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A vacation with your littles can be an overwhelming proposition — You want to steal some R & R for yourself, yet kids crave constant activity and entertainment.
For your next family vacation, consider a cruise. They’re self-encompassing retreats with plenty of diversion to keep you and your children occupied. They feature extravagant pools and splash parks, boast an assortment of restaurants that accommodate picky eaters, offer an array of family-oriented programming and some even provide child care.
Below, find three family-oriented cruises sailing from Galveston.
Disney Magic, Disney Cruise Line
The basics: Disney Cruise Line’s first vessel to hit the high seas (it launched in 1998), the 2,713-passenger Disney Magic offers Broadway-style shows, themed dining, character encounters, fireworks at sea and myriad activities for families, kids and adults. Table-service dining, snacks, 24-hour room service and unlimited coffee, tea and soda are included in the cost of a Disney cruise.
Fun factor: Guests can ride the AquaDunk, a 37-foot-tall body slide that begins with a surprise launch; revel in a royal celebration during a theatrical dining experience at Rapunzel’s Royal Table; get lost in a tale of self-discovery and love during an exclusive live performance of “Tangled: the Musical”; rediscover beloved stories, songs and characters during other Broadway-style performances; and enjoy “me time” at dedicated kids’ clubs and adult escapes.
During the duration of the trip, Disney films play in two cinemas aboard. Another noteworthy attraction is an enchanted beauty salon that offers head-to-toe makeovers for little princesses, knights and captains.
Adults will enjoy the ship’s after-hours entertainment, including a night club, sports bar and a piano bar; the well-appointed fitness center with its personal training sessions and instructional classes in yoga, Pilates, aerobics and more; and the adult-exclusive spa and salon offering massages, manicures, pedicures, and a rainforest-themed aromatherapy steam room and sauna.
Ports: The Disney Magic sails from a variety of ports across the United States, including voyages from south Florida, San Diego, Galveston and the port of New Orleans. Select itineraries on the Disney Magic make a stop at Castaway Cay, Disney’s tropical private island in the Bahamas.
Example itineraries and fares sailing from Galveston include:
Allure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International
The basics: Advertised as the “Lone Star State’s largest cruise ship,” the 2,742-stateroom Allure of the Seas is among the biggest cruises in the world and spans 16 decks.
Fun factor: The massive Oasis Class ship is divided into seven unique neighborhoods featuring a variety of activities, shows and dining options; the Pool and Sports Zone features waterslides, an aquapark, a splash pad, a nine-story-high zip line, two FlowRider surf simulators, an adults-only Solarium, miniature golf, and more; the Boardwalk neighborhood has two rock walls and a carousel; and in the Youth Zone, there’s a kid’s club, numerous play areas, a fully-staffed nursery, a theater, an arcade and two teen-only venues.
The 30-plus restaurants, bars and lounges on board offer an array of food, including family-style Italian classics at Giovanni’s Table, American steakhouse favorites at Chops Grille and fresh sushi and sizzling hibachi at Izumi.
Ports: Allure of the Seas sails from numerous ports, including voyages from south Florida, Galveston and Los Angeles.
Example itinerary and fare sailing from Galveston:
Norwegian Prima, Norwegian Cruise Line
The basics: Debuted in 2022, Norwegian Prima is 965 feet long, and accommodates 3,100 guests at double occupancy. The vessel has 20 decks, featuring nearly 1,600 staterooms, 18 dining venues and 17 bars and lounges.
Fun factor: Noteworthy attractions on board include a three-level racetrack, a 10-story freefall dry slide, two escape rooms, a Topgolf Swing Suite, an aqua park with a tidal wave waterslide and a three-story theater.
Ports: During the winter 2023 and 2024 season, Norwegian Prima will offer seven-day voyages to the Western Caribbean out of Galveston, Texas, providing extensive port experiences in the region with every itinerary visiting four ports. Norwegian Prima will call to Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; Harvest Caye, an island destination in Belize exclusive to guests of NCL; and Roatan Island, Honduras, with all visits featuring between eight and nine in-port hours.
Example itinerary and fare sailing from Galveston:
7-Night Caribbean Cruise from $729 per person to Costa Maya, Mexico, Harvest Caye, Belize, Roatán, Bay Islands and Cozumel, Mexico; Departing December 2023 to March 2024.
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