While living abroad in Ireland, we took three cruises in less than a year while our daugthers were small and they were some of my most favorite trips I've ever taken (with or without kids). Cruising may be something that doesn't sound like too much fun with kids along but it's actually the opposite. Cruises are great for families for sooo many reasons!
Here's 10 great things about cruising with kids:
1. You get to see a lot of places.
We visited 13 different countries and 17 different cities during our three cruises. Plus, some of the places we went (like Jerusalem, Tunisia and St. Petersburg) we never would have made it to if we weren't on a ship.
2. You only have to unpack once.
What's better than seeing five different places in a week and never having to move hotels, drive or take a plane or a train?
3. No hunting for restaurants.
One of my least favorite things about traveling is the nightly dinner hunt. I'll never forget wandering around Paris for what felt like hours while 26 weeks pregnant looking for a place that we liked. But on a cruise ship you just wander to the dining room (or one of the other restaurants/cafes on board).
4. The food is almost always fantastic.
The quality is usually really high plus there is no matching the variety. Where else can you get lobster tail, escargot, prime rib and many other fine foods for the same price as a slice of pizza? Even if you have special dietary needs, either by choice or medical necessity, cruise ships aim to please (plus they don't want a medical emergency in the middle of the sea!)
5. Kids club.
Need I say more?
6. On board entertainment.
Even during days at sea, cruise ships are packed full of entertainment. From the Broadway style shows at night to the activities, demonstrations (like ice carving) and swimming during the day, you'll never be bored (unless you want to be!)
7. You make your own schedule.
Want to sleep in today? Ok. Want to be up and early for some deckside yoga? Go for it! No following a timetable, running with the crowd or being everywhere on time (unless you want to!)
8. Free pool, hot tub and gym.
They're right there! Spa and salon services are available too (usually at an extra charge, though).
9. The staff is awesome.
Most people working on cruise ships are away from home (and their families) for 6 months or more. We found the staff on all three cruises we took (on three different cruise lines) to be super friendly, helpful and excited about the kids.
10. It's all-inclusive.
Sure you can easily add-on things and quickly spend extra money but you don't HAVE to. Everything you need including your room, food and transportation is covered!
This post originally appeared on Beyond Mommying where you can find more tips and information on family travel.
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