Taking a cruise soon? Planning one? To help you keep both the kids and adults happy on your next cruise, while getting the best combination of budget and destinations, take a look at the tips below.
1. Booking your cruise
How far in advance you book your cruise can make a big difference in terms of price and availability.
If you know exactly where and when you want to go it is possible to book your cruise up to two years in advance. Many companies offer ‘early bird’ cruise deals which could save you up to 50% off the listed price. Additionally, booking this early means you’re more likely to get the cabin accommodation type and location you’re interested in.
Booking last minute
If booking quite that far ahead isn’t realistic for you, there could still be savings made by booking as late as possible. Booking between 45 – 90 days prior to departure can also attract hugely discounted fares. You may be limited on your choices of destinations and cabin accommodation, but if budget is a key factor this is an ideal option.
Make sure the whole family enjoys the experience by checking a few facts about your destinations.
- Temperatures – Research average temperatures for each cruise destination for the time of year you will be travelling. Some could be uncomfortably hot or humid for young children or the elderly at certain times of the year. Equally, some destinations could be restrictively cold.
- Vaccinations/medications – Check what is needed for each port stop.
- Time of year – If planning a cruise to include watching wildlife, be sure to check that your cruise dates match when they’ll be visible.
3. On-board facilities and entertainment
Much of your holiday will be spent on board the ship, so be sure to check what facilities and entertainment will be available while you sail.
Things to look for are:
- Cabin facilities -– size of cabins, are there any family sized options?
- Dining facilities –- are there flexible or fixed dining hours, are special diets catered for?
- Pool facilities -– smaller ships may not have one, is this important to you?
- Day-time and evening activities and entertainment – What kind, when and how often?
- Kids Daytime Club/ Crèche – what facilities do they have?
Stopping off and seeing or doing something interesting can add some memorable highlights to your holiday. For example, if you’re stopping off in Madeira, Portugal, you could go on a Whale and Dolphin Safari accompanied by local marine biologists.
Cruise companies will offer suggestions, but you can also do your own digging to find the perfect match for you. With a bit of planning, your next cruise could be one of the best holidays your family has ever
What worked for you when planning your family cruise holiday? Let me know in the comments.