Family Reunion Cruises
Some families cruise together without any small kids at all. In fact, cruise ships are a popular place for large-scale reunions of adult siblings, smaller-scale vacations in honor of a college graduation, or celebrations marking a grandparent's eightieth or ninetieth birthday. You can even hold your wedding aboard some cruise ships if you want to add a new member to your family in the middle of your get-together vacation!
If the majority, or even all, of the people who plan to cruise with you are adults and older teenagers, you might consider choosing a cruise line that does not cater so much to children. Obviously, the more activities and facilities that are aboard, the more kids and younger families a cruise ship is going to attract—and if you are part of a mature family, you might want to share your experience with a more mature crowd.
You might even consider booking your trip aboard a higher-end cruise line that does not encourage children to come aboard. Silversea and Seabourn are two examples—both are excellent lines, and they focus on luxury instead of lollipops. Swan Hellenic also tends to appeal to a more mature crowd, as does Cunard. Of course, you are also likely to pay higher rates aboard these more exclusive ships, but this option is available if you think you might prefer it.
You can book small public rooms aboard most ships for family-reunion fun. Consider setting up a relatives-only card tournament, or a Trivial Pursuit round robin, or even a test-your-knowledge contest about the ports of call on your ship's itinerary.
If you like the idea of fewer kids aboard but aren't opposed to their presence—and want to try to stay more in the mainstream in terms of pricing—consider one of the cruise lines that offer children's programming but balance it a bit more with adult interests. These include Celebrity, Crystal, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, and Radisson Seven Seas.