My favorite all time family travel option is a kid cruise and I have been on several. A few years ago on New Years’ we travelled with our then nine year old and my husband’s family.
I can honestly say, there was something in it for everyone from age nine to age 70. We all had a wonderful time and my son’s first question on our return was “when do we cruise next?”
Well we did cruise again, several times, the picture below was taken on a beach day in Mazatlan. That is our ship – The Carnival Spirit – in the distance.
Those that have never cruised before are most people who would not consider a kid cruise. They will do it again and again once they will be on their first cruise.
About cruising, there are a lot of misconceptions about it like it is only for older people and not suited for families, it is too rigid, there is nothing to do, you will feel trapped, you will get seasick, it is too expensive! These are all false statements and could not be further from the truth.
How do They Offer Tremendous Value?
At one price, kids cruises offer tremendous value, it usually includes your meals, accommodations, entertainment and a whole lot more. With over 250 ships, 1,800 ports of call, there is a lot of variety and so much to do on board, you could not do it all in one day!
It is all up to you if you do choose not to do anything at all but relax and that is the best part of it. A kid’s cruise is something that is hard to appreciate until you are onboard and are able to experience it yourself and if you like to be pampered then this cruise is for you.
Afraid of Getting Seasick?
The fear of getting seasick, as for it, is often groundless when you cruise in the tranquil waters of the Caribbean, Bahamas and Alaska as well as the rivers and canals of the U.S. and Europe.
There are over – the counter remedies,if you are still unsure, which would work for most people and procedures you can follow if you do feel queasy.
And ships’ doctors can administer injections that eliminate all discomfort if you do happen to hit a storm in one of the world’s oceans. To reduce motion, today’s ships are also stabilized.
Are There Great Kids Programs?
With some wonderful programs, the cruise lines have responded because families love cruising. Especially the bigger lines like Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Disney Cruises who carry a lot of families, a lot of ships have special places for kids including play areas supervised by youth coordinators and are great options for Family Cruises.
Cruise think of everything, they schedule activities for every day of the cruise from group participation games like Monopoly or sports like basketball, to quieter activities like movie time and story – telling in the afternoon.
Run by a trained, patient and fun – loving staff, kids cruises have age – specific programs, a ship with facilities that can entertain and educate and plenty of other kids on board to make it all work.
There is simplicity in enrolling in any one of these activities, just go to the youth coordinator on duty and he or she will get you into all of the activities of the day.
Be sure to check the daily schedule because sometimes they close down for a few hours in the afternoon or early evening and coordinate those times with your parents. Babysitting services are often available for younger kids but it is necessary to check with the staff on board about the hours of availability.
However it is important to realize that not all cruise lines like cruise ships and itineraries are created equal when it comes to family travel.
- Before you find your perfect kid cruise, you should consider a couple of key factors.
- Due to the reason that ships are simply bigger, cruise lines’ newer ships tend to have the biggest, most elaborate kids’ centers and usually have been designed to incorporate children’s areas.
- Depending on the Cruise Line, Kid Cruise Programs can vary but most offer supervised activities broken out by age. It will be better, generally speaking if there are more age groupings. You will otherwise run the risk of having your 8 year old stuck in a group with savvy preteens, for example.
- Almost all activities include some kind of arts and crafts and games but they also sometimes vary.
- Ships tend to have special enclosed deck space in some cases with wading pools, water slides, mini – basketball hoops and jungle gyms. Others have computers, science labs and video games.
Which Itineraries are Family Oriented?
Particularly for pre – 13 year olds, not all itineraries are kid – friendly. Know that many lines offering such itineraries, even ones geared for families, may have age restrictions if you are planning an exotic trip like Asia, South America, world cruises, etc.They may have very limited programs and few children’s staff on board.
The ratio of staff, in addition, to kids can vary widely from cruise line to cruise line and even from ship to ship.
Especially in the case of younger children for your kid cruise, know before you go. Alaska and the Caribbean, these particular regions, tend to be more family oriented.
What About Dining?
So that your kids will not be up very late each evening, I would recommend the early seating.
Alternatives are offered by most cruises now like casual dining to the traditional two – seating formal dining ritual which may not be suited to kids or at least not at every meal.
Available any time is the around–the–clock, room service on most lines and can be convenient for some meals.
When is the Best Time to Go?
During school vacation periods are the popular times for a kid cruise. The cruise can be more expensive in those times but it is usually guaranteed that there are more playmates at that time for your kids.
To stick to shorter cruises 3 or 4 day options as well as seven day trips is another alternative. If the duration is longer, the crowd tends to be older in most cases.
What are the Options for Families?
Family staterooms or connecting rooms are what most ships offer. Offering a nice escape would be a cabin with a veranda while a young child may be napping or watching cartoons.
- In advance, inquire of your cruise about availability of equipment, from cribs to strollers.
- Find out before boarding the ship and do not assume diapers and formula to be included and available on board.
Bring your kids along on almost any cruise and they’ll have the time of their lives.
Find out More about Kid Cruises
Family Cruise: Family Get-Together for Fun
A family cruise is a perfect getaway with loads of fun and excitement for everybody. Whenever you have kids bored with the usual stuff amusement parks, theater and all and your spouse needs a change, plan a cruise.
Best Family Cruise for Teens
Cruising with teenagers? See what ships we recommend and why.
How To Navigate the Bewildering Array of Internet Cruise Deals
How do you choose your cruise deal? How do you know what’s good or bad? First, let’s look at the different types of cruises.
Carnival Cruise – a perfect holiday, Rock and Rolling with Carnival Cruise
If you want to have fun for one low price, all you need is a Carnival cruise. A Carnival cruise is a perfect way to pamper yourself.
Pack List for a Cruise–and other Travel Tips
What you bring on a cruise depends a great deal of the kind of ship it is casual or elegant and your plans for “fine dining”.
Cruising with the Mouse – Disney Cruise Line
There’s magic in everything that team Disney touches and the Disney cruise line is no exception.
Best Kid Friendly Cruise Programs
Find out what the cruise lines have to offer in the way of kid cruise programs and find the best one for your family.
Can you take a Baby or Toddler on a Cruise?
Thinking of a family cruise vacation for your family vacation? Some cruise ships are well equipped for babies and toddlers and it can be an excellent option.
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