Family Cruises and Cruise Lines

Family Cruises and Cruise Lines - Choosing A Family Cruise

Family Cruising: For The Kids

Families love to cruise on Carnival Cruise Linesby Ralph Grizzle. An award-winning travel writer, and recognized cruise ship expert.

Families love to cruise, and it’s easy to understand why. Cruising is a family vacation, with lots of “look at that” moments, where costs are defined and heavy luggage lifting is limited to boarding and disembarking. The food, for which Dad doesn’t have to pull out his wallet every time the family sits down at the table, is excellent and plentiful, and there’s always something fun to do on a cruise ship or during a port call. Not surprisingly, families are choosing cruising in record numbers. As recently as 2000, for instance, Carnival Cruise Lines was projecting 250,000 participants in its kids program. Today, that number will approach 600,000.

Although all the major lines have youth programs, not all cruises are created equal, especially for parents, whose needs are frequently defined by their children. Some cruise lines do a better job catering to toddlers while others seem to prefer working with young ‘uns that have a bit more seasoning. Each cruise line has a different set of services, policies and requirements that govern its youth programs. Here are some of the key considerations parents might want to consider.

Family cruises to Alaska on Disney Cruise LineSome kids may not cotton to the youth program, but unless the parents have given specific permission or they meet an age requirement, children may not leave without a parent in attendance to sign them out. Several cruise lines want kids to be 13 years old before they can leave on their own, but if the parents have given their approval at the start of the cruise, children as young as 6 can check themselves out of some programs. The minimum age and the rules for parental consent vary by cruise line.

Babysitting is a big issue for parents of young children, and most of the majors offer it in one form or another. Carnival, Norwegian and Princess offer group babysitting but not private in-cabin services. Royal Caribbean offers group and in-cabin sitting. Expect to pay at least $19 an hour for in-cabin sitting, more for a second child. Interestingly, the family friendliest Disney does not provide babysitting since its youth program in operation until 1 a.m.

Kids love Johnny Rockets on Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the SeasTeens are a growing demographic group, and the cruise lines have been investing more to keep them happily entertained. They have been building larger areas for teens only and equipping them with all the latest electronic amusements as well as coffee bars, smoothie makers and more. These services and facilities vary not only from line to line but from ship to ship so parents would do well to check it all out thoroughly to ensure that their specific needs will be met. Pictured: Johnny Rockets on Royal Caribbean.

Planning The ‘Perfect’ Family Vacation

by Ralph Grizzle. An award-winning travel writer, and recognized cruise ship expert.

My daughter was only six weeks old when she traveled with mom and dad on our first family vacation — to Walt Disney World in Orlando. Only a few months later, at the tender age of five months, she crossed the Atlantic with dad (a travel writer) and mom to cruise to the Canary Islands on Cunard Line’s Queen Elizabeth 2. Lucky girl, right? Wrong. Both experiences were miserable.

Our six-week old was much too young to comprehend or appreciate Disney. Plus, she developed colic — a painful, but common, condition among infants that causes abdominal pain and uncontrollable crying (sometimes for the frustrated parents as well!).

My wife and I took turns dining at Restaurant Marrakesh, Epcot’s wonderful Moroccan restaurant. We were hoping for a romantic dinner while our sweet girl slept tableside. No such luck. Our baby girl began wailing before the appetizers appeared, and for the next hour, my wife and I swapped between bites to eat and trying to comfort our crying daughter. A romantic dinner? What were we thinking?

Months later, crossing the Atlantic, our baby slept for the entire flight. Unfortunately, we did not.

We arrived at London’s Gatwick Airport sleepy and tired. Dazed and confused from lack of sleep, we picked up our rental car and drove two hours to the New Forest, near Southampton, where we were to stay overnight in a hotel. We checked into our room and threw ourselves onto the bed. Baby, however, wanted to play. For the next week, our biological clock was out of sync with daughter’s, and what could have been a wonderful trip went down in the books as “never again.”

There is a happy ending to these stories. Our children grew up, and when I wrote this story, we were planning our next family vacation: a four-day cruise on Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Wonder combined with a three-night package at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. That one went down as a great vacation. Through the years, we became experts — by making the mistakes of trying to do too much or to do vacations that were inappropriate for our kids’ ages. We dragged our kids from one vacation to the other only to discover what makes a great family vacation — and also what makes a not-so-great one.

