James Van Der Beek and family enjoy a vacation on Carnival's affordable cruise line

Planning an affordable vacation for one can be tough, and it may seem nearly impossible for a family -- but James Van Der Beek has a secret go-to he thinks everyone should consider: Carnival cruises.  

The "What Would Diplo Do?"  and "Pose" star dished about how his recent trip on Carnival Cruise Line's ship, Carnival Horizon, surprisingly converted him into a cruise fan. Van Der Beek, along with his five children and wife of eight years, enjoyed an action-packed six day trip and visited multiple destinations including Ocho Rios and Cozumel.  

"They've really got the whole experience on every level. Carnival is very, very good at creating good experiences for families," Van Der Beek exclaimed. 

And he's right. Horizon, Carnival's latest cruise ship, is decked with tons of new bells and whistles. "Indoors or out, active or chill - Carnival Horizon lets everyone find their favorite kind of fun... and go get it done," the site notes. From the SkyRide to the spa and adults-only retreat, there are fun activities for every family member onboard the Horizon -- and the Van Der Beek family enjoyed every bit of it. 

READ MORE: Carnival Cruise gave a free vacation to a teen in exchange for the @carnivalcruise Snapchat handle  

For James and his family, their favorite attractions were ones that the children could also participate in. 

“They grow up so fast and we can miss so many moments with them trying to just get through life,” Van Der Beek told PEOPLE. “To take a week that is really just about them and allow them to make the choice about what they want to do, and give them a ridiculously fun menu of options, it just creates bonding.”

RELATED: Take a look at some of the biggest myths about cruises in the slideshow below:  

7 myths about cruises
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7 myths about cruises

Myth: Cruises are for the elderly

Yes, you will find seniors who have the time to take vacations sailing the seas—but they’re not the only ones. There is a wonderful mix of ages; some are going it solo, some with groups of friends. There are families and couples. And there are travelers from around the world. Check out these 10 all-inclusive cruises for the best vacation ever.

Myth: The entertainment is bingo

I didn’t expect much beyond bingo, a casino, a pool, and an amateurish floor show. On the Westerdam, the Lincoln Center Stage blew me away. I could hear amazing music: Jazz, classical, and beyond. Then there was B.B. King’s Blues Club for dancing the night away, and Broadway-quality productions. America’s Test Kitchen offered cooking workshops and demonstrations. There were trivia contests, ping-pong, poker, and all manner of tournaments. For the health-minded, there were fitness and wellness classes, a spa, and lectures on ways to live a healthier life.

Myth: Forgettable cuisine

I was expecting mass-produced, cafeteria-style cuisine. I was way off: Travelers can find gourmet dishes and creative cocktails. On certain nights, one of the regular eateries transformed into Rudi’s Sel de Mer, an intimate seafood brasserie with French classics inspired by Master Chef Rudi Sodamin. Here are 13 things travel experts wish you knew about booking a cruise.

Myth: You will get seasick

Many people don’t experience seasickness at all. But sometimes really bad weather and choppy seas will cause even the sturdiest to lose their lunch. But even in those cases, you can get a pill from the clinic on board and be back to downing Mai Tais in no time.

Myth: Going on shore is a bore

The truth is, you’ll want more time! You’re bound to find an excursion tailored to your interests, whether you’re a foodie, an art aficionado, an adventurer, a water lover, or a history buff. (Just be sure to book your excursions early—they fill up fast.) The beauty of longer cruises is all the cities you can see: I had the opportunity to taste life in places like Gibraltar, Alicante, Palma de Mallorca, Málaga, Monte Carlo, Toulon, Livorno, and more.

Myth: You’ll spend, spend, spend

The ships offer different levels and sizes of accommodations, and all sorts of food and beverage packages. Plus, cruise lines routinely have special deals to tempt you. Shop smart and you’ll find all the amenities you need. Cruisecritic.com is a good place to begin your search, as are the websites of cruise lines. Check out the 17 travel hacks that will make your cruise easier.


Myth: Once is enough

You’ll likely meet “serial” cruisers on board—people on their 30th or 40thadventure. I certainly caught the fever. Since last summer, I’ve taken a second cruise on the MSC Divina, sailing to Montego Bay, Jamaica, and Georgetown in the Cayman Islands and Hurtigruten’s Hidden Harbors along North America’s coast. I explored Boston, Camden, and Rockport en route to Halifax.


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