Contemplating a Cruise with the Kids?
Then do we have a GUIDE for you!
Whether it be Island hopping through the Mediterranean or cruising through the Caribbean,
cruising can be the ultimate relaxing holiday... with a few city sightseeing tours to provide
some cultural learning, or to some it could mean getting to see some of those countries
that you have been waiting so long to get to.
In this Article, we discuss:
* Cruise Lines available
* What type of cruise you should be looking for
* How to tell what the cruise will be like before you board
* What and how to pack for your cruise
* Required travel documents
* What to expect on board
* Before you board
* Shore Excursions
* Hints and Tips
What cruise liners are there & what are they known for
There are dozens of Cruise Lines that operate around the World.
The major Cruise Lines are:
Are known for fun, casinos and lots of activities, particularly for the lively youth market.
Good programs for children and teens. Great for first time cruisers who want an active,
high-energy party atmosphere. Overall excellent for families.
Celebrity Cruises have great food, elegant ships. The pricing is reasonable too.
Travelers who care about quality and appreciate style with a bit of flashiness.
Are known for their focus on European destinations with multinational passengers.
The atmosphere is lively and energetic. On Mediterranean sailings, over 80% of passengers
are European. On Caribbean cruises, most passengers are North American.
Are known for their attention to seniors and retirees. Those who enjoy cruise traditions and want a
quality experience in a refined environment but like the facilities and range of choices available on
new super liners.
Norwegian is great for families with children, good variety of restaurants and eateries, and good
Princess Cruises cater typically for retirees and seniors.
Also great for first-time and frequent cruisers who want easy-paced travel.
Royal Caribbean are great for first-time cruisers and families with children.
They have great variety of entertainment with good programs for children and teens.
Anyone taking a first cruise. Those who like large ships or want options with a touch of class.
Great ships with good options for activities for children.
Simply time-old class with exemplary service. Cunard caters to well-seasoned traveler who enjoy
the finer things in life. Great for those who enjoy civilised adventure and the legacy of historic
voyages and transatlantic travel.
Disney Cruise Line caters for anyone who just loves to enjoy the them of Disney and naturally this
would be the pick of any child or fun-loving adult wanting to share the joy that is Disney.
For those who enjoy a more European atmosphere, and travelers interested in a mid-priced cruise
VIKING - For those who want to try a softer approach to simple Cruising or who love River cruising.
What type of cruise you should be looking for
The type of cruise can vary greatly. Some cruises will cater extremely well for families, whilst others focus on providing a different ambience for Single and older people. To find a cruise that will cater for families and more specifically your family, simply take a look at what facilities are available; [and specifically for your children's age(s)].
How to do this?
Search in our search tool below through the Cruise Lines and use our guidelines above for what the Cruise Line is typically known for and search for their activities and they will generally display an overview of what facilities and activities are available.
Destinations: Use the tools below to search by Destination or Cruise Line.
How to tell what cruising will be like before you board...
There are so many factors upon whether you would like cruising compared to conventional travel. Cruising is
ideal for those travelers who are not wanting to travel long distances with layovers with disruptive transit
Similarly, cruising is also fantastic for those who want to see multiple countries in one trip without having to
travel between cities.
One of the best things about cruising is going to bed and waking up in a new location, all rested and not having to have driven or flown the miles. For many parents, cruising allows them to have holidays with the children, with the occasional break from the kids, whilst the kids have a fantastic time too.
Remember date night? It is all possible whilst cruising!
Carefully consider the Ship 'class' that you choose and carefully choose the Ship that has facilities that will suit you. This makes a difference. Even research what restaurants, coffee shops, gym, spa and children activities are available.
Make sure to read about what services are available for the really little ones and babies.
What and how to Pack
Click here for a great Cruise Travel Checklist List particularly for Cruising.
Our more comprehensive Travel Packing Checklist can be found by clicking here.
You will need to pack carefully as the ships closets/wardrobes are not typically so spacious.
Always check the recommended attire on the main website of your Cruise Line. This does vary greatly from ship to ship.
