This is why cruise holidays are the fastest growing sector in the travel industry as more of us discover the ease of unpacking only once but having a new place to explore each day. A cruise is one of the only holidays a family can have that has something for everyone.
These days family travel can mean three generations, so needs are changing when it comes to accommodation, dining and activities to please everyone from nana and grandad down to the teenager or toddler.
What is there to do onboard?
The cruise industry has come a long way and new ships are being christened every year that offer even more bells and whistles. Some have bowling alleys, wave pools and water slides, others have adventure parks featuring bumper cars, climbing walls and laser strike and that’s before you get to what the kids clubs offer.
Newer ships are now specifically designed with families in mind and that makes it even easier for your tweens and teens who are catered for as separate age groups who are free to come and go as they like. But it’s not all about fun and games and squeals of delight, many cruise lines are well aware of the need for quiet adult spaces and you’ll find larger ships have adults’ only areas with quiet pools, a spa (often with a hair salon) and a library where a jigsaw is always underway. You might also find a whiskey or champagne bar and specialty restaurants.
What will we eat on our cruise?
Dining options run the gamut from the crowd pleasing buffet, which is sure to be a hit with even the fussiest eater, to specialty restaurants like Italian, Indian or French and burger or pizza joints. In fact you might find it hard to wrangle the whole family together at meal time as the choices are vast.
What about cabins?
Large family rooms that can sleep up to six are available on some of the newer megaships, but adjoining rooms or even taking an extra interior cabin across the hall can be an easy solution – and one that is a cost-saving. If your children are young, take a baby monitor and you will hear them call you in the night just like you would at home.
Where should we go?
When choosing the right cruise for your family, you’ll also want to think about the destinations and activities you can do on shore. If you are a large family you might even decide to do different things and just meet up at the end of the day for a big debrief over dinner.
Cruising in the Pacific means you can take your kids to cultural shows, watch some beautiful island dancing, take in a kava ceremony (for your over 18s!) or visit a local school or project where you can volunteer as a family and be put to work for a few hours.
Another family favourite is cruising in Alaska. Fly to Vancouver or Seattle and head off to see glaciers as high as a 30-story building and whales playing all around as you slowly sail by. There is so much to see on an Alaskan cruise and many of the cities are inaccessible by land, so are unique experiences every day. Book a shore excursion to go dog sledding or take a float plane to a salmon hatchery where you’ll watch black bears walk out of the forest to catch their sashimi in the river as bald eagles circle overhead.
A cruise is the best way to create your family memories without the hassle.
Have you ever been on a cruising holiday with your family? Let us know your highlights below.