it’s a fam­ily af­fair

Multi-gen it. It’s a fab­u­lous way to hang out to­gether – prom­ise!

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Holiday Harmony -

in­stead of grand­par­ents trav­el­ling to see their grand­chil­dren or par­ents pack­ing up the kids to visit them, ex­tended fam­i­lies are meet­ing up on cruises for a no-stress, all-in-one hol­i­day. A cruise ship of­fers every­thing that kids and adults could need – in­clud­ing time apart. It’s the ideal way to hang out to­gether and do other things sep­a­rately with­out wor­ry­ing where any­one has wan­dered off to. Here are our best tips for a multi-gen­er­a­tional cruise.

1Pick a well-equipped ship Keep­ing the younger ones happy will go a long way to­ward the hap­pi­ness of mum, dad, nan and grandpa. For sim­u­lated sky­div­ing and surf­ing, dodgem cars and roller­skat­ing, check out Royal Caribbean’s

Ova­tion of the Seas. If they love to spend hours on wa­ter­slides, choose Pa­cific Ex­plorer, Pa­cific Dawn, Car­ni­val Spirit or Car­ni­val Leg­end. If they like zip-lin­ing, ab­seil­ing or ‘walk­ing the plank’ off the side of the ship, book P&O. All of these ships have great din­ing, shows and bars for the adults to en­joy, too. Princess or

Celebrity are also good choices as the kids’ clubs are ex­cel­lent.

2En­rol the teens in clubs The new­est youth clubs on an Aus­tralia-based ship are found on Ma­jes­tic Princess. But across all the ma­jor cruise lines the or­gan­ised ac­tiv­i­ties are sim­i­lar, usu­ally in­clud­ing movie nights, tal­ent shows, dance par­ties, sports, art and sci­ence-based pro­grams, video games and trea­sure hunts. Clubs are di­vided into age groups within a three- or four-year range, so older teenagers don’t mix with younger teens and pri­mary schoolkids don’t have to play with tod­dlers. If your kids don’t like the clubs or they’re aged un­der two, par­ents and grand­par­ents will need to share en­ter­tain­ing du­ties.

3Com­mu­ni­cate ev­ery­one’s needs

Ask hard ques­tions in the early stages of plan­ning to help avoid melt­downs and ar­gu­ments later. Who is pay­ing for whom? Who’s babysit­ting, pick­ing up chil­dren from the kids’ clubs or keep­ing an eye on the teenagers? Can any­one bring friends, boyfriends or girl­friends? Who is tak­ing care of el­derly fam­ily mem­bers? And are meet­ing times nec­es­sary to en­sure ab­so­lute peace of mind.

4Choose the cruise

If some­one is foot­ing the whole bill, they prob­a­bly get to choose the cruise. Oth­er­wise, con­ver­sa­tions will need to be had to de­ter­mine an agreed bud­get, des­ti­na­tion, du­ra­tion and cruise style.

5Hatch an on­board plan Af­ter the cruise is booked, it’s time to see if ev­ery­one wants to do every­thing to­gether or split up each day and re­con­vene for din­ner. Other de­ci­sions might in­clude choos­ing group tours in ports or se­lect­ing fam­ily friendly en­ter­tain­ment from the ship’s pro­gram. Al­low peo­ple to have free time and pri­vacy but you may want to set ground rules for join­ing in cer­tain ac­tiv­i­ties. And re­mem­ber, din­ners to­gether are great!

6Find the adults-only ar­eas Al­though it might seem at odds with the idea of fam­ily cruis­ing, adults-only decks will save your san­ity. When you need peace and quiet, es­cape to these havens with kid-free hot tubs, ca­banas and ham­mocks with views. Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Car­ni­val Cruise Line and P&O have sec­tions to hide in for a cou­ple of hours while the lit­tle ones are in the kids’ clubs. Al­ter­na­tive serene spa­ces in­clude the day spa, li­brary or ob­ser­va­tion lounges. Then of course…

When all else fails, head to the near­est bar!

Kids’ ac­tiv­i­ties will keep them en­ter­tained for hours ev­ery day. How more de­light­ful can spend­ing time with the grand­kids be? amount There’s any keep of things to very teenagers happy. Phew! Just a touch of heaven. CAR­NI­VAL AUS­TRALIA

There are many shared ac­tiv­i­ties you’ll love – even just walk­ing the deck.

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