Cruise holidays have a reputation for being something you do when you want to while away a few weeks in retirement. But they actually make a fantastic holiday option for the entire family, from grandparents all the way down to little ones.
For many children, going on a huge boat represents an awe-inspiring adventure in itself. And that is before they have even seen all facilities on board designed to keep them occupied – swimming pools, adventure playgrounds, kids’ clubs, cinemas, perhaps even ice rinks and fairground rides.
Plus, of course, there is the thrill of stopping off in multiple destinations in one trip, often in some of the world’s most beautiful locations.
So, what do you need to know about planning a cruise holiday with the kids? Here are some essential tips for ensuring it’s all plain sailing.
Choose a child-friendly option
One of the reasons cruises have a reputation for catering to older travellers is that many operators specify minimum age restrictions, with some specifically for adults only. It is therefore important to start off your search hunting for child-friendly cruise options and checking the minimum age requirements fit with your family. Equally, dig into the types of facilities and entertainments they have on board so you can judge whether or not you think they will be enough to keep your kids occupied and happy for the duration.
Stock up on travel sickness medicines
One of the major concerns about taking children on a cruise is sea sickness. Travel sickness, in general, tends to affect children between three and 12 more than any other age, so it is well worth stocking up on medicines just in case. Hyoscine is widely regarded as the most effective option, it is a preventative medicine that you should take before you travel and then top up every six hours. It is available over the counter at the pharmacy and most types are safe for children aged three and over. Fingers crossed, any sickness symptoms should pass after a couple of days as your kids get their ‘sea legs’, i.e. get used to the motion of the ship.
Get the right travel insurance
Standard travel insurance is not adequate if you are going on a cruise. If you are at sea and someone in your party falls ill or has an accident, the cost of treatment can be many times higher than it would be on a normal holiday. This is because the cruise liners have to employ a medical team to take on board, and in the most serious cases may even have to change course for the nearest port. It is therefore essential that you take out cruise travel insurance to cover you for all eventualities.
Take some warm clothing
Even if you are heading somewhere exotic and tropical where you would normally expect the temperatures to be high, out at sea it can get surprisingly cool at night even in the hottest regions of the world. This is because the land absorbs heat from the sun much better than water does, keeping temperatures higher overnight. Pack a few jumpers so you don’t get caught out, especially as the sun goes down early in tropical regions when your kids will still be full of energy.
Have you had a cruise holiday with your family? What do you think of these tips? Are then any tips you can add?
*Disclosure: Collaborative Post.
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