Sarah Brumfield and her husband, T.J., took their two daughters on a Carnival Cruise Line sailing last spring, and while the family spent plenty of time together, the couple also did their own thing away from the kids.

Brumfield, 39, could go to a comedy show, and her oldest child, Zoe, could later belt out a Britney Spears song at the teen club with a friend she’d made on board.

“I love family vacations,” Brumfield, who is based in Omaha, Nebraska, told USA TODAY. “It’s just sometimes if you get into those longer family vacations, you’re kind of on top of each other a lot, and it can get kind of stressful, and you really don’t get a break.”

Kids and teen programming on cruises help provide a respite, allowing families to enjoy quality time on a ship and have their own space as needed.

“I think it does make me feel a bit more independent, especially as you get older,” Zoe, 17, said.

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These programs even factor into whether the family, which Brumfield said take “one big trip” a year,” go on a cruise versus another type of vacation. She is among a number of travelers who have found kids clubs an appealing incentive, allowing kids space to play while knowing that they can’t go too far.

‘They do really well with that structure’

For other travelers, the programs allow for a different kind of quality time. Brendan Peoples and his husband, Edgar Castlow, take their five young kids on cruises once or twice a year. In addition to having alone time as a couple on an excursion or

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