaraDueerkop/iStock

Being a kid can be rough, but being the adults traveling with tykes can be difficult as well. Coordinating activities for youngsters of varying ages is a challenge (little Tommy wants to visit the petting zoo, while teen Tammy would rather go shopping), as is attempting to stay on a budget. For parents planning a trip for the whole clan, we have good news (and bad news).

First, the good: Two major cruise lines, Crystal Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line, are offering “kids sail free” packages for groups embarking with children under 17. Crystal Cruises is expanding their existing program by adding 17 additional sailings between May and December (the original deal was only offered for four trips between June and July). Cruises that fall under the promotion will travel throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. Norwegian Cruise Line launched a similar program this month for fall cruises to Alaska, the Bahamas, Bermuda, New England and Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, and Hawaii. Families can bring up to two children, and are eligible for up to $1,000 in air credits. But if you’re interested in this deal, better book fast: the promo expires on March 23.

Now, onto the bad news, at least for sulky teens who want to break away from their uncool ‘rents. Starting this weekend, Disney theme parks will ban children under the age of 14 unless they are accompanied by an adult. The new policy takes effect March 23 and will be enacted at Disney World in Orlando and both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in Anaheim. Disney reps say the new policy was not prompted by any type of incident, but is meant to provide a consistent age of admission. Mind you, children under 14 are only required to be accompanied by an adult companion to get through the gate: junior still might sneak off to the gift shop while you’re waiting on line for the tea cup ride.

Embarking on a cruise or entering Disney parks as a group means one thing: you’ll be spending plenty of time together.  And isn’t that the reason to book a family vacation in the first place?

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