Adventurous families are enjoying more cruise vacations due to extremely low prices and great value. Last year, an estimated 1.6 million children joined their parents and relatives aboard cruise ships last year alone, according the Cruise Lines Industry Association (CLIA).
Bob Levinstein, CEO of CruiseCompete (www.cruisecompete.com), says the website has seen a steady increase in family and multi-generational cruise travel over the last year. A recent CLIA survey found families consistently cite “value” as a key reason to take a cruise together and 83% said cruise vacations offer extremely good value.
CruiseCompete.com and tripatlas.com/new have brought you 10 must-do experiences for families heading on a cruise vacation this year!
10 Must-do’s for family cruise vacation
1. Visit world-renowned museums with your children – New England and Canadian cruises, in particular, provide plenty of fun and educational museum stops in port. Boston, a museum hotspot, features one of the nation’s premiere children’s museums and the enormous New England Aquarium. There’s also the Boston Team Party Ship, where kids can recreate dumping tea into the sea.
2. Enjoy leisurely dinners with your children – The early dinner seatings on cruise ships, especially those operated by Carnival, are full with families. Depending on the age of the children, it may get a little messy, but the ship’s staff loves the laughter. This is a great time to relax together and talk about the day’s events aboard the ship and life in general. Cabin service is available 24/7 on most lines, so you won’t have to worry about those growing teenagers and their constant hunger. Order a midnight snack and watch a movie together.
3. When was the last time you danced with your children? – There is plenty of live music aboard. For pure family fun, nothing beats family disco hour, especially aboard Royal Caribbean voyages. The pulsating beats, light shows and other special effects help everyone cut loose on the dance floor. And there is no doubt the kids will love to watch their parents’ smooth dance moves and enjoy a dance with mom or dad.
4. Build a sand castle on a private island – Most cruise lines that visit the Caribbean make a stop at a “private island” for a truly unforgettable day at the beach. Families enjoy splashing in the waves on secluded, pristine beaches, water sports galore and great beach barbeques. Make an unforgettable sand castle kingdom with your children.
5. Mother-daughter spa experience – Nail-painting sessions are taken to another level on cruise ships, where they are invited to enjoy real spa treatments together. State-of-the-art salons and spas promote unusual treatments, relaxation and girl bonding opportunities.
6. Watch a Caribbean sunset together – A cruise offers a uniquely unobstructed view of the sea and the horizon, providing for an ideal setting for a family to watch a sunset or sunrise together.
7. Fireworks everyday – For those families on Disney cruises that enjoy a little more pop in their sky gazing activities, an impressive fireworks show captivates cruisers of all ages each night. Launched from the deck of the ship, the fireworks explode nearby with reflections off the water and plenty of oohs and ahs from both kids and parents alike.
8. One-on-one time together – Kids and their parents alike can show off their shooting skills on full-size basketball courts on ships like Royal Caribbean’s Explore of the Seas. The competition does not have to stop there, however. There’s also miniature golf, rock climbing walls, pools and waterslide games, ping pong, gaming areas and more to fuel family friendly competition.
9. Art auctions at sea! – Onboard art auctions are a great place to expose kids to art appreciation. A number of cruise lines, including Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival, NCL, Oceania, Disney and Holland America, have offerings that have included works from Chagall, Picasso and Dali.
10. Explore the world together – Kids of all ages love adventure and exploration. From the rainforests of the Caribbean, cultural differences in another country, delicacies from the sea that they have never experienced the cruise vacation captured from their perspective will rekindle plenty of fond family memories back home.
Looking to book a cruise vacation? Check out the tripatlas.com/new Trip Builder where you can request a quote from over 104,000 travel agents who are ready to offer you the best prices on your trip.