Imagine the fun that your kid can have on a cruise ship! If you’re wondering whether taking a family cruise would be a good idea, here are 5 tips for smooth, fun and successful family cruising:
Research About Family Cruising
This is a must! It is especially important for a family cruise as, unlike a regular hotel, you will be spending a lot of your time in the same place – i.e. the ship. You can’t just wander out to explore, change to another one in the middle of the sea, or decide to eat out of an evening. Make sure that you have checked out enough cruise ships to find the one that best suits your family’s needs. Pay attention in particular at the child care options and kids’ club facilities, as well as dining options, shore excursions, and onboard facilities such as swimming pools, shops, and cinemas.
Get The Kids Involved in the Planning Stages
Many kids, both younger and older, like to be involved in all sorts of decision making processes. Take into account some of their choices in the family cruising and you will probably find that they are more excited and well-behaved. They will certainly be more satisfied. Don’t lose sight of the fact that it is a vacation for the whole family, not just the adults.
Check Message Boards
Cruise ships generally have a system of message boards wherein co passengers can talk about each and every aspect of the cruise ship experience. It is fun to connect with other cruisers before leaving as it will give you a chance to connect with them on the cruise itself. Finding families ahead of time who are going to be sailing with you can help a lot. Not only will you have a friendly buddy on board, but your kids will be happier with young friends of their own to play with and enjoy the wonder of their cruise.
This is one of the most basic things to be mindful of. You will have to pack differently for family cruising than for other types of vacation. Whilst most cruise ships have excellent onboard shopping facilities, make sure that you have everything that you and the kids couldn’t possibly manage without. If you are cruising with very small children it is best to check whether the ship stocks items like nappies, baby food, milk formula, etc. If not, you’ll have to pack enough to last. Once you have boarded the cruise ship it could be several hours before you are able to access your luggage. Therefore pack anything you might need for the first day in a separate bag.
If you are taking a flight to the cruise ship departure point, or have a long drive to get there, consider staying in a nearby hotel the night before. Often when people travel on the same day it can be a major source of stress.
Enjoy your family cruising!