Grandpa in the waterslide on Carnival Cruise LineWho’s Your Family?
It may seem obvious, but the first step in planning your family vacation is to know who will be traveling with you?

Are you traveling with an infant, or god forbid, infants? If you can still muster the courage after reading about our nightmare vacation with our daughter, then go right ahead. And take some solace: There are vacations that work with infants. The key is to make sure you don’t travel too far.

When vacationing with infants and toddlers:
• Stay close to home — no more than, say, a six-hour transit, whether you’re flying or driving.
• Consider vacation venues that offer babysitting or child-watch programs.
• Not all cater to children, and of those that do, not all cater to infants and toddlers. Let’s face it, you and your significant other need a break from baby, and there’s nothing better than being able to get away for a romantic dinner or a hand-in-hand stroll along the beach while knowing your baby is in good hands.

Three’s Company
If you’re traveling with children over the age of three, the playing field becomes a lot larger, because so many vacation venues offer supervised programs for kids. In fact, the programs are so good that you may suffer your first disappointment: Your kids may want nothing to do with you — they’ll want to hang out and play with their peers.

My wife and I quickly got over the initial disappointment of our kids not wanting to clutch at our clothing for the duration of our vacations.

As they grew older, our kids played to their hearts’ content while we relaxed, and everyone got what they came for: a vacation. The trick to the foolproof vacation with children over the age of three:

Consider vacation venues that offer age-specific programs and activities. Your kids will have more fun hanging out and playing with their peers than they will gnawing at your nerves.

Make sure your vacation venue has a pool. Any vacation that allows your children to splish and splash is a good vacation.

Traveling With Teens
Teens can be the hardest group to please, I can say from the experience of having once been a teen that they will want nothing to do with dull old dad and mopey old mom. We’re just not hip. How to please them?

Consider vacations that offer teen-specific venues. Several cruise lines, for example, now feature teen-only bars (for mocktails, of course) and coffee shops.

Extended family cruising on Carnival Cruise LinesBook separate accommodations for your teen. Remember, we’re not hip enough to breathe the same air as our teens much less room with them. Plus, they often spend scads of time in the bathroom, mostly in front of the mirror. If you have need of this facility on your vacation, get a separate room.

Extended Families
There’s one other kind of family vacation: the extended family vacation. This is when grandmother and grandfather — and even aunts and uncles and cousins — come along. On extended family cruises you can sit down for dinner with your family of six, eight, or a dozen or more, and no one has to worry about who is picking up the check. Go ahead and have that extra plate of lobster. Extended family vacations can be great, but to make sure they go off without a hitch:

Consider vacation venues that offer something for everyone. The kids may be bored to tears on small luxury ships. Don’t try to pile everyone into one room. Sure, you could save money if eight of you were to share an inside stateroom on a cruise ship, but the point of family reunions is to emerge feeling better about one another — not learning more than you care to know about the hygiene habits of family members.

Family Cruising
So now that you know who you’re traveling with, how do you choose the venue? Cruises are great, because cruise ships are self-contained, floating, nearly all-inclusive resorts. Nearly all-inclusive, because most cruise lines do not include the cost of alcohol, shore excursions, and gratuities. What generally is included, however, are children’s programs, all meals, and entertainment.

That is to say that typically you won’t pay a dime extra for your child to participate in the on-board childrens’ programs. Most cruise lines, however, do charge for baby-sitting, whether it’s in your stateroom or group-babysitting.

Family Cruising: Safety and Security

While there have been incidents of crime at sea, most families feel that cruising is a safe and secure experience for their kids. Many parents actually give their kids a bit more freedom to explore on their own while the ship is at sea, especially older grade schoolers and teens; After all, the cruise line controls access to the ship, and uniformed staff are almost always right around the corner. Nonetheless, parents certainly should discuss safety issues with their child before giving them too much freedom. Obviously, they should know basics like not climbing on railings and how to respond if the ship’s emergency signal sounds.

Typically, all children younger than teenagers have to wear an identification bracelet during the cruise that lists their muster station, so youth counselors can quickly identify where kids need to go to meet their parents.

