If you’ve vacationed with your children you know the look - a couple of bleary-eyed, bedraggled parents returning back to the hotel at 6 p.m.. In tow, are 2 hyper-active offspring wearing mouse hats or whale t-shirts sporting cotton candy hair extensions. Next it’s the big choice: wash them up and suffer through another dinner or collapse in the hotel room with another room service or take-out pizza meal. And today’s receipts for all this fun? Well, let’s just say it cost more than your first car did?
If this is how you define vacation in your household, maybe it’s time for something different. How about an experience where EVERYONE actually gets a vacation? The answer is quite simple and does not end with the words “Park”, “World” or “Land”. But it does end with the word “Happy”. On a cruise it is possible to make everyone happy with their vacation.
Contemporary cruise lines figured out quite a while ago that if you can keep the kids happy and occupied, then the parents follow right along. Over the years, children’s programs on board ships have blossomed from having one children’s counselor on board over the holidays to full blown year round programs and separate facilities for the different age groups. Every year from 6 months to 16 years is covered and child care is offered at various levels.
Cruise lines are now savvy enough to plan nighttime activities for the children so their parents can enjoy the facilities of the ship in a relaxed style simply unavailable at most land-based resorts. Cruises are an exceptionally good idea for single parents as they have a controlled environment and child care on the ship, but have the freedom and time to make new friends around the ship. Extended families also love ships because cousins and friends can hang together on the ship while the adults reconnect.
Before you plan your next road trip, let a cruise expert fill you in on the many choices and the “secret” affordability of family cruising. Oh, did we forget to mention that all meals, snacks, entertainment, accommodations and transportation are included in one upfront price? This year take a cruise and leave the mouse hats, maps, and (cotton candy remover) shampoo at home.