Why take a cruise vacation?
If you planning a long trip that includes several destinations with children, you might want to consider ordering a cruise.
Most of the cruises include a number of destinations, whether in port cities or beach towns. The longer the cruise, the more places you can see. The cruise deal will usually offer organized tours accompanied by tour guides that will take you to the main attractions of each port. Or if you wish to travel independently, you can do so by foot, by car or by local public transport.
One of the great hassles of traveling between few destinations in one vacation is the logistic part: packing and unloading, check-in and check-out from hotels, the time spent on the roads from one destination to another. On cruise trips, the ship is used as a home base, you unload and pack one time and during the trips on shore all of the belongings are left secured in your room behind a locked door. Due to the fact there is only one place to call home during the vacation, it also helps the children to feel more comfortable aboard the ship and soon they will learn where the various entertainment complexes, will revolve independently and freely in the safe space of the ship.
Another great hassle when planning a vacation based on traveling by car and switching between destinations is that you must add to the overall calculation: entry to attractions, dining on the way and other additional costs like fuel.
In the world of cruises, everything is already included in the fee: The entertainment that will be needed to the family, sports center, swimming pools, shows, meals. This fact makes the vacation cruises especially suitable for families because you’ll know in advance how much the vacation will cost.
What can children do on this kind of trip?
Most ships today have a variety of attractions, so that any child of any age will easily find his favorite activities: art workshops, a dedicated children's pool on board, jamboree, toys room, library, computer games room, special performances for young guests, , Children's Film Theater. In special family tour like Disney ‘s cruise there are even live puppets of Disney’s cartoons. And for additional cost there is an option to order babysitting service.
Since there is a large verity of attractions on board planning the next day family’s activities are highly recommended. This way you’ll know what each member of the family is doing and coordinate your schedule so the whole family can enjoy themselves
Eating on Board:
Most of the cruises offer 3 meals a day as well as cafes, restaurants and buffets throughout the ship. So there are many options for the children to eat.
Touring different kind of destinations:
The various ports stop during the cruise, allow the families to customize the shore trips according to their needs: organized trip accompanied by a guide or to search for the desired attractions on their own. In many destinations, you will discover great family attractions, such as theme parks and water parks, zoos and more.
Keep the children safe during the cruise:
In today world, parents must keep their guard up with their children each time they leave home. Same goes for traveling on cruise. Keep in mind that most cruises today are actually mega ships which employed huge amount of staff from all type of background, so like in any city, it might best to have some minimum basic rules in order to keep our children safe (all rules are just recommendation).
- Since most cruise have Wi-Fi, create a family WhatsApp group for sync during the day
- Kids should never enter to any private room that isn't their own cabin room. Once they leave their room, it's recommended to stay in public places.
- No one should enter the cabin room if the kids are alone, not even cruise personal.
- Set few daily sync, at preset time during the day, so your kids will update you during the day where they are and what are their plan for rest of the day.
- Adult areas are off limit.
- Set curfew time for your kids.
- They should never accept drinks from other, nor leave their drink without supervision.
- Kids should never drink alcohol.
- If possible, its best to use buddy system, so kids won't wonder alone in the cruise.
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How to prepare to cruise vacations?
- Finding the right cruise for you: How to find the right cruise line who fits your needs, the right ship size that will fit your family, the right cabin you need- Few cruise options taken from cruise critic.
Families cruise with Little Kids
· Disney Cruise Line
It's no surprise that Disney leads the pack for introducing the little ones to cruising. Its ships offer nurseries for babes as young as three months, themed play spaces for preschoolers and school-age kids, plenty of Disney character interaction (including dress-up princess teas and pirate parties), and cabins that cater to families with split baths (with tubs), extra berths, a room-dividing curtain and childproof balcony locks.
· Royal Caribbean International
As Royal Caribbean rolls out toddler play spaces and nurseries with babysitting to more of its ships, it continues to solidify its reputation as one of the better family bets. The line has always been a leader with innovative kid programming and expansive youth facilities. A partnership with DreamWorks brings the characters little ones love onboard with parties, parades and photo ops sure to please preschoolers and their parents.
· Carnival Cruise Line
A kids' program that starts at age 2 with dedicated time for parents to play with infants, onboard water slides and aqua parks, and plenty of free, kid-appealing food options also makes Carnival a standout in the family department. Add in some of the largest standard cabins in the industry (plus family-specific staterooms), the interactive "Hasbro, the Game Show," Seuss at Sea programming featuring a character breakfast, lots of homeport sailings and affordable cruise fares, and the family vacation has just found a new destination.
cruise for Families with Older Kids
· Royal Caribbean International
The line's tricked-out mega-ships are a hit with tweens and teens, offering everything from rock-climbing walls and onboard surfing to DJ classes, zip lines, high-energy shows and late-night free pizza. Teen clubs feature the latest in video games plus disco and lounge space.
· Norwegian Cruise Line
Older kids will appreciate Norwegian's freestyle approach -- no set dining times or eating with strangers, no strict dress code (jeans are always acceptable) and plenty of choice for entertainment and food. Teen clubs offer gaming stations, exclusive parties, teen outings to see the comedy show onboard and late-night snacks. Plus, onboard facilities like video arcades, water parks, outdoor sports courts and cool musical venues and shows mean no one ever complains of being bored.
· Carnival Cruise Line
The cruise line offers separate cool clubs for tweens and teens, and shore excursions just for 12- to 17-year-olds, chaperoned by the youth staff. Look for ships with outdoor movie screens, water parks with water slides and soaker areas, ropes courses and mini-golf for all-day fun.
- Health issues: It is important that you know that your body may react differently than you thought to the ship's sea fluctuations. Today's luxury ships are like a huge resort and usually you will not feel at all at sea, but just to be on the safe side, make sure your doctor apply for you a prescription for sea sickness or nausea pills. However, you should come equipped with prescription drugs if you take these regularly. If you are pregnant, please note that pregnant women can go sailing until the sixth month of pregnancy.
- Travel insurance: It is very important to check that the insurance policy also includes: baggage insurance and cancellation fees, just in case you can’t go to the trip after ordering the cruise
- Internet: On some ships you can enjoy wireless internet services free of charge, while others will request additional charges
- Cellular phone: Try to avoid using cellular phone calls because the air time is very expensive at sea and it is better to use the phones in the rooms.
- Clothes: Remember that you have to check the predicted forecast of number destinations. However, even if it is summer vacation, remember that during the evening it can be very cool aboard the ship, so don’t forget to take with you also long clothes, jackets and coats. And of course, Don’t forget a swimsuit, sportswear, traveling shoes and formal evening gowns for dinner parties or shows.
One of the services offered to the vacationers aboard the ship is laundry services, but if you want to save, it is recommended to bring with you enough clothes for change.
- Personal baggage: Most ships restrict personal baggage. Mark your suitcase with a name and other identifying information. It is recommended to board the deck with a compact bag with personal belongings that will accompany you until luggage arrives.
- Additional cruise costs: Although the cruise packages work in an all-inclusive format, should consider some additional ingredients that affect the mix:
- daily tip for the ship's employees – in most cruise the tips charges, applied per passenger, per sailing night, will be added to your shipboard, credit card-backed account, and in some cases, can be prepaid at the time of your cruise booking.More data can be found in this Link
- duty-free shop on the ship and the charge is based on a magnetic card you will receive during check-in. With this card you will also be charged for additional attractions such as beach tours. On the last day you can convert the debit to credit card.
Have a pleasant cruise!