Kid-Friendly Character Cruises
Character cruises aren't just for kids anymore. The grown-up perks on Disney Cruise Lines and other epic ships will float your boat
WHO: Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and How to Train Your Dragon stars
SHIPS: Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas
GROWN-UPS LOVE: The sheer size of these massive ships and the different vibes throughout make it easy to find your ideal hangout. “We chilled on a bench in the Central Park ‘neighborhood’ at night, listening to crickets chirp and classical music,” recalls Erin Mueller of Wilson, NC. Home to 150 Central Park, an intimate formal restaurant restricted to diners over 13 after 7 p.m., the open-air space features 12,000 trees, vines, and flowers.
Is your idea of date night more active? Take on the rock-climbing wall (and let me tell you, it's not one of those kiddie versions). The kids' camps stay open when the ship's in port, so if they don't want to go sightseeing, you're free to meander the brick-lined streets of Barcelona tasting tapas or to spike your day with a tequila tour of Cozumel.
KIDS LOVE: While you're having a cocktail at the ice rink's skate-up bar, the kids can learn about marine biology and do chemistry experiments (shh…it's fun!) at the supervised science lab, or get splashed by divers and acrobats at the 100-seat Adventure Ocean Theater.
For $6 an hour, the Late Night Party Zone hosts a pajama party for kids 3 to 11 from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Gamble on whether they'll still be awake when you get back from the casino's roulette table.
DON'T MISS: The solarium, with its bar and cantilevered whirlpools suspended 15 decks above the ocean.