Cruise International gathers mum bloggers’ top tips for family cruises
Tempting the teens
“If you’ve got a teenage vampire, encourage them out into the sunlight by booking an adventure excursion on shore. No teen can resist the temptation of a jetski. And take time to check out the list of the next day’s activities that’s left in your stateroom every night – there’s all sorts for kids to take part in – from cupcake classes to belly flop competitions.”
Becky Wiggins, mum of two and blogger at englishmum.com
“Take advantage of the free entertainment and try something new. Let each member of the family choose one activity that everyone must try. It’s a great way to have fresh and interesting experiences with your family – you may even discover a new common interest.”
Erica Douglas, mum of one and blogger at littlemummy.com
“The first day at sea is a great time to explore the ship as a family and decide what you’d like to do during the rest of your cruise so that you don’t miss out anything important. There is so much going on that it’s easy to forget something”.
Laura Driver, mum of two, stepmum of one and blogger at arewenearlythereyetmummy.com
Safety on board
“Cruise holidays are perfectly safe for families – but just like any holiday it’s important to not take silly risks. You wouldn’t leave a young child unattended in a swimming pool at a hotel, so why would you do it on a ship? There’s lots of freedom for older kids and teenagers – but they still need to understand that the same rules apply at sea as they do anywhere else.
All cruises have a compulsory ‘muster’ drill before the ship departs, which tells you what to do in the event of an emergency, how to put on your life jacket, etc. It’s similar to an aeroplane safety demonstration – but more detailed, and because the layout of your ship will probably be unfamiliar to you, it’s really important to attend.
Kids’ clubs have very strict signing in/out policies and parents will always be contacted in an emergency or if a child isn’t settling in or wants their mum or dad. Just like a land-based kids’ club, you have to fill in all medical details and information before they join. Staff are fully trained, and there is a high staff to child ratio, but like any childcare, make sure you’re happy.
Stateroom balconies do vary from ship to ship, and it’s worth checking these out before making a decision. If you’re travelling with toddlers you may want to consider booking a stateroom without a balcony, but all balcony doors are lockable.
If you’re on a big ship it can be confusing, so do take time to familiarise yourselves with the layout and look at your maps”.
Liz Jarvis, mum of one and Editor of Cruise International also blogs on family travel at themumblog.com