When we picture going on a cruise we often think of older holiday makers or couples on a romantic getaway. But in truth cruise trips are one of the most popular types of holidays for young families, and these days cruise ships offer all the amenities the whole family needs for a fun and relaxing break. They are also one of the best ways for packing in lots of destinations to let your kids experience different countries, whether your seafaring adventure is in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, or even the Baltic Sea. Here are some tips to make the experience of going on a cruise with the family all the easier.
Give yourself a day before the cruise departs
Travelling is stressful at the best of times, and this is exacerbated if you are flying and boarding a cruise on the same day. Flights are delayed and cancelled all the time, and the stress of trying to catch a cruise with only hours to spare is one you can avoid by arriving at the departure point a day early. This will help you all stay relaxed and should set you off on the right foot.
Check the age requirements!
Not all cruises accept children of all ages. A good rule of thumb is that if your child isn’t potty trained then they may be too young for a cruise. That being said different cruise companies have different rules, but make sure that there are plenty of activities that are suitable for your child’s age group before you commit.
Do your research and choose the right cabin
Your room is where you’ll be for the duration of the cruise, so you want to make sure you pick the right one. Cabins near the middle of the ship are better to prevent any seasickness. Most rooms don’t come with a bath so check if that’s a necessity for you. Think about your family’s requirements and then choose the cabin that best meets them.
Find out what babysitting options are available
Family cruises will have kid’s clubs and supervised activities for your little ones. Some even have in-cabin babysitters available. This makes sure that there are plenty things for your kids to do, and that you know you can have a break and enjoy a little adult time, too. This lets you better plan what you’ll get up to while you’re at sea.
Don’t pack lightly
It’s often a good idea to pack fairly lightly when you go on a holiday. But this isn’t good advice if you’re off on a cruise. While ships do have their own amenities, there aren’t many shops in the middle of the ocean if you get caught short! And while there should be plenty of activities for kids, there will also be plenty downtime when toys, books, or electrical gadgets are an absolute godsend. Don’t worry about packing a little extra, as once it’s in your cabin you don’t have to lug it around with you, and you can save packing lightly for your excursions on shore.
Pack walkie talkies!
You’ll be lucky if you receive any mobile phone reception when you’re on the high seas. So to stay in touch by packing some walkie talkies. These will do the job just as well, and should work across the ship.
Images by Joe Turco used under Creative Commons license.