As well as the non-stop range of daytime activities, evening entertainment for families on most cruise ships ranges from West End-style musicals to magic shows and new-release films. Although night clubs and lounge bars may not be suitable for children, there is usually evening entertainment organised by the kids’ clubs that older children will enjoy.

Princess Cruises has Movies Under The Stars, a huge screen beside the main pool showing blockbuster movies with complimentary popcorn, warm cookies and milk at evening shows and fleecy blankets for late screenings.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s entertainment team presents the musical Legally Blonde on Norwegian Getaway and Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy on Norwegian Breakaway – both excellent family viewing. “Families can take part in any number of activities on board our ships, with tenpin bowling, rock climbing, a ropes course and sports facilities,” says Norwegian Cruise Line’s Graham Sadler.

“At Royal Caribbean we know how precious together time is for families, which is why we strive to offer them an amazing holiday experience,” says Stuart Leven, MD UK & Ireland, Royal Caribbean. “From climbing the Rockwall and surfing the waves of the FlowRider, to enjoying a fun, delicious meal at Johnny Rockets, there’s something for everyone at every age”

Free 30-minute Cookery Club Kids Classes during school holidays are part of the children’s activities on P&O Cruises’ new ship Britannia, a foodie heaven with restaurants and cafés inspired by some of Britain’s leading chefs. All but the youngest children (2-4 years) can sign up for free lessons in the fabulous Cookery Club room, where there will also be paid-for family classes for over-8s and parents.

DreamWorks characters Shrek and Fiona, plus the penguins from Madagascar, are on board Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas at exclusive shows and character meals.

The Dr Seuss-themed activities on Carnival Cruise Lines’ ships include Seuss-A-Palooza, a free Dr Seuss character-led story time and parade, the Dr Seuss Bookville wacky library plus arts and crafts activities.