Don't think you have to cruise "kid-friendly" for your kids to have fun. If you are considering going on a family cruise but not sure which one, you don't necessarily have to choose a ship with the tallest waterslide, character breakfasts, or carousels. You know your children best and if they are the type that enthusiastically runs up to a large, loud, dressed-up character or are easily dropped off in a kid's camp to find their new best friend, than definitely choose a ship with these activities. You'll be assured some invaluable adult time. But if you have kids like mine who tend to shy away from large costumes and strangers or don't easily participate, then you might want to rethink it.
Instead of planning a cruise around the kids, from the beginning we brought the kids into our world. It doesn't have music playing 24/7 or a water park. But we hang out at the pool, play ping-pong and basketball, go on excursions, eat great food, and see fun shows. What kid doesn't love that?
There are always lots of things to do. On Celebrity Cruises, kids can go to the arcade on their own (Just make sure you have enough sleeping space in your cabin for the prizes they might win.)
On Celebrity Reflection, there is a terrific game area on deck 9 called "Game On" with electronic table games. They are sure to keep them busy when adults want some extra relaxing or dressing time in the cabin. Although sometimes it's hard to keep the adults away as well. Trust me on this one.
Even though I know it's not their style, I always encourage my boys to look at the activities for their age group that are happening. Celebrity Cruises has some really fun events in their Children/Teens Programs and my kids have actually participated on occasion. (Thank you, Celebrity!)
Most upscale cruise lines offer some sort of physical activity that kids will always run to. For example, you'll find a basketball court on every Celebrity Cruise ship. Crystal Cruises has a sports court and putting green. Princess Cruises even has mini-golf.
Surprisingly, Crystal Cruises has terrific facilities for younger cruisers. While the adults are enjoying themselves on the ship, the teenage area “Waves” and the younger children’s area “Fantasia” are open with numerous staff and activities to keep them busy.
Have picky eaters that might not like "fancy" food? Even better. Upscale cruise lines are better able to provide each family member exactly what they want because there is a lower staff to passenger ratio. They will customize the menu choice for you or bring an item not even on the menu. My youngest loves bacon cheeseburgers and it's never been a problem to request them in the main dining room. I'll never forget the look on his face when the waiter surprised him with an entire plate of bacon. It was priceless.
Of course, don't miss taking the kids to the specialty restaurants onboard. The service is always impeccable and what kid doesn't love to be catered to? Celebrity Cruises specialty restaurant Qsine is fabulous dining as well as entertainment. Make your own cupcakes is genius!
We are all about the cabin. If you like to have a little extra room or connecting cabins, you might find that availability is better on upscale cruise lines. We typically have either a suite or two connecting cabins (think two bathrooms) for our family of four. If your children are young, on many ships the outside verandah divider can be opened. This gives you extra piece of mind when your kids are out on the balcony, plus the outdoor size is huge. And don't think that luxury is always more expensive because with proper planning, sometimes you can even get a better deal.
So the next time you are planning your family vacation, think of what you want to get out of it and whatever you choose, your kids will have an amazing time.
My Virtual Vacations Blog
About the Author
Thanks for cruising by! Along with creating this website and blog, I work in an office full-time and as a mom to two energetic teenage boys. With our family's busy work and school schedule, we look forward to traveling during holidays. Although it seems that our family can never agree on anything, we do when it comes to vacations. We typically travel on cruises or stay at luxury hotels. We enjoy upscale dining, beautiful decor, excellent service, and spacious accommodations. However, we still need family friendly and comfortable. When we are not traveling, I enjoy dining out locally, as well as cooking and baking in my own kitchen.
Virtually escape and start planning your next luxurious cruise vacation on land or sea with My Virtual Vacations. Contact me for any specific questions or recommendations. And don't forget to keep checking back for the latest blog posts and information. There are always more family vacations in our future!
You'll also find me on Cruise Critic boards as SunnyAJ. Let's connect!
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