It can be a lot of fun to cruise with kids. You may love watching them enjoy the amenities of the cruise. However, there are special considerations you will want to take when planning a cruise with kids in order to maximize the success of your cruise.
The following are tips on how to plan a cruise with kids.
Find a cruise that offers family activities or activities for the kids
There are many cruises that offer different things when it comes to children. Some of them offer programs specifically for the children, almost like a camp at sea, so that the children can enjoy themselves while the parents do their own thing. Others offer different family fun that might be good.
Obviously, it will depend on the ages of your children and what you are looking for. You should find out what the different cruises offer to make sure they have something that suits your needs. You should also be sure to check about any additional fees you might incur by utilizing such a program.
On some ships it may be automatically included in your cost but on other ships you might have to pay an extra fee.
Look at the excursions that would be suitable for the entire family
If you want to go on a lot of excursions, check to see what is appropriate for the kids. Many of the excursions are physically demanding, and might be difficult for a young child. Some might have a minimum age. You want to be careful about planning something that the children cannot use or that will create problems when you are already at sea.
Pick places that everyone will enjoy
Unless your children are very young, you will be giving them a memory to last for a lifetime. You might want to carefully consider the destinations that you want to go into, which will work not just for you but for everyone.
Think about what stateroom would fit your family
If you really want to have some space, you may want to consider a larger room or a suite. Make sure you consider how many people there will be when choosing your room.
Teens and Cruises
If you have traveled with your kids/teens to other destinations you know how easily they get bored. With boredom comes complaining. Most cruises make it easy to find something that will please everyone.
Teens are big business, whether it’s fashion, music or media, companies market their products in a huge way to this demographic and the cruise lines are no exception. These days cruise lines have dedicated lounges, staff and specialized activities for this age group that make the kids and their parents, who are paying the bill, happy too.
What are some of the activities that are geared for teenagers onboard a cruise ship? Most are very similar and unless you are on one of the luxury lines, you can be confident that just about any ship you pick will have activities for teens.
Typical activities are pool parties, talent night, and teen disco in the evening, pizza parties and even toga parties. Some lines offer teen only shore excursions, which are fully supervised and geared toward that age group. One of the best parts of cruising with teenagers, besides the dedicated areas and activities are that they have other teens onboard to bond with and have fun with.
While all ships do have some sort of space dedicated for kids and teens, the newer ships have lounges and more space for this specific group. The lounges on the newer ships are very expansive and look like the adult version, and even have a bar with smoothies and mocachino’s. Some of the older ships may have shared space, for example, an area for the younger kids may be converted to a teen disco in the evening. Check the facilities onboard your ship to see what they offer.
In addition to the dedicated areas and activities for the teens, most ships and more so the newer ones also have activities that are opened to the family or entire cruise, such as bowling, rock-climbing, surfing and even ice-skating.
The programs onboard the ships are broken down by age group and the teens typically are two groups, one 12 to 14 years and then 15 to 17 years. These programs are more flexible then the younger children and most ships do not require kids to be signed in and out by their parents. A good idea for keeping in touch with your kids onboard is to bring walkie talkies’s.
You may find on some cruises, especially if it is off season and you are on one of the premium lines, like Celebrity and Holland America that they condense the program and combine a large age group together. Instead of the 12-14 and 15-17 year grouping you may find 12-17 years grouped together. Although just about any cruise any time of year will have kids onboard, you will find many more during the typical school breaks of summer, spring and winter holidays.
All in all, cruising with kids has come a long way and that’s great news for the kids and their parents.