Are your children fed up with holidays in a hotel or apartment and constantly complaining of not enough to do? Well, if you're looking for somewhere with entertainment for everyone from babies to grandma from morning to the wee small hours, then cruising aboard a modern cruise liner may well be a good choice for your family.
Cruising is no longer just for the older generation. Today's cruise ships are bright and airy with a wide range of family-friendly facilities onboard, including Kids Clubs (from tots to teens), separate swimming pools, play areas, games rooms, discos and babysitting services. The teenagers are not forgotten with plenty of action packed activities such as rock climbing walls, mini golf, computer game consoles, cinemas, sports courts and their own chill-out areas. And the majority of these activities will be included in the cost of your holiday.
Your children can dine with you for breakfast, lunch and dinner on all family-friendly cruises, whether you choose to eat in the formal restaurants or in the more informal diners, food outlets and buffet-style restaurants. Most cruise lines serve an early tea in the evenings for children, when they can eat their favourite foods at their own pace in child-friendly surroundings. The kids can then head to the Kids Club whilst you go to enjoy a meal on your own in a more traditional or speciality restaurant onboard. They can also, of course, join you for a meal in the main restaurant, where choosing the early sitting when you book may be the easiest option.
Babies from 6 months old are usually accepted onboard and they are well looked after with a limited selection of baby foods available on most ships.
Some cruise lines offer you the option of purchasing a soft drinks package for your children at the start of your cruise to make things a little easier if they get thirsty during the day.
In fact, the most common complaint we hear from parents is that they don't see their children from when they have their breakfast in the morning to the time they fall asleep exhausted in the evening!
Nursery and babysitting facilities for your little ones are also available on most cruise lines.
The facilities onboard vary from ship to ship but they all have good accommodation, swimming pools, Kids Clubs and entertainment. The range of family facilities increases with the size of the ship - some even feature ice rinks, rock climbing walls, mini golf courses and surfing pools. The new P&O Cruises Azura and Ventura superliners also boast new innovations such as rock schools and a circus schools.