Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Cruising with Family: Planning Your Adventure

Cruising with Family
Family Cruises are the best!
A cruise vacation is such a wonderful way to travel with family.  There is, quite literally, something for everyone on a cruise.  Activities, food and accommodations – it’s all covered.  

Preparing for a cruise – especially when the kids are coming along - can be a big task, but we’d like to help you out by offering some information to help you prepare for a family cruise with our Cruising with Family series.

For our first installment, let's talk about the planning you'll do well before you embark.  Do some research about your cruise, to find out what they offer for kids, and what the restrictions are.  Share your findings with your kids, so they can start to form a picture of the fun activities they’ll get to be involved in.  

Planning a family cruise; what to look for:

  • Most cruise lines have a minimum age for infants, and this age may vary by destination (for example, voyages that have more days at sea may have a higher minimum age).
  • Familiarize yourself with the age guidelines for your cruise line’s kids program.  Some cruise lines offer nurseries for infants, while others start at age 2 or 3.  
  • Kids programs are broken into age groups, so find out which group(s) your children will be eligible for.  
  • The age requirements for nighttime babysitting may differ from the daytime program, so look into that as well.
  • Dining options abound on any cruise, some will cater to families, others may be a better fit for adults.  
  • Not all shore excursions are appropriate for younger children, so be sure to read the fine print when booking them.
  • Most cruise lines offer adult-only areas where kids under a certain age are not permitted.
  • Pool access may not be limited by age, but U.S. regulations prohibit children that aren’t toilet trained from using pools or spas on cruise ships.  However, some ships offer splash pad facilities where tots in swim diapers are welcome.

What research did you find most helpful when planning for a cruise with kids?

Want to know more about preparing for a family cruise vacation?  Check out the other posts in our Cruising with Family series:

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