Written by on Monday August 25, 2014
In my opinion there is no better holiday travelling as a family than being on a cruise ship. We took our first cruise in 2007 with our two daughters then aged 12 and 7. My youngest, Sophie, now at the ripe old age of 14 proudly boasted whilst on P&O Ventura in July that this was her 13th cruise!
Where else can you expect to bump into Shrek or Spongebob ?
Every new ship brings new innovations and you will be amazed at the facilities to be found on board i.e. rock climbing walls, ten pin bowling alleys, water parks and slides, ice rinks, mini golf and sports courts. The list is endless. You will even find the Dreamworks Experience on some Royal Caribbean ships and Nickleodeon on some Norwegian Cruise Line ships. Apart from Disney, where else can you expect to bump into Shrek or Spongebob Square Pants and enjoy character breakfasts with them?
Complimentary Kids Clubs
What sets a cruise holiday apart from a land based holiday is the complimentary Kids Clubs. The staff hold qualifications in education and recreation so you know that your children are in safe hands. The clubs are split into age groups and typically would consist of; 3-5 year olds where they will enjoy things like outdoor play, glove puppet shows and creative play. 6-8 year olds activities of games and sports challenges and talent shows. 9-11 year olds will enjoy scavenger hunts, music, games consoles, discos and arts and crafts.
The hours of the kids clubs vary from ship to ship but they normally operate from 9am-12pm, 2pm-5pm then 7pm to 10pm.
Teens can “chill out” and meet new friends from around the globe
From my experience travelling with teens is where cruise holidays excel as a normal land holiday doesn’t usually cater for this age group. Teens are taken up to the age of 17 and depending on the amount of teens on board may be split into younger and older teens. On some ships they have their own sunbathing areas and indoors they have game consoles, DJ booths and ‘chill out’ areas. The clubs arrange things like teen discos, pool parties at night and talent shows which usually run until around 1am
Babies, Tots and Night Nursery
Parents would accompany their child when using the soft play areas. Some cruises cater for younger children particularly well with a fully supervised night nursery for 5’s and under available from 6pm to approximately 2am. hey will give the parent a pager should they need to contact you. You would normally pay a fee for this service but on P&O child friendly ships this is free of charge and on a first come first served basis.
Travelling as a family you can spend as much or as little time together as you wish. My girls can’t wait to go to their clubs and will eat early so that they can be there at 7pm every night.
Perfect for mum and dad to enjoy dinner in peace then watch a show or two after!
Our Cruise Experts have a wealth of knowledge and cruise for their own holidays - they will steer you in the right direction to choose the right cruise ship for your family.
Angela Lafferty, Product Executive