Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Need a Vacation? Consider a Family Cruise

A guest post by Maire Hunter


As a mom, you deserve a break! Your kids need a break too. Get away together on a family cruise. Now, before you shake your head and say no to the idea of being stuck on a boat for seven days with your kids and a thousand strangers, consider the following perks and then decide whether or not a cruise would be the perfect getaway for your family.

Price

Most cruises range from $100 to $500 per person per night. The travel dates, type of cabin and length of cruise can raise or lower the price. Additionally, most price quotes don’t include childcare or extracurricular activities. However, even the most budget-conscious travelers can afford a cruise. Shop around and book a year in advance for the best rates.

Childcare

Family friendly cruise lines offer everything from waterslides to rock climbing walls. Regardless of age, your kids will have plenty of activity options to keep them busy.

For youngsters, Disney cruises offer character meals and shows. Princess cruises offer a youth program that includes science experiments and games. Royal Caribbean and Carnival provide teen-only rooms with video games and music.
You’ll pay up to $8 an hour for supervised care for toddlers and children but the cost is worth it. Sign up for childcare as soon as you arrive on the ship and drop off your children whenever you’re participating in adult-only activities or simply need a break. The children will play and have fun while you enjoy a soak in the pool, a drink with friends or a nap in your cabin.

Remember to check age limits. Certain cruise lines only provide care for kids over the age of three. Disney cruises are an exception as they welcome babies as young as twelve weeks into their fully stocked nurseries.

Health

Obviously, you want to keep your kids healthy on any vacation. Cruise ships have first aid stations on board, but you’ll want to carry a small kit that includes a supply of children’s medicines. Pack pain reliever, Dramamine for seasickness, an anti-diarrheal and upset stomach relief. Also, pack prescription medicines and copies of the prescription. Lastly, but perhaps most important, you’ll want to consider purchasing atlas visitor insurance. You’ll be glad you’re insured if medical treatment is required.

Food

All you can eat buffets are a top selling point on any cruise. You can enjoy everything from seafood to dessert without having to step food in the kitchen. Assist your kids by choosing selections that are sure to please even the pickiest eaters.

For moms with infants, consider booking on Holland America. The Holland America crew delivers baby food to your cabin so you don’t have to pack an extra suitcase full of glass jars. Be sure to fill out a request at least a month before your cruise is set to embark.

A family vacation cruise can be within your budget. Get away with your kids and enjoy a cruise that offers something for everyone-- no matter how old or young!

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