Cruising Tips for Families with Kids
Taking a cruise is a popular vacation, but if you have kids, it may not be at the top of your list. This is understandable; after all, safety is a big issue if you have younger children, so the thought of watching your child fall overboard is a very real fear for some parents. There is also the lingering notion that kids might get bored stuck on a ship for a few days. However, your fears are unfounded and cruising is fun for all the family, whatever their ages. Check out the following tips and your next luxury cruise will go off without a hitch.
Family cruises to the Caribbean, or indeed any location, are the equivalent of a floating hotel. Larger cruise ships come equipped with more facilities than you could ever hope to use in a week. They have swimming pools, cinemas, and all manner of fun for kids. There is one thing your children won’t be and that’s bored.
Older kids can explore the ship under their own steam, but younger children will need to be supervised. Some cruise lines provide daycare programs for younger passengers, but check whether under-twos are catered for. If not, consider taking along grandparents. You can spend some quality time with them and ask them to babysit here and there.
Dining On Board
There are typically a range of different restaurants on board larger cruise ships, so you can pick and choose what you want to eat. Some restaurants will have a dress code, so bear this in mind when you pack for the family. Find out whether there are any family-friendly restaurants with early bird dining for younger children. This will save a lot of tears and prevent any embarrassment when toddlers are tired and tetchy after a long day in the sun.
Cruise ships usually offer a range of different accommodation to suit all budgets. Unless you can afford to splash out on a suite, don’t expect your cabin to be especially spacious. It is unlikely to have a bath tub either, so get your younger children used to using a shower and take their favorite bedding along to soothe them to sleep at night.
Pack Essential Accessories
Many cruise ships are enormous. This means you will have to do a lot of walking. Older kids won’t mind, but toddlers and babies will need to be carried or pushed. It is sensible to take a baby buggy with you. This will also come in handy when you book trips ashore.
Check out the cruise ship schedule and plan your trips ashore according to the ages of your children. Most kids hate sitting still for long, so any long coach trips are inadvisable. Instead, pick activities are that are child-friendly, as it will be less stressful for you and the other passengers.
A cruise ship vacation can be fun for families, but remember to pack everything your kids need, as you may not be able to buy replacements on board the ship.
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