Do you want to travel with the kids but think it’s more work than a vacation? How about cruising with the kids? It is way easier than going the airplane route unless of course you don’t live near a cruise port.
We love cruising in general, but it has also become our first option when going for a hassle free vacation with the kids. Check out the 10 Reasons to Cruise with the Kids on your next Family Vacation plus Tips on Cruising with Baby & Toddlers:
NEVER GET HUNGRY ON A CRUISE. CHECK YOUR CRUISE DINING OPTIONS WITH ALL OUR CRUISE FOOD ARTICLES:
- You can order Freshly Made Tacos & Burritos on Carnival Cruise
- Chef Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint on board Carnival Cruise is a Must Try
- Have an Afternoon Tea in the Middle of the Sea
- The Better Cruise Breakfast Buffet is on board Princess Cruises
- Do not leave Carnival Cruise without trying their Sea Day Brunch
- Carnival Cruise Menu & Food Pictures
- Princess Cruise Menu & Food Pictures
10 REASON TO CRUISE WITH THE KIDS ON YOUR NEXT FAMILY VACATION:
1. CRUISING WITH THE KIDS: NO COOKING!!!
Yahoo!! What more can a parent ask for. There’s so many food options on a cruise. Our eldest likes American Food, our youngest is more into Asian food. Get anything from the buffet or order anything at the dining room during dinner. I don’t need to think of what to cook or which restaurant to eat from. On a cruise, the kids can find whatever they want.
There’s even free room service. So if they get hungry coz’ during lunch they decided they don’t want to eat as much(go figure, they are kids) and now it’s 2PM and I’d rather be in bed for a nap, we just call room service.
If regular hotels clean your room only in the morning, on cruises they do it twice a day. We come back to our room after eating and our room is tidied up and ready for our nap/sleep.
2. CRUISING WITH KIDS: NO CLEANING PLUS ROOM GETS CLEANED AT LEAST TWICE A DAY.
The bathroom is clean as well and whatever havoc my kids have created(think toys all over, cereal on the floor), they’ll fix it for you. So all you have to do, is relax. And a bonus towel animal is waiting for you in your room after dinner on Carnival Cruise.
3. CRUISING WITH KIDS: CRUISE DAYCARE AND CRUISE BABYSITTER
You can bring your kids to the cruise day care both on sea days and on port days, they offer a ton of scheduled activities while they are there. They will give you a phone or a beeper in case you need to get your kid(crying or is sick).
Cruise day care is not all day long, like typically on sea day, you’d have to get them during lunch. For Port days, when parents want to go on shore excursions, kids can be left on the ship’s day care and they’ll be fed lunch. But each cruise lines varies, so do check. They are included in the cruise fare you paid for, except if they are less than 2 or 3 depending on which cruise line. But you can pay a minimal fee to have them babysit on certain days and after 10PM.
- Camp Carnival is 2-11, Circle C is for young teens 12-14, Club 02 is for high schoolers 15-17. Babysitting(Night Owls) is for 6 months to 11 years for a minimal fee.
- We liked the daycare room on Princess Cruises better plus it’s less crowded. Check here for Carnival VS Princess Cruises so you can pick which cruise line fits your personality and needs.
4. TONS OF WATER FUN: POOL, SLIDES, SIMULATED SURFING AND MORE
Each cruise line offers something to get you wet. Cruise lines are an all inclusive resort and the water fun is a lot of fun both for the parents and for the kids.
- Carnival Cruise has a a huge water slide, some has a slide that goes down the pool and even has a kid version slide and waterworks for them to enjoy.*
- Disney Cruise has a clear slide so you can see the ocean as you slide. Pretty scary but looks like a lot of fun.*
- Royal Carribean has FlowRider, a simulated surfing experience. *
- Princess Cruises has a wave pool. Not big but not crowded either.*
*Check for availability per cruise line as ship design varies. Check for minimum age and height too. Kids who are not yet potty trained are not allowed in the pool.
From Day to Night, there are tons of things to do on a cruise with kids and you don’t need to drive to it.
5. CRUISING WITH KIDS: TONS OF ENTERTAINMENT & ACTIVITIES FOR PARENTS, FOR KIDS OR FOR BOTH
Each cruise line has a show that changes every night that our kids love. We’ve also been to back to back cruises, like 3 within a 6 month period and we never saw the same show ever.
When the kids are napping, I also sneak out to play Bingo or Casino. An example of some activities each cruise line has to offer.
- Carnival Cruise has a Mini Golf on the top most deck and a Hasbro Game Show.
