Cruising with kids can be an exciting and fun adventure, but it does require some preparation and planning to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Taking your little ones to see the world on the ocean waves comes with its fair share of challenges and complications, so making sure you are fully prepared before you set off is a great way to keep things running smoothly.
From choosing the right cruise line to packing appropriately, there are loads of things you can do to make your cruising experience easier and more enjoyable. Whether you are sailing around the Caribbean for two weeks or going on a family cruise to Europe, here are some tips for taking your kids on a cruise.
When selecting a cruise line, it’s important to consider which ones cater best to families with children. Most cruises offer a range of family-friendly amenities, but some cruises are better for kids than others. For example, Disney Cruise Line features character meet-and-greets, live shows, and themed restaurants that kids will love, while Celebrity Cruises has onboard water parks, rock climbing walls, and zip lines! Researching the different cruise lines and their amenities can help you find the one that best fits your family’s interests and needs.
It is always a good idea to do a little forward planning when heading off on a cruise, and when it comes to cruising with kids it is indispensable. Many cruise lines offer a variety of activities and programs for kids, but most will require advance booking, so to get exactly what you want, book early and book often. For example, if your child wants to participate in a cooking class or attend a character breakfast, these activities may fill up quickly. It is also sensible for you to book childcare or kids’ clubs in advance as well, so you can ensure that you have a little quiet time just for mom and dad!
Packing appropriately for a cruise with kids means thinking carefully about where you are going, what the weather will be like, and what activities you plan to do. If you’re cruising to a warm destination, pack plenty of sunscreen, hats, and other protective gear for your kids. If you’re cruising to a colder destination, pack warm clothing and layers. Regardless of where you’re going, be sure to pack any medications, snacks, or toys your kids may need. It’s also a good idea to pack a small first aid kit with band-aids, antiseptic cream, and other essentials.
Cruise ships can be large and crowded, so it’s important to establish a plan for keeping track of your kids. This might mean setting a designated meeting spot or giving your kids a tracking device or phone to stay in touch. You should also establish rules for where your kids can and cannot go on the ship, and set boundaries for their safety. For example, you may want to limit how close they can get to the ship’s railings or prohibit them from going into certain areas of the ship.
Going on vacation with your kids is a great way to bond as a family, but even the most attentive and devoted parents will need a little time off for themselves at some point! Most cruise lines offer childcare services, such as onboard nurseries or kids’ clubs. These services can be a great way to give yourself a break and allow your kids to make new friends and enjoy age-appropriate activities.
Cruising with your kids is a fun, exciting adventure, and with a little forward planning it will be a vacation you’ll never forget!