Monday, March 21, 2016

Taking the Kids on a Cruise

Travelling anywhere with kids is a challenge, but when “anywhere” is a destination abroad, the situation quickly becomes all the more daunting. Aside from concerns regarding the age of your children, there’s also their reaction to the mode of transport and worrying about the types of attractions on offer at the destination that you choose. Not to mention the issue of choosing a place to go in the first place!

The perks of going on a cruise
Before you get overwhelmed, know that traveling abroad with kids can be done well! One of the best solutions, according to some of our acquaintances at Thomson Holidays, is to opt for a cruise. This opens up your destination possibilities, offering many different cities and regions that you might not have thought about visiting originally, as well as significantly simplifying the travel process. On a cruise, you won’t have to worry about trains or buses from city to city and any day trips or excursions can, in most cases, be arranged with your cruise provider before you ever leave shore.
Most cruises are child friendly, with kids clubs, pools and events for younger travelers. The kids will love their independence and the chance to make new friends. Some cruises even divide the age groups, so if you have kids of different ages, check out how activities vary for each sub-grouping.

Best places to go
Cruises also allow children to have a hand in helping choose what area of the world they want to see. There are more traditional options closer to home, like Mexico, Canada or Alaska, but there are a ton of interesting and exotic destinations, too! Caribbean cruises, for instance, enable the family to get far away from it all and relax together. Most Caribbean cruises run beach excursions, water sports and snorkeling, so kids and adults alike can enjoy the warm water and sunny weather. If you have older children, the family can try more adventurous excursions like swimming with dolphins and rays or ziplining through the jungle. Going to the Caribbean is a safe bet, especially if this is your first time taking kids on a boat. For first-time sailors or families with younger kids, a shorter cruise may be wise since children can get restless.

Tips and tricks
We also want to provide a few tips for things to bring along on your cruise trip. Although most ships have stores and plenty of other amenities, it’s smart to bring things like aspirin and anti-nausea medication for the kids just in case. Snacks that the kids are partial to are also a good idea as it reassures younger kids overwhelmed by their new surroundings and ever-changing locations with a little familiarity. Bringing a few games that don’t require the Internet like a pack of cards or travel board games can be lifesavers during downtime.
Food and drinks can make or break a cruise, so make sure you do your research on which ship is the best fit for your family. You and your partner may want to have romantic dinners after 8pm, but your kids may want to eat early and informally. Buying something like a soda card for the kids can avoid headaches and complaints about being thirsty, while buffet style dining also helps make the cruise experience a good one for your kids.
Although it’s not always easy to travel with kids, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. It is fun for the entire family to expand their horizons and going somewhere new can be a very bonding experience. We hope these destination suggestions and tips for taking a cruise with the kids will create great memories for years to come.

Images by littlemoresunshine, ironypoisoning and lyng883, used under Creative Commons license

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  1. My father in law offered us a cruise when we were married. I said no. Being in the middle of the ocean scares me to death. Titanic comes to mind.

  2. What great suggestions! We're considering a family cruise and these tips were very helpful. It seems like such a great vacation idea. There's something for everyone!

  3. I want to take my babies on a cruise.

  4. They sound like a small floating town with all the amenities for the whole family. I always thought they were geared toward adults, I didn't know they were so family-friendly. My only concern would be trying to find my way around, they look so huge.

  5. A cruise would be a fun activity to do as a family. I would look for fun kid family excursions too.

  6. I would love to go on a family cruise!

  7. I would love to take my family on a cruise. I think we would have an awesome time. Although, I would have concerns about being in the ocean and not being able to swim at all. I guess I watched too much TV.
    Calshondra Williams

  8. sounds like fun..but will not swim in any ocean or sea...I am terrified of dangerous marine unless the areas are sectioned off...with special nets to protect the swimmers...I would need to find other activities for us to do...

  9. I have been on 3 cruises. Too bad my family was already grown when we went. I would love to take my grandchildren and children on a cruise for a family reunion. They are very fun and have so many great activities.

  10. Nicole LancasterMonday, June 06, 2016

    Great suggestions. I plan on going on Disney family cruise sometime next year.

  11. I love to cruise. Im hoping we can go on a Disney Cruise with my grandson someday.