Spring break comes at the perfect time of the year. The weather is just starting to warm, the school year is beginning its final stretch, and the kids are starting to show signs of spring fever. This is the perfect time to schedule a family cruise. If you’ve never taken a cruise with your entire crew, never fear. With a bit of planning and some helpful tips, a cruise vacation with children in tow can be a fun experience for everyone.
Do Your Research
There are a multitude of cruise lines vying for your business with a dizzying array of amenities and itineraries. To get the best buy-in from the whole family, involve the kids in the spring break family cruise planning process. Most cruise lines have promotional videos and walk-through tours available online, and watching those will amp up the anticipation and get everyone excited. As new ships are built, the offerings are becoming more and more extravagant. The newest, biggest cruise liners offer climbing walls, bumper cars, skating rinks, simulated surf pools, and golf courses. Be sure to take your family’s preferences into account as you choose the ship that ticks the most boxes.
Book Activities In Advance
Involve the kids in choosing onboard activities and shore excursions. Use pictures & videos to educate them about the offerings and allow them to help with the decision-making. Cruises are a great opportunity to expose children to other cultures and ecosystems, so try to vary your shore excursions to include tours of historic sites as well as geographical highlights.
Use the Kids Club
The kids clubs on cruise ships are not just a babysitting service. They are professionally staffed and meticulously planned with activities that will engage your children and help them to make friends while onboard. Take your kids to visit the club as soon as you arrive on the ship for a tour of the facilities and a preview of activities and events. Don’t feel guilty about taking your kids to the club from time to time; it will give you some much-needed adult time and very well may be the best part of their cruise experience!
Choose Mealtimes Wisely
Most cruise lines allow you to choose early or late seating when selecting your dinner times. With small children, early seating is a great idea. After a day of active fun in the sun, they are likely to fall asleep at their seats if you wait for the late seating. A nice benefit for parents is to eat early, then utilize the kids club while they go out for some grown-up entertainment.
Schedule Adult Time
Speaking of grown-up entertainment, the best way to enjoy your family cruise is to ensure you have a bit of adult fun as well. A trip to the spa, a private dinner, and a “date” to an evening show or comedy club will give you a welcome break from the happy chatter of your children, making your time spent together more restful and special.
One of the things that can quickly ruin the cruise experience is poor packing. Pack clothing in larger suitcases that will be delivered to your stateroom. A helpful tip is to take carry-on bags with you through security that include the essentials: cruise documents, passports, a swimsuit, sunscreen, and medications.
Take Time to Explore
Children are natural explorers and will get a thrill out of checking out all the fun amenities your ship has to offer. Take time on the first day to get a feel for the layout of the ship and allow your kids to enjoy discovering delightful new things, like the ice cream bar!
Family cruises during spring break are a great way to get away and allow your children to experience another part of the world. By involving the whole family in the planning process and representing all interests in your activities, everyone is sure to have a great time!