Cruising with kids is a brilliant way to spend some time traveling, but it’s an even better idea if you want to spend quality time with the family. That being said, taking kids on a cruise can turn into a disaster very quickly unless you’re careful, and if it’s your first time, you might not know what to keep an eye out for.
That being said, if you’re afraid that kids will complicate things too much, we’ve got you covered. Planning is key here, so below is a short list of things you want to plan for if you’re heading out on a cruise with your kids.
Tips For Taking Kids On A Cruise
Opt for a Small Ship Cruise
When cruising with kids, the first thing you want to do is to opt for a small ship cruise rather than a big cruise. We’re talking about charter cruises that keep the passenger count rather low and instead focus on a tailored experience. This ensures that every single passenger on board happy and satisfied, especially the little ones.
Now, convincing your kids might not be the easiest thing in the world. They might be tempted by the pools and theme parks that are available, but as a parent, you can easily convince them that a small ship is still a great idea. Here’s a tip – use the excursions as a major benefit for small ships, they’re a lot better when taking kids on a cruise, and we’ll get to the why in a moment. But that’s not the only reason why you should go for a small ship cruise.
One of the major ones is the staff-to-guests ratio, especially on a charter cruise. It’s very close to one-to-one, which means that if you or one of your kids happens to need something, you’ll be able to find a staff member to accommodate your needs within a couple of minutes. You won’t get that on a large cruise ship, and it’s an incredibly important thing when you’ve got kids to deal with.
The other big reason is the actual size of the ship, and how that plays in your favor when it comes to managing your kids and keeping them in check. On a small ship, there’s not enough room for them to get lost, and with staff members roaming around at all times, they’ll be brought back to you before you even notice they aren’t by your side. Your kids will always be within walking distance, which is underrated.
And here’s another tip. If you don’t want your kids to feel like they’re missing out on anything because they’re going on a small ship rather than a large cruise, try to include them in the planning stages of the trip. Show them where you’ll be going, the things that they can do on the ship, and everything else that might pique their interest, and you’ll have them convinced. You can turn the planning itself into a family bonding activity – make sure you take advantage of that.
Excursions When Cruising With Kids
With each cruise, you’ll get a choice of a couple of excursions, and which one you go for is all up to you. But when you’re taking kids on a cruise, you should be careful about which ones you choose. This is another opportunity to get your kids in on the fun and involve them during the planning stage, because you’ll have a good idea of what they want and don’t want, so you can make things a bit better for them.
You should be careful, though. If your kids are as adventurous as many kids are, they’ll want to jump on things like ATV excursions, and those might not be the safest way of cruising with kids. What you should try to go for are things like visiting a wildlife reserve, for example, which will have your kids watching some of the most incredible animals out there, many of which they won’t be able to see elsewhere. It’s an underrated thing, really, and your kids will have more fun than they’d think.
If you want to have a solid number of options, the excursion planning should be done as early as possible. The spots fill up rather quickly on the fun ones, so make sure you do that long before you actually head out on the cruise. You might even get things a bit cheaper, too.
Set Ground Rules For Kids On A Cruise
The one key thing when you’re cruising with kids is to make sure they know the rules and can follow them. Cruise ships have their own etiquette that you should know, and you should teach your kids the basics before you guys embark on the cruise. This will make for a smooth sailing experience for everyone and will help keep your kids out of trouble.
In addition to the cruise ship rules, you should set some ground rules between you and your kids. We’re talking about things they can and can’t do, and things that require your approval (and presence), in order for them not to cause any trouble. Both you and your kids are there to have fun, and playing by the rules (both yours, and the ship’s) will go a long way towards that.
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FAQs When Cruising With Kids
There are a few questions you’ll probably want answers to, so let’s get those out of the way, too.
Do you pay for kids on a cruise?
Yes. Some cruise lines might offer a discounted price if you’re traveling with a full family, but kids do occupy a bed in the ship, which means that you do pay for kids on a cruise.
What to pack for kids on a cruise?
The same things you’re packing for yourself, really. Maybe grab them something to keep them occupied while you’re out on the water, such as a book or two or a portable games console.
Should you be taking kids on a cruise?
Definitely! It’s a great way to do a fun vacation away from all the cliches and “boring” vacations that have you sitting on that same beach for a week – it’s definitely worth it!
Cruising with kids is a great way to connect with one another while doing something a little different this summer. We hope these tips make your cruise as seamless and enjoyable as possible!
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What kind of cruises will you take this summer? Let us know in the comments below!