There's a huge choice of ships and companies which offer contemporary style cruising with ships generally ranging in size from around 2,000 to 6,000 guests. These value-packed mainstream holidays have a wide range of facilities, often exceeding those found on a comparable land-based holiday.
The atmosphere on board one of these ships is generally casual with opportunities to dress more "formally" on select evenings and the extensive on board amenities include pools, health clubs, spas, children's clubs and even ice rinks and rock climbing walls.
There's a wide selection of dining options including the main dining rooms, casual lido deck restaurants, pizzerias and a variety of specialty themed restaurants, while In the evening there are "Broadway" or "Vegas" style productions, comedy acts, casinos or the opportunity to just relax in one of the many lounges. Many ships also feature organized age specific children's programmes with trained staff which is what makes many contemporary cruise options perfect for families
Not many holidays have what it takes to keep the whole family happy but choosing the right cruise means children will be entertained from dawn until dusk. These family friendly ships have incredible that rival the most sophisticated resort hotels. Many have dedicated pools and waterparks plus round-the-clock programmes. More often than not, these are divided into age groups with as many as five different age bands. Teams of experienced, qualified staff are dedicated to looking after children with a vast array of play and leisure activities, with everything from face-painting and talent shows, to dens kitted out with the latest computer games and interactive workshops. It is not just all for the children - the whole family will love the bowling alleys, surf parks, ice-skating rinks and rock climbing walls on some cruises, or relaxing together for evening movies under the stars or a West-End style show.
And once ashore, there are often tours especially designed for families which include trips to theme parks, beaches, cycling tours, canoeing or snorkelling.
The trend towards relaxed dining means families can eat what they like when they like, with meals included in the cruise price. There are children's teas and special menus and with babysitting services, the older members of the family can also have an evening out. The family friendly ships can often accommodate family groups with optional beds or inter-joining rooms or perhaps on some occasions a suite will be the best option.