We’ve been on quite a few cruises with our kids over the years. Each time we go, people inquire our trip. Why cruise with kids? Is it a better vacation than a land vacation? Because of the nature of a cruise, many people that I’ve talked to are concerned about being “stuck” on a cruise ship. They may feel that once they are on board, if they aren’t enjoying themselves, they won’t be able to escape the ship.
We love cruising as a family – for a variety of reasons. While we typically cruise on Disney Cruise Line, these reasons do apply to any family-friendly cruise line, going to any destinations. We’ve never felt trapped on the ship. As always, we recommend that you do individual research to make sure that you are choosing the best cruise line and itinerary for your particular situation.
Disclosure: I’ve been on one complimentary press cruise and two cruises as part of Disney Social Media Moms, but all opinions are my own.
Why Cruise With Kids?
Once you get on the cruise ship, there’s limited stress for mom and dad. You don’t have to worry about where to eat meals, where to go for activities, or how to get there. While you will need to choose specific excursions for your trip, you won’t have do anything once you book them. Just follow your guide, and you’ll have a great time.
Be sure to do some research before you actually get on the cruise ship so that you are completely prepared. I usually spend some time looking at the cruise ports of call so that I know what type of excursions are good options for my family. These can be booked in advance. For the Disney Cruise Line, the timing for that depends on your Castaway Club level. Platinum and concierge guests can book the earliest.
Activities For Kids
Family-friendly cruises offer so many different activities for kids. My kids love going to the kids’ clubs, and enjoy the shows, the movies, and all of the other activities. As a plus, while they are in the kids’ clubs, I enjoy some time to myself – reading and spending time in the adult-only sections. We also enjoy spending time at the pools, as well as just exploring the ship’s amenities.
Once you get on board the ship, you can find a schedule of the various programs offered in the kids clubs. When my kids were younger, we went through this list and they decided what they want to do.
If you’ve got older kids – older tweens and teens, they will love to explore the ship on their own. My kids are 12 and 14 now, and they enjoy the freedom that they have on a cruise. They go to the kids’ clubs, watch movies, and see the shows.
We don’t usually purchase WiFi on cruises, so my kids aren’t distracted by their electronic devices. And, to be honest, neither am I. Instead, we spend time together. As my kids get older and have more and more extracurricular activities, I love having the extra time with them on vacation.
On Disney Cruise Line, we do still bring on devices on board. The Disney Cruise Line app lets you keep in touch, even without cellular service. You can text friends and family on board the ship so it’s a great way to keep in contact with your children while they are exploring.
We’ve enjoyed exploring so many fantastic places on our vacations – including Cozumel, St. Martin, the Bahamas, St. Thomas, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. During our excursions, we’ve been able to visit Mayan ruins, learn about different cultures, tour a chocolate factory, visit various beaches, see the aquarium at Atlantis, and much more. All of these excursions were easy to book and were completely stress free.
When choosing excursions, you may want to do a mix of fun, adventure excursions, and educational excursions. Many things, like zip lining, and animal encounters, can be done in a variety of different places, while visiting the Mayan ruins was something that we were only able to do in Mexico.
Have you cruised with your family? What was your kids’ favorite thing to do on the ship?