Tips on planning a cruise vacation with small kids

Cruising offers a chance for family to bond with their members by sharing the joy of traveling and beauty of the world. A cruise vacation allows family members of all ages to explore new destinations, taste new cuisines and immerse themselves in new cultures while creating memories that will last a lifetime.

With children in tow, cruise is a convenient and fun way to explore the world. With cruise it is like that family is transported from destination to destination.

Here in we compiled 12 reasonable tips in Planning a Cruise Vacation with small kids.

Tips on planning a cruise vacation with small kids

a white Cruise ship

1. Before booking, check on your options thoroughly, make an assessment of the pros and cons of each cruise line.

The assessment should include childcare options, family activities, meal options, stateroom size and layout, and price.

When choosing an itinerary, consider the number of days of the cruise, the ports of call, and shore excursions.

Since the article is about having children on the cruise keep in mind the amenities for children and how it varies among cruise lines.

2 It is best to consult a travel agent- Travel agents provide the reassurance that someone is there for you to help resolve any bumps on the road and provide guidance on how they can help you move forward.

Using a travel agent can save clients time, stress, and even money. Sometimes travel agents actually have better access to deals that aren’t available to the general public. Or, they may know about an upcoming sale that can help clients save money.

3. Get kids involved in planning your family cruise. Incorporating some of their wishes will make the cruise a better experience for all family members.

If children are part of the planning, chances are they’re likely to get more excited instead of feeling like they’re just being shuffled around from one place to another.

Involving young children in planning a family trip might be more valuable than it might seem.

It is always good to know what—or how much—the children want to see on a trip.

4. Select the right cruise line that caters to kids. Pick a cruise line that’s a good fit for you and the kids, consider the limitations for babies and toddlers, such as age and potty training.

To date major cruise lines have made a business out of catering to families with kids in tow. Choose one of them, and you’ll be thinking less about child-friendly activities, food, accommodations and excursions.

5. Book a shorter itinerary when with kids.

Cruises longer than seven days tend to attract older people and fewer families with children. With higher costs and limited vacation time, many families aren’t able to take the kids on longer voyages. Stick to week-long cruises or shorter if you want to make sure your kids will have plenty of playmates.

Consider choosing a shorter cruise if you’d prefer the atmosphere to be less rowdy and more family-friendly.

6. Pick the right room for the family

Family-oriented cruises will offer the opportunity to get a large enough stateroom. Depending on the age of your kids, the size of your family, and your budget, give some serious consideration to what kind of rooms you pick for your family cruise.

Classic interior staterooms are small, but can often sleep three or four. For a family with one or two littles, an inside cabin can be just right—and you can save money to put toward your adventures in port.

You should have a room that’s going to allow for family time, but also enough room for every individual.

7. Choose Family and Kid Friendly Shore Excursions

One of the best things about a cruise is the shore excursions. This is especially true if you’re cruising exotic locations.

But sometimes those shore excursions are not always kid-friendly, which is why you want to be careful which ones you’re booking when traveling.

8. Teach your kids about cruise etiquette and safety before you go on the cruise

Let others get off the elevator before you enter

Dry off after swimming before sitting in a restaurant, entering an elevator, or entering any indoor areas

Put a cover up or tee over your bathing suit, and wear shoes before entering the hallways or dining areas

Use indoor voices in hallways and indoor places

children on board of a cruise ship playing checkers

9. Go Cruisin with Kids During Vacations

Make sure to plan your cruise for a time when lots of other families are on vacation. Cruises during summer break, winter holidays, and other school vacations typically will have lots more kids on board than at other times of the year.

Just remember that there probably won’t be lots of other kids for them to hang out with; if it is  not the right time of the year.

10. Consider a Newer Cruise Ship

Although many of the most budget-friendly cruises are on older ships, a newer cruise ship might have more activities and features for kids of all ages.

Young kids will have so much fun splashing in a water park, while older children might enjoy activities like rock wall climbing, zip lines, or ice skating. A new ship may also feature expanded youth programs and teen centers.

father and children packing for a vacation

11. When Packing

You need to consider what to pack. Pack an outfit a day plus a couple of nicer outfits for dinners. Pack swimsuits and cover-ups if planning for a beach day shore excursion

When packing, explain the activities your kids need to pack for and let them pick their outfits. If you have young kids, you can have them pick out a few of their favorite outfits and place them on their bed.

Finally, make sure you pack plenty of sunscreen and sun protection. When kids are playing on the upper decks and heading out on shore excursions, they’re getting a lot of sun exposure. Don’t ruin your vacation by not packing enough sunscreen or a hat. Also, consider packing rash guard swim tops; they help keep kids safe from burns.

12. Sway Away from Motion Sickness

Have some over-the-counter age-appropriate motion sickness medicines. It is a great way to be able to deal with it in case it does happen.

In the end, when planning a cruise ship with kids in tow, always remember that preparation and readiness are the keys for a successful one.