A Helpful Guide to Family Cruising
Nov 26, 2012
Guest Post by Laura Chapman
There was once a time when a cruise was considered a holiday for elderly couples, however things have changed considerably over the last decade and cruises have now become increasingly popular with families. Family cruises are in fact the fastest growing sector within the industry and cruise companies are ensuring that their liners cater perfectly for this new wave of cruise tourism.
Why Are Families Choosing a Cruise?
A family cruise offers the perfect relaxing holiday for those with children, providing an excellent selection of facilities that are certain keep both the kids and adults happy at the same time. A family cruise can prove to be superb value for money too; with transport, accommodation, meals and all activities paid for within the holiday price. Ships also provide a safe and controlled space in which the kids can enjoy themselves and with a host of professionals on hand to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment, families can relax and unwind.
Cruise companies have seen a huge increase in the popularity of family cruise holidays in recent years and have adapted their huge liners to ensure they are able to offer the very best family cruising experience possible. Facilities are first class and offer something for all ages, from babies to adults. There are baby and toddler clubs, kids clubs, teen clubs, funfairs, ice rinks, shows, water worlds and so much more. The accommodation has been designed to ensure maximum comfort for family groups and the dining options cater for all tastes and ages. There is now so much on offer for families on a cruise that they now rival most land based resorts too. The bonus with a family cruise is you get to visit a variety of places rather than stay in just the one.
The Best for Family Cruises
There are plenty of family cruises on offer out there so it’s handy to know which ones are the best for quality and value. The following cruise companies are the most popular, each one guaranteeing a superb and unforgettable family cruise holiday:
One of the most famous cruise lines in the UK, P&O Cruises offer excellent facilities for family holidays on board their family friendly liners Aurora; Oceana; Azura and Ventura. Each of these four ships were created for the ultimate in family comfort and enjoyment. The facilities for the children are plentiful with lots of large play areas and child friendly swimming pools. Naturally there are plenty of facilities for the adults too, keeping everyone happy and satisfied. The children even have their own club called “The Reef” which provides a fun and safe place to play. Clubs are split into age groups and offer a wide range of activities throughout the day, all supervised by trained staff.
Dining options are ideal for family groups on P&O Cruises with a special children’s tea laid on every night featuring all the favourites such as sausages, fish fingers and pizza as well as vegetables, salads and pasta. Accommodation wise, the cabins have all been designed with families in mind and come well equipped for a family’s needs. Choose from suites, mini suites and cabins depending upon your budget.
Top cruise line Royal Caribbean really has thought of everything when it comes to family cruise holidays. With so much to see and do the word boredom simply doesn’t exist on Royal Caribbean ships. Every Royal Caribbean ship is suitable for a family holiday but if you want the best of the fleet then opt for Oasis of the Seas; Allure of the Seas or Independence of the Seas for the ultimate in family entertainment.
There are plenty of fun filled activities for all the family to enjoy together such as ice skating, roller blading, golf and swimming and lots for the kids to enjoy on their own, fully supervised of course by Royal Caribbean’s highly trained staff. The H2O Zone is a mini water park complete with waterfalls, fountains and squirting canons, meaning the little ones can splash around in the sunshine. The new DreamWorks Experience provides unforgettable memories for the younger children, giving them the chance to meet favourite movie characters like Shrek and Fiona. A colourful parade around the deck takes place and the films are shown on the big screen.
The award winning Adventure Ocean program caters for babies and tots up to teens with clubs split by age groups. Royal Tots & Babies playgroup; Aquanauts 3-5 yrs.; Explorers 6-8 years; Voyagers 9-11yrs and Teen 12-17 years. Naturally each club offers age appropriate activities, with lots of fun to be had.
Dining on board the Royal Caribbean cruises caters well for families and the Cupcake Cupboard offers sweet treats for all the family. Accommodation is spacious and caters from groups of 4 up to 16 and there are cabin styles to suit a variety of budgets.
Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL)
Norwegian Cruise Lines offer a superb family cruise programme with so much for everyone to enjoy. The newly revamped youth programme ensures that the kids can enjoy age appropriate play, sports and more with the introduction of Splash Academy and Entourage whilst the adults can head off for a spot of pampering or shopping. Port Play for 2-12 year olds is a great idea, meaning that the kids can stay on board to play (under the supervision of trained staff) whilst the adults head off for a spot of sightseeing.
There are so many activities to keep the younger travellers amused, from swimming pools, to tennis courts and basketball to table tennis. Norwegian Cruise Lines have also teamed up with kid’s TV channel Nickelodeon to offer a one of a kind family experience featuring SpongeBob Square Pants and his crew (available exclusively on board Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Gem).
Providing a truly magical cruise experience for every family, Disney Cruises are tailor made for family holidays. All of the entertainment is Disney themed and there is so much to enjoy. Children can meet their favourite Disney characters, enjoy deck parties, head to Goofy’s Pool, watch spectacular Disney live shows in the Walt Disney Theatre, catch their favourite Disney movies in the Buena Vista Theatre and enjoy Disney’s special shore excursions.
The facilities on the ships are outstanding with so much for everyone to enjoy. There are activity clubs for each age group, swimming pools, sports and so much more. Accommodation ranges from deluxe family ocean view staterooms with verandah to standard inside cabins for those on a smaller budget.