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Cruise Travel: How to Have Fun as a Family

Aug 18, 2008
Planning your next family vacation? Dreading spending ten hours in the car followed by five days dragging your kids to the beach, the hotel pool and a local restaurant that doesn't offer a children's menu? If you're looking for a vacation that will show both you and the kids a good time, cruising could be it.

To learn about the benefits and drawbacks of family cruise vacations, keep reading to find out the best tips for planning your first or next family cruise.

Why a Family Cruise Vacation?

Because so many cruise ships are targeted directly toward families, you're getting a fully packaged vacation in a safe and contained environment. There are daily, scheduled activities for the children along with parental getaways that both allow you to enjoy time with your children and also have your own private vacation.

Most cruise lines either offer "day camp" options with regularly scheduled, on-board activities or supervised daycare facilities. Because your children are on a boat with you and under the care of a well-screened and professionally-supervised staff, you can rest a little easier.

Isn't it Expensive?

Cruising can be expensive, but most family cruise vacations typically cost about $500-$1000 per person per week. Add up the cost of all the hotels, meals, souvenirs and mileage that your last vacation cost you and compare it to that figure. You'll quickly see that a cruise vacation budgets in at about the same rate as a full, family vacation.

How do I a Book a "Family" Cruise?

Most cruise lines offer family-specific or family-friendly cruises that are geared specifically toward families with children. Ideally, you want to choose one of these rather than, say, a Senior's cruise or a Single's cruise.

Cruise lines like Disney or Norwegian also offer themed ships with full youth programs that are targeted to specific age groups from toddlers to teens. Again, this affords you the chance to take a break and enjoy the pool on your own.

When booking a full family cruise, you may want to consider a travel agent. Often, they're able to discuss ship amenities, past client reviews and possible discounts.

However, if you're searching alone and online, try reading past traveler reviews of each individual ship. This will provide you a clearer indication of the ship's facilities and accommodations than the cruise line's promotional website.

Things to Consider Before Departure

Make sure everyone in your family has their passport, travel health insurance and extra medication. Keep all your documents in a safe and secure place with one person.

Also, make a copy of all key family documents and give them to a trusted relative or friend. If you lose one of them on the trip, you can contact that person either to have the information read over the phone or (as needed) faxed to you.

Finally, before packing for your trip, make a master check list to work from to help ensure that nothing is inadvertently left behind.
About the Author
For info on cruise ideas, please visit www.travel-cruise-adventures.com, a popular site providing great insights concerning cruise recommendations, such as Holland America Cruise Lines , Crystal Cruise Lines , Royal Caribbean Cruises and many more!
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