Travelling with kids is easy breezy – said no parent ever! But it’s also a lot of fun, full of happy memories for a lifetime, and always a good learning experience for the kids, as well as for the parents. While taking a vacation with your toddler might come with a need to plan well (read: thoroughly, after deep research) and pack more (toys, clothes, just-in-case medicines), the rich experience is worth going that extra mile.
What is the best option you have while travelling with kids, you ask? Well, this summer, why not select a kid friendly cruise line that would save you from the stress which comes with a lot of detailed planning and safety concerns of a land holiday. And imagine the euphoria your kids will experience if they can actually live their favourite movies like Pirates of the Caribbean or Finding Nemo right in the middle of the ocean! A few Bollywood movies in the recent past have shown us how fun a vacation can be aboard a cruise ship, and has tempted us to consider top cruises for families as a vacation option. We agree! Let’s find out why taking a cruise vacation with your child is a much better option than going for the typical touristy holiday package.
Cruising is a super safe form of travel. All cruise ships have a list of strict safety precautions and rules, so your vacation on board the luxury floating resort is relaxed. There is staff assigned to man the kids pool, and also at the main deck to avoid any kind of mishap. Cruises that are especially designed for families with children make sure that yours and your kid’s safety is their foremost priority.
- Disney Cruise Line offers complimentary Wave Phones which your child can use to call any shipboard phone, stateroom phone or another Wave Phone.
- Many leading cruise lines have special security tracking wrist bands or cards to ensure that anyone, especially children, can be easily spotted.
That said, when there are kids involved, one needs to careful and watchful especially during port visits. Also, make sure your kids know they have to approach a crew member if they need something in your absence.
Most child friendly ship lines such as Disney Cruise Line offer complimentary baby essentials upon request. These include cribs, playpens, diaper disposal units, bottle warmers, bottle sterilisers and other essentials.
Age appropriate entertainment
Most cruises have separate clubs for various age groups, with different ambiance and activities. They have special arrangements customised for toddlers, older kids, the tweens and the teens. For example, the Disney Cruise Line has separate kids’ pools for infants that are not potty trained yet. On board the famous Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class cruise, older kids can enjoy 3D theaters, karaoke sessions and water slides. The big highlight is an ice skating rink!
All family cruise lines have a dedicated kids’ menu with all-time favorite items like Mac and Cheese to specific items that your kid might want. Generally, the lively dining areas of ships are a tempting treat to even the fussiest of kids.
For babies between six months to three years of age, most cruises have special parent-child play areas, well equipped to entertain this hard-to-please age group. If you want to indulge in some activity in which kids cannot participate, avail the nanny on call option. Parents can use the late-night group babysitting services as well (think candle light and a romantic dinner on the deck – just the two of you, knowing that the kids are safe and taken care of!).
Onboard the top cruises for families, adventure is aplenty! Younger kids can find tons of adventure at a PJ themed breakfast with their favorite cartoon characters like Dora and Woody while the next age group can indulge in rock climbing, scavenger hunts, wading pools and more. Teens can get an adrenalin rush while racing across the deck on a zip line or sliding through a twisted water slide! What’s more? Cruise lines like Royal Caribbean International offer 360-degree views in a jewel-shaped capsule 300-feet above the sea level. Still not impressed? How does trying out a skydiving simulator sound? Mind blown!
Learn something new
Why should learning stop when you’re on a vacation, right? Turns out, these kid-friendly cruise lines agree. At the famous cruise The Royal Princess, young kids are encouraged to participate in a cake decorating session, while some other cruise line offer lessons in simulated surfing, inline skating and scuba diving. You can even enroll your kid in dance lessons on board!
And the best part – kids below 15 years of age can sail free on select few cruises. So do your research well!
Tempting, isn’t it? A vacation on a cruise where the kids have fun while getting involved in productive activities, becomes even better when the parents are sure of their utmost safety. Clearly, cruises are an amazing option for families as they are an all-inclusive vacation including accommodations, meals and entertainment.
Before you go ahead with booking a cruise for your family and kids, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Some cruise lines don’t allow kids younger than six months of age. This depends on various factors like the duration of the cruise, individual cruise guidelines etc. Keep an eye out for that. A few luxury cruise lines don’t cater to specific food requirement that young kids might have. In case there are any food allergies or restrictions for your kids, you should inform your cruise line in advance.
- There might be an extra charge for babysitting at a few cruise lines.
A big concern for parents is sea sickness. But fret not, most cruise ships have medical centers onboard, so if a kid feels sea sick, she/he can be treated by the doctor immediately.
Kids have an amazing time on cruises and show increased inclination to learn new things. By interacting with other children onboard, their exposure to different ethnicities and cultures in an experience like no other!
So what are you waiting for, parents? It’s time to set sailing with your kids and experience a trip of a lifetime. Happy cruising!