Top tips for planning a fun family cruise

Cruising is an enduringly popular way to travel. Traditionally, it has been associated with older age groups, but family cruises with child-friendly activities abound. In fact, over 25% of UK cruise holidays in 2022 were multi-generational which reflects the fact that cruises can be fun for all the family.

However, not all cruise ships and cruise destinations are suitable for children, and there are several key things to keep in mind to ensure that the experience is enjoyable for all. Before you book an ocean-based holiday adventure, take a look at these top tips for planning a fun family cruise.

Choose a family-friendly cruise ship

The most important thing to consider is finding the right kind of cruise ship for your family. Established cruise liners like MSC Cruises have ships specially designed with children in mind, featuring facilities like kids swimming pools and family accommodations and offering services such as babysitting. Bear in mind that some cruise ships have age limits on certain activities, and many have a ‘no nappies’ policy in the pool area.

Focus on the on-board entertainment

The things to do for children when at sea largely depends on the size and design of your cruise liner. Most ships have swimming pools, and some take this to the next level with water parks complete with exhilarating water slides. Evening entertainment can be exciting too, from musical performances to lively dance shows.

Pick child-friendly destinations

When choosing your destinations, make sure that there are child-friendly excursions on offer in that location and that it is an environment you are happy for your kids to experience. For example, Norway – a popular cruise destination for UK travellers – gives you the opportunity for outdoor activities year-round and is not too crowded or overwhelming for small children. 

Think about the journey length

As a part of selecting your destination, think about the journey length. This applies to the overall length of the holiday but also the travel time between each port – children can get restless if on the water for too long. Most UK travellers stick to the Mediterranean coastline which is a perfect fit for family travel as the journeys between each location are relatively short.

Travel out of season if possible

If you have smaller children who are not in school, travel out of season if possible. There are many benefits to planning your cruise outside of the school holidays, including cheaper rates and special offer package deals. The cruise liner itself and the destinations you visit will be less busy too, which means that you can enjoy your holiday time together to the fullest extent possible.

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