In any event, kids should also be ready to approach the ship’s staff if they need help, recognizing them by their uniforms and name tags. Also, children should know that they can use the house phones where they can call the front desk or your cabin in the event of a personal emergency. Regardless of your child’s age and gender, there are a few other issues that should be discussed as well as a some groundrules that should be observed.

Most children probably already understand this, but it bears repeating:
• They should never go into anyone’s cabin without parental approval, and on the elevators, which are kid magnets, they should have a strategy if someone makes them feel uncomfortable. As a family, you all should walk the route from the cabin to the youth room and other key locations together so that it’s all familiar and nobody gets lost. The lower decks where the crew resides are off limits to all guests, and children should know this.
• The youth programs require that children are signed in and out of their youth programs, and while the age varies from line to line, children under 9 or 8 years must be picked up and signed out by a parent, often with a photo ID. Older than that to early teens, the parental sign-out policy is customized at the start of the cruise. Communication is key.
• Everybody should be clear about what time they will meet up again, and where. Parents should encourage children to leave notes in the cabin describing their plans; walkie-talkie radios can be quite useful with teens who are allowed to move about as they wish.
• While you may allow children some free rein on the ship, they should not stray from parental supervision during port visits. The only exception would be a shore excursion for kids, supervised by ship staff, with the children understanding that they cannot separate from the group.
• Adults, who should also know how to respond, can be targets anywhere tourists flock; let’s not tempt the would-be criminals with our children. Instead, use the port visits to explore and to experience a new place ports together, as a family.

Royal Caribbean's Dreamworks Experience

Note: Dreamworks characters are available exclusively on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's Allure of the Seas from 12/10/2010, Oasis of the Seas from 2/26/2011, Freedom of the Seas from 3/27/2011, and Liberty of the Seas from 1/30/2011.

Family Fun, Caribbean Style

Carnival Cruise Lines - Carnival Dream Waterslidesby Ralph Grizzle. An award-winning travel writer, and recognized cruise ship expert.

There is a science to mastering the waterslide. I learned this from my 10-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter, both deft descenders of waterslides and other water-oriented features found on cruise ships today. On your belly, feet first, allows for the fastest descent, my son told me. “I switched positions halfway down, rolling over on my belly,” my daughter bragged. “It was way cool.”

Three months after our cruise, the kids were still talking about it: the friends they made, the kids’ program, the places they explored ashore, and, of course, the waterslide. As a friend of mine who recently cruised with her husband and two sons said: “Family cruises must be one of the industry’s best-kept secrets.”

Perhaps so, but informed families are flocking to cruise vacations. Family cruising has proven to be tremendously popular because every member of the extended family is enjoyably engaged during the day, with lots of together time at the dinner table or around the pool.

One of the best regions for family cruising is the Caribbean. Nearly all of the major cruise companies operate ships in the Caribbean, with the majority departing South and Central Florida, which makes it convenient for families to combine cruises with visits to theme parks before or after the cruise.

Cruises in the Caribbean often visit three to six ports on a weeklong itinerary. Eastern Caribbean itineraries depart South Florida for visits that may include the Bahamas, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. A Western Caribbean cruise vacation typically visits Key West, Mexico and either the Cayman Islands or Jamaica.

Deep or Southern Caribbean cruises may start in San Juan and ports in New York and Florida, charting a course for the Windward Islands and beyond.

Southern Caribbean cruises visit the idyllic and diminutive islands from Antigua south to Trinidad, and along the northeastern coast of South America. These voyages offer cruisers port-intensive itineraries that take in some of the Caribbean’s lesser-known and most pristine islands.

Some Caribbean cruises include stops at private islands operated by the cruise lines (Labadee, CocoCay, Half Moon Cay, Castaway Cay, or even Grand Turk for a similar experience). These are consistent winners with families.

In the Caribbean, my kids have climbed Mayan ruins, snorkeled in crystal clear waters, explored the wonders of Atlantis (the sprawling Bahamian resort), and walked on uninhabited tropical islands. “Daddy, I just rubbed a stingray,” my son told me during one beach excursion in the Bahamas. Then, he added reflectively, “They’re nice.” Precious moments.

Our Caribbean cruise tapered down with a day at sea on our return back to Port Canaveral. We spent most of the day out on deck, soaking up the sun and swimming in one of the four pools, situated at the end of the waterslide. My children dragged me to the top of the blue slide and dared me to descend. I braced myself at the edge and lowered myself. “No,” my kids commanded, instructing me to turn over.

