Before we left for our cruise late last year we had many armchair travellers weigh in on whether we were making the right choice with our travel budget. We heard from some who said the cruise would cost us a lot more than we intended to spend. (It didn’t really.) We also heard from many who hinted it was crazy to take kids on a cruise. We heard from even more who said a cruise is a big party. One told me: “You are going on the party boat? You don’t take kids on that cruise.”
Well happily here I am to say that none of that was true. Glad I sometimes ignore the naysayers and do my own thing. This was our first cruise and I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t apprehensive at first. Everyone and their uncle had some opinion about kids and cruises. But we are a family that travels and I choose my travel often for the value I get. I also choose it for the activities we can all do together. But I’d be a total liar if I said I didn’t LOVE it when my kids suddenly hit that sweet spot on a trip when they feel at home and happy enough to explore on their own. My oldest found a couple of kids her age and they interacted mostly when she went to the teen lounge area of the boat. My youngest, well she never stopped moving and she loved the entire cruise so much partly because she found friends everywhere, every single day at every floor, inside every pool and at every activity scheduled. I love that.
Anyways for those who are not familiar with cruises – the value is better than you can imagine. The service is exceptional and, while each cruise line is very specific we found that on this mode of travel there was NO shortage of activity for kids. For the record we travelled on the Carnival Pride. There was so much to do for everyone.
Ten Things Kids Can Do on a Cruise:
1. Pools: Check how many pools there are on board before you leave. Swimming is the easiest place to start. I don’t know many kids who can’t find fun inside a pool.
2. Water slides: When I booked this trip I booked it with watersides in mind. Water slides are a massive passion for us. We love active family travel and water parks so we made sure the Carnival Cruise we went on had water slides. WE all enjoyed the water slides. The Carnival Pride had some great watersides.
3. Kid’s club or teen lounge: The kids each took turns going to different kid’s clubs. They were split up this time because Payton is a teenager and Ainsley is not. Although Ainsley felt a tiny bit ripped off that she didn’t get the room with the Wii and all the computers, she easily made friends and had a blast at her kid camp. I, as a parent, loved this. I also enjoyed that they were separated this time. Why? Because a 10 year old and a 13 year old have different interests and this let them explore some different interests while making friends in their own age group.
4. After hours at the Kid’s Clubs: For a few extra dollars we were able to have the kids do a couple of late nights at the after hours kid’s clubs. One night was New Year’s Eve and the other night was a late movie that Ainsley wanted to see so it gave her the chance to hang out with some new friends. Plus Dad and I had free time to go visit the casino for a bit.
5. Splash area: On days at sea there’s nothing more fun than pool time and hanging in the splash area cooling off. There was a giant water bucket and all the various other water play activities you might find at a small water park.
6. Ping Pong (Table tennis) Whatever you call it, kids love it. If I ever didn’t know where to find Ainsley, I went to the ping pong table and low and behold there she was! She had many many games with her friend, a boy her age she met on the cruise ship.
7. The excursions are non stop awesome. Budget for one or two and let the kids have input. My girls got to snorkel and that was an amazing opportunity and they also had the chance to hold and feed small hatchling sea turtles. We did a stop in Belize. Read more about that here: https://www.thriftymommastips.com/wordless-wednesday-ready-dive-family-travel-belize/So much fun!
8. Soccer. There was soccer on our ship. It was very often busy with older boys but when it wasn’t the kids were able to go to the very top deck and play soccer (yes there is a net that enclosed the area so the soccer balls don’t go flying off the boat.
9. Mini Golf: The Carnival Pride had a mini golf course. We all played that several times. Ainsley also sped through it with her friends many times.
10. Take in One of the shows: The Carnival Pride had a family game show, and dance shows. We went to in the family game show night and enjoyed that. You can read more about why we are now huge fans of cruising. It’s a great revelation for us that we loved this form of active family travel so much. It’s a great chance to explore various destinations.
So who still thinks there’s nothing for kids to do on a cruise?
This is a Travel Tuesday Post with Linky. Link Up your favourite Travel posts and I will visit each of them and leave a comment. Happy Travels! This was our family trip. It was not sponsored.