A family cruise vacation is a great way to get away and spend time with your children. Almost of the cruise lines offer packages that cater to families. Surf the web for the right family cruise vacation that will cater to all of your needs. Better yet, talk to a cruise travel agent. Make sure they are a member of CLIA (the industries organization) and have taken many cruise vacations on several cruise lines. The cruise travel agent will be able to steer you to the cruise lines that have children's programs that are age specific, have trained youth counselors and will fulfill your desires on your family cruise vacation.
The great thing about these programs on the cruise lines is that your children will be with qualified people all day, doing all sorts of activities and you are free to do your own thing with no worries.
A family cruise vacation takes you to many destinations without the rigors of packing and unpacking. A cruise vacation will also alleviate the stress of airport security. You may have to fly to your port of embarkation but after that there will be no more checking in and long security lines.
The cruise ship will take you to many ports where you get off the ship and enjoy your day on shore. Before you leave on your family cruise vacation research the ports you will be visiting. Plan what you want to do in each port ahead of time. Since it is a family cruise vacation, discuss this with all your family members. You can find out what the cruise lines offer in the way of tours on their website. In many cases the cruise lines let you book tours online or by fax.
Here are some guidelines to help you choose the perfect family cruise vacation.
First find out if they allow kids in your children's age group. Cruise lines may limit the amount of children in certain age groups. This applies especially at times like Easter or spring break
Do some digging to find out what kind of children's facility the cruise line has. You will want to check what the activities will be, are there play areas, and baby sitting available. Find out the rules for placing your children in the child care center. Most times you must sign your child into the play areas and the kids will not be allowed to leave until you sign them out.
It is important to know the ratio of counselors to children. You want to know that there are adequate supervisors for your kids. Know the qualifications of the care giver. For instance, on the Queen Mary II they have licensed nannies.
If you will need a cot or crib find out if they are available and if there is a fee. Sometimes these need to be reserved in advance of the family cruise vacation. The size of the cabin should be noted. If the cabin is too small, you will be cramped. If you are not taking toddlers it is best to book cabins across from each other. You and your spouse take the outside cabin and give the one across the hall from it to your children. This not only affords you privacy but the kids will feel "grow up" with their own cabin.
Check to see if they have a kids menu. A lot of kids do not eat a variety of foods. If they are particularly picky it is nice to know that the cruise lines offer food for kids, like hamburgers and hot dogs. Almost all cruise lines offer hamburgers and hot dogs at lunch around the pool but what about dinner? Find out in advance of your family cruise vacation so you know everyone will be happy.
If anyone in your family has special needs make sure your cruise travel agent requests the ship if they will provide for them. There may be two or three formal nights. If you do not feel comfortable participating in them with little children, find out what kind of alternative dining the cruise line offers. Many ships have alterative dining rooms for just this purpose. Some of the cruise lines have kid's dinners where only the children and the caregivers can attend. If this coincides with a formal night it would be nice to know.
Some of the children's activity that are offered on cruise lines are scavenger hunts, pizza parties, disco parties for teens, arts and crafts and pool parties. The cruise line will bend over backwards to keep your children entertained. They want you to come back.
So call your cruise travel agent and start planning the perfect family cruise vacation. It will be one vacation that you and your kids will not forget.
Copyright © Mary Hanna, All Rights Reserved.
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