Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Trip of a Lifetime: Tips for Young Families on a Cruise

Couples in need of a vacation don’t have to leave their young ones behind.  Actually, the romance can be maintained while young children tag along on a vacation cruise.  Don’t let the anchor raise without perusing the following tips to ensure a safe, fun, and memorable family cruise. 

Review Age Limits

Disney allows babies who are only weeks old to come onboard while other cruise lines require children be at least six months old.  Check your cruise line’s website for official word regarding age restrictions.  Moreover, pay attention to age limits regarding areasof the ship such as the pool.  Lastly, you may have to pass over certain activities depending on associated age restrictions.  There may be sitters on the ship so you won’t have to sacrifice time for adult activities.

Check for Cabin Amenities

Of course, a family cabin won’t be as accommodating as your home or apartment, yet some amenities are needed for those with small children, such as a bathtub.  You may decide to devote more money toward a practical dwelling that meets the demands of a family with small or multiple children.  Also, check if your P&O cruises ships offer maid or butler service if you don’t feel like cleaning up on vacation as you do at home.

Pack for the Kids

In addition to packing for yourself, you’ll need to gather needs for your kids including toys, iPads, and games that will keep them occupied on the plane and during downtime on the boat.  Additionally, consider earplugs to keep ear canals open during flight along with child seasickness medication.  Also, don’t forget bugspray, sunscreen, and a hat to shield your child’s face from the sun’s rays.

Keep Them Busy

Provide your children a hands-on experience.  Before shipping out, have them plan a few activities for the family.  Of course, explain some things may change depending on weather, time, and how family members are feeling that day.  Buy a cheap camera and allow your child to document the trip by taking pictures you can upload to the computer for printing or place on your family’s Facebook page or Instagram account.

Take a Load Off

Depending on travel logistics, you may fly and drive before setting sail, which could be tiresome and boring for little ones.  Arrive at the seaport one day early to allow for a break in traveling.  Also, depending on your child’s mood, decide to take advantage of each port stop or stay on the ship to enjoy the amenities while others parade on land.

Blaze Your Own Trail

Once onboard, you’ll get an intuitive feel as to what aspects your child likes and dislikes.  Just because the cruise line offers kids activities does not necessitate your presence.  Alternatively, depending on their age, some ‘adult’ activities can be appropriate for kids too.  No one knows your family better than you, so allow your motherly or fatherly intuition to navigate the family to and from available activities.

Cruises spell romance but the vacation can involve the entire family.  Bring along the kids while you make a few tweaks to ensure comfort and sanity for all family members.

Michael Wilson is the Managing Director at Bolsover Cruise Club. The company, once named Bolsover Travel, was started in the late 1960's by his parents. He continues to work passionately in the company, being involved in all aspects of daily operations. When he's not working, Michael enjoys spending holidays with his family, working in the garden, and watching rugby. 

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