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