Family Cruising: Carnival’s Caribbean

Camp Carnival Kids

Carnival Cruise Lines carries more than 625,000 children annually aboard its 22-vessel “Fun Ship” fleet.

That’s equivalent to filing six of Carnival’s Fantasy-class vessels for an entire year, or to put it another way, roughly half of the total number of kids carried by the entire North American cruise industry.

Awesome Overview
Families have voted with their wallets, and Carnival is the clear cruise-line winner for family vacations. Kids obviously love the Fun Ships, judging from the more than half a million who cruise with Carnival each year, and it’s easy to understand why. Carnival’s ships are equipped with enough toys, games, excursions and shipboard programs to keep the fussiest tots or the most cynical teens happy, and Carnival is a consistently excellent value for families.

All of Carnival’s ships are outfitted with comprehensive family friendly facilities, but for a family friendly embarkation, step aboard Carnival from Port Canaveral, conveniently situated within driving distance of the Orlando theme parks and well equipped for families.

Age Appropriate
No matter the age, Carnival knows how to keep them entertained and happy, and if the kids are willing, Camp Carnival has some “EduCruise” programs that help explain the places the children are visiting and seeing. The teen recreation center, Club O2, houses a large video-game room and dance club, with nonalcoholic specialty drinks, and there are large rooms and play areas for the younger ones, too, as Carnival’s children’s program is set up for kids 2 years and older.

Too Much Fun
No shortage of fun stuff on the Fun Ships. Even the most restless child can rent a GameBoy, if need be. But for simple, yet exhilarating, joy, nothing tops the 214-foot waterslide on the pool deck. You’ll see children make dozens of trips down these slides, their smiles nearly as wide as the slide is long.

Carnival Cruise Lines - swimming with the dolphinsBest Adventure, or THE attraction
For tweens and teens, there are discounted shore excursions – from kayaking and cave tubing to mountain biking or swimming with dolphins and stingrays – that are for teens only; they’re supervised by Carnival staff, but parents are not invited. For instance, one such excursion, available on Western Caribbean itineraries, takes the kids out to Stingray City off Grand Cayman, where they can swim with and feed the rays.

Keep’em Happy/No Shuffleboard, Dad!
While there is not shortage of activities for when kids and parents want to go their separate ways, Carnival organizes quite a few activities and contests for families who want to play together. In many of these games, the Dads wind up looking silly, often as the butt of the good-natured jokes of the activity director.

Timing is everything
When do you want to go? Carnival Cruise Lines sails the Caribbean year-round. Summer and school holidays will be particularly busy.

Avoid the Crowds
Carnival's are big ships capable of accommodating nearly 4,000 people. The design and the facilities keep everybody from getting in each other’s way – most of the time. Getting on and off the ship does cause some chafing for those who can’t maintain their patience.

Can’t Miss
Maintaining Carnival’s tradition of Vegas-style revues blending elaborate choreography, big sets and exciting songs, Rock Down Broadway is considered one of the best and most entertaining shows ever produced for a cruise ship, with songs from high-energy productions like Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Saturday Night Fever, Footloose, and Rent, enhanced by lasers, pyrotechnics and great choreography.

Best Dining
Kids will love the multitude of choices available all day long, but Mom and Dad will want to spend an evening at the reservations-only supper club. The cost is additional, but Carnival’s alternative restaurants are excellent, with top-notch food and service. Reserve early because the Carnival supper clubs are very popular.

Anchors Aweigh!
Forget what you’ve heard about Carnival. The days of party hearty are long gone. Carnival has had a tough time of shaking that 1970/80s image, but rest assured that today’s Carnival never fails to live up to its brand promise, which is to deliver fun for everyone on board.

Royal Caribbean’s Freedom Class Ships

An entirely new addition is the H2O Zone

Freedom Class includes Freedom, Independence and Liberty of the Seas. All Freedom Class features are found also on the Allure and Oasis of the Seas.

Awesome Overview
Kids who love the whiz-bang of the latest technologies will absolutely adore the Freedom-class ships from Royal Caribbean.

Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas and Independence of the Seas represent state of the cruising art, sure to impress the kid in all of us with a whole host of amenities and features that run from the now-expected-of-Royal Caribbean rock-climbing walls to an interactive water park and two adults-only hot tubs that are cantilevered 12 feet out from the side of the ship for a hot soak with a dramatic view.

Just For Kids
With programs for five age groups of kids and teens, Royal Caribbean’s Adventure Ocean, for kids 3 years to 17 years, gets consistently high marks for its family friendly approach. Providing fun learning opportunities about local customs, with some cool science experiments too, Adventure Ocean separates kids by age, with dedicated facilities for each group. Royal Caribbean also offers interactive play time for kids 6 – 36 months.

Family Friendly
It’s nice for the kids to hang out with their own kind, and age group, but Royal Caribbean recognizes that not all families are looking for separation. Activities for kids and parents include karaoke, talent shows, bingo tournaments and the family disco. And there are family friendly competitions on the famous rock wall or the mini-golf course.

Try This!
The FlowRider Surf Park is surf simulator, sort of a perpetual wave where you can try to hang ten. Wipeouts aren’t painful, and the less adventurous can use a body board.

The FlowRider Surf Park is surf simulator, sort of a perpetual waveKeep’em Happy/No Shuffleboard, Dad!
Extended versions of popular Voyager-class ships, the Freedom-class ships vessels are the most innovative in the Royal Caribbean fleet of megaliners, and it would take a seriously bad mood to claim that there is nothing to do. And if anyone gets too truculent, ship them off to the full-size boxing ring, where they can get lessons and even do some sparring.

Timing is everything
It’s pretty predictable when the ships will be full of families – just look at the school calendar. The best timing for families has more to do with when you book your cruise than when you go: The early bird definitely gets first crack at the staterooms and sailings that families find most desireable.

Avoid the Crowds
You will be sharing these ships with 4,200 of your best friends, but being twice as large as the biggest ships 10 or 12 years ago, Freedom Class ships provide plenty of elbow room in the vast and plentiful public spaces.

Can't Miss
An entirely new addition is the H2O Zone—an expansive area fitted with a kids’ pool, water cannons and abstract colorful sculpture fountains that shoot water in entertaining and unpredictable directions, partially controlled by passengers who want to get soaked or start a water war.

Best Dining
For fun family fare, it’s tough to beat Johnny Rockets for a burger, fries and a shake. If you are having too much fun to leave the pool deck, the Solarium pool has a cafe dispensing pizzas, while the self-serve Sprinkles provides frozen yogurt. If looking for a healthier drink options, there is the Squeeze selling various fruit drinks.

Anchors Aweigh!
With a generous number of family friendly staterooms, including suites that can sleep up to 14 people, and adrenaline-pumping features, Royal Caribbean’s Freedom-class is perfect for families who really want to abide the cruise line’s slogan to “get out there!”

Family Cruising: Norwegian Cruise Line's Big Apple to Bermuda

by Ralph Grizzle. An award-winning travel writer, and recognized cruise ship expert.

Awesome Overview
With idyllic beaches and a colorful landscape crowned by pastel cottages, Bermuda is perfect for families. This small cluster of North Atlantic islands serves up plenty for families to explore while exuding a British Colonial charm that is safe, orderly, and always polite.

Sailing out of New York City during the spring, summer and fall, Norwegian Breakaway’s 7-day itinerary spends three days in Bermuda, providing an optimal balance of beach time and kid-friendly sightseeing. Using the ship as home base, families can come and go as they please and eat when it suits them as part of Norwegian’s Freestyle Cruising program, which allows guests to choose when and where they enjoy each meal rather than adhering to the ship’s schedule.

Families will appreciate the ship’s roomy (by cruise standards) four-person cabins.

The Kids' Pool on Norwegian DawnAge Appropriate
Too Much Fun
In Hamilton, a must-see is the Ocean Discovery Center at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, home of one of the world’s finest shell collections. Check out the sunken treasures gallery and the replica bathysphere. Explore what’s beneath the ocean’s surface without ever getting wet on a seven-minute simulated dive.

Best Adventure, or THE attraction
Bermuda is a delightful escape, a place where it’s easy to shift to a slower gear for a few days. But since you’re on vacation, you’ll want to keep the fun flowing. So consider the Restless Native Catamaran Cruise excursion from King’s Wharf. From a spacious and comfortable catamaran, you can snorkel in the shallow waters of a secluded cove or sunbathe in the roomy hammocks.

