“What if I get seasick?"
“What are we supposed to do in the middle of nowhere? Will we get bored?”
“It's so expensive!”
Cruises are a different type of vacation altogether and one that is an experience you cannot fathom until you have been on one! A cruise can be a perfect vacation option for families, regardless of size, or groups of several families travelling together. There is truly something for everyone on a cruise! And there are different cruise lines for different types of cruisers! So why choose a cruise vacation??
- GREAT VALUE. Going on a cruise vacation is similar to an all-inclusive resort....except you're on a ship! The cabin fare includes your accommodations, meals and entertainment onboard the ship. Depending on the cruise line, beverages may be included in your base fare. In many cases, the per person rate for a cruise is less than $100/day!
- EXCELLENT SERVICE. Think about someone serving you your drinks and food all day long – at meal times, at the pool, in the lounge, etc. and turn down service each evening in your stateroom. The staff on cruise ships are there to serve you, the customer. They want to ensure you have the best time on vacation and they work for your gratuities.
- FINE DINING. The food aboard cruise ships can sometimes be the best food you have ever tasted! Dining is always first class, high end and full of choices for the even the pickiest eater! You would be amazed at the type of cuisine and quality that is served aboard cruise ships. (For example, read here about Palo on the Disney Wonder on our cruise last summer!) Quick service and buffet restaurants are also available which is perfect for families who have hungry kids at non-meal times. Eat whenever you want, wherever you want!
- ACTIVITIES. Pools, waterslides, movie theatres, live shows, games, entertainment, rock climbing walls, kids clubs and excursions are only some of the things you can do while on a cruise vacation. Some cruise lines even include a casino onboard if you would like to play a little blackjack or poker to pass the time! Whether it is scheduled activities, dance parties or choose your own adventure, cruise activities are plentiful and there for everyone to enjoy!
- RELAX. Most cruises will include at least one (on short cruises) or two (for longer cruises) sea days where you can simply relax, and enjoy all the activities aboard the ship. Lounge lazily by the pool, curl up with a good book in the lounge, enjoy free entertainment throughout the ship, visit the spa or the gym (to work off all the food you're enjoying!), enjoy your verandah or balcony from your cabin with room service...the choices are endless!
- MULTIPLE DESTINATIONS! One of the most attractive features of a cruise is that you can visit several destinations in one vacation. You are not limited to the geographical area of your trip. Your cruise will take you to different destinations and you can enjoy a day trip at the port of call. Excursions can be arranged or you can simply stroll off the boat and enjoy the destination at your leisurely pace (keeping in mind that you have to return in time before the ship leaves!)
- ROMANCE. Drop the kids off at the kids clubs onboard. Let them have some fun and freedom without you and adults can enjoy many of the adult-only activities onboard. Use this opportunity to rekindle the romance between parents, even if it's just for a couple of hours!
- GET DRESSED UP! Many cruise lines offer at least one formal evening where passengers can get dressed up in their finest apparel and walk the seas feeling like royalty! Photographers are available to take photographs of you and your family in your finest wear. (Family photo opportunity alert!)
Cruise options are available for all budget types from starter pricing for affordability to high end luxury cruise lines that pamper passengers beyond comprehension! I mean, some people actually LIVE on a cruise when they retire!
If you have never been on a cruise before and are hesitant about the idea, start with a shorter cruise, maybe three to four days. Three to four day cruises are teaser cruises to give you a flavour of the cruising life and will go by fast!
To find an affordable cruise option with your family, consider travelling during slower times of the year. Passenger fares increase during peak travel time and holidays. Inside staterooms will be more affordable than oceanview or with balcony rooms and consider staying on a lower deck. If seven days at sea seems a bit too long for your liking, try out a five day cruise, where the price difference can be substantial if you find the right cruise option.
Certain cruise lines cater to families including Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line, among others. It is important to evaluate your families vacation style and preferences to determine which cruise line will suit your needs best.
Personally, I'm a huge Disney fan and will advocate Disney Cruises if you will let me! :) The vacation is well worth the price (as with all things Disney vacations)! Please read about Disney Wonder and my suggestions for the “Must Do's and Don't Misses” when on a Disney Cruise!