If you find it too hard to organize a family vacation, going a cruise might be the answer you are looking for. After all, only by experimenting will you increase the likelihood of finding a holiday format that suits every member of your family.
Falling into a trap of going to the same destination with same ideas and activities every year is just as easy as forgetting how to enjoy small things in life, and setting off on a colossal ship is a definitive change of pace that will give you a whole new perspective.
However, if you are inexperienced when it comes to cruising with kids, you will need to get acquainted with something akin to a complete guide to planning and attaining the perfect cruise vacation.
How to choose it?
The best aspect of a cruise is the fact that it offers focus and structure to your vacation. You do not have to spend extra energy when it comes to thinking about what sort of activities your family should enjoy and what sort of days you are going to have. Everything is planned ahead for you and there is no room for compromise. Once you choose a particular travel package (they usually come with a certain overall theme in mind), there is no room for compromise.
However, this is where choosing the right cruise becomes the issue – there is a staggering amount of packages but only some of them are suited for an average family. However, thankfully, cruise lines have become very diverse and adapted to people of all ages.
Some programs tend to focus on specific things that are suited for children – such as colourful Carnival cruises in 2018, the adventures on the Pacific islands, spending time in historically important ports, etc. Additionally, Disney and Royal Caribbean Cruises are renowned for high-quality entertainment value and excellent program for children.
Cruise liners were popular for a long time, but as a worldwide phenomenon they are pretty fresh, which explains why some people are surprised to find out it is not that hard to attain a perfect cruise vacation these days (and especially during the following years) as more and more reasonable and manageable packages emerge every day.
Be mindful of restrictions
However, before you decide to go on a cruise with kids, you have to be aware of particular age restrictions if one of your children is too young. By law, kids have to be at least six months of age on the exact day the cruise liners embarks from the port in order to be allowed on a cruise.
Additionally, you will need to submit a material proof that your baby is of the right minimal age – the birth certificate should be just the thing. However, if the cruise is transoceanic, like in the case of very popular programs in the south Pacific, your child needs to be at least one year old.
Furthermore, you need to do a thorough check of the cruise liner itself before you book a trip and see if the ship offers the right supplies and amenities – cribs for babies, the right sort of bed mattresses for younger kids and other supplies. If the cruise liner is solid and respectable, it will be well equipped with stores that will be stocked with all the daily “requirements” for your children. Additionally, if your child is younger than 21, he or she cannot be staying alone in the cabin, and the other person needs to be at least 25 years old.
The way you pack
One of the perks of going on a cruise with your family lies in the fact that you do not have to pack heavy and plan for every contingency. After all, you are spending time in a controlled and physically limited environment where your children will always be safe and there are dedicated medical professionals on board that will have everything you'd otherwise pack in the emergency kit.
You will also be able to reserve more package space for your children, as you and your spouse won’t have to bring as many things. As far as diverse formalwear goes, you need only one pair, plus elegant shoes and one pair of sneakers. Things like towels, bed sheets, soap, and shampoo will all be part of the cruise arrangement.
Do it your way
This is another crucial thing you need to be aware of in order to plan your cruise properly – not everything on a cruise liner is part of the original arrangement with the agency. In other words, you might choose a package that is “all inclusive” but it will only satisfy your everyday needs as a customer plus some perks.
Many activities your children would enjoy will have to be paid straight out of your pocket, so prepare your finances for this particular aspect of cruise lining. In a way, it would be best if you saw the ship as a sort of "tourist town" which is perfectly tailored to your consumer needs. From pool parties, playgrounds, and arcades to wall climbing, sports, and shopping sprees, you will hardly find time to be bored with your kids.
Additionally, ports of call offer adventures of their own and you will be perfectly free to behave completely independently with your family as long as you are back on a ship before it embarks. On the one hand, you can take guided tours of locations or you can take your family on small excursions without the supervision of anyone.
However, always be mindful of the fact that shore excursions which are an integral part of cruise lines are already paid for and they provide access to a plethora of stimulating activities. The independent ones will cost you quite a few bucks and there is always a possibility they are not particularly kid-friendly.
No matter how young or old your children are, spicing things up every now and then is just as good for them as it is for you and your spouse. If you repeat the same pattern of vacation more than a few times, it can become a really stale activity that does not garner as much pleasure as it should.
Visiting same locations repeatedly takes away any luster and wonder. However, big cruise liners can offer something much more – a diverse adventure filled with exciting locations, a variety of people and absolute comfort. If you try it out, you are bound to bond with your kids through this seafaring experience more than you could have ever imagined.