More and more often people planning their summer holiday are choosing family cruises. In fact, more than one million children were booked on cruises last year.
This type of holiday takes away the hassles of choosing where to go for dinner, finding fun activities for the kids, lugging bags from place to place and packing and unpacking them constantly. These cruises especially designed for families offer just about as many port options as any other style of cruise.
All of the major cruise lines have special family cruises and they are constantly expanding their shipboard programs for kids of all ages as well as organised shore excursions for teenagers. They are the perfect family holiday. With all the planned activities the kids don’t have to spend all their time with adults and mum and dad can have some time of their own for more adult oriented fun. The ships also feature activities for the entire family as well.
For families this type of holiday can also be more economical than the average trip. Many of the cruise lines have accommodations especially designed for families like large staterooms with a separate sleeping area for their parents or connected cabins for families who have older children.
Here is an example of what some cruise lines have to offer:
Carnival Cruise Lines – Famous for their “Camp Carnival”, these ships have activities for children in different age groups: 2-5, 6-8, 9-11, 12-14, and 15-17. The programs for the youngest age groups are supervised by trained counsellors. Various activities include arts and crafts, playing on the pool-side slides, activity walls, climbing mazes and even computer labs.
Carnival also offers cruise packages geared towards mother/daughter and father/son combinations. With this they provide things like hair and nail treatments, foot and scalp massages and health evaluations.
Celebrity Cruises – Celebrity has their children’s activities divided into four age groups and each ship employs 8 to 12 trained counsellors including a lifeguard. Some of their special programs include magic lessons, junior Olympics, clown parties and treasure hunts.
Disney Cruise Lines – Disney has two ships that each have a full deck devoted to children. The Oceaneer’s Club for the little ones lets the kids dance with Snow White and play games on the private island aboard the ship. Kids from 8 to 12 can enjoy the science and space themed Oceaneer Lab. These same two ships have an area especially for the older kids with a soda bar, Internet access, TVs, MP3 players and board games.
Cunard Line – On their Queen Mary 2 Cunard employ accredited British nannies in their nurseries. They even offer a Children’s Tea each afternoon.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines – Their Adventure Youth Program is especially geared towards two different age groups: 3 to 12 and older kids from 13 to 17. They use what they call “Edu-tainment” and mix educational activities, ports of call, the daily itineraries, games, team sports and art and performance to give the kids the time of their lives.
The staff that work in the Adventure Ocean Program on Royal Caribbean ships all have degrees in Recreation. The program also supplies babysitting services when the parents want some extra time alone.
Cruising with the family lets you relax while someone else handles all the details. In the mean time, you unwind on what is basically a resort on the water. Each ticket ensures that all of your family’s meals and between-meal snacking are covered. Your rooms, the entertainment, all of the organised activities and on-board parties are all part of the cost of the cruise.