Cruising is not just for silver surfers – here’s why you and your brood shouldn’t miss out! The family cruise offering is always growing, with ships getting bigger and amenities getting better with each new launch! You’ll want to do your research on which cruise line is right for your family, but today we are focusing on the good stuff that is applicable across all family friendly liners.
1) Visit Somewhere New Every Day (without moving luggage)
By far the best reason to cruise with kids is that you get to travel to lots of places in one trip, but you only have to unpack once. Even better, the travelling often happens when you’re sleeping, so no long journeys trying to entertain impatient little passengers. If you are the kind of family that enjoys a city break, you’ll love cruising. If you like to do loads of excursions, you’ll love cruising. If you love soaking up the sun by the pool, you’l love cruising. If every member of your family likes something different, you’ll probably find trying a cruise is the best decision you ever made! When in port, you have the freedom to decide what you want to do ashore, and if you don’t want to disembark at all, that’s OK too! You can pre-book excursions with a travel agent or cruise line, book something on arrival (though check before you travel), or just wander around the destination at your leisure. Each stop will offer different opportunities, so go grab your suitcase and start packing! Or carry on reading – it’s up to you.
2) Many Dining Options for Picky Eaters
Most cruise lines will offer a main dining room (waiter service in a more formal setting), a buffet style dining room (self-service with a casual setting, often open longer hours so you can come and go at leisure) and a variety of speciality dining options (payable at an additional cost). Each dining option generally has a rotational menu with popular staple foods available daily. If you have fussy eaters, the buffet tends to be a family favourite, but the best thing is you can pick and choose where you eat for each meal – you don’t usually need to pre-book. If you fancy something casual after a long day ashore, do it. If you need to be wined and dined, your server will be waiting. In the mood for different food? There are always plenty of options at your disposal. Room service is often available at a premium also! Do check each cruise line for specific details (like which brand of ketchup they use) if it is important to your kids! All cruise lines are great with dietary needs and allergies these days, but again, do your research if you need peace of mind.
3) Awesome Kids Clubs
The kids offering varies a lot depending on the cruise line (and the ship), but all of the major operators have some form of kids club. Usually split up in to similar age groups, these can be a life saver for those worried about cabin fever! Some have nightclubs, cookery schools, bowling alleys, bumper cars, surf schools, splash parks, zip lines, mini golf… there are some eye-popping activities available, so don’t be put off if there is a sea day on your itinerary. Most people say their kids don’t even want to get off on a port day! Of course, not all children enjoy playing with kids they’ve never met before, especially if they don’t speak the same language, so have a chat with your child before looking too deeply in to the amenities.
4) A Room Type To Suit Your Needs (and budget)
As the ships get bigger, so do the room types. These days there are an array of options on offer, but each ship and company is different, and bigger cabins sell fast! You can choose from anything between a regular cabin with an upper pullman (that’s a top bunk that comes out of the ceiling) to interconnecting rooms, family suites & even studios. This is where, if you’re new to cruise, you would benefit from having a travel agent. They can help find your perfect solution and give you live prices and availability based on your family’s criteria. Most travel agents don’t cost you anything – their wages come from the operator after you’ve travelled – so take their free advice and thank them by allowing them to take care of the booking for you!
5) Make More Memories
There is something about cruising that only people who have tried it will understand. Unlike a regular beach, hotel or apartment holiday, where you might later remember the stay as a whole, the cruise experience is like having lots of holidays in one go! Each destination you visit, every show you see, and each meal you share will provide you with another fond memory to reminisce about as a family. The photographers on board will often capture moments for you too (to purchase, if you wish, at the end of your cruise) meaning you can get everyone in the frame! No selfies necessary! Although I’m sure there’ll be one or two of them as well!