NEVER BE BORED ON BOARD

Turn your next cruise into the ul­ti­mate fam­ily hol­i­day with a lit­tle plan­ning and some in­side knowl­edge – here are some tips to get you started

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - DESTINATION CRUISING -

BE­ING AC­TIVE ALONG­SIDE YOUR KIDS ... WILL MAKE YOUR HOL­I­DAY SO MUCH MORE MEM­O­RABLE

The time to make the most of your cruise is the minute you board the ship. Don’t let the fact that it can take a few hours for your bags to ar­rive in your cabin stop you from hav­ing fun. Make sure you pack swimwear, sun­screen and hats in your carry-on so that once you’re on board you can start us­ing the fa­cil­i­ties. Set up camp some­where be­tween the pool and the en­ter­tain­ment stage. If you stay long enough, you’ll have the best van­tage point for the sail-away party.

When book­ing your cruise, consider your cabin lo­ca­tion. Make sure it’s not be­low or next to a well-trav­elled area so that you can get the kids to sleep eas­ily. Where pos­si­ble, try to book a cabin with a bal­cony. Be­ing out­side but still close to your kids will let you en­joy some ex­tended con­ver­sa­tion time with your part­ner. And if you’re like us, you may also choose to take turns go­ing out to see the late-night shows so you can re­ally make the most of your time on board.

Don’t miss the op­por­tu­nity to put your­self first by mak­ing use of the kids’ clubs. To get started get a copy of the daily pro­gram (it’s avail­able at the regis­tra­tion counter) and dis­cuss its con­tents with your child. To en­sure their first visit is all “smooth sail­ing”, help them get set­tled by tak­ing a good look around, play­ing a few games and per­haps find­ing them a buddy to hang out with. If you can, travel with friends who also have chil­dren. It makes the drop-off process very easy.

The kids’ club also pro­vides a lot more op­por­tu­nity than you might ex­pect. Our boys were once the open­ing act for a cruise line’s head­line per­former, il­lu­sion­ist Drew Thomas. They sang and danced to a full house in the main the­atre – it was a very proud mummy mo­ment!

Make the most of the party at­mos­phere by hav­ing a fam­ily meal in the main din­ing room on the theme and for­mal nights. This is the place to be for sin­ga­longs and fun. And a lit­tle chicken dance as a side dish never re­ally hurt any­one.

Whether you have an ad­ven­tur­ous spirit or you’re just want­ing to keep up with the kids, to­day’s cruises have you cov­ered. Make the most of your cruise hol­i­day by be­ing an ac­tive par­tic­i­pant. Chal­lenge your kids to wa­ter­slide splash­downs or just be there to en­cour­age them while they learn some new skills.

Cir­cus train­ing, Seg­way nav­i­ga­tion, surf­ing and even walk­ing the plank are just some of the things that guests can ex­pe­ri­ence at sea. Be­ing ac­tive along­side your kids and help­ing them to de­cide what they will try next will make you fun to hang out with and your hol­i­day more mem­o­rable.

Cruis­ing de­liv­ers once-in-a-life­time op­por­tu­ni­ties and lo­ca­tions … make sure you do the shore ex­cur­sions. One of our price­less travel mo­ments was float­ing on pool noo­dles in the sea off St Martin with our two boys (then aged five and three). It was an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence watch­ing the planes pass

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