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Kid Friendly River Cruise Lines?

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We will be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary in June, 2021 and would love to do a Rhine River cruise with our entire family. Two of our granddaughters will be 14 at the time. What river cruise line allows children of this age? We have cruised with Viking but, they do not allow anyone under 18. We have cruised with Gate 1 but, there were no children on board and I can't see anything on their website showing if they do/do not allow them on board. I see that Uniworld allows children on some cruises but not on the Rhine the week of our anniversary. Any suggestions? Has anyone done this with kids of this age? Thanks for your help!

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1 minute ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

Several river cruise lines offer family cruises, but the most highly developed is Adventures By Disney on selected AmaWaterways sailings.

https://www.adventuresbydisney.com/river-cruising-with-disney/

 

Thanks for the Disney suggestion but, we would really prefer something else. I do know that Disney does an impeccable service but we want a more normal river cruise experience. I don't want a cruise to cater to my granddaughters. I just want them to accept them on ship. They are quite mature for their age and will not need to be entertained in any special way. 

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You still might want to look at AMA, because their newer ships are among the very rare river ships with cabins that accommodate 3, and connecting cabins that go up to 5 (depending on the size of your family).  Most river ships are strictly 2 persons per cabin.

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1 minute ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

You still might want to look at AMA, because their newer ships are among the very rare river ships with cabins that accommodate 3, and connecting cabins that go up to 5 (depending on the size of your family).  Most river ships are strictly 2 persons per cabin.

 

That does sound good. I will check them out.

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51 minutes ago, cruisergrandma said:

We will be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary in June, 2021 and would love to do a Rhine River cruise with our entire family. Two of our granddaughters will be 14 at the time. What river cruise line allows children of this age? We have cruised with Viking but, they do not allow anyone under 18. We have cruised with Gate 1 but, there were no children on board and I can't see anything on their website showing if they do/do not allow them on board. I see that Uniworld allows children on some cruises but not on the Rhine the week of our anniversary. Any suggestions? Has anyone done this with kids of this age? Thanks for your help!

I think that CroisiEurope (as well as some of the other European lines) are more amenable to families.  If you are looking for companions for your granddaughters, however, I wouldn't count on it at all.

Edited by gnome12

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Avalon allows > age 8. We had a family of 5 on our Avalon Mekong cruise. No 3 person cabins (in Europe or Asia) as far as I'm aware.

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Are you sure Uniworld does not allow teens on all their cruises?  They have a generations program on some cruises targeting families but they may allow your grandchildren on regular itinerary cruises.  

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59 minutes ago, gnome12 said:

I think that CroisiEurope (as well as some of the other European lines) are more amenable to families.  If you are looking for companions for your granddaughters, however, I wouldn't count on it at all.

I will check out CroisiEurope. Thank you. I am not worried about them having companions as they will be together and will be fine for a week. A river cruise stays so busy I don't think they will have much free time anyway. They will just have to be entertained by their grandparents ! ! Thanks

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42 minutes ago, Hoyaheel said:

Avalon allows > age 8. We had a family of 5 on our Avalon Mekong cruise. No 3 person cabins (in Europe or Asia) as far as I'm aware.

I have not checked with Avalon but, I will do so. Thanks!

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35 minutes ago, skinnylegs said:

Are you sure Uniworld does not allow teens on all their cruises?  They have a generations program on some cruises targeting families but they may allow your grandchildren on regular itinerary cruises.  

No, I have not spoken with Uniworld yet. I have only checked their website so maybe I am wrong. I will definitely speak with them to be sure.

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24 minutes ago, cruisewmn said:

Crystal would be a nice choice. Also has connecting cabins.

I will check with them. Thanks

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CroisiEurope does not do family focussed itineraries, but as gnome12 said they are good with families. However, they have few children on board as a representative assured me just the other day. As you quite rightly say, they have each other so they should not get bored. I am little more hesitant about food on CroisiEurope as they are French and do serve quite a bit of French cuisine. An alternative can be had if the choice at dinner is not to your liking, just wondering if the teenagers will be happy with such an arrangement.

 

For more buffet style serving and family-friendly cruising Arosa is the choice. They are German with international sailings. Teenagers and children are more frequent on board. I would avoid the special family itineraries because, as you write, it is your celebration and not to cater too much to the young ones.

 

What about Tauck - perhaps others can give you a bit of insight there - with their family programme?

 

notamermaid

 

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8 minutes ago, notamermaid said:

CroisiEurope does not do family focussed itineraries, but as gnome12 said they are good with families. However, they have few children on board as a representative assured me just the other day. As you quite rightly say, they have each other so they should not get bored. I am little more hesitant about food on CroisiEurope as they are French and do serve quite a bit of French cuisine. An alternative can be had if the choice at dinner is not to your liking, just wondering if the teenagers will be happy with such an arrangement.

 

For more buffet style serving and family-friendly cruising Arosa is the choice. They are German with international sailings. Teenagers and children are more frequent on board. I would avoid the special family itineraries because, as you write, it is your celebration and not to cater too much to the young ones.

