How does a family cruise to the Caribbean sound? Of course, this is the dream of every family. When most families plan for their vacation, they always have favorite destinations. However, there are many things that make it impossible to visit all these amazing places. With a cruise,however, you can now visit different locations and have a more exciting vacation experience. Just think of a week on a family cruise ship with kid-friendly features, great food, amazing amenities and everything else you need. It would be the ideal vacation gift for your family.
A family cruise is easy to organize because the cruise company caters to the logistics. What’s more, you get a chance to visit great destinations in one tour and this is an opportunity you can’t miss. The best cruise ships come with incredible amenities to make everyone comfortable and everyone feels sad when the times comes to fly home.
You have a choice of destinations including Alaska, European cities (Copenhagen, Stockholm, Barcelona,London, Paris, Rome, Florence,and Marseilles), Canada and New England, Caribbean, Mexico, and the Bahamas, South American and many other ports. If you want to gift your family the best vacation, it is time to think about a cruise. In this article are a few tips on planning for the perfect family cruise. Keep reading:
- Identify The Destinations/ Cruise Length
If you want to enjoy a cruise, start by identifying the best destinations everyone in the family would love. There is a wide range of destinations in every cruise and you will get to explore different attraction during the cruise. For instance, some cruises allow you to enjoy the sand and sun in coastal towns, rainforests, and glaciers, shopping opportunities, watersport activities, while others take you to European capitals with ancient architecture.
Once you agree on the type of attractions you want in your trip, it is easier to identify a cruise with destinations which offer such opportunities. Make sure the ports of call where you can disembark offer some fun to create memorable times. While at it, look at the cruise length and get one that won’t stay too long on the water. The large cruise ships have everything your family needs to stay comfortable but they are expensive. If you are on a smaller ship, a week-long cruise is perfect to explore and have fun both on and off the ship.
- Set A Comprehensive Budget
Before you start looking at what is on offer by cruise companies, set a realistic budget. This is a costly undertaking and you don’t want to strain your family finances. While cruises offer great value, there are still costs to cater for including air transportation and transfers/travel to and from the cruise port, shore excursions/activities while at ports of call, specialty dining onboard the ship and Alcoholic Beverages among other expenses. Make sure you create a budget and stick to it.
- Book Early
Many families have harbored the dream of enjoying a cruise only for late booking to ruin it all. Now, you have to appreciate that more families are looking for better ways of enjoying their time together and in most cases, cruising comes top on the list. As such, the competition for family-friendly suites on these cruises is very high.
If you don’t book early, you might have to contend with the poorly designed rooms where it is more likely to get seasick due to the ship’s movements. Your family will not love the experience yet you will have paid a lot for the last minute cruise. Start researching early and if possible, book early to get the best accommodation and discounts.
- Compare, Compare and Compare Cruises
Now that you have agreed on the destinations as a family, the next step gets more complicated. You will discover there are many cruise companies offering amazing family cruise packages but you shouldn’t rush to buy one. This is one reason to start shopping for a cruise early because you have the opportunity to compare as many cruises as possible.
Visit comparison websites and read reviews and testimonials from other families. Check prices across all similar cruises and remember your comfort and safety come first. Check deal-focused sites and consult reputable cruise retailers to find offers available. Call independent travel agents and find estimate rates for particular cruises. Visit the cruise company’s websites and get the details of each package and the pricing. The bottom-line is to find as much information as you can about the cruise you want to use to guarantee your family enjoys the experience and you also get good value for money.
- Find a Family-Friendly Cruise
Many cruise companies offer packages for fun loving people who want to enjoy time with their partners. Of course, there is a lot of fun on these cruises but they are not ideal for families. The last thing you want to do is get stuck on a cruise with groups of teenagers with no care in the world. It will turn out to be an uncomfortable experience and for this reason, it is advisable to go for a kid-friendly cruise. On these cruises, you will find suitable entertainment and amenities designed to suit kids. They have kid-friendly activities, babysitting to structured group activities, miniature golf, bowling alleys, waterparks and much more. You will enjoy more peace of mind on such a cruise and everyone will have a relaxing experience.
Well, there are other things you will have to consider including fun activities for adults, proper packing (carry a sweater or jacket for the cold nights, a selection of casual skirts, colorful t-shirts, shorts, jeans, polo shirts and sportswear for day activities, swimsuits, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, bathing suits, water shoes, bug spray and camera and comfortable walking shoes) and compare available dining options. If you are on a budget, you should consider sailing during the off-season or shoulder season or opt for a shorter cruise. Make sure you identify the activities at the ports of call beforehand to ensure you get the most out of each destination.
Well, you can now start searching for the perfect destination and have fun while at it.