Top Tips for Cruising with Kids
Are you ready to dip your toes in the waters of family cruising? We can help! A cruise holiday is a fantastic idea for families with kids, whether they are toddlers, teens or anywhere in between. Many popular cruise lines now carefully cater for the whole family, ensuring everyone gets the holiday they want. Here are a few handy hints to help when planning your first family cruise.
1 Choosing the right cruise
Cruising holidays are more popular than ever, which means you have a fantastic range of cruises to choose from. First, decide where you would like to go and the ideal length of your cruise, then take a look at top cruise lines and the ships that would be available. If it’s your very first adventure on the high seas with the kids in tow, perhaps a close-to-home cruise would be best.
Pick a cruise line that has a kids club and a variety of family friendly activities on board – Royal Caribbean and Carnival are great choices. Ask whether the ship has interconnecting family rooms and also the minimum age of children allowed onboard (this can vary ship to ship). Your Cruiseabout consultant can help find the right ship for your family.
2 Packing well
Once you’ve chosen the cruise line, cruise ship and your itinerary, it’s time to start packing. When it comes to clothes, keep in mind the activities onboard, including any formal or fancy dress nights. Research the weather at your destinations so you can pack well for your shore excursions too. It’s a good idea to take a first-aid kit with your family’s medication, pain-relief tablets, hand sanitiser, sun screen and sea sickness tablets (just in case).
Take a few spare plastic bags for dirty clothes or even bring a small bottle of laundry liquid to do a few spot washes in the sink. A backpack is handy for shore excursions, as is an umbrella. A set of walkie talkies could also be useful to keep in touch with the kids to avoid international roaming charge on mobile phones. Don’t forget to bring along the kids favourite toys and games and load up that tablet or laptop with plenty of movies and television shows.
3 Planning for the kids onboard
Kids clubs at sea vary according to the cruise line and cruise ship but they are very popular, so sign up early! Many cruises will have separate clubs according to age, which may even extend to the teens. Find out what else is on offer for the kids. Royal Caribbean International hosts a special DreamWorks Experience with live parades and characters from favourite films like Kung Fu Panda and Shrek, while Carnival lets kids enter the wonderful world of Dr Seuss At Sea.
Also be sure to find out what activities your family might enjoy doing together. Many large cruise ships are equipped with all sorts of family-friendly entertainment, from basketball and golf to rock climbing walls, waterslides and ice-skating rinks. It’s also a good idea to check out the eateries onboard and find out how each dining area works. Some may have specific times and seating arrangements and others will offer complete flexibility.