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.
These discounts aren’t too good to be true. I promise they’re the real deal.
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.
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.
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.
For more information about family friendly cruise lines and ports of call, you can check out this article in Parents magazine.