Just like any vacation, deciding if it’s a good idea to bring the children takes some discretion. Here are some things to consider.
Are they old enough?
This is probably the first question that crosses your mind when you start to think about a cruise as a potential vacation spot. Are you worried that they are too young to remember? Or that they aren’t enough things for them to do onboard to keep occupied. If you’re worried they will get bored, don’t! On most cruise lines, there are almost more things for the kids to do than the adults. Between the pools, the sweet treats, and the onboard activities, you’ll have trouble keeping up! As far as their ability to remember is concerned, that really depends. As a general rule of thumb, the younger they are, the less they will remember. Look at all the activities the cruise line you are thinking about has to offer and think about if they are appropriate for your child. If you can’t find at least five activities they can participate in, then it might be too soon to take them along.
Is the cost worth the experience?
Unlike almost any other experience, few cruise lines offer free access to small children. So, you may very well be paying full price for a child who will really only hold you back from being able to have your own fun. That means you will be wasting not only the ticket price for your child, but yourself.
Can they be left alone?
Most cruise lines ( if not all) have a strict rule on children being chaperoned by an adult at all times. This means that you aren’t on vacation from being mom and dad, which is pretty much the entire point of a cruise. If your child is too young to go off on their own on the cruise and having adult only time is important to you, look for another vacation, or be sure to select a cruise line that offers child care.
How important is routine?
Have a strict bedtime? Don’t like having dinner too late? How do you feel about getting up super early? Cruise time can be super sporadic and sometimes even unpredictable, think about that before you start planning.
What will they eat?
If you still aren’t sure if it’s the right time for a cruise but really want to give it a try, select the shortest cruise possible and reach out to the customer service for the cruise ship to see what they recommend to make the experience as enjoyable as possible. You’re probably aware that there is plenty of good food on cruise ships. And if your kid is a picky eater, fear not! Most ships have plenty of kid friendly food like chicken tenders and pizza!