Parents want a vacation that doesn’t leave them stressed out and exhausted. Cruises are a great option because they have a variety of programs for all ages, childcare, a multitude of dining options, and swimming pools! There’s nothing more stressful when planning a vacation than worrying about whether your child will whine, be bored, throw a tantrum, bother others, or not find anything he wants to eat on the menu. Cruises geared towards families with children are a great solution – the staff deals with fussy babies, sullen teens, and everything in between, week in and week out!Most of the other passengers on these kinds of cruises have the same worries and won’t notice or be bothered if your child is having a hard day. What else should you consider before cruising with children?
1. Think Big: Parents and cruise directors alike know that kids get bored easily and need lots of things to do. A small ship may not be the best choice for children because there are likely to be fewer options, but a mega ship, will offer a wealth of options.
2. Traveling with Teens: Parents of teens should make sure there are plenty of “older” activities such as an Internet café, video games, and even a teen-friendly disco or night club. Keep in mind what your kids are interested in, and check to make sure your cruise can meet the grade. There’s nothing like a 16 year old being stuck in a character parade with 6 year-olds to ruin his vacation!
3. Childcare: If it’s important to have childcare options then be sure to check with the cruise before you book. Some offer childcare programs during the day and babysitting services at night while others don’t. You will also want to verify any age requirements that there are for childcare.
4. Disney: For families cruising with young kids especially Disney cruises are almost always a hit. While the price tag is more than other cruise lines the day to night activities and complete catering to children can’t be beat.
5. Cabins: When choosing a cabin be realistic. If you are trying to save money, it might seem like a no brainer to cram your family of five into a small, windowless cabin. You know your family best but don’t make your time in your room miserable to save money. Instead consider two adjoining rooms to keep everyone sane, have an extra bathroom, and more space to spread out. This option is also likely to be less expensive than booking a suite.
6. Destinations: Get everyone together to decide where they would like to visit on the cruise. You may want to select a few options ahead of time that fit in your budget. Once a general destination is agreed on, let each child have a say in choosing an excursion or onboard activity. Let them research an area or activity and contribute their findings to the meeting. Planning the trip can be just as memorable as actually taking the trip. If kids are invested in the process from the beginning it’s also more meaningful.