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Top Tips for Taking Your Kids on a Luxury Cruise

Luxury Cruise

Who said that luxury cruises were the domain of well-heeled mature couples? Aren’t they meant to be opportunities for enjoying fine dining, personal service, elegant suits, and onboard spaces that are free of loud, energetic children?

If you’d like to take your kids on some world cruises, don’t be put off by this type of person. There’s no reason why you can’t treat your family to an upscale cruise. However, in order for you all to make the most of the experience, it’s important you know what is expected from your kids and plan accordingly.

The following tips will ensure your junior cruisers enjoy a successful luxury sailing trip.

Choose a Luxury Cruise Line That Caters to Kids

The best cruise for a family is one where kids are expected and welcomed. Choose the right cruise line and ship and you’ll save yourself a whole lot of hassle and headache. Features to look for include:

  • Different kids clubs
  • Suites designed with families in mind
  • In -cabin babysitting services
  • Kids and teen zones
  • Complimentary night nursery
  • Planetarium
  • Video games and art supplies
  • Special youth staff

Steer clear of cruise lines that explicitly prohibit kids and those that have minimum age requirements if you have smaller kids.

Consider the Costs

You’ll find that most luxury cruise lines bundle in lots of extras including shore excursions, specialty restaurants, gratuities, and beverages. However, these tend to have matching price tags.

Look for a cruise line that makes special fare accommodations for kids when they share cabins with fare-paying adults. Also, check for kids-sail-free promotions that pop up from time to time. 

Choose the Right Cabin

Cabins tend to be available in a range of configurations but generally to fit into one of the following categories:

  • Shared standard staterooms
  • Larger suites
  • Interconnecting staterooms

You’ll find that more spacious accommodations are offered by luxury lines and there may be options for all-suite or all-balcony.

If you opt for the single-room option with multiple berths, make sure the bedroom can be curtained off from the living room where the pull-out sofa or crib is likely going to be placed.,

While connecting staterooms may be very tempting, you’ll struggle to keep tabs on younger family members who have an exit of their own.

Spend Time With Your Kids

Not all cruise lines offer full-time kids’ clubs or programming, so be prepared to spend lots of time with your kids.

If you want to enjoy some adult time, you should consider inviting additional family members, a nanny, or babysitter.

Be Prepared to Make Shore-Tour Compromises

While you might be dying to hit every historical site along the coast or be intent on basking on the beach for days, your little ones might have different ideas. This means that compromise may be required.

You may be lucky enough to find some group shore excursions that appear to be a good fit for all of you but check on age restrictions and car seat requirements.

One option that may be available is to hire a private tour guide or wander off on your own. That way you can decide when to take a break for snacks and restroom visits.

Learn How to Navigate Dining

Passengers on luxury lines take dinner very seriously. They dress up and pay top dollar to indulge in a gourmet, multicourse dining experience. Not everyone is going to appreciate the extra noise your kids might bring to the table.

Many younger children will struggle to make it through service, but if you insist on trying the experience, make sure you put in your order as soon as possible and let the server know that your kids' food should come out as soon as it’s ready.

Ideally, aim for a table off to the side and positioned close to an escape route, just in case you need to make a quick exit.

Other dining options to consider include:

  • Buffet or poolside grills
  • Complimentary room service

Bring Diversions

To avoid any choruses of “I’m bored” onboard, pack lots of diversions so you can keep your kiddos entertained. Books, toy cars, puzzles, and portable toys will help to keep boredom at bay. Coloring books are particularly valuable at dinner or in the cabin.

Be Ready to Make Fast Friends

You tend not to find lots of small children on luxury liners, which can make them a bit of a curiosity for others onboard. Just having them around can be a great icebreaker and you’ll find yourself having countless conversations with the crew and fellow passengers.

On the flip side, you’re also likely to encounter the odd person who won’t be happy having kids onboard. It’s also possible that they won’t be shy about telling you so. The best advice is to steer clear of them as much as possible.

As long as you’re mindful of your family’s impact on those around you and are courteous at all times, you’ll find there’s plenty of room onboard a cruise liner for everyone to have a good time.

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