Keep in my mind, most, if not all Ships have a "formal evening". Remember to include the little black dress or feel welcome to buy that special gown, and remember to have your picture taken by the photography crew on the Ship.
Many cruise lines will have the opportunity to hire formalwear - as long as it is arranged prior to the cruise. Remember to ask them prior to your travel if this interests you. Give them plenty of time to arrange this.
Bring a Day Bag: You will need to bring the items that you think you will need for the first day (of cruising) where you are possibly without your main luggage for most of the first day - whilst they are delivering luggage throughout the ship.
When you pack for departure, always remember to hold onto the items that you will need on the morning of departure. *They will take your luggage typically the night before you depart*
Most Cruise Lines have a restrictions list, which include items that are considered unsafe or not secure. The Cruise Lines will reserve the right to confiscate (and most probably destroy in some cases) articles at their discretion that may be considered dangerous or pose a risk to the security and safety of the ship and or guests (this will be in their terms and conditions of boarding). Some of these items may include alcohol, weapons, candles and other dangerous goods. They will conduct security scanning of your luggage.
Required travel documents
Always remember to bring your passport - even if you take a cruise that stays within your Countries
borders, a Passport is recommended, just in case you miss a Port and are required to fly
somewhere that requires your Passport. In addition, it is always considered the best form of
Remember to print all of the documentation provided by the Cruise Line. In most, if not all
cases, they will require you to print out boarding documentation as well as Luggage 'tags'
which will need to be affixed to your luggage.
Finally, always verify with the Check-in procedure on the website of your chosen Cruise Line.
They will also list any other travel documentation required.
We would recommend you bring your passport, drivers license(s), cruise documentation provided at the time of booking and Medical/Insurance details (in case of medical emergencies).
What to expect on board
.... In most cases, a whole lot of fun and relaxation, for you AND your Children.
Choose your Stateroom carefully
Consider where on the Ship your stateroom is located. Most Cruise Lines will allow you to pre-allocate your Stateroom upon booking. You may wish to be close to the elevators, or as far from them as possible.
If you have a state room that is separate from your children, research into what state rooms may be connected internally, or even via the balcony.
Entertainment on Cruise Ships is typically broad and very accommodating
to most peoples' taste and preferences. Each evening, you will be provided with a daily itinerary (for the next day) of all of the activities that will be happening. ALWAYS read this notice, and prepare your days from this itinerary... this is invaluable!!!
Our Hints for Entertainment:
* Become familiar with what shows will be playing throughout your stay. Keep yourself up to date (through the notices around the Ship or via the daily Itinerary) with what activities are available to you and they will be playing or showing.
Tipping and Gratuities
These will typically be included in the amount charged at time of booking. However, naturally, staff will welcome gratuities in addition to this.
In many cases, it is because of the Shore Excursions as to why you chose your Cruise.
Whichever destinations you choose, carefully go through and compare all of the tours on offer.
Take note of the walking and transport conditions - do you have the capacity to take that tour, and are you
traveling with someone where elements of the shore excursion will be too challenging. Remember to wear
sensible shoes, appropriate clothing.
Our Hints for Shore Excursions:
* Always bring your Passport with you, and be extra careful of it whilst you are out and about.
* If you have little ones, be totally prepared for what the shore excursion may bring- always bring sufficient food,
diapers, wipes, liquid for the children, particularly if you have a baby.
* Consider how you and your children will be walking/getting around on the Shore Excursions; consider bringing
* Always always have the entire family wear comfortable shoes on the Shore Excursions... the last thing you need
is for someone to be in pain or uncomfortable whilst on one of the tours... it will ruin your day for sure.
FUN things to encourage the children to do
* On the first day become familiar with the activities that are available for the children - get them involved, get them to understand what is involved in their daily life on the Ship
* When you receive the itinerary (for the next days activities), read through the activities for the kids and get them to plan their time for the next day
* You are not required to give gratuities during your cruise
* On the first day of boarding, go for a walk of the entire Ship and get the kids familiar with what activities there are. This will also help with the kids' bearings in navigating their way around the ship
* Set up boundaries and guidelines for what you expect of the children, and educate them on who they need to approach should they not be able to locate you
Want to book a Cruise?
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