Cruising is a popular vacation choice among many U.S. travelers and for good reason. A cruise may be just the getaway you’re looking for and with so many cruise lines, itineraries and price points, there’s something for everyone. It may not exactly fit the traditional definition of “family-friendly,” but that doesn’t mean cruising doesn’t have plenty to offer families with kids. Many cruises cater specifically to families with children of all ages, from infants to teenagers. Read on for more information about why cruising is a perfect family vacation.
Why Cruising is a Perfect Family Vacation
There are several reasons that cruising makes a perfect family vacation, and they might be different for each family. Here are a few reasons why we love cruising with kids:
- Kids are always on vacation mode, meaning they are open to trying new things and exploring new places. Plus, they’re less likely to be picky eaters when they’re in this frame of mind.
- Cruising is a great way to see a lot in a short amount of time. From exploring ports of call to taking advantage of onboard activities and kid-friendly entertainment options, you’ll be able to pack a lot into your vacation with limited downtime.
- Cruising is a relatively inexpensive vacation. While cruises do tend to be more expensive than, say, going on a family vacation to Disney World, the cost savings are significant compared to taking a family vacation to other destinations.
Activities for Everyone
When it comes to activities, you can find something for everyone on board. There will be plenty of activities that your kids will enjoy, but of course, there are also plenty for adults too. At any age, you can sign up for a program that lets you learn something new. Kids can join a program that lets them explore their creative side. Teens can be part of a program that helps them grow into the next generation of leaders by learning from industry experts. Adults can explore new topics too. You can take a cooking class, improve your Spanish speaking skills, or even take a course on wine appreciation.
Dining Together as a Family
One of the best parts of cruising as a family is being able to enjoy a meal together almost every single day. The cruise line may have kid-friendly menus designed just for your kids. But even if they don’t, you’ll likely find something they’ll enjoy. Depending on the cruise line, you can also eat in a variety of places, including casual dining areas, more upscale restaurants, and even specialty restaurants that focus on certain types of cuisine. You can always eat as a family, but you can also get together with other family groups. If you’re on a cruise with a kids’ club on board, your kids can make friends with other kids their age.
Help for Traveling with Young Children
Many cruise lines offer childcare services at various price points. You will also find that most ships have a Kids’ Club where your child can enjoy activities with other children while parents can enjoy some time without the kids. If your child is too young to join the Kids’ Club, you can still take advantage of the services they offer. Childcare is offered on most ships, and prices vary depending on the cruise line, your child’s age, and the length of the trip. If you have a baby or small child, look for a cruise line that offers a private nursery. This is a great option for parents who have babies or toddlers who still need to be watched closely.
More Reasons to Go on a Cruise as a Family
Cruises are great for families because they’re all-inclusive. You don’t have to worry about planning every single detail of your vacation, from transportation to meals to excursions. Cruise lines offer activities that appeal to all ages, from swimming in the cruise line’s onboard pool to visiting off-shore excursions that let you explore the surrounding area. Cruises also offer a wide variety of dining options. You’re sure to find something to suit every member of your family, even the pickiest eaters. Cruising is an excellent option for families who don’t have set vacation schedules or those who want to visit several destinations in one vacation. It’s easy to mix and match ports of call on cruise itineraries, giving you the chance to see a wide variety of places in a limited amount of time.
When to Go on a Cruise as a Family
There isn’t a specific time of year when cruising is better than any other. Cruise lines offer all kinds of itineraries at all kinds of times of the year. That said, there are certain times of the year that are busier than others. If you want to cruise when the cruise lines have fewer passengers, avoid the following times of the year:
- Thanksgiving and Christmas. Most people have plans for these times, so cruising during these times is likely to be more crowded.
- Mid-August through September. This is the end of the cruise season, and many people prefer to take vacations during the warmer weather.
- Last two weeks of October. This is when kids typically go back to school. This can be a busy time for cruises as well.