This post was written by Jenni Fielding
Cruise holidays are possibly one of the most misunderstood of all the holiday types. Everyone knows what’s involved in a camping trip – wellies, weeing outside in the night and eating a lot of crisps, amongst other things. In fact, people tend to understand most holiday types pretty well, even if they haven’t been on one. But, cruise holidays are different. Surrounded by myths and hearsay, and quite unique from any other type of holiday, it’s fair to say that you won’t properly understand the magic of a cruise holiday until you’ve been on one.
Reasons why cruises are perfect for families
Cruise ships are floating resorts
I often hear the word ‘stuck’ when people who haven’t cruised before are talking about cruising. “Oh no, I wouldn’t like to be stuck on a ship all the time”. I think that some people imagine a ship to be somewhat like a ferry, with the purpose being to transport you from A to B. In fact, today’s modern cruise ships are absolutely huge. It’s difficult to grasp just how huge until you step onboard. With accommodation for over 6,000 passengers, as well as a few thousand crew members, it can take at least ten minutes to walk from one end to the other, and it’s quite easy to get lost if you don’t refer to the maps which you’ll find by each of the elevators.
Unless you can actually see the sea through the windows or from the top deck, it’s common to forget that you’re on a ship at all. Many cruise ships have a central promenade with shops, bars and restaurants which feels just like a regular street. Some ships built by MSC Cruises even have a ceiling made of an LED screen which changes to look like the sky. Some of Royal Caribbean’s ships have a hollow centre with ‘Central Park’ which features over 10,000 plants as well as bars and cafes with outdoor seating amidst the foliage.
Cruise ships have the best kids’ clubs on earth
Cruise ship kids’ clubs are like nothing else. Looking after kids from age two to 17, they’re far superior to what you’ll find in even more most expensive family hotels. Every time I’ve cruised with my children they’ve begged me to go to kids’ club at every opportunity. And with opening times from 9 am until as late as 2 am in some cases, you could almost pretend that your holiday is adults only! “Can I go to kids’ club after dinner please?”, they’d ask. “Yes, as long as you eat your vegetables”, was usually my reply.
Cruises have the best food
With as many as twenty restaurants on each ship, there’s certainly a lot of choices when it comes to food. Special diets are catered for really well, and parents of fussy eaters needn’t worry – cruise ship buffets are seemingly endless and always have options which kids will love.
Each cruise ship has some restaurants which are included in your cruise ticket and some which have an extra charge (speciality restaurants). The main dining room is always free of charge and offers three-course gourmet meals which would certainly cost three figures for a family meal, should you dine at the equivalent standard of restaurant on land.
Choosing the right ship
So, there you have three reasons why cruises are great for families, but honestly, there are so many more. There’s a cruise ship for everyone. So, whether you want a toddler splash area and free babysitting or have teenagers who would love a go-kart track, laser tag and virtual reality arcade, there’s a ship to suit.