There are lots of different reasons why cruise holidays are popular terrific value, visiting many different destinations and the fact that cruises offer something for everyone. Afamily cruisecan be a great option for multigenerational families as there’s lots to do from baby age to grandparents. There are a few things to keep in mind and to actively take note of when booking cruises with children.
Your choice of cabin will greatly impact on yourcruise holiday.Make sure that you compare amenities for the price that you are paying sometimes it’s best to book a more expensive but spacious suite. Some cabins don’t have a bath, so it is also worth making sure that your cabin has one if you believe it is important to your family. Obviously your decision will depend on your children’s ages, the cost and layout of the cabins, as well as the location of them.
- Involve your kids with the planning
Make them feel important by inviting your children to participate in the planning of the holiday. Show them the cruise line’s website, give them books about the destinations you will visit and tell them about features on the ship that you know they will enjoy and be interested in.
- Check the minimum age requirements
Many cruise lines have minimum age requirements for their guests. Some allow small babies, but most draw the line at six months. Make sure that you consider the onboard age requirements too for example most cruise lines will not allow any non potty trained children into the pools. There may be age restrictions for some shore excursions as well as some of the children’s programs so it is always wise to check out further details before you book.
If your children are old enough, discuss with your children the importance of following rules onboard. It’s important to explain to your kids that ships are safe but they need to pay attention during the muster drill so that the whole family is prepared on the extremely off chance that something would go wrong.
- Sign up for the kids club
Most cruise lines have amazing kids clubs and consider signing your children up to them for at least part of the day. They can take part in some fun activities and socialise with children their own ages.
Although it may be a shame to miss out on some ports, it can sometimes be nice to stay onboard whilst the majority of other passengers are out exploring. This means that the pool and other usually busy facilities will be all yours and your family can then enjoy a great time together, with less stress and interruption.
Even though I have just advised for you to stay on the ship, it really would be a shame to miss out on certain ports. Either sign up for an excursion via your ship or through a private tour guide or you could simply explore the port on your own. Be flexible, visit what you think your family will enjoy and do as little or as much sightseeing as your family can handle.
You can pick up a digital camera either brand new or second hand at a reasonable price get one and then tell each child to document the holiday from their point of view. Perhaps they can keep a scrapbook or photo diary of their experiences.
- Pack key items in your carry-on bag
It usually takes the crew a while to get everyone’s luggage onto the ship and into their rooms so if you want to start enjoying the ship immediately then pack what you think you will need for the day such as swimming costumes, camera, shorts etc in your carry-on bags instead. That way you can enjoy the ship without having to worry about waiting for certain items to be delivered by ship staff to your room.
Once you are onboard the ship it is best to keep to your regular schedule wake when you normally do, eat when you normally do, and let the kids nap when they are tired. Obviously being on holiday will allow a certain amount of flexibility if there’s an activity that your kids have their heart set on then let them do it, even if it interferes with their naptime or bedtime.
Jane and Ian love to take their children on cruises and have been on three family cruises so far with their two youngest children Olivia and Joshua. When not planning their next cruise holiday they like to take long walks with their dogs and write a family blog.