Cruising for Families
Cruising for families is a great choice for a holiday. I love a good cruise and can not wait for Baby F to reach that six month milestone so we can take him along too. There is so much excitement about cruising because the moment you get on the boat you’re already on holiday. You can start taking advantage of the food and drink, find your cabin and get yourself sorted, rip open the welcome pack and start getting familiar with the layout of the ship. It’s probably best to avoid jumping in the pool until you’ve had the safety on board talk. Onboarding is usually a simple process and, in my experience, even when we have turned up early, we’ve been processed and got on pretty quickly.
Getting on board a cruise ship is great for families because you’re not often waiting around for ages and if there is a delay and you’re already on board it doesn’t stop you from using the facilities. You drop off your bags, head into the cruise terminal, wait for your letter or number to be called, get in line where there are usually only two or three families in front, check in, have your photo taken and wrist bands put on the kids before walking around through security and getting on board. The process takes around 30 minutes. That’s it. We’ve had it before where our check in time was 3.30pm but we turned up around 1pm in the afternoon. We were on board and in our balcony cabin by 2pm easily which gave us time to start navigating the ship. Having your baggage taken to your cabin is brilliant too because you don’t have to worry about lugging heavy suitcases around and can keep hands on children.
Cruising for families is fun because most ships go out of there way to make sure there is something on board to cater to everyone. These can include supervised kids clubs, childrens entertainment, family films, family splash pools and swimming pools. The food options are great too, and the ships I’ve been on have had a special children’s tea slightly earlier than the main buffet opens. I have found that in the sit down restaurants there isn’t usually a kid friendly option so the buffet style places to eat are great choices for families.
It really all comes down to choosing the right cruise length, ship and company when it comes to cruising for families. It’s so easy to compare cruise lines online and find a ship that would be perfect for your family depending on the facilities on board. If you have never cruised before then a mini cruise could be a great way to show you just how fun cruises can be and give you a taster of what cruising for families is really like. You can then gradually increase the amount of time you spend on a ship in future cruises to 5 or even 7 nights before seeing how you would fare on a longer 10 or 14 night cruise. We have done a mini cruise and a 7 night one which we absolutely loved and had a lot of fun with. When Baby F is here we will be looking at another shorter cruise so that we can see how we like cruising with a young baby. Generally, cruises will allow babies of six months on board but if the cruise has more than 3 days at sea or is transatlantic, for example, children need to be at least 12 months.