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Taking a Cruise with Children Under 6

By KarinFriday 12th July 2013



Before becoming a mum, my idea of a brilliant holiday involved flying to the United States or visiting friends and family in warmer climates. When our daughter Ella arrived in 2008, we did manage to make two trips to the United States before she was 18 months; however, as airline prices escalated and we added Sam to our family in 2011, the idea of a holiday became a dream rather than a reality. How could we possibly manage to afford an exciting holiday with two children under the age of 6, filled with activities that would entertain all of us?


A New Type of Holiday

In 2013, I found the perfect family holiday solution: A cruise! I was privileged to join 5 other bloggers on the Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas cruise ship on a 5-day tour of the Caribbean including stops in Haiti and Jamaica. While we were travelling solo, to learn of all of the benefits of family travel, I could picture Ella and Sam everywhere we went. I knew that our goal would be to travel on a cruise as a family in the near future. Royal Caribbean has everything a family could want!

Safety First

When quizzing friends about their perceptions of taking a cruise with children, by far the most frequent worry was about safety. This was closely followed by an idea that cruising was only for OAP’s and would be boring and dull. I can assure you that safety is of prime importance for Royal Caribbean with regards to all of their guests but for their littlest guests in particular. All guests receive a pass (similar to a credit card) as well as a band, which identifies your child but also gives them access to various activities. All members of staff are trained to look out for children who are on their own or might need help.  Of course, one of the first worries is that your child might scale a railing or balcony and fall overboard…I can assure you, that absolutely cannot happen and every precaution and health and safety rule has been kept in mind in the design and management of the ships.

Kids Club

As far as what the kids can do, the Royal Caribbean lines have the Adventure Ocean programme which caters to children from 6 months to 18 years! Children are grouped into age appropriate groups so that 18 year-olds won’t have to put up with 2 year-olds. Each Adventure Ocean play area is designed with that specific age group in mind. The fully trained staff are energetic, kind and caring. I would have no qualms about leaving either Ella or Sam for one of the fun Adventure Ocean sessions. Children can stay in all day or for parts of the day. One thing is certain though, your children will not be worrying about you while they are kept very busy having an awesome time!

Family Fun

In addition to the Adventure Ocean programme, as a family, you can spend hours in the family pool, play mini-golf, go ice-skating, play basketball and table tennis, watch West End productions and family-friendly films on the big screen. You will never hear “Mum, I’m bored!” on a Royal Caribbean cruise! The fun and games continue on all off-shore excursions as well. There are family adventures to be had as well as quality beach and water time when the ship pulls into port. And, if you’re looking for a bit of a date night (or day), there are babysitting services (on select ships) to allow you and your other half to escape for a few hours too. Genius!

Challenging Misconceptions

I have to admit that I held some of the same misconceptions that many people have about cruising. I remember watching “Love Boat” on the telly growing up. But cruising, and particularly Royal Caribbean cruising, has come such a long way. Taking your children on a cruise is an outstanding option for families. You’ll introduce your children to different cultures with visits to exotic ports and fulfil all of the requirements of a family holiday…fun and games! When I was on the Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas, the 400+ children of all ages were constantly smiling and having fun and their parents were as well. That was the turning point for me. What are you waiting for? Check out the Royal Caribbean site and #royalmums campaign to learn more about planning your next family holiday on the high seas!

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