I’m in the process of planning our second family cruise and thought it would be perfect timing to share my tips on cruising with kids! We decided not to do a cruise in Australia and instead I have added on a cruise to Mexico during our west coast USA trip. Now, I’m no expert on sea escapes, but from previous experience, I do have some great tips to share with you about cruising with kids.
Some of the Bonuses of Cruising with Kids
- You unpack once for multiple destinations.
- All inclusive meals and entertainment.
- Kids are well catered for, with both food, kids club and a myriad of entertainment.
- Adults can have some kid-free time and feel comfortable knowing the kids are happy and safe.
Here Are Some Of My Hot Tips For Cruising With Kids
- Research the kids club on your cruise line of choice and note the ages it caters for. If your child is too young, you can (in most cases) book a babysitter for an additional fee.
- Bring water shoes for the kids and yourself. If you’re anything like me and get freaked out by strange things in the sea that you can’t see, you will thank me for this tip!
- Day trips can be costly and you need to remember that they don’t include any meals, which is also an additional cost. Personally, I prefer to book excursions for my family privately or explore the islands on our own for half a day. We found that the full-day trips were often too long for the younger children.
- Make sure you pack enough clothes, nappies and baby food/formula.
- Bring a camera along for yourself and bring one for the kids. Seeing what the kids have taken snaps of after your holiday is so much fun and it’s a great way to view the fun all over again through their eyes.
- Stay on board during port days and have the ship almost all to yourselves! It’s the perfect time for the entire family to test out all of the onboard activities without the wait times!
- Get the kids’ hair braided! Just think! No more brushing or worrying about doing the girls’ hair for the rest of the cruise! Hoorah!
- Read reviews and research day trips before booking them. If you decide not to book through the cruise line, you can always find lots of vendors at the ports willing to do the same trip for a little cheaper.
- Try to pack light! Most rooms on cruise ships lack in storage facilities, especially for an entire family, so the less ‘just in case’ stuff you usually pack, the better.
- Use the onboard laundering facilities! The last cruise we went on, it had a coin laundry wash for approximately $2 a load. It’s definitely worth the money to avoid having to take home suitcases full of dirty washing!
- Try to book the earlier meal sessions wherever possible when travelling with little ones. We found that our kids got super tired between the kids club and playing amidst the sea air all day long. It was much easier to attend the early dinner service and let them wind down and relax before bed.
- Don’t forget goggles and flippers for the children! You can hire them, but with four children at roughly $10 a set, the cost quickly adds up. We now know to take the kids goggles and flippers with us and only hire the adult version once at our destination!
I think next year we might do a longer cruise from Australia so I can relax and not plan too much.
Tell me destinations of the cruises that you and your family have enjoyed! And I’d love for you to share with me your hot tips for cruising with kids!