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The 10 Best Spring Break Cruises

by Kayla Becker | March 10, 2017

Spring break is just around the corner, which means that family vacation you've been daydreaming about since winter began is finally within reach. (Hello, white sand, frozen drink, and sunny rays!) So, get out your calendars and check the kids' school schedules — whether your spring break falls in mid-March or well into April, these 10 spring break cruises will keep the whole gang happy and give you a dose of that Vitamin D you've been craving.

1. Carnival Vista
Departs: April 2 or 16
From: Miami
Carnival's newest ship is a destination within itself. From pedaling high above the ship on the new SkyRide cycling track to catching a 4D movie that engages all your senses or tasting Carnival's own brews at the RedFrog pub for the adults, you won't run out of things to do. Bonus: The ship also has new family-friendly cabins.

The Itinerary: Take a hike to Dunn's River Falls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, interact with stingrays in Grand Cayman, or visit Mayan ruins in Cozumel before heading back to Miami on this six-day Western Caribbean cruise.

2. Harmony of the Seas
Departs: April 1 or 15
From: Fort Lauderdale
Think the kids will get bored at sea? Think again. The newest ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet — and the largest in the world — has activities that include a thrilling 10-story slide, a surfing simulator, a rock climbing wall, and even an ice rink.

The Itinerary: If you can pull yourself away from the action on board, venture out to the sunny, sandy destinations on this seven-day Eastern Caribbean route, including Nassau, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, and Philipsburg, St. Maarten.

3. Disney Fantasy
Departs: March 18
From: Port Canaveral
No one does family vacation like Disney, especially on a cruise where little ones can meet their favorite characters. In addition to Mickey and Minnie and the princesses, this special sailing also includes the heroes and villains of Star Wars. There is a “Star Wars Day at Sea” complete with Jedi training, meet-and-greets with Darth Vader and Chewbacca, plus a stellar party on deck.

The Itinerary: You'll cruise round trip from Port Canaveral — just a short ride from Walt Disney World in Orlando for those looking to extend their trip. The seven-day Western Caribbean itinerary includes stops in Cozumel, George Town in the Cayman Islands, Falmouth, Jamaica, and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.

4. Norwegian Breakaway
Departs: March 12, 19, or 26 / April 2, 9, or 16
From: New York City
This New York-City based ship heads to the Bahamas just about every weekend. You'll find plenty of activities, including five waterslides, a ropes course, and a Broadway-style "Rock of Ages" show and the dance hit "Burn the Floor." If you're here to party, head to the Svedka Ice Bar, where sipping cool vodka drinks will feel refreshing after a day in the sun.

The Itinerary: Catch an actual Broadway show or visit a museum before you leave New York and set sail on a sunny seven-day itinerary to Port Canaveral, Great Stirrup Cay, and Nassau.

5. MSC Divina
Departs: April 1 or 15
From: Miami
There's one undeniably awesome perk on this European cruise line: Kids under 11 sail free. And with a water park, Formula One race car simulator, arcade, and kids clubs that partner with Lego, they'll have plenty to do on board. So if you're up for sailing with an international crowd, bring your biggest appetite for the Italian gelato, pizza, and steak from Eataly, and pack some sunscreen for the pool.

The Itinerary: The seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise sails from Miami to Nassau, where you can hit the famous Atlantis water park, before moving on to the beaches of San Juan and Philipsburg, St. Maarten.

6. Celebrity Silhouette
Departs: March 19 / April 2 and 16
From: Fort Lauderdale
This stylish cruise ship doesn't usually draw vast quantities of families, but spring break is an exception. Have a picnic or play games on the grassy Lawn Club or catch a hot glass show together.

The Itinerary: This seven-day Western Caribbean cruise includes stops at private island Coco Cay, plus Cozumel, George Town and Falmouth, Jamaica.

7. Carnival Imagination
Departs: April 2
From: Long Beach
Prepare to be star struck: country music singer Carrie Underwood will perform onboard as part of the Carnival LIVE concert series on this sailing, perfect for cruisers based on the West Coast. The wallet-friendly ship is a crowd-pleaser packed with entertainment, including waterslides and a life-size Hasbro game show plus some of the best burgers at sea at Guy’s Burger Joint. 

The Itinerary: Watch for whales, snorkel in blue water, and lie on golden beaches as you make your way through Baja, Mexico on this four-day cruise. It includes one sea day and stops at Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico.

8. Regal Princess
Departs: March 19
From: Fort Lauderdale
If you’re looking for a more low-key experience that’s still kid-friendly, this Princess cruise may work for your family. The ship, one of the line's newest, has a great kids program the little ones won’t want to leave during sea days, and plenty of great quiet spots for adults, including a spa-like lounge called The Sanctuary. Meet back up at night to watch movies under the stars together on deck.

The Itinerary: This seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise, sailing round trip from Fort Lauderdale, calls on private island Amber Cove, as well as Charlotte Amalie, and Philipsburg, St. Maarten.

9. National Geographic Sea Lion
Departs: April 10, 15, and 22
From: Los Cabos, Mexico
This expedition cruise encourages families to come along — and it won't be a vacation anyone soon forgets. Kids can learn from naturalists about the Sea of Cortez and its abundant wildlife, and go on excursions where they'll spot whales and birds for themselves. You'll snorkel, kayaki, and watch for animals, and National Geographic photographers will help you capture it all.

The Itinerary: Explore the Sea of Cortez for eight days, including the islands of San Esteban, San Pedro Martir, Santa Catalina, San Marcos, and Islotes/Espiritu Santo. You'll disembark in La Paz, and transfer to the airport in Los Cabos for flights home.

10. Eurodam
Departs: April 1
From: Fort Lauderdale
You won't find mobs of splashing kids here — this quiet Holland America ship is perfect for less rambunctious families who still want access to pools and kids clubs. It's great for gangs who are interested in the arts: Onboard entertainment includes a the B.B. King Blues Club, plus live music venues that partner with Lincoln Center and Billboard.

The Itinerary: The seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise takes you to Grand Turk, San Juan, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, plus private island Half Moon Cay before you ever have to think about returning to reality.

Kayla Becker

Kayla Becker is a New York City-based contributor to ShermansCruise and the assistant editor for the site.

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