Saturday, August 11, 2007

Cruising With Children

When it comes to cruising for families with children, there a few things to consider. On a cruise, there will be plenty of activities that can be done as a family as well as activities that will be geared towards kids and adults separately. The thing to do is to look for a cruise line that fits the lifestyle of the family best. Here are my top 3 cruise lines that appeal to families:

Disney: Normally offering cruises from 3 to 7 nights, Disney is great for families with small children and preteens. The ships have a nursery capable of caring for children from 12 weeks to 36 months. There are areas dedicated to teenagers as well as a place or two just for mom and dad to get away and relax. Many people have said that its the best of both worlds when it comes to getting a cruise and a Disney vacation.

Carnival: With a motto of "the fun ships" Carnival offers a variety of activities for the young and young at heart. Camp Carnival is available for children ages two and older with groups set up by age categories. There is also Club O2, which is geared towards teenagers which even reserves times in the nightclubs for teens only. Carnival also offers and after hours babysitting service (for a small fee) that allows the adults to enjoy the nightlife on board knowing the kids are being taken care of.

Royal Caribbean: RCCL has brought the family fun to the max, with the signature rock climbing walls, and ships that have roller blade tracks, ice skating rinks and its newest attraction, the Flowrider wave pool, that simulates surfing. There is a program for children 6 - 36 months called Aqua Babies and Aqua Tots, as well as a program for kids 3 to 17 called Adventure Ocean.

A few family tips when researching a cruise:

  • Find out the rules on the number of passengers in a cabin (each cruise ship is different).
  • Most cruise lines require an adult be booked in the same room as the children.
  • Most cruise lines do NOT discount fares based on child's age.
  • Ages for youth programs differ by cruise line, so make sure the line you chose fits the ages of your children.
  • Not all cruise lines have programs for kids or programs year round.
  • Planing a cruise while school is in session will decrease the number of other children on board and participating in the programs.

Planing any family vacation can be a grueling but important task, but by planning and researching accordingly your vacation will be more relaxing, which is the goal in the first place right?

1 comment:

Cam said...

Here I am again... definitely have to throw kudos at Disney. Stuff to do for anyone at any age. They really cater to adults, believe it or not. Our's is going to be 8 in Nov, she's been on 3 Disney cruises with another in 08. Excellent choise for kids of all ages, including teens, apparently.