Maria Hsieh had a hunch that her family would welcome the idea of joining her on a cruise vacation. Her hunch was spot on.

“My granddaughters loved riding the carousel,” says Hsieh, a grandmother of two and a veteran of 70 cruises, referring to Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, the ship she and her granddaughters boarded with her two daughters, one son, and their spouses, in October 2012. “They rode it over and over again.”

With plenty of other supervised activities for the kids and a chance for the adults to relax and catch up, the family was sold on future multigenerational cruises.

“We didn’t have to do everything together,” Hsieh says. “I only cared that we ate dinner together every night — that’s when everyone shared stories of what they did all day.”

Welcome to multigenerational cruising, a vacation that promises endless options for family members, whether the group has more 7-year-olds or 70-year-olds. In fact, so many multigenerational families are booking cruises that accommodations, such as special connecting rooms, have become regular requests, and customized packages for several generations of families traveling together are par for the course. For some cruise lines, extended families have become one of the fastest-growing segments of customers.

Cruises are ideal in other ways, too. During other vacations in which families travel together, it can be tough to balance personalities, age-appropriate activities and, frankly, stamina. Not so on a cruise.

“The wonderful thing about a cruise is that if there are 1,000 people onboard, chances are there will be more than 50 people in your age group doing what you want to do,” says Anne Morgan Scully, president of McCabe World Travel in McLean, Virginia. “If you’re a grandma, you might want to relax on a deck chair and read. If you’re a grandchild, you might want to do the WaveRunner® [personal watercraft]. You can share space and both have fun.”

Here are seven benefits of making your next family vacation a cruise: