Cruising with kids can be one of your best vacations. At least that has been our experience, and I would love to share with you just how we took advantaged of a wonderful opportunity with our family.
Cruising With Kids
Most people think Disney when they think about cruising with kids, but our family went on Royal Caribbean Allure of the Sea and had the time of our life.
In fact, while snorkeling, we talked with a family on a Disney cruise, and we were comparing things to do on each of the ships. The family on the Disney cruise were really disappointed, and we were thrilled with our choice. I share some tips in my cruise guide that may help when planning a cruise.
Royal Caribbean are affiliated with Dreamworks, so they have character opportunities just like Disney but so many things to do while cruising that out ways the options on the most popular Disney cruises.
Once you choose the ship that fits your family best, these additional tips will help you make your vacation filled with memories and absolutely wonderful.
Pack Toys for Kids
Pack a child’s bag of toys that can be used in the kiddie pool, sand and in dry play. Your kids can use them the entire vacation, but in different ways.
Be sure to pack a watering can that they can play with, but you can also use to do their bathing with, since there is no bathtub in the cabins.
Unless your child is use to showers, this can be difficult to get them clean. Using a child friendly watering can will help in so many ways that you will want to be sure to pack it!
Plan On Using the Buffets
When our family when on our cruise, we planned on eating formally twice during that week, and enjoying the formal dinning room each night.
That quickly changed, when our dinner time was scheduled past our son’s normal bed time and dinner from start to finish took two hours.
It was the buffet for every meal from that one forward and we couldn’t have been happier, and neither were our children.
Pack Snacks for Kids
Yes, food is endless on a cruise, but unless you want to be walking the ship the entire day, I highly recommend that you bring some sandwich bags, and pack a snack for between meals or when you are at the pool side. Having their own cups would be really smart too, because little ones get thirsty often.
If you kids are picky eaters, and have a favorite snack I would recommend packing some of their favorites in your luggage, to help your child adjust to a different schedule by having familiar things at hand.
Pack Favorite Blanket for Kids
You will love to enjoy the pool side, entertainment or just sitting looking out over the ocean while your little one catches a nap, instead of in your small cabin. Taking their favorite blanket with you in a bag will help you to just enjoy the day without having to go back to your cabin and miss out on the fun.
I love to use essential oils whenever I can, so I love packing Counting Sleep, roll on oil for kids to help them relax and catch some rest when they need it most.
Plan As You Go
Excursions are expensive, and depending on the ages of your kids, you may find that they provide more stress than you really want on a vacation.
When we cruised with our children, we purchased each of us our own color coordinated snorkeling set, and snorkeling vest for a Christmas gift before we went on our cruise. This allowed us to just enjoy free beaches, or take a taxi to a nearby beach without the cost or stress of excursions.
Often times, we waited until we got to a port and asked the local people for the best snorkeling beaches for families. We were always given great advice and just went with the flow.
Put Away Your Regular Rules
Parents always have rules for their kids. Don’t eat this, go to bed at this time, limited sugar, etc. Unless there is a health reason why you need these rules, I encourage you to throw them overboard, and just take in the full experience.
There are so many opportunities on board, and off shore that you don’t want to miss. Your kids will fall asleep when they are tired. Trust me!
Stay up late, and eat the things you normally wouldn’t eat. That is what vacations are about!
There is always time to catch up from sleep and get back to regular routines when the vacation comes to an end.
Put Your Kids in the Kid’s Program
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it is so true! NOTE: I’m not speaking about the teen programs because we didn’t do these, but the free programs available for younger kids.
I was so nervous to even try to do this, but I also wanted to do something fun with my older kids, so I gave it a try.
I let them know that I was nervous, and that he had never done anything like this before and I wasn’t sure how he would do be separated from us with perfect strangers. They gave me a cell phone so if he needed me, I could be called and get to him right away.
My little guy loved it, and still talks about it a year later!
They have adventure times every day, several times a day, and you can take advantage of these anytime you want for free.
This time away for 2 hours allowed our son to really have age appropriate fun, while I was able to enjoy my older children, and even my husband.
Oh, and it also provided me with a lot of exercise since I went from one end of the ship to the other during his two hour visits.
Plan Cruising With Kids Right Away
Yes, cruises are expensive but if you watch for deals, you can get up to 30-60% off a person. When you consider that the cost includes room, board and entertainment it becomes one of the cheapest ways to travel with your children.
Consider making this a Christmas gift for your family (I don’t recommend going during Christmas because it is packed, and not so much fun) instead of adding more toys to their overflowing rooms. Ask grandparents, and other family members to give cash for gifts toward the cruise, verses giving gifts.
Raise the money together as a family, but doing a yard sale together.
Where there is a will, there is a way!
Don’t overpack for a cruise, especially when you are cruising with kids! Learn what is important to pack for your cruise, and enjoy it better.