Helping families choose the right cruise line

I know, people, it probably feels like I am trying to imprint my own personal mantra upon you if you read this blog regularly…MS clipart family

Chose the right cruise line…choose the right cruise line… choose the right cruise line…

Well, I am.  Because making the right decision about which line is best suited to your own particular cruising needs is paramount in truly enjoying your voyage.  If you pick one that is ill-suited to your interests and inclinations, you won’t enjoy it nearly as much as you might have otherwise.

To my thinking, this is especially true for families.  Adults can generally find a way to make the best of a less-than-ideal situation, but if the kids aren’t happy…

Well, let’s just try to keep those kids happy, shall we?

With this idea in mind, I’ve gone through and targeted some common questions and misconceptions, and am providing the links here on AllThingsCruise that I think are particularly helpful in clarifying things.

Q:   Are cruises REALLY a good fit for a vacation with kids?  What do I DO with my kids on a cruise?

A:   Yes, cruising with kids is great.  However, some lines are better than others for cruising with kids.  (See next question).  It’s not all about the children’s programs, though; even outside of traditional children’s activities, there are plenty of things to do with kids.  Here are some ideas:

http://allthingscruise.com/cruise-research/niche-cruises/family-cruising/familiesandcruising10thingskid/

Q: Researching children’s programs isn’t really important, is it?  They’re all pretty much the same, aren’t they?

A:  Uh, no, sorry.  They’re not.   And yes, it’s very important to know what you can expect.  This link has information that’ll help you see the differences:

http://allthingscruise.com/cruise-planning/cruise-lines-childrens-programs/

Check out the lines you’re considering and compare them side by side.  It’s worth the time.  (Remember, different lines are better suited to different kids.  Some are more activity-focused, while others are more interest or education-focused.  It’s largely a judgment call on your part as a parent.)

Q: I can cruise when I’m pregnant, right?  And bring a newborn aboard later?

A:  Yes, you can cruise while pregnant and a “babymoon” is wonderful, but there are limitations; namely, how late you into pregnancy you can cruise.  It would be really bad to show up too far along, and be denied boarding.  (It’s happened.  Be sure to double check this info before booking- policies change!)

http://allthingscruise.com/cruise-research/niche-cruises/family-cruising/pregnancy-policies-by-cruise-line/

A: Not all lines accept newborns.  In fact, most don’t allow very small babies, and some REALLY don’t encourage children at all.

http://allthingscruise.com/newsroom/allthingscruise-press-room-2012/which-cruise-lines-are-best-suited-for-family-vacations/

Q:  Shore excursions are all museums and cheese factory tours.  My kids will hate that!

A:   What??  What child doesn’t like a good educational tour?  I kid, I kid.  Yes, these types of shore excursions are available, and a surprising number of kids love them.  But if your children want more action, you’ll have no shortage of options.

One popular favorite is the private islands (the number one tour option, actually) – read about them here:

http://allthingscruise.com/cruise-research/niche-cruises/family-cruising/private-islands-and-families/

And here are some examples of other popular family excursions:

Want more information on these excursions?  Click on their links, or go to http://www.shoreexcursionsgroup.com/v/a/allthingscruise/ and enter the excursion name.  You can also search the shore excursion site by destination or topic if you have something specific in mind.

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