Taking your kids on a cruise for your next family vacation is a great way to get the whole family away and be confident that there will be activities, food, and a comfy place to sleep for all. That said, it can be nerve-wracking to take your kids on a cruise for the first time. That’s why we’ve put together this short guide so you can make sure both you and your kids get the most out of your vacation.
Keep everyone healthy
We all let our health slip a little when we go on a cruise. All that good food and relaxation makes it inevitable. When travelling as a family, it’s important you take extra steps in ensuring everyone stays fit and healthy for the whole trip. Remember essentials like sanitizer, baby wipes, anti-nausea medication, and plenty of sunblock. Check out guides like this one from All About Vision for caring for your eyes on vacation. And make sure everyone gets some fruit and vegetables each day.
Do your research
Before you decide on a cruise, make sure you do your research. That means finding out what facilities you can expect on board, room sizes, childcare availability, age requirements, and the itinerary. You need to check, for example, that your kids are old enough for the activities they want to do or for the on-cruise kid’s club. You definitely need to know if babysitting and childcare facilities are available too. Taking the whole family on a cruise requires much more research than when it’s just you and friends or your other half.
Arrive with plenty of time
Let’s face it, travelling with kids can make everything from packing a suitcase to getting off a plane much more difficult. With that in mind, it’s vital that you arrive at your cruise’s departure destination with more time than you’d usually allow yourself. If you need to fly to your departure destination, consider arriving the day before departure so that you don’t need to combine air travel with getting to your cruise on time in one day.
Cruises are great for family vacations as a lot of the stuff you need is provided for you, including food and toiletries. That said, taking kids on a cruise requires some more careful thinking about what and how to pack.
You should remember that on your first day you might not have immediate access to your room and luggage, so be sure to pack everything you need for your first day in your hand luggage, including wipes, snacks, documents, swimsuits, and sunblock. If you feel overwhelmed by packing for your kids, check out this cruise packing list for kids to make sure you pack the right stuff.
Set clear expectations
We’d all love our first family cruise to be perfect, but that’s not realistic. It’s important that before you leave, you set your own expectations and set your kids’ expectations too. Have a chat with the whole family before leaving to explain to them the health and safety rules of the ship, how they should behave, and any other rules you might have – like all of the family eating dinner together at 6pm every day.
With plenty of preparation and communication, you can be confident that you’ll have a successful cruise vacation with your family.
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