Cruising With Kids: A Survival Guide
Cruising with kids can be a blast – fun on a whole new level! Whether you’re taking your children or your grandchildren, seeing their faces light up when you tell them you’re off on a cruising adventure is enough to melt your heart. Kids bring enthusiasm, wonder and excitement that us grown ups have sometimes lost.
But cruising with kids also takes a little extra planning so we’ve got a few tips to make sure your family holiday doesn’t go into meltdown.
- Bring your kids’ comfort toy. If your child has a favourite toy, bring it with you. Travelling is tiring and being in a new environment and on the go every day can be overwhelming. A favourite toy can do wonders to comfort an exhausted child. Just take extra care it doesn’t go overboard!
- Allow an extra day pre-cruise to recover from a flight and to relax before getting onboard. That way you’ll be more refreshed when you start your cruise. Cruises, whilst relaxing, can also be pretty busy if you’re in port most days so if you spend an extra day relaxing before you start, you’ll be better prepared.
- If you can, invest in an inexpensive camera for your child’s own use. Kids love to take pictures and it’s a great way for them to record their holiday. It’s also so interesting to see your holiday from their perspective.
- If they have their own snorkel gear/life jacket/swim floaties, take them with you. It can be hard to get good fitting gear for kids and it can make all the difference between an awesome day out and a disaster!
- If you’re cruising to Alaska or somewhere there will be time spent looking for wildlife, bringing a pair of binoculars for the kids is also a good idea. They’re much more likely to stay engaged and interested.
- Check if your cruise has set dining times. If there are set dining times, check if you can pre-book your preferred sitting. Kids get really tired after a day exploring and tired, hungry kids aren’t always pleasant cabin-mates!
- Bring a special travel journal made especially for the trip where they can record what they did each day. They’ll look back in years to come and love seeing their views and what made their days so awesome.
- Bring a supply of bandaids, medicines, creams etc. You can usually purchase these on board but they come at a price. And kids are often a little more susceptible to illnesses so it’s good to have their normal medicines on hand.
- If your child hasn’t cruised before, you may like to check with your pharmacist about seasickness remedies. Eg. You may like to have the wrist bands on hand just in case.
- Check the bedding configuration in the cabin and ensure it is going to work for you. If there are bunks, young children are generally not allowed on the top bunk unless they are over a certain age, in which case the adult in the room needs to be ok with climbing up the ladder and sleeping up-top.
- Be aware of the noise. Kids don’t always mean to be loud but they can’t always help it. And the cabin walls aren’t entirely sound proof. While you may be in the zone with kids romping around your cabin going crazy, your neighbours may be trying to enjoy a well-deserved once-only child-free break!
If you’re travelling with children, have a chat to one of the Ultimate Cruising consultants. They can give you expert advice on which ships cater best for families and which ones will best suit the cruising experience you are looking for. Paul Gauguin Cruises in Tahiti, for example, is fantastic for families. There are plenty of water sports available, snorkelling opportunities, visits to private islands and the ship offers special kids programmes (selected sailings) with naturalist-led excursions, activities and more – at no additional cost! Click here to request a call.