We are into last minute booking season for Summer 2019 travel.
We strive as a company to urge long term planning for your travel because of the great benefits, such as better value, availability and more time to get right down into the fine details that make a trip with J5Travel that extra bit special. That is not to say we don't work our socks off to make last minute vacation planning as smooth and successful a process as possible. Let us know if you need help with some late decisions.
Our luxury cruise specialist Kanise, enjoyed a Royal Caribbean cruise aboard the Freedom of the Seas last week. Partly educational, with seminars at sea to learn all about Royal's ships, amenities, itineraries, and partly fun (she took her Mom along!), it is all part of us becoming more and more knowledgeable on EVERY cruise line, enabling us to make the right recommendations for our clients very different needs.
This all leads to my Top 5 of the week. If still stuck for ideas for this summer, with maybe just a little hint of family squabbling about where to go, then the Family Cruise can come to the rescue. Check out the 5 family friendly itineraries below that might just save your Summer of travel.
Top 5 Family Cruise Itineraries for Summer 2019
1. Royal Caribbean, Freedom of the Seas - July 14th and 28th departures
Southern Caribbean San Juan, Oranjestad, Willemstad/Curacao, Kralendijk, Philipsburg, San Juan
In our opinion the best cruise line for children of all ages.
Here is Kanise's brief review of her experience on this ship last week -
"I had the great pleasure to experience Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas for a fantastic 7 night cruise to the Southern Caribbean and with my Mom (below left). This itinerary stopped at beautiful ports with some of the clearest water I've ever seen. Onboard we were made to feel extremely welcomed by all of the staff. From remembering our drink choices at dinner to leaving cute towel animals in the room, they made the trip unforgettable. There was no chance to be bored on this ship. They had multiple activities every hour of the day and the night time entertainment was hilariously funny and engaging. There was something for everyone in the family and even though I lost $22 in the casino, it was truly a remarkable experience.
PS. I now know I quite like l'escargot (below right)."
2. Celebrity EDGE - July 6th and 20th
Western Mediterranean Barcelona, Valencia, Ibiza, Marseille, Nice, La Spezia, Rome/Civitavecchia
In our opinion the best ship for young teenagers and upward.
We were lucky enough to enjoy Celebrity's new ship (below) in December, just after launch and it completely wowed us. A luxury experience at mid-range pricing levels. Combine a great new ship with a European itinerary that enables you to visit Spain, France and Italy, and this is a wonderful opportunity to settle your family discussions with a multi-center trip in some style.
3. Norwegian Jewel - August 5th
Alaska Seward, Hubbard Glacier, Icy Strait, Juneau, Sawyer Glacier, Skagway, Ketchikan, Cruise Inside Passage, Vancouver
In our best opinion best facilities for kids entertainment.
Fresh from a top to tail refit, Norwegian Jewel (below) is sailing in Alaska this summer. For families of 4 or more, we highly encourage you to consider the Haven, Norwegian's luxury staterooms with amenities and extra complimentary services to match on the top decks of the ship. Among facilities for your younger family members - Splash Academy, Sapphire Kids Pool, Club Underground and Entourage program (for teens), and not forgetting Nickelodeon at Sea, including character breakfasts.
4. Princess, Caribbean Princess - July 13th
Eastern Caribbean Fort Lauderdale, Princess Cay, St. Thomas/Charlotte Amalie, Philipsburg, Fort Lauderdale
In our opinion, the best cruise line for multi-generational families.
Princess really has that something for everyone and correctly positions themselves as a Premium cruise line. We love the layout of their 2-bedroom Family Suites (photo and diagram below) that are very comfortable for 4, and can even squeeze in 8 passengers!
5. Celebrity Flora - July 7th and 21st
Galapagos Islands Baltra Island, Daphne Islands, Gardner Bay, Punta Suarez, Punta Cormorant, Post Office Bay, Punta Moreno, Urvina Bay, Punta Espinoza, Punta Vicente Roca, South Plaza, Cerro Dragon, Puerto Ayora, Baltra Island
In our opinion the Best Family cruise experience currently available.
If you are a family who just can't face the scale of the large ships these days, but yearn for an incredible cruise experience with your children, what do you do? For a ship and experience with no kids clubs, and what is likely to be pretty poor wifi, can you really keep the whole family engaged? The answer is yes, and the combination of Celebrity's newest ship launching this month and the amazing Galapagos Islands will leave everyone exhilarated and exhausted at the end of each day with memories that will never be eroded. Celebrity Flora is the first ship of its kind, designed and built specifically with the destination in mind - in this case, the captivating Galapagos Islands. The 100 passenger luxury mega yacht will ensure that your visit to these primitive islands is anything but, with an All-Inclusive offering and some special suite accommodations (below).