5 Surprising Reasons You Should Go On A Cruise With Your Kids

17 Apr

Legend of the SeasThink that cruising is just for old people or for couples wanting to party their way through the Caribbean? Think again. More and more families are cruising and here are 5 reasons why…

A Ton of Bricks

Lugging around a suitcase full of kid paraphernalia is NOT my idea of fun. Most of the time, our luggage feels like a ton of bricks.(And if I want to lift weights, I’ll go to the gym, thank you very much.)

When we travel, we like to see many places rather than staying in one place for a week or two. If we aren’t on a cruise, we have to carry our ton of bricks to each new city. But traveling by cruise ship means we don’t have to. We unpack once and see lots of destinations. No more living out of a suitcase, scavenging for clean clothes, and tossing everything back into one big messy pile when it’s time to move on.

Is It Too Good to Be True?

I seriously can’t believe the incredible deals you can get these days on cruise vacations.

In November 2011, we took a 7 day cruise along the coast of Vietnam on Royal Caribbean. I was totally surprised by the cost…$299 per person!  We couldn’t have seen Vietnam any cheaper than this, especially since all of our food was included in this price.

And, if you are able to use frequent flyer miles to book your flight, like the point-crazed mom who writes the blog called Mommy Points, you’ve really hit the jackpot. The combination of free flights and cheap cruises makes an exotic vacation very affordable!

Even if you don’t find super cheap deals like the one I just mentioned, some ships offer specials allowing the 3rd and 4th passenger to cruise for free, meaning that our two kids just come along for the ride. We get online and look for discounts offered on the cruise line websites.  Most of the time, we’ve found the best deals on our own, not through travel agents. (Sorry, travel agents.)

And one added bonus, most shore excursions offered by the cruise lines are free for children under 3. We’ve taken our children on excursions to Pompeii in Italy, Butrint in Albania, and Hue in Vietnam.  All for free!  I suggest you take advantage of it when they’re young, though, some of the tours are spendy, as my dad would say.

Batu Cave, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

On this excursion to the Batu caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the kids were free.

Batu Cave, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The caves were so far away from our cruise ship that we wouldn't have been able to see them if we hadn't gone on an excursion. There had been a Hindu festival a few days before we arrived. Unfortunately, there was a lot of trash left behind, including a few dead chickens.

These discounts aren’t too good to be true. I promise they’re the real deal.

Picky Picky

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my son, the Little Guy, is a horrifically picky eater. He doesn’t like anything. And traveling to foreign countries where the food and spices are different for him means he’s not going to eat much while we’re gone.

There is ALWAYS something to eat on a cruise ship and your picky eater will be very content. So, there’s no need to worry about your child’s diet while you’re gone. What a relief! All of the cruises we’ve been on even have kid’s menus for the fancy-smancy sit down meals.

Yawn!

One of the hardest things about traveling with kids is keeping them on a decent sleep schedule. Cruising makes it easier.  You’re basically traveling with your hotel room, so you can return at any time for that nap your toddler is craving. The best part is you have a good excuse to take your own afternoon siesta.

Calling 911

Heaven forbid you have a medical emergency while on vacation.  And when we travel to countries where good medical care is hard to find, it’s just one extra thing I have to worry about. I always feel more comfortable on cruises, knowing that I’m traveling with a doctor on board. While these services aren’t free, if there was an emergency, at least I know that I could get medical care for my children.

A Vacation For Everyone

There is a reason why the blue-haired geriatric set loves to cruise. It is a great way to see the sights and the easiest and most comfortable way to travel, even with kids. For a vacation every generation in your family can enjoy, you really can’t beat it.

Feisty Spice painted as a dog

Can you believe I got through this whole post and didn't even mention the Kids Clubs on board? Honestly, our kids don't go very often, so I can't say it's a reason to go on a cruise. But here's a picture of Feisty Spice who just had her face painted in the kids club. This is her alter ego, Super Ruffy, dog wonder. Ever since she had her face painted in February, she's been a dog...seriously....every day....she's a dog. And this is April.

For more information about family friendly cruise lines and ports of call, you can check out this article in Parents magazine.

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12 Responses to “5 Surprising Reasons You Should Go On A Cruise With Your Kids”

  1. Meredith April 17, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    Can’t wait to cruise with y’all!

    • redeyefamily April 22, 2012 at 9:54 am #

      Just name the time and the place, and we’ll be there!

  2. jewelsworldtravels April 17, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    I agree! We took our kids on their first cruise in January and I can’t wait to do it again. There is something for everyone. The variety of food makes it easy to feed everyone. And it should be impossible to lose someone on a ship.

    • redeyefamily April 22, 2012 at 9:54 am #

      When you mentioned that you can’t lose someone on a ship, it reminded me of something. I’ve seen families carrying walkie-talkies on some of our cruises. I’ve thought about doing it, but haven’t had the space in our luggage to carry them. Have you ever used them on your cruises? It seems like it would work really well.

  3. Jenna April 17, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    So would you recommend a cruise for someone who gets “seasick” in an elevator? AtHomeDaddy is interested in a BIG vacation for our 20th…I’m thinking domestic–he wants to see the world. But, $$ savings is always a + for me.

    • jewelsworldtravels April 17, 2012 at 9:38 am #

      I would recommend a Mediterranean cruise over Caribbean. I have terrible vertigo and can get motion sickness (in elevators as well as other places), and had no problem in the Mediterranean. I’ve done two in the Mediterranean – in the Fall – and the water was very calm both times. I felt great! I felt terrible in the Caribbean – in January – and needed to take Dramamine. And, wearing the patch helps tremendously.

    • Lisa April 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

      I also suffer from vertigo and my older daughter from seasickness and out of 5 cruises that we have done the only one were we had an issue was the Eastern Caribbean in March – it was rough. We sailed Alaska (from Vancouver), the Baltics and the Mediterranean – all in the summer – and could hardly tell that the ship was moving.

      • redeyefamily April 22, 2012 at 9:49 am #

        You and Julie make very good points. Your destination does make a big difference. I’ve had the same experience with the Caribbean causing the most sickness.

    • redeyefamily April 22, 2012 at 10:01 am #

      Wow! 20 years! That’s great! If you are considering a cruise, I would start looking at cruise line websites every once and a while. That way you can get an idea about prices and locations. If you plan on taking the kids, I believe that Disney has started sailing out of Galveston and they also have cruises in Alaska during the summer. We went to Alaska last year and the kids are still talking about it!

  4. Lisa April 17, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    We have cruised 5 times with our family – including two with the grandparents along – and everyone has thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We’ve done 2 in the Caribbean, one in Alaska, one in the Baltics and one in the Eastern Mediterranean. I preferred Alaska and Europe because we were able to actually experience more than a beach.

  5. Kathy Ver Eecke (@WorkingForWonka) April 19, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    The patch works really well, though left me with a side effect – very blurry vision. I don’t wear glasses, but now understand what it must feel like to not be able to see anything. Couldn’t read a book or magazine, couldn’t read a menu, couldn’t even read my watch. bizarre. But didn’t get seasick.

    • redeyefamily April 22, 2012 at 9:44 am #

      My mother-in-law gets sick every time we travel, but she’s had very good results from the patch. I haven’t used one, but I have wanted one several times! I’ve never heard of it causing blurry vision. That would have been very weird!

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