CLIA ‘PLan a Cruise Month’ (1st – 9th October 2016) - October 2016
Helen Worthington – 04/10/16
A cruise is the perfect choice for the whole family. Children can be kept entertained on board by taking advantage of the incredible range of facilities: everything for zip lining, surf simulators, cinemas or how about the tallest slide at sea?
Try these out with the likes of Royal Caribbean, Disney, Carnival, MSC and NCL but check you pick the right ship for your chosen activity! What about cooking classes on P&O Cruises’ Britannia or Xbox challenges with Celebrity Cruises even?
Even cruise lines which are typically considered to cater for an adult only market – eg. Fred Olsen Cruise Lines and Cruise & Maritime Voyages are starting to offer specific ‘child friendly’ sailings as are river cruise lines like Uniworld, Tauck and CroisiEurope. They will offer child friendly shore excursions and versions of Kids Clubs. Cruise lines like Holland America and the more luxury lines are more than happy to accommodate children on their cruises, but appropriate activities are limited. Paradoxically, Crystal Cruises offers Kids Clubs, and Cunard actually has one of the largest Kids Club areas afloat!
‘Anytime Dining’ or however it has been dubbed by individual cruise lines, offers families the opportunity to eat at whatever time they want, rather than being stuck to set dining times in the evening. Alternatively, Princess Cruises let parents sit with their children while they eat earlier, whisk them off to the evening activities in the Kids Clubs and allow parents a bit of ‘adult only’ eating time and Royal Caribbean include ‘My Family Time’ where the family eats a few courses of dinner together, before the children get bored and whisked away for more stimulating experiences. Again, leaving parents the opportunity to finish their meals in peace. For fussy eaters, try 24-hour room service or the amazing choice of the buffet restaurants.
There are even multi-generational, multi-functional accommodations on board some ships – minimally children can have Pullman beds, bunks or bed settees within a normal cabin (but not all cabins on cruise ships can accommodate more than 2 people) there are also interconnecting cabins on many cruise lines, although each cruise line has its own terms and conditions for children occupying a cabin by themselves. More family orientated cruise lines like Royal Caribbean offer family (larger) cabins within different categories and have even created a Family Connected Junior Suite on their Quantum Class ships comprising 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a large balcony so you can take the grandparents along as well!! Family Balcony Staterooms on Celebrity Cruises ships can sleep a family of 5.
All these innovations really do provide an ideal opportunity to take the whole family on a cruise holiday – that’s before you start looking at all the exciting itineraries on offer - but book early, everyone is as excited by these as you are and sealing your idea accommodation is paramount !!