Cruising is a great way for your family to experience different parts of the world and be happily entertained with fun-filled activities while at sea. There are numerous family-friendly cruises offering many different options for family entertainment. Check out my 9 tips to help you eliminate hassles on the ship and ashore.
- Research and Compare
Don’t rush into booking your family’s cruise vacation. Research all of the cruise lines offerings thoroughly before booking your vacation. Weigh pros and cons of each cruise including the ports of call, shore excursions, family activities, and childcare options.
- Character Crush
Consider choosing a cruise line that features your child’s beloved character. Disney cruises are certainly poplar, but they aren’t the only character-filled ship at sea. Nickelodeon characters like Sponge Bob and Dora the Explorer come to life on Norwegian Cruise Line. The whimsical world of Dr. Seuss through Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 & 2 can fill up your kid’s day on Carnival. Dreamworks characters from the movies like Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, and more can be found on Royal Caribbean ships.
- Shore Excursions
As a family, research shore excursions together. Choose port-of-call events that appeal to both parents and kids. Consider splitting up into groups to accommodate everyone’s interest. Make reservations in advance, as popular excursions fill up quickly.
- Ship Entertainment
Sprawling water parks, dazzling nightly entertainment, and buzzing arcades, are only a few of the seemingly endless options to entertain your whole family. Cruises offer many activities to attract and keep your kids happily engaged while at sea. Check out all the cruise line activities to see which one best fits your family’s interest. Also, review childcare, kids clubs, and teen programs.
- Pools and Water Slides
Some cruise ship pools are salty, so bring swim goggles. If the pool has a water slide, check the height limit before booking, because you kid might be disappointed if he or she is too short to slide.
- Consult a Cruise Expert
A travel agent who specializes in cruises can provide valuable insight. The agent will have a wealth of information including access to where to get the best deals to helping you choose the right cabin configurations.
- Arrive to the Port City Early
It’s imperative to arrive at least one day before you set sail. A transportation delay could ruin your vacation even before your family steps foot onto the cruise ship. The ship will not wait for your family, if you are delayed.
- Pack Properly for the Kids
Once aboard, it could be several hours before you have access to your room and luggage delivered. Be sure to keep several carry-on bags filled with baby essentials along with identification, cruise documents, swimsuits, and sunscreen.
- Embarkation Day
The first day aboard is a great time to explore the ship and figure out where everything is located. Visit the Kids Club, even if your kids aren’t really interested. This opportunity will allow parents to check out the facilities and gives kids a chance to make friends.