The ultimate guide to cruising with the kids
Cruising might not initially spring to mind when you think of your next family holiday, but there are a wealth of benefits for families that you might not even have considered yet. Many ships are now packed with child-friendly activities, while kids’ clubs and mini discos are common features to be found on board. Here’s just a few tips for taking to the seas with the kids in tow.
- Choose a child-friendly cruise line
Aside from the occasional adults-only itinerary, the vast majority of cruises happily welcome little ones on board. Still, there are definitely some additional factors to take into account when choosing the best cruise line for families. Depending on where you sail you might find yourself with days at a time spent at sea, so it’s vital to pick a ship that has plenty of fun activities to keep the kids entertained.
Royal Caribbean stand out for their new and exciting cruise ship features, with their newest ship Harmony of the Seas featuring a full-sized handcrafted carousel and waterslides galore. Thomson Cruises also cater extremely well to families, with interconnecting cabins, family-friendly shore excursions and even an accredited kids’ club to be discovered.
- Take dining into consideration
Eating and drinking are a huge part of any holiday – and one that can become particularly stressful if you have fussy children with you. You’ll find buffet restaurants on a lot of cruise ships these days, most of which serve a selection of familiar and child-friendly favourites, from pizza and chips to jelly and ice cream.
If you’re tired of all-you-can-eat and want to enjoy something a little different though, some cruise ships go one step further by providing dedicated kids’ dining areas. Carnival Cruise Line is home to Seuss at Sea – an onboard wonderland dedicated solely to the creator of green eggs and ham himself. That’s exactly what you’ll be eating too at the breakfast feast, which welcomes parents and kids alike.
- . Pack wisely
Packing for a family holiday is always a tall ask, not least because you have so many people to think about. The great thing about cruising is that there’s no maximum baggage allowance, so choose a no-fly cruise and you’re pretty much able to load as much into your suitcase as you can manage. Within reason, of course.
It can take a while for luggage to be delivered to your room once you’ve checked in, so it’s wise to take a small carry-all with you that’s packed with a few essentials. Games and tablets are a good choice, as are books and colouring materials if the kids are prone to getting a little restless when they’re sitting around without much to do. As soon as the ship sets sail and you’re able to use all of the facilities on board however, they’re certain to find their own means of entertainment.
Have you ever taken a family cruise? If so, what are your top tips? Feel free to share them with us on Social Media #W2DWTK