Cruise with Kids
Have you ever considered cruising as your next family vacation? Concerned that there won’t be much for the kids to do or maybe enough for yourself? Well, I’m here to tell you to throw that out the porthole window! My husband and I have cruised many times before on several cruise lines- Princess, Norwegian, Carnival, and Royal Caribbean. Each cruise line specializes and serves a general demographic but there is one thing all major cruise lines HAVE to cater too….kids! I have yet to hear of a major cruise line that does not have some sort of kids camp on the ship. Are they all created equal? No. I could go into what each cruise line offers for different age groups but that is for another post. This article is to get you and your family excited about taking the leap to cruising! Before I give all the reasons why you should cruise with your kids, here are a few fun facts from StatisticsBrain:
|Percent of cruise passengers who think its a great way to sample destinations||80 %|
|Percent who travel with their children (under 18)||25 %|
|Percent of the total US population who have taken a cruise||19.9 %|
Our family friends mentioned they were booked for a 10 day Mexican Riviera & Sea of Cortez cruise on Princess which departed out of Los Angeles. So, my husband and I decided it was time the kids (7yo and 4yo) experienced ship life. So, in January 2016, we took our first “family” cruise together!
To get the kids excited about the cruise, we watched YouTube videos and other videos on Princess’s website. I have to admit, before we took the cruise, I was a little concerned that the kids camp was going to be inadequate for our kiddos. After all, Princess isn’t the first cruise line that comes to mind when you want to entertain kids. I’ve cruised on Princess before and your typical age group is 55+. I am SO glad that Princess proved me wrong!
So, here it is. Just a few reasons why you need to take your kids on a cruise:
- Kids Camp – Princess had a full on kids camp at sea. Your child has to be 3 years old and older and fully potty trained to be left at “Princess Pelicans”. This is for ages 3-7 year olds. The group was “Shockwaves” for ages 8-12 year olds. They also had a teen room too. It is daycare on the ship (for the younger kids)! Everyday there is a full schedule of activities – crafts, singing, dancing, karaoke, etc. Also, when the ship is at port, the kids don’t have to get off the ship. The kids camp is open and the adults can get off the ship and enjoy some grown-up time.
- They meet new friends – Our daughter had a great time meeting new friends and even cried the last day because she wasn’t going to see them again. Some of her new friends were from Canada, Nevada, California, and even made friends with the Captain’s kids! It was a great way for them to interact with children their age and learn about where they come from.
- Experience a new destination everyday – Almost every port we stopped at, the kids got off the ship. It was a great way for them to experience Mexican culture, and authentic Mexican food.
- Try new foods – As you may have heard the food on the ships is plentiful and simply…awesome. Since the majority of the food options (restaurants, cafes, room service, and buffets) are included in the price of your cruise, it was a great way for them try new things. Some new foods included lobster, caviar (fish eggs), escargot (snails), and clams to name a few. You can bet your bottom dollar I’m not making that at home.
- Entertainment – The cruise ships have plenty of activities for the whole family, not just kids camp. A few of things we all enjoyed together included swimming, basketball, mini golf, ping pong, watching a “Movie Under the Stars”, live music and dancing.
- Date Night, Every Night – So, this is more for the parents but that’s OK! Since the kid camp was open every evening from 7pm – 10pm, its was a great way for my husband and I to re-connect. We would attend a few shows, drink some wine and have dessert, or just lay under the stars and simply relax.
- Best Bang for your Buck – Having food, lodging, entertainment, transportation, and a babysitter all included in the price of my vacation is money well spent. I can’t think of another family vacation experience that includes all of these items and is still affordable, especially the babysitter.
- They will remember it! We have been home from our vacation for almost a month, and our son still asks a few days a week, “when are we going on another boat-ship?”
I hope this gives you a greater sense of what cruise ships have to offer, especially for kids. You won’t be disappointed!
If you have cruised before, what cruise line have you sailed? Did you kids have a great time? Share your comments and suggestions below.