by Phil Evans
MD of Cruise Nation
With the release of Cruise Adviser’s family cruise guide 2015-16 we wanted to take a closer look at just what it is that makes a cruise such a good holiday for a family. To start our series of family cruise articles, we asked Phil Evans, managing director of Cruise Nation to explain just why time spent at sea is better than a holiday on land.
To read our family cruise guide 2015-16 click here.
With summer on the horizon, families will be seeking the respite of a relaxing holiday. For many people, I bet a cruise holiday would not be the first thing to spring to mind – they don’t know what they’re missing out on though! There are endless activities to entertain children on board major cruise liners, which leaves plenty of time for parents to get some well-earned rest – it’s meant to be a holiday for the whole family, remember!
Cruising is a great, flexible option for families and a real alternative to the traditional package holiday. A cruise offers something a little different for children of all ages and takes the weight off the parent’s shoulders too. Forget about tiresome car journeys, planning activities or worrying about losing everyone – cruises are the anecdote to the outdated family holiday. And they won’t break the bank either.
Being bored is something that children will struggle with on a holiday no matter their age. Many cruise lines offer activities that the all the family can get involved in including sports tournaments, aqua parks, surfing lessons, and even cooking classes. Some ships have activities for those aged up to 17, so even the moody teenagers can be appeased.
Cruising is a great, flexible option for families
Outside the ship, almost all cruises have specially designed excursions to keep the whole family entertained, from submarine trips in the Caribbean to hiking in Alaska’s largest national forest. For something more calming, children can borrow board games or read in the ship’s library.
The best thing about cruises for families is the flexibly it offers them. Family-friendly cruises have designated zones for children with child-specific programmes and clubs that have been tried, tested and perfected over time. This means parents can rest assured that their child is having the time of their life at pizza parties, scavenger hunts or conducting fun science experiments. While the kids are playing and learning with similar-aged children, their parents can enjoy the onboard spas, wine bars and boutiques. Although I’m sure a few parents wouldn’t mind the pizza parties either!
For those who have never been on a cruise before and are hesitant to try one, opting for a Mediterranean cruise or even a fly-cruise is a good way to experience the best of both worlds. With Mediterranean cruises guests spend only a short amount of time at sea and it‘s a perfect way to explore a large region without spending huge amounts of money on air or rail fares.
We understand that travelling with children can sometimes be overwhelming, especially when taking a multi-destination trip. Cruising is the perfect remedy. We believe cruising is a hassle-free way for families to enjoy a host of different sights and countries together while still having the peace of mind that everything from shops to restaurants is on hand back at the ship. There are plenty of great deals available for families travelling together as well, including full-board packages, regional flight departures and even free city breaks – so you can relax knowing that you haven’t blown the budget.
Whether you’re looking to see a new city, experience another culture or simply spend some quality time with your family, cruising offers all of the above while providing excellent activities for adults as well as children while on-board. Travelling from place to place has never been so exciting with recent cruise ships innovations from London-Eye inspired observation decks to full-sized traditional carousels on deck! Bring on the summer holiday!
Phil Evans is the managing director of Cruise Nation