Kid’s are great – they are energetic, curious creatures that are into everything. Let’s face the facts about kids and cruising though. The whole family is already super-excited about getting onboard. There is so much to do and see and experience, and the kids are raring to go.
Rather than a relaxing cruise holiday, your first family cruise is likely to be full-on fun and go, go, go. This is where you and the family try out absolutely EVERYTHING onboard from afternoon tea to soaring high above the ship on a flying fox!
Below we offer you some suggestions for keeping the fun flowing… plus they may also give you and your significant other some time-out for a little R&R of your own.
FACT 1: What to do?
As family time is a main purpose of a family cruise, you will need to know what to do onboard while you are cruising from port to port. Each ship will have a good variety of the following experiences ready and waiting including scream-worthy slides and splashable waterparks, all you can eat buffets and a wide range of sports activities that may or may not include basketball, pool volleyball, bingo, tennis, golf, shuffleboard, dancing, lawn bowls, table tennis, skittles, board games like monopoly & scrabble, cards, activity & adventure parks with flying fox, parachutes, flying or surf simulators, climbing walls, roller skating, ice skating and the long, long list goes on. You may need a holiday after all of that!
FACT 2: Let’s Go Digital
Long gone are the days where you could give a child a book and let them read quietly for hours on end. Although there are one or two kiddies who love a book, todays fast paced high tech age of ipads & smartphones, videos and xbox means today’s child has a boredom level only met by a digital device. Most ships will offer a selection of video games, tv, dvd and xbox action for your tiny tech-heads, not to mention WiFi access to the internet.
Find out what devices are onboard and bring your kid’s favorite games with you – that way they have something they are used to, as well as something they can share with new friends. NOTE: Just be aware of any costs involved in WIFi access and roaming on the smartphone or onboard the ship.
(PS For family interaction time there is always the tried and true, like iSpy or “I went on a holiday and saw…” or 20 questions. Perfect for family downtime.)
FACT 3: No Adults Allowed
Almost all cruise ships will have a kids club, that’s usually age specific and tailored to ensure maximum fun for all. This is where your kids will make new friends, get involved in games and talent shows, meet the captain and crew, have parties and the freedom to do what all kids like to do with no adults allowed. Even if your child is a little shy, take them along to check out the Kids Club on embarkation day, so they know what’s available. As soon as they see other kids they will usually want to be involved. Then it’s up to you to organise “family time” vs “parent time”, I mean “kids time”.
Often there are regular babysitting services onboard, either in cabin or at a specific location. Great for a special late dinner/snack with your partner at least once during the cruise.
FACT 4: Family Time
Let’s be honest. Kids just want to spend time with you. The reason you brought the kids along was to have some real quality family time with them, right? So, let’s get onboard with that and embrace the many experiences available on a cruise ship. It’s a real chance to enjoy being a family, together, away from the daily stresses of life. To get to know your kids, build the family unit, share new things and see them laugh and smile with all the fun they are having.
This is going to be the best family holiday ever… and we haven’t even mentioned the destinations!
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