When thinking about a family holiday, a cruise may not be the first type of holiday that springs to mind. As with all types of holidays there are pros and cons to a cruise holiday, but with cruise companies catering for families with a wide range of child-friendly facilities and entertainment a cruise holiday can be a great family holiday.
The benefits of a cruise holiday are vast.
A cruising holiday can be fantastic value for money with amenities on board such as meals and entertainment included in the price.
If the thought of being stuck on a ship puts you off a cruise holiday, it is worth checking out all the facilities that they have to offer. Along with entertainment and activities, cruise ships cater for almost every need imaginable - there is wi-fi, mobile service and satellite TV if you want to keep in touch with the real world and facilities and amenities such as medical centers, laundry facilities, shops, multiple restaurants, gyms, spas, swimming pool, cinemas, and theaters. The entertainment, activities and family friendly facilities provide fun and enjoyment - plus the spa facilities can be heaven to relax in for tired parents - so that families can enjoy themselves around the clock whilst on board.
With a cruise holiday as well as being able to enjoy the entertaining facilities on board, the floating holiday resort takes you from destination to destination. Travelling to different ports where you visit cities and islands is a breeze. There is no need to pack and unpack multiple times or worry how to get from destination to destination - simply enjoy the cruise ship and all on offer as they take you there! Waking up in a new place and getting to explore and experience different destinations in one trip is sure to be a memorable family holiday.
Whilst cruises can be amazing it is important to prepare and find the right cruise for you so that it is a dream holiday rather than a nightmare one.
* Make sure you research cruise lines and facilities (check out reviews) to find the one best suited to your family's needs.
* If old enough keep the kids involved by talking to them and if possible incorporating their wishes into the decision - consider what activities offered on different cruise ships are best for them and their likes.
* Make sure to talk safety beforehand. With children who are old enough make sure to discuss with them the importance of following rules on board.
If you are thinking of a cruise holiday with the kids and are looking for one that is child-friendly and offers great value for money take a look below -
NCL Cruises - offering child friendly cruise ships and last minute cruise deals
Norwegian Cruise Line have a fleet of cruise liners that are ideal for family holidays with children young and old.
With family suites - multi-room suites or interconnecting staterooms, family friendly freestyle dining, swimming pools, award winning entertainment such as dazzling acrobatic performances of Cirque Dreams on the Norwegian Breakaway or magical mysteries of The Illusionarium on the Norwegian Getaway, cinemas, bowling alleys, ice-rink, bungee trampoline and mini-golf to name but a few there is something for everyone on a NCL cruise.
But that’s not all. NCL also have a series of Nickelodeon cruises on cruise liners such as the Norwegian Epic (which also boasts a water park on board) where events and entertainment are themed around the popular children’s TV channel. On these cruises children can meet characters such as SpongeBob, experience breakfast with characters, see live Nickelodeon themed interactive shows, and enjoy events to do with shows like Dora The Explorer and Slime Time.
Making NCL cruises even more child friendly is their complimentary youth programmes - Splash Academy for kids (6 months - 12 years) and Entourage for teens. Under the safe supervision of well-trained staff children experience a wide range of exciting activities with kids and teens their own age.
* Guppies (6 months - under 3 years) can enjoy sensory play, and music and movement with parents; or on the Norwegian Escape can be looked after by staff and enjoy things such as messy play and self-exploration in the Guppies Nursery.
* Turtles (3 - 5 years) can enjoy experiences such as sensory play, storytelling, circus school, treasure hunts, and crafts.
* Seals (6-9 years) can enjoy activities including circus school, painting, theme nights, sports, and video games.
* Dolphins (10 - 12 years) can experience activities such as sports, scavenger hunts, circus skills, entourage take-over, video games and challenges.
* Entourage teens can get creative and enjoy events such as music jams, video games, themed events, and sports with other teens.
NCL cruises also provide interactive activities for the whole family such as game shows, sport challenges, pizza making, and trivias. For children aged 3 - 12 years some cruise liners also offer Port Play where they look after and supervise children whilst you enjoy some time alone kid free for a shore excursion whilst in port. Another service offered for a fee for children aged 3 - 12 years is late night fun zone.
As a family with 2 young children I love all the amenities and activities that are provided for families on NCL cruises and plan on experiencing a cruise to explore destination galore and enjoy the fun on board with them in the future.
Have you ever been on a cruise with kids?