As grandparents join the traveling family mix, cruises are becoming a popular choice for a multigeneration vacation. Cruise companies have realized the importance of offering activities for all ages and most are now offering hundreds of itineraries across the globe. In addition, cruise ships have world-class entertainment and service that is second to none. There are activities for every member of the family, from golf and zip-lining to go-karting and surfing. Who would have thought you could do all of these things in the middle of the ocean? Here’s why a multigenerational cruise works so well for a large group trip.
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Reasons to take a Cruise with the Grandparents
Multi-generation vacations are becoming more and more popular, as families take time away from their busy lives to make memories and spend quality time together. So here are 6 reasons why a cruise can be a good option.
1. Multiple destinations in a short amount of time
A cruise is a great way to visit multiple destinations with a large family where logistics may get complicated.
When you’re traveling with young children, it can be stressful to pack your bags time and time again. And when there’s a large group planning a trip, booking multiple flights or trains can become expensive.
A multi-generational vacation usually involves more than a handful of individuals with different ideas on where to go and what to do. There are so many exciting cruise itineraries out there, you are bound to find one that will keep everyone in your family happy.
TIP: Searching itineraries is such a big job. Divvy up the research and have everyone look for some of their favorite cruise options. It’s a great way to get the whole family involved in the planning process!
2. Something for everyone
As mentioned above, you can select an itinerary that keeps everyone happy. However, cruise ports aren’t the only things to take into account when planning a multigenerational family cruise.
Cruises are designed to entertain guests throughout the whole of their stay, so they are perfect for multi-generation vacations. If you have a day or two at sea, rest assured there are still things to do as a family.
Ships have daily programs of activities and entertainment, as well as facilities for everyone to enjoy. From spas and fitness centers, to cinemas, swimming pools and mini-golf, there are plenty of accessible activities for you to do as a family on board.
3. Childcare Options
Kids clubs allow children to make friends, get creative and learn new things while parents relax on their own. They are also usually included in your package, so no extra costs.
The clubs are suited for various age groups, and they usually separate the ages. Usually there’s a nursery for the little ones, a space for the preschool crowd, a grade school area, and many ships even have teen clubs. Kids can do anything in the clubs from arts and crafts to learning circus skills.
Taking a multi-generation holiday means the adults can also take it in turns to look after the kids. You can give the grandparents some peace and quiet while you spend quality time with your children doing one of the many activities on board. We would recommend taking turns at the swimming pool, so the adults don’t get too exhausted.
4. Cabins and suites
Many cruise ships now cater to large families and multi-generation trips with adjoining rooms and large suites.
Large families might enjoy a suite so everyone can be in the same place. Several cruise lines offer this as an option. (Disney, Norwegian, and Holland American come to mind, but here are other options). It gives you space to spend quality time together without having to venture around the ship. You can hold your film nights, or play games and chill out after a long day in port.
If you have teens or couples who would like some privacy, adjoining rooms may be better for you. Some ships will waive the single supplement fee for small double rooms when they are booked as adjoining ones, making it a great family-friendly option.
Remember, these rooms can be cozy, so be sure to check these essential cruise packing tips before you go.
5. Dining options
As you will be eating a lot on the cruise ship, there are always plenty of dining options available, and some are designed by celebrity chefs.
Depending on your package, most of the food options will be included in your room rate, but you can usually purchase an upgrade if necessary.
Whatever your family likes, you’re likely to find it on the ship. If you want a 4 course meal, some cruises have black tie dinners. Or if you want to stay in your room for a night in, room service is the way to go.
Some ships have 24-hour restaurants and all you can eat buffets for a midnight snack or a hungry teenager. These work great if everyone in the family has a different time in mind for meal times.
And if the adults in the family would like a grown-up dinner, they can book a table and drop the kids off at the club.
6. Family friendly tours
When booking day tours from cruises, it can all be done on the ship’s website. The company will list all of the options they have available, and you can book knowing that the tours are family friendly.
When taking any shore excursion with a large family, logistics and coordination can be a nightmare. There are plenty of companies out there who can plan day trips for you, including one of our favorites, Shore Trips. If you coordinate on your own, keep in mind the ship won’t wait if you’re late! (But most tour operators know this and add plenty of time to the itineraries to ensure this doesn’t happen).
Another perk to booking with the cruise company is that it’s all taken care of. You won’t need to worry about where to go or how to get back to the ship on time. Typical cruise ship excursions include city exploration, boat tours, and days at the beach.
And if there’s a split decision on what to do in port? You have plenty of time to do things as a family. The important thing is everyone enjoying their trip, so splitting up now and then isn’t a bad thing.
So have you decided? Is a cruise the perfect fit for your family? If not, maybe an all-inclusive resort is your speed? If so, read about why multigen families love all-inclusives.