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Ocean village and P & O are great for all age groups and are mainly british people with on board spend in pounds. Sea Princess is good (again mainly british)with spend in dollars on board, so a little cheaper. All these have freedom dining restaurants so you can eat when you like but p&o and princess also have fixed time dining if you like set times. All have alternative retaurants as well.
Where are you going ? Choosing a cruise with ports in the euro zone is more expensive than ports in dollars Ie Med versus Caribbean. I mention this as a typical shore excursion will cost your family a minimum of £100. Doing things yourself is easier and cheaper in the caribbean. All the lines I have mentioned cruise in both areas depending on the time of year. do some research, find a cruise you like and surf the internet for the best price. I promise, you and the kids will be hooked on cruising like my family was. Happy days !!!!!!!!!
Have a look at Norwegian Cruise Lines [NCL] from their website:
"You keep seeing Freestyle Cruising and you don't know exactly what it is, right? That's because we're the only cruise line that offers anything like it. Let's start with the fact that there are no fixed dining times. And you never have to eat in the same restaurant twice. Really. We won't ask you to sit with strangers like on other cruise lines. And, you only have to dress up if you want to. We've created that kind of freedom throughout the ship with a ton of fun things to do, or not do. It's NCL's Freestyle Cruising. Where you're free to whatever.".
I suggest you read the cruise reviews on this site of all the major cruise lines & you should soon build up a picture of the good the bad & the ugly. So many people book first then complain later. Build up a picture of your family requirements, speak to a cruise specialist, the Freephone number on this page might be a good start. Discuss your expectations, kids facilities, formal/non formal, dining styles, etc Good Luck.
I took my 2 children aged 8 and 11 on ocean village 2 in June and I was not disappointed. It was an informal cruise but it had a good standard of restaurants, cabins and entertainment on board and the ports of call were good. Also it catered very well for children in fact we have booked to go back next year.
Hi RCI has freedom class ships the newest independence of the seas on these boats yu do not have to dress for dinner if you do not want to other dnning options are there.