Cruises aren't just for couples or retired. Cruises can make excellent and fun-filled holidays for families too, with activities and pools to keep children entertained for weeks on end.

Which cruise lines offer free child places?

MSC Cruises offer free places to children under 12 if they share their parent's room, and 12-17-year-olds can often travel free in off-peak seasons. Children also sail free on CroisiEurope cruises if they're younger than 15. Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, Holland America often hold friends and family sales where the 3rd and 4th person in your cabin goes free, which, by extension, can mean your children and many other cruise lines offer occasional kids-sail-free deals.

When travelling with children on a cruise, you should ensure that you take out full cruise travel insurance to cover you in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Do you have to pay full price for a child on a cruise?

Many cruises offer prices per person and don't take age into account, whereas some offer free or discounted children rates such as Royal Caribbean, P & O and Norwegian, where the maximum age can vary between 12 and even 17. However, most cruise lines that do not have child fares, such as Carnival Cruise Line, offer free or discounted rates for the third and fourth guest in a cabin.

Top 3 cruise holidays for families

Disney Wonder: This trip is delightfully Disney themed. Children can enjoy the interactions with their favourite characters and watch glittery productions based on their favourite Disney films.

Carnival Vista: There are plenty of activities to keep children occupied on cruise ships. This ship has water parks catered to family fun, large water slides, an IMAX cinema an even Seuss themed activities such as a Seuss library filled with Seuss's most famous books.

MSC Divina: This ship has assorted thrills like a Formula 1 auto racing simulator, LEGO activity areas and an interactive 4-D cinema.

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