After our latest fun and relaxing cruise with our kids, I've come to the realization that I wouldn't mind cruising with them at least once a year. This is our third cruise as a family, my 10th in general, and, I have to say, each year cruising together gets easier. I think it's partially because the kids are getting older and I'm getting wiser. My secret to planning a fun cruise with my boys is to board the ship with a few loose goals that we've discussed as a family before we set sail.
My wife and I have taken our 2 children on many of our cruises over the years. I agree with the author of this article that it is one of the best vacations that can be done together with a little pre planning. Here are some of the tips we used when cruising with our children.
- Luggage - each person had their own suitcase. As we mainly drove to the cruise port this was not an issue and kept the suitcases smaller and would fit under the beds while on board. Each of my children also were allowed to have their own carry on bag to bring what they wanted to keep themselves amused although my wife had final say on what they could bring.
- Onboard entertainment - realize that what you may think to be fun to do or watch may not be the same for your children. Plan accordingly. My children loved to play mini golf and also participate in some of the trivia contests.
- Excursions - while it is great if you can find excursions that everyone wants to do, sometimes it is not possible. My son and I like to snorkel and my wife and daughter do not. We have on occasion split up and did different excursions while at a port of call. My daughter loved helping pre cruise to look at the excursion options for where we were going and was usually a topic of discussion at dinner. My daughter has found some very nice excursions for us like a zoo on Aruba.