Timing is everything
Bermuda sits well off the coast of North Carolina, and though the Atlantic gulf stream does moderate the winter climate, this is still a seasonal destination. The Norwegian Breakaway sails roundtrip from New York from May through October, and demand will be heaviest June through August.

Avoid the Crowds
Go to the beach. Hire a cab, or if your kids are old enough to ride double, rent scooters – no car rentals on tiny Bermuda. Tourism is less of an emphasis in Bermuda since the emergence of the financial industry, so you don’t have to fight for towel space on the pristine white- and pink-sand beaches. Bermuda is a beautiful destination that is more temperate and less chaotic than Caribbean islands. If you like to bike, pedal along on the Bermuda Railway Trail. Guided tours are offered, or individually, you can do as much, or as little, as you like of the well-maintained 18-mile trail.

Best Dining
In keeping with Norwegian’s trendsetting Freestyle Dining program, the Breakaway offers 14 different restaurants, but Cagney’s Steakhouse, which requires reservations and carries a $20-per-person charge, is particularly popular, particularly for a special night out for mom and dad.

Anchors Aweigh!
Sailing on any vessel from the Manhattan skyline is enough to make a memorable family vacation. Add three days on Bermuda’s sandy beaches and getting there on a ship with multiple restaurants, great kids programs and family friendly staterooms, and you have a sure-fire winner on this family cruise vacation.

Family Cruising: Choosing The Right Stateroom

by Ralph Grizzle. An award-winning travel writer, and recognized cruise ship expert.

Frugal travelers often recommend the least expensive cabin possible. Since they aren’t planning to do anything but sleep in their cabins, they figure everything else about the cruise is available to them regardless of where they bunk. That strategy may still work for some, but the obvious exceptions would be families — families who need more berths, bigger bathrooms, extra storage and, perhaps most essential for parental sanity, more space and quiet.

Many of the ships that have come on line during the last decade, and especially those that cater to families, have staterooms that comfortably sleep three, four and sometimes five people.

And as cruising is an increasingly popular family vacation, more and more new ships offer “family accommodations,” although these certainly do vary from line to line and even from ship to ship. These are often suites with a separate room for the kids, sometimes a small alcove with bunk beds, sometimes an entire adjoining cabin. Choosing the one that’s right for your needs depends on the size of your family, the amount you want to spend and the ship you are choosing for your vacation.

Just five or 10 years ago, the cruise lines were inviting families aboard, but they really weren’t prepared to accommodate them if they had more than two children, preferably small ones. But that’s been changing as the cruise lines have been building more cabins with more berths.

Disney’s two ships, the Wonder and the Magic, feature family staterooms that can sleep up to five; suites that sleep up to seven; and connecting staterooms. And all Disney staterooms have split bathrooms ­— one room has a toilet and a sink, and the other has a tub/shower and a sink ­— which makes sharing a little less stressful.

Third- and fourth-berth rates vary by line as well as by the age of the children, but you often pay less by sharing a stateroom with your kids. If the budget allows, opt for a balcony stateroom for the parents and an inside cabin across the hall for the kids. The stateroom with the balcony serves as group headquarters where everyone can enjoy the view, and the inside cabin provides the needed extra beds and storage space.

While third and fourth passengers in a single, larger cabin often pay lower rates, the two-cabin strategy affords more space, keeps the natural bickering of siblings from driving the adults crazy and provides a quiet nap space in one cabin or the other, as needed. Families that have cruised in two cabins frequently say the extra cost was more than justified by the extra comfort and space, including a second full bathroom. If the balcony stateroom kills the budget, two adjoining inside cabins are the least expensive way to go for a family of five or more.

Some ships have even more options for larger families. Royal Caribbean’s newest ships have a variety of staterooms to fit larger families. Family staterooms on Voyager and Radiance-class ships and some Vision-class ships can accommodate up to six people, but with only one bathroom. Larger, family suites on the same ships sleep eight with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a living area. On the new Freedom-class ships, the selection of staterooms and suites is even more commodious, including one suite that sleeps 14. Royal Caribbean’s new ships also have inside family staterooms that will sleep six.