Tips for Family Cruises
Of course, if you want to book a family cruise, you need to choose a cruise line that actually specializes and caters to families. Choosing the right cruise is not just about price or itinerary, it is about finding the right 'fit' for a traveler’s needs. Every cruise line has a different personality, just like hotel chains do. Finding the right personality fit for clients is like a matchmaking process: What amenities are important in the stateroom? What ship amenities are important? What type and level of activities? How does the overall vibe of the ship match the clients' vacation personality?
When assisting clients, I look at past travel history such as: What did the client like and dislike about previous vacations? What do they like to do on vacation? I want to maximize the cruise experience for my clients, and it starts with choosing the right cruise line.
Once you have a cruise line, make sure it has everything you need for your family. Look at the kids’ programming to make sure they offer what you need. Does the cruise line offer family-friendly entertainment? This was always big for my family as we enjoyed going to the evening shows together. Of course, there is a time and place for parents to break away, but if you want to share the evenings with your kids, the family-friendly entertainment is a must.
Make sure that your cabins are family-friendly as well. Disney has a split bathroom concept and slightly larger cabins than other lines, but many of the other lines are stepping it up and offering family cabins now. For example, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian rank high for multi-gen travel now, as they both have family suites.
When selecting a family cruise, it is best to look for a cruise line and ship that has activities for guests of all the age groups traveling. For example, if it is a multi-gen cruise, Grandma and Grandpa might like the casino, the shows or even shuffle-board, where the parents might like the sports bar, dance club, spa or to see a comedy show. Your teens might want to zipline, climb a rock wall, learn to surf or play video games, while toddlers like to play in the splash areas and at the kids’ camp. It is important to find a ship that everyone will enjoy.
In most cases, I also suggests you book a pre-night stay near whatever port you are sailing from: This way you get to the port and onto the ship earlier than most guests, and you don't have to worry about delays or canceled flights.
For more tips and to book your next family cruise, contact Cruise Expert, Chris Rakes! 919.589.2437