The Essential Guide to Cruising with Kids

All inclusive cruises can be an attractive option for families due to the fact that minimal planning is necessary. Travel, itineraries, food and accommodation are covered with a range of entertainment also being provided. Options vary massively, though, and the key to ensuring a family holiday that you’ll always remember (in a good way!) is booking the right one from the many all inclusive cruises on the market. We’ve put together this essential guide to help you find your family’s dreamboat.

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Classic vs. Contemporary


Some cruises simply aren’t designed with children in mind. As a rule of thumb, avoid luxury lines or companies that tend to deal in holidays for retirees.


Classic cruises often include traditional entertainment such as formal dinners and classical music concerts. Even if children are welcome it’s worth considering whether there is enough child-friendly entertainment to keep them interested.


Don’t end your research at the stage where you are informed that a cruise is ‘suitable for children.’ Find out about on-board activities, menu options and in-cabin entertainment to determine just how suitable it really is.




Some cruise liners offer ‘children only’ excursions during the school holidays. This is a feature to look out for as it provides the opportunity for kids to enjoy some fun activities while parents relax.


If a cruise includes a number of visits to sites of cultural and historic interest find out how long the visits last and what is involved. Lengthy visits to museums and monuments may not appeal.


Many ships have children’s clubs for ages up to 18. Clubs offer the opportunity for parents to see the sights while children have fun under supervision.


When Booking


Bear in mind that cabin space on cruises tends to be fairly limited. Research cabin sizes before you book to avoid disappointment.

‘Family rooms’ sometimes mean that extra cots or beds have been added to a standard cabin. Enquire about this so you know exactly what you are getting for your money.


It’s a good idea to shop around and see what different lines have to offer. Whatever your family’s interests there is sure to be an itinerary that works. The key is to ensure that the ship itself is genuinely child-friendly.


Image by dwrichrds used under creative commons licence