A cruise is a terrific choice for a family vacation; ships from family-oriented lines like Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and others are well-equipped for family fun.
If you have school-age children, let them be involved in the excitement of planning a cruise. Guiding them through the process of choosing a destination and ship, deciding what to do on board and on shore, and keeping within a vacation budget can be a great learning experience. Just let the kids know that while their ideas and opinions are important, you get to make the final decisions.
Start by talking about where to sail. With a world of destinations to choose from, you may want to pick two or three options to discuss with the kids. For example, talk with them about the possibilities of sunning on the beaches of the Caribbean versus viewing glaciers on the coast of Alaska or visiting museums around the Mediterranean. You may learn something new about what interests your kids.
After you pick a destination, select a cruise line and ship. Do the kids want lots of onboard activities? Some of today’s larger ships have amazing features like water coasters and go-kart tracks, but your kids may be perfectly happy on a smaller ship with a nice pool. If they like to spend time with other kids, look at cruise lines that have youth programs staffed by experienced counselors. These programs group kids by age and/or interest, with a full agenda of activities and fun.
Then, talk about what everyone would like to see and do on shore. Your ship will offer a variety of shore excursions in every port. If the kids have different opinions about how to spend shore time – say, one wants to tour and shop but another wants to slide down a zipline – look for excursions that combine several activities.
You should also talk about cabin selection, with special consideration to sleeping arrangements. Will everyone be comfortable in one cabin? Do you need two or more adjacent cabins to ensure everyone can sleep well? Perhaps a family suite with a little more space (and a balcony) will be worth a little extra money.
As you talk with the kids about your upcoming cruise, keep in touch with Anita, your professional travel advisor. If you need to resolve a difference of opinion, travel professionals are great at coming up with ideas for making everyone happy.
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