We asked Sharon, who blogs over at the brilliant Where’s Sharon?, to share her tips on taking the kids on a cruise holiday…
About a year ago, we took the plunge and went on our first cruise with our two young kids, aged 1 and 3 at the time.
I must admit that I was nervous. I had cruised with my husband before having children and it seemed like it would be great with kids, but I wasn’t sure how suitable it would be for toddlers.
Thankfully, I worried for nothing. There was not only nothing to worry about, but we absolutely loved cruising together as a family. With the included activities and meals, we have never had such an easy holiday since having kids.
To make sure your cruise is as big a success as ours, here are some tips…
1. Research cruise lines based on your kids’ ages
The different cruise lines do not just vary a fair bit in regards to aspects like what food is available, size of cabins etc., but also have variety when it comes to kids’ facilities, especially for toddlers and babies. If you are travelling with young ones, you should particularly research:
- The age that kids need to be to attend kids club
- Whether there is a pool area for kids that aren’t toilet trained (they are usually not allowed in the normal pools)
- What activities there are in general for under 3’s
Something we found tricky was that kids activities tended to revolve around the kids club which could make it hard with our 1 year old. I had assumed that he would be able to attend as well as long as we accompanied him which turned out not to be true on our cruise line. However, at certain times we were able to pay so that he could join his big sister and have fun in the kids club as well.
2. Look out for a deal where kids cruise free or are heavily discounted
Some cruise lines allow kids to travel for free but usually it costs a far bit extra for your child to join you. It is worth looking out for discounts where the 3rd and 4th person in a cabin are heavily discounted to save money on your cruise.
3. Order a room service breakfast with some extra fruit
We loved the room service breakfast on our cruise. It just made things so easy as we didn’t have to bother getting up and dressed before we could eat. I also recommend ordering a bit extra so you have readily available snacks in the room.
It is very easy to get snacks at any time of day on a cruise. However, since we had kids that still napped, it was just that bit easier when we could just reach for a banana when they woke up.
4. Try out new activities
One of the best parts about our family cruise was that we tried so many new things. I would have assumed they were too young for mini golf or that going to a bar with live music with little ones was a crazy idea but they loved it all. I strongly recommend taking full advantage of your cruise and trying out everything you can with your kids.
5. Enjoy some kid free time on port
On at least one of your port days, put the kids in kids club and have a date with your spouse. Although we did enjoy exploring the ports with our kids, it was so nice to have an afternoon with just the two of us in the Bahamas – not something that would be so easily achieved with any other form of travel!
Finally, just sit back and enjoy your cruise. There is so much to love about cruising with kids. You really have nothing to worry about.
Image sourced via Royal Caribbean Press Center. Credit:Royal Caribbean.