If you look at it at all the images on the internet about family cruising, you’ll see a happy family, all smiles, completely stress free. However, any parent will tell you there are times when it’s not all fun and games. So, what to do?
Holidays should all be about spending time together as a family, having fun-time and us-time and even a little of me-time. It’s about enjoying all those little luxuries (and big luxuries) that cruising offers – new destinations to explore, fabulous choices of onboard restaurants to eat in, spectacular shows to watch and comedians to laugh at, games to play and pools to swim in, spas to bubble in and new friends to meet, sunsets to marvel at, moons to hold hands under, a great cabin to fall sleep in and there’s so much more waiting onboard.
Cruising brings enjoyment for the whole family and that’s why we’ve come up with 6 great tips to create the perfect family cruise to give you a reason jump onboard together!
Plan ahead and look for a great location
It should be a no-brainer to plan ahead for any kind of holiday, but, since you’re travelling with the family, you have to make sure that EVERYONE is going to enjoy the destination you choose.
That’s where cruising comes in. Unless you’re heading out on a short taste-tester cruise, there will be one, two or more destinations to visit – so you have choices. (A taste-tester cruise, or a cruise to nowhere is usually a 2-3 night stay onboard a cruise ship – perfect if this is your first time to get the family used to a holiday at sea – and we know you are going to just love it!).
Sailing from most Australian capitals, you can cruise to the beautiful Pacific Islands just nearby, or head across the ditch to New Zealand’s magnificent coastlines at the snap of your fingertips (or at least a quick phone call to Vacation Rewards). If you have more time, why not head out across the sea on a Transpacific Cruise, sailing to the tropical paradise islands of Tahiti and Bora Bora, Hawaii and head home via the wonderful South Pacific! And then, there is always Asia, Europe, the USA and more of the world to explore – all you need do is start, because we know you and your family will love cruising!
Choose a Cruise Ship to meet your needs
Whether it’s a fun-filled cruise ship with a whole theme park and waterslides you are looking for, or river cruise to Asia, you have a huge range of cruise ships to choose from at Vacation Rewards®. For popular family-oriented cruiselines sailing from Australian waters, try Carnival Cruises with its Dr Seuss theming for kids, Australian-based P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean and more who focus their cruises on family fun for every generation.
Be assured though, that most cruiselines will offer kids & teens clubs with activities, programs and adventures to suit all ages and interests. And as for the adults among us, there is more than enough to keep us busy while the kids find new friends and go wild at kid’s club. Best to give Vacation Rewards® Travel Specialists a quick call, and they can find you the ideal cruiseline to meet your particular family needs and wants.
Booking a cruise offers you an all-inclusive holiday, the best value for your dollar, with all the basics laid out for you. Dining, accommodation, entertainment, a cruise to your destinations are all included within the cost of your holiday. Perfect!
Remember though to factor in any onboard tips and gratuities, onboard cocktails, mocktails or alcohol (be sure to check out the beverage packages always on offer), plus any destination expenses and shore excursions. And then, there will always be those few little luxuries – you are on holiday after all! Luxuries like specialty dining (possibly an extra $10-$30 over and above the already included main dining room or buffet), or those lovely signature spa and massage treatments! Most can be pre-planned and pre-paid for BEFORE you board, and that means as a family you can budget better, know how much you are paying, and no need to stress about any surprises.
Escape from each other!
Come on, we all know you are there for family fun, but there are times when you really, really REALLY need your own space right!?! Give your kids some space, and they’ll give you yours! Make sure to avail yourself of any kid’s clubs and or babysitting for the little ones and teens. That way you and your other half can relax and have some together time. Bonus is, any older family members can be fairly self-sufficient because they can grab their own meals (its included already), meet up with new friends, find their own fun and do their own thing anywhere onboard and then meet up at dinner to share their holiday stories!
If you’ve got a couple of kids with you, it is essential to pack light! Roll clothes and stuff socks and underwear inside shoes. Have your kids pack a small backpack each with some comforts from home like their favourite toy or books (OK, sorry, their ipads downloaded with videos), colouring book and pencils just to help them feel at home in new surrounds. Whatever you do, do not forget to take Pookie on holiday! No bear should be left behind!
Snap, snap, snap!
Kids grow up so fast, don’t they? What a great idea to bring a camera with you to snap all the memories of your cruise together. Make sure you take time to enjoy all the fun and games that you are photographing. Here’s an idea! Depending on your child’s age, why not let the kids be in charge of taking their own pictures. If you are concerned about losing the ipad or iphone overboard, buy a cheap digital camera and let them go to town. You’ll be surprised when you see their perspective on their own holiday, plus you’ve got your very own budding photographer!
Inspired to travel?
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