A cruise is a wonderful family vacation opportunity. When you have young children, however, you may worry that they’re not ready yet. The last thing you want is to feel trapped on a boat with your kid when he or she won’t stop crying. Here’s a guide on how to know if your child is ready for a cruise.
Does Your Child Mind Enclosed Spaces?
Your child will never lack for activities while on a cruise. Even adult cruises schedule plenty of entertainment for kids. Cruise line planners know parents want a break at times and schedule accordingly. What strangers can’t know is how well your kids will behave.
You must decide how well your child will react to a closed environment. Once you board a cruise, you will stay on board most of the time. A quick bit of local tourism will help some, but if your child is already miserable before that, it’s too late.
A good tip is to try a short cruise at first. You can contact a travel agent to evaluate your options. You’ll discover that many three-day trips are available. You can see how well your child reacts without your feeling trapped with a crying kid for a week or longer.
Do Your Kids Like Disney?
Image via Flickr by Chad Sparkes
Another starter cruise idea involves Disney. Best known for its theme parks and movies, Disney also operates a popular cruise line. While it has a definite skew toward children, it’s also fun for adults. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks Disney Cruise Line as the best cruise line for families. If you have a child who’s sour on the idea of a cruise, sell him or her on Mickey Mouse instead.
Disney cruises today also feature special meetings and events with characters from the Star Wars and Marvel universes. Even if kids aren’t huge fans of Mickey Mouse, they probably love Rey and Iron Man. They may forget they’re stuck on a boat when they see Captain America’s shield.
Do Your Kids Suffer Motion Sickness?
According to the Mayo Clinic, children aged 2-12 are especially vulnerable to motion sickness. That’s not a deal-breaker for a vacation, but it’s certainly a concern. If your child does suffer motion sickness, you must take steps to prevent a miserable vacation experience.
Some medications like Dramamine and Benadryl are available without a prescription. You can also try natural treatments such as ginger. Another good tip is to ask your child to shut his or her eyes. The sensory deprivation can stabilize the body against nausea.
Do You Have a Backup Plan?
You might have read all the topics here and decided your child is ready for a cruise. Once you’re on board, however, an unexpected illness or injury can occur and you need to have a backup plan. Purchasing additional protection, for those unexpected emergencies can help put your mind at ease and let you enjoy your family vacation.
Odds are good that your child will enjoy a cruise. You need to make sure, though. Debate the points listed here, and have an open discussion with your kid about whether he or she would like to go.
Have you experienced a cruise with your kids? Were they ready? What do you think of this guide? Is there something else you would add to this guide?
*Disclosure: Collaborative Post
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Kerry Kilmister says
I think my girls would love a Disney cruise, but my autistic son would find it hard not being able to “escape” when he wanted to
Susie Wilkinson says
I think the children would cope better than me, I have anxiety and could not cope at all without an escape hatch available!