It is the easiest trip to organize for those who for the first time face a holiday with children in tow: the cruise offers comfort, relaxation and fun for mum, dad and children of all ages. Here’s everything you need to know before setting sail with the whole family on a cruise.
Summer is upon us and we don’t know which destination to choose, which hotel to book or where to eat with our children? Do not worry, a valid and relaxing alternative is there cruise, especially suitable for couples who for the first time move with children in tow. Here are all the tips of Jessica Riva, one of the authors of the blog Bimbieviaggi, an expert on cruises, contributor to the guide “Children and Travel: the complete guide for traveling with children” and mother of Beatrice, a 6-year-old girl.
“The cruise is the easiest journey to tackle even for novice traveling families.Everything is organized: from commuting to excursions, to dinner shifts, ”explains Jessica.
Fighting seasickness: let’s start with mini-cruises
The only unknown factor of the cruise is the seasickness. «Before leaving for an eight-day vacation, you need to know how the children, but also the parents, react to life on the ship. My advice is to take a mini cruise: we leave, for example, on Saturday morning from Genoa and return on Sunday. Or there are those of three nights that also stop in Marseille and Barcelona. When you take a cruise with children it’s always a bit like moving around in the dark: if they get seasick, we know we can go home the next day ».
The pros of cruises
The highlight of cruises is relaxation that this type of travel offers. “We don’t have to face any stress: we go up to a port, we are taken to the cabin, we don’t have to look for where to eat or where to go to the sea. The ship is a floating five-star hotel, equipped with all comforts. Every morning we wake up in a new place and in seven days we can see seven different places. For a family with small children it is impossible to organize all these trips by car or train. You would have to travel for hours, change various hotels, bring with you everything you need for every need ».
The cons of cruises
The minus point of the cruise is the lack of time. «If we are travelers who like to visit every corner of a city, perhaps the cruise is not for us. Times, in fact, are dictated by embarkation and disembarkation. It is difficult to stay in the same port for two days. For example, if we choose the Mediterranean cruise, we will arrive in Barcelona at eight, we will get off the ship at ten and at 17 we have to go up again. We will have only seven hours to get to know the city ».
The program of the day on the cruise
Every night on the ship we receive ours logbook. «In addition to information regarding the weather, the uses and customs of the city we will visit and the excursions we will do are reported. The family can choose whether to take guided tours in a group or whether to visit the place in complete autonomy. For each port where you arrive there are 5 or 6 excursions, of different duration, organized with a guide. The price of each tour is included the cost of transport, museum tickets, meals and the guide itself. The excursions are suitable for children, also accessible with strollers. Some companies also bring entertainers ».
Little girl at the sea
«Since the ship docks, it takes an hour and a half to disembark and you always have to go back up an hour and a half before leaving the port. Each person is given one card to get on and off the ship. In this way, the staff knows when all the passengers have returned ».
Activities for children on a cruise
All companies offer babysitting service and mini club. «The latter is usually divided by age group: from three years up to teenagers. MSC Cruises has also opened mini-mini clubs from one to two years old. These services are active during navigation hours: in the evening activities such as cinema, theater, cooking or English workshops“.
What to pack
«My advice is to pack comfortable clothing for the whole family. In every room of the ship there is air conditioning so let’s not forget add sweatshirts or jackets. They can’t miss either elegant clothes for our children who will have to participate in the grand gala in the evening ».
“I am a pharmacist and I always recommend that you bring basic coverage of medications with you: tachipirina, antifebrile, nasal washes for the newborn and pills for seasickness. On the ship there is the ship’s doctor, a security for parents who know who to turn to for any eventuality ».
What to eat