One of our family’s favourite reasons for booking a cruising holiday over a regular holiday is the choice of things to do aboard the ship. We’ve been on “land based” holidays many times in the past, but after you’ve visited the quaint little museums and local attractions (which the older kids usually term ‘boring’), paid over the odds for the nearby theme park and sunbathed on the beach, there really is not much else to do. And because each bit of “entertainment” is in a separate place, we can often end up wasting time and money travelling to and fro. That’s why we love cruise ships so much: everything we need is right there, on board!
So, here are my top five things for families to do on cruise ships:
1) If you’re lucky enough to be holidaying on a ship like the Carnival Spirit, you can enjoy a big water park, such as the newly refurbished WaterWarks aqua park with it’s new SplashZone play area. As your kids play in the water park, you can relax nearby finishing off your favourite book in the sun. Sure, you could do this on a beach, but a beach doesn’t have a 150 gallon PowerDrencher dump buckets, water play areas and exhilarating water slides to entertain the kids!
2) There are always LOADS of shows to watch on cruise ships, and if you’re lucky enough to be staying on a Disney cruise line you can treat the kids to a show like Disney’s Aladdin Musical Spectacular, or Disney Dreams – An Enchanted Classic. Fancy something a little more grown up? Many ships have facilities for kids whose parents wish to spend some time alone in the evening. Think of it as a built in babysitting service! As the kids are entertained at a kids-only party or “sleep over” event, you and your partner can go and watch a movie or enjoy one of the ship’s gigantic productions.
3) Excursions are great, as they get the whole family out and about doing something together. Either choose to book one of the predetermined tours, or enjoy some quality “family” time by alighting the ship and exploring on your own. Plan in sight-seeing activities that will satisfy the whole family: there really is something for everyone, so nobody will be bored.
4) Can you remember the last time your family sat down and had a lavish meal together? On a cruise ship you can do that every night if you choose! Or, do you and your other half fancy a quiet night away from the kids? Enrol them on an evening kids club & enjoy a romantic date together.
5) Never feel guilty about wanting to ditch the kids at a kid’s club and spending quality time with your partner! You’ll find, like most families, you won’t be able to drag the kids away come closing time, as they’re having TOO much fun!
Some cruise lines (i.e. some Princess ships) even have “clubs” for teenagers too. Your son or daughter will enjoy hanging out with new friends of a similar age. Princess’s teen’s clubs have computer consoles, karaoke, talent shows, teen-only dance parties and dinners, makeovers, mocktail (non-alcohol cocktail) making lessons, dance lessons, sports tournaments and much, much more.
If you have younger kids, most cruise ship programmes accept children from 2 years upwards, though others will only accept children from the age of 5, so it’s best to check first. These activities change depending on age range, but can include things like designing t-shirts, pizza parties, watching movies, kids-only parties, sports, and so on!
See, there really is LOTS to do aboard a cruise ship, for all the family! It’s easy to see why it’s my favourite type of holiday!