You have seen enough featured articles on magazines about cruise trips and the equally awesome cruise ships and now you want your family to experience the action. Why hesitate? Cruise vacations can be affordable, you get to experience exclusive onboard treatment, a wealth of entertainment and activities, and best of all you get to travel to multiple destinations on a single trip!
Whether you are still deciding which cruise line to take, which location to go to, or which cruise travel insurance to apply for, here are some things to know about cruising with the entire family in tow:
Start With Careful Research
Planning is everything! Research your desired destination and complete options carefully before booking your vacation. The more research and planning you arm yourself with, the greater your holiday will be. Do you identify with a catamarans style holiday, or are you looking for a ship experience to share with other families? Understand the pros and cons of each cruise line you are considering. This includes family activities, meal options, stateroom layout and size, childcare options, and most of all the price. Put into consideration the number of days at sea, shore excursions, and the ports of call. If you will travel with a toddler or baby, take note that not all cruise ships have bath tubs and kid’s clubs will vary in terms of age requirements.
Book The Right Room
Standard cruise ship cabins do not normally come with bathtubs, so if you have young children who need baths rather than showers, consider upgrading to a higher category suite or room, or a cabin designed for families. All ships feature spacious family staterooms that can accommodate three to five guests, plus most cabins like this include shower/tub combos. Some ships within the Princess Cruises, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean fleets also offer a few family category suites that are fitted with tubs and even balconies for extra breathing space.
Pack All The Essentials
Since you are traveling with the entire family, pack plenty of wipes, diapers, bottles of formula, and baby food, as most cruise ships do not carry these items and those that offer it oftentimes put a huge price tag on them. If you think you will require a playpen or crib, request one as soon as you book. While there is usually no cost when borrowing one, most ships do have a limited supply.
Create A Daily Plan
If you are traveling with kids old enough to explore the ship on their own, creating a daily itinerary and going over it before leaving your room will help everyone know where one another are throughout the day. Through this, you will know where they are planning to be if you want to check up on them or join them for an activity.
Consult A Cruise Expert
A good travel agent can help you make the entire cruise travel planning seamless. Find an agent that specializes in cruises, as they can find better deals than you, plus they may be able to get an onboard credit, as well as special amenities for your family. The agent can also help you if anything goes wrong.
Acquire Cruise Travel Insurance
While travel insurance can cover basic travel hitches, acquiring cruise insurance (an add-on) extends to include pre-paid, non-refundable, and unused portion of cruise activities and day excursions and the insurer will also provide a daily contribution to the additional expenses when a doctor deems it necessary for you to be confined to your cabin on your cruise for more than a day due to an injury or sickness.
This is it! Remember to consult a cruise expert or continue researching your desired cruise line if you need extra information. Have other tips that will help a common family looking for cruise travels? Let us know in the comments below!