- Princess Cruises has Movie Under the Stars on the pool deck every night.
- Royal Caribbean has Rock Climbing.
- Disney Cruise has Meet & Greet with Disney characters.
- Norwegian Cruise Line has a Rope Course.
6. CRUISING WITH KIDS: NO CARSEATS, RENTAL CARS, WAITING AT AIRPORTS, OR “ARE WE THERE YET?”
Note: There’s a daily parking fee at your cruise port where you will board. Consider the parking fee in your vacation budget or have someone drop you off to save on cost.No need to drive nor buckle the kids in & out to their carseats. No diaper bags to bring. No whining in the car. No “Are we there yet?” since we’re already there and they simply have tons to do… and eat.
7. CRUISING WITH KIDS: VACATION STARTS IMMEDIATELY
8. CRUISING WITH KIDS: NO NEED TO RESEARCH WHERE TO GO OR WHAT TO VISIT WITH SHORE EXCURSIONS
You do have to go through security before boarding a cruise just like at the airports but at least more than likely there’s no delay in leaving. You can just board and start your vacation even before the cruise leaves the dock. Yes, food is already ready right when you board as well. So that means you don’t need to pack your magic tricks like you would when traveling by plane with the kids.
In Catalina Island, I would suggest renting a golf cart to tour around the island.You can visit various attractions on cruise port days and the cruise will give you choices of where to go. Just choose per your family’s idea of fun or do it all. There’s an additional fee to take cruise excursions. But if you just wish to walk around down the port coz’ you’ve seen the attractions before, that’s fine too.
- In San Francisco, we just walked to the pier. Got the kids on the double decker carousel & watched the Sea Lions then walked to Ghirardelli Square for yummy sundaes. It’s quite a walk. Bring the kids stroller.
9. CRUISING WITH KIDS: LOTS OF NAP TIME
10. CRUISING WITH KIDS: A NEW EXPERIENCE & ALL IN FUN
Believe it or not, the kids nap a lot on the cruise. Is it the food? The lil’ swaying of the ship? Whatever it is. We’re down for it. We’re on a vacation and needed all the rest we can get.
Are you convinced to go on a Cruise with the Kids yet? Here are some Tips for Cruising with Younger Kids:
The fact that cruises are an all inclusive resort means we don’t have to worry about anything, nothing to book separately like hotel rooms or rental cars. And kids get to experience a lot of things including getting to try new foods. It’s really a hassle free way to vacation with the kids that we don’t mind taking them multiple times a year. Plus, you get to visit another place or city almost every day without driving or flying which takes up your vacation time. You just sleep and when you wake up the next day, you’re in another city.
TIPS FOR CRUISING WITH KIDS:
- Check the Minimum Age Requirements for Cruising with Babies:
The minimum age requirement for babies to cruise is 6 months old for most cruise lines. But usually a minimum of 12 months old for transpacific and transatlantic cruises. Disney Cruise Lines used to offer a minimum of 12 weeks old, but that changed this 2015 to 6 months old minimum for short cruises.
- Do Kids Cruise for Free?
Are babies free on cruises? No. Unless there are deals and promotion during off season. They would be charge a lower 3rd/4th passenger price however.
- Cruising with Kids: Don’t Forget their Passport if You’re Cruising to Another Country
Cruises are usually booked ahead of time, sometimes a year in advance to get the best deals. Do check if the kids passport are still valid when you cruise.
- Request for Baby Food in Advance when cruising with babies
- Is There Whole Milk on The Cruise?You can request for baby food in advance from your cruise line. Our daughter can already eat solid food when we cruised, but we still asked for them in advance in case she needed it in the room or if she didn’t like the food being served. Once you’re on board, call room service, and they’ll deliver it to you.
There’s no Whole Milk on Carnival Cruise. They merely served 2% milk or Chocolate Milk on boxes at the buffet. Princess has full milk served on a pitcher that is used for coffees at the drinks area. Our eldest didn’t want to drink the 2% when we cruised when she was 3. Our youngest couldn’t tell the difference when we took her when she was 1. Practice at home in advance if they’ll take 2%.
- Can I Bring a Stroller to a Cruise?
Yes, you can bring your stroller on a cruise. We’ve brought both our Zooper Single Stroller & Phil & Ted’s Double Stroller on Princess Cruises. They have to be folded and go through X-ray machines. So make sure you’ve mastered folding them before heading to the port. Princess Cruises has a tiny room door so we have to fold them again to bring the stroller in.
Check more Cruise Tips!