Tips for Cruising with Children

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A cruise can make for a fantastic family vacation. Millions of children travel on cruise ships every year. Many cruise lines specifically target families by cramming their decks with colorful characters and activities for children of all ages. However, simply booking a trip on a family-friendly cruise line doesn’t guarantee a great experience. If you’ve got a cruise with your kids coming up, consider the following tips:

– Pick the right cruise for your family. Many cruise lines offer kid-friendly cruises, but only you can figure out which one will best match your children’s personalities. Each cruise line varies in terms of the sorts of characters available for your kids to meet and play with, the kinds of rides and activities offered, and the types of shows presented. Research multiple options before you book to make sure that the cruise offers something for everyone.

– Check out the structure of your kids’ activities. Children’s programming is a constant on family-friendly cruises. However, not all cruises divide up kids in the same way. Most of them sort kids into three age groups. The youngest group might be for ages 2 to 5 or 3 to 5, and the oldest might be for ages 9 to 11 or 13 to 17. Depending on the age of your kids and whether or not they want to be together during the activities, you may want to keep that in mind.

– Involve your kids. Older children will particularly enjoy the trip more if they have a stake in it. Once you have a handle on your options, get input from your kids on what they want to do most and find out which off-ship destinations they’re most interested in seeing.

– Look for friends ahead of time. You can often get in touch with other families who will be on your cruise before you set foot on the ship. If you’re worried about your kids making friends, then consider contacting other families. This can be a great way to set your kids up for a good time from the get-go by giving them others that they can hang out with from day one.

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