Cruises can be a great way to show your children different parts of the world in one vacation. You want to have the holiday of a lifetime with your family. Yet, a lack of planning can turn the dream vacation into a nightmare. To ensure they make wonderful childhood memories, here are 7 tips for going on cruises with kids.
1. Pick the Best Cruises with Kids
There is a big difference between a child-friendly and child-tolerant cruise line. If you want to go on cruises with kids, we recommend selecting a kid-friendly cruise line. The cruise line you pick will most likely depend on your child’s age and interests. That’s why you should research the on-board entertainment options.
Also, check if there any age requirements for all shore excursions. Most cruise lines provide excursion search tools on their website for age limits.
2. Select a Cruise with Several Dining Options
Let’s face it, kids are pretty fussy when it comes to food. Review the dining options and restaurants before you book. If they don’t offer the familiar foods your kids love, it might be best to book a different cruise. The last thing you want is to go on cruises with kids who won’t eat a thing.
3. Check the Minimum Age Requirement
Most cruise lines have a minimum age requirement. Many will not allow children younger than 6 months or 1 year to travel onboard. This will more than likely depend on the cruise line and itinerary. Read the terms and conditions before you book.
4. Book the Best Room
You’ll want to bathe your child during the cruise. Unfortunately, most standard cruise cabins often don’t feature bathtubs. If you’re unhappy for them to have a shower, you may need to upgrade a cabin to a higher category room.
Unless you’re traveling on a Disney liner, as they feature family staterooms. This will include tub and shower combinations and will sleep three to five guests.
5. Beware of the Balcony
When going on cruises with children, it’s important to consider if it’s safe to book a balcony cabin. If you do, you must ensure your children are always supervised on the balcony. Fortunately, most cabin balconies feature plexiglass, so have no bars with gaps. The Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act (2010) also requires the railings to be 42 inches tall.
6. Don’t Forget the Essentials
If you’re traveling with a baby, don’t forget to pack enough diapers, wipes, formula and baby food. Most cruise lines will not carry these items. If they do, you can trust they’ll be more expensive on board the liner. If you will need a crib, it’s essential to request one as soon as you have booked a cruise. Many ships have a limited supply, so act soon to avoid disappointment.
You should also take a baby carrier or stroller with you. Most cruise lines either don’t carry them or have a limited supply.
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7. Use the Kids’ Clubs
Both you and your children will love the on board kids’ clubs. Not only does it allow your child to make friends, but it gives Mom and Dad some much-needed relaxation time. The likes of Disney, Carnival and Royal Caribbean have some superb youth programs. These clubs often range from ages 2 all the way up to 17.
From karaoke and pool games to dance parties and crafts, there’s something for every child. What’s more, they’re free. Are you hoping to go on cruises with kids? Check the prices for the best cruises below.