Do you like the notion of taking your children on a cruise but are put off by the thought that:
(a) the ship will be too confining for youngsters and
(b) the respites on the shore days will be too tedious or tiring for them?
There’s fact and there’s fantasy in most scenarios involving kids and cruising. The reality, based on a 12-day cruise with our two children on the Mediterranean from Rome, was exceedingly positive.
Why a cruise?
It’s easy. What do most parents want out of their holiday? A breather, and a cruise is one of the easiest forms of travel. You fly to the departure port – or just a cab if leaving from Melbourne – get to the ship and unpack just once for the whole trip.
The children love it. Most big ships are decked out for children and can include waterslides, wave pools, rock climbing, even ice rinks. And kids’ clubs. It took 24 hours for our eight-year-old Jack to be more interested in the club than hanging with us.
Our daughter Amelie, 14, made friends with children from all over the world and is trying to work out how they can all go on a cruise again. It’s a safe environment with a mix of independence and activities for children.
There’s lots to do for parents, too. Think fitness centre and blues bar and show stage. Best of all, you can always find a quiet corner to be alone.
You can find a cruise for your budget then make money-wise choices on board. We went for a lower deck, enough space for all of us but not too expensive. You can opt in or out of drinks packages and mostly the food is included.