 

What about Tauck - perhaps others can give you a bit of insight there - with their family programme?

 

notamermaid

 

I too was a bit concerned about the French cuisine and teenagers! I am sure they would try a few things but not sure they would like it for a week. I will definitely look at Arosa. Thank you.

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This is from Uniworld's website:

 

"In our experience, most young children—especially those under 4—are simply not yet old enough to enjoy river cruising. We make no special arrangements for little ones and offer few kid-friendly activities onboard or onshore. (One exception: Our Multigenerational Family-Friendly Cruise Program, available on select itineraries during the summer and the winter holiday season) Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult 21 or older at all times."

 

Based on this, it looks to me that you may take your grandchildren on any of Uniworld's Rhine cruises, but there won't be activities geared to kids except for the Multigenerational ones.  

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4 minutes ago, Roz said:

This is from Uniworld's website:

 

"In our experience, most young children—especially those under 4—are simply not yet old enough to enjoy river cruising. We make no special arrangements for little ones and offer few kid-friendly activities onboard or onshore. (One exception: Our Multigenerational Family-Friendly Cruise Program, available on select itineraries during the summer and the winter holiday season) Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult 21 or older at all times."

 

Based on this, it looks to me that you may take your grandchildren on any of Uniworld's Rhine cruises, but there won't be activities geared to kids except for the Multigenerational ones.  

I never saw that. Thank you!

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1 minute ago, cruisergrandma said:

I never saw that. Thank you!

 

It was in the FAQs.

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We have been on "normal" Uniworld itineraries and had children as young as 5 onboard. Another cruise had a 12yo traveling with her aunt. (This was the Rhine itinerary on the Antoinette) They did a lot of the more active excursions (hikes, bikes) and enjoyed the movie theater onboard. They won't bat an eye at 14yo's. Enjoy!

 

Robin

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57 minutes ago, acwmom said:

We have been on "normal" Uniworld itineraries and had children as young as 5 onboard. Another cruise had a 12yo traveling with her aunt. (This was the Rhine itinerary on the Antoinette) They did a lot of the more active excursions (hikes, bikes) and enjoyed the movie theater onboard. They won't bat an eye at 14yo's. Enjoy!

 

Robin

Thank you Robin

 

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OMG, as a teen I would have *loved* French cuisine all the time. As I would have loved a trip where I could read a lot and explore Europe. And I know plenty of adults who'd hate it. So let's not judge based on age 😉

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1 minute ago, Hoyaheel said:

OMG, as a teen I would have *loved* French cuisine all the time. As I would have loved a trip where I could read a lot and explore Europe. And I know plenty of adults who'd hate it. So let's not judge based on age 😉

 I was not judging. I was speaking only for my grandchildren.

 

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4 minutes ago, cruisergrandma said:

 I was not judging. I was speaking only for my grandchildren.

 

 

3 hours ago, notamermaid said:

 I am little more hesitant about food on CroisiEurope as they are French and do serve quite a bit of French cuisine. An alternative can be had if the choice at dinner is not to your liking, just wondering if the teenagers will be happy with such an arrangement.

 

 

I was referring to notamermaid's post that you were responding to. Good to objectively note that it's a French cruise company so one might reasonably expect them to serve French food (I've read complaints that the heavy lunches are too much for some passengers; it's a legitimate concern). I just don't think it's fair to assume that teens and only teens, or only American teens, would have a problem with that. Yours might. That's fair - you know them! But notamermaid and I do not.

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For my part, I wonder what the food on Arosa is like.  Is it German all the time?  For some people, sailing through Germany, that would be wonderful 'local color.'  For others, it might be 'too much of a muchness.'

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Oh, I did not mean to imply anything other than that being French, pride of cooking comes through with CroisiEurope which is great, it is just that some people are more hesitant than others with trying foods and from what past cruisers have said CroisiEurope do a set menu in only one restaurant on the ship (they are all only 110m on the Rhine itineraries). As a teenager I preferred the "Italian palate" certainly. Give me a coq au vin drenched in wine now on a river cruise any day!

 

Arosa with its 135m ships has a different style to the restaurant experience. 

8 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

For my part, I wonder what the food on Arosa is like.  Is it German all the time?  For some people, sailing through Germany, that would be wonderful 'local color.'  For others, it might be 'too much of a muchness.'

With that I cannot help much, I am afraid. There is a nice review on YouTube by a cruise tester. He showed the buffet and commented that it looks a little like what he knows from German ocean cruise ships and liked the fact that on the first day in the Netherlands they offered fish the Dutch way and potato salad. It also showed a few international dishes. Not too much soured beef with dumplings* to be seen!

 

As regards a Rhine itinerary, I think that it is a good choice for an anniversary trip with family. The experience is so varied, with small and large towns and castles in an interesting setting. I think they will all enjoy it no matter what age or ability.

 

notamermaid

 

*Sauerbraten mit Klöße

 

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