The question: I never saw myself on a cruise, but my friends have been raving about trips they've done with their kids. I'd like something with a feeling of immersion and a sense of history. My kids are 8 and 12, our budget is mid-level to high, and we'd like to go as soon as school lets out.
TRAVEL CONCIERGE: Maybe now is the time for a family European vacation … by cruise ship.
The Continent offers it all – history, culture and amazing food. And many must-see cities are accessible by ship, says Cheri Port, a cruise consultant with the Cruise Professionals (cruiseprofessionals.com).
For your holiday, Port recommends two July itineraries from Royal Caribbean, a line that offers fun amenities for families, as well as a high level of food and service.
Option one: A seven-night western Mediterranean cruise from Malaga, Spain, with stops in Valencia; Civitavecchia (Rome), Livorno (Pisa, Florence) and Ajaccio, Corsica. Option two: A seven-night eastern Mediterranean cruise starting in Civitavecchia, visiting Messina, Sicily; Piraeus (Athens); Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey and Chania, Greece. If your family shares an oceanview cabin, the trip would run you around $4,000 to $5,000, not including airfare, land excursions and drinks, Port says.
And when the kids get bored of cruising the cradle of civilization, they can reboot on board with a little 21st-century culture such as rock climbing, ice skating and mini-golf.
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Karan Smith is a former Globe Travel editor. Special to The Globe and Mail.