Family vacation planning, also known as guerilla warfare

Disney's Oceaneer Club provides great kid-friendly options. Image courtesy of Disney.
Disney’s Oceaneer Club provides great kid-friendly options. Image courtesy of Disney.

Every year, I plan a family vacation, and inevitably, my mind drifts back to how easy it was, when I was a single adult- or even newly married- to plan a trip.  Pick your destination, pack a bag, and go!

That’s hardly the case now.  Gone are the days when vacations were all about what I wanted to do.  (Honestly, the adage “If mama’s not happy, nobody’s happy” merely produces a sarcastic snort from me.)

Much closer to the truth?  “If the kids are unhappy, we’re all going to suffer.”

With that in mind, I approach vacation planning much like guerilla warfare- you have to have a plan of attack, and it better be a good one.

If you find yourself in the same mindset, then I’ve got some help for you- just think of the research we’ve done here at AllThingsCruise as a planning shortcut for all you savvy parents.

When planning a family cruise, take a close look at the cruise lines.  They are NOT all created equal for families.  (That’s not to say that they’re not all fabulous, it’s just that some lines cater to kids, and others don’t- and you really want to choose the right one for your family.)

Here’s a listing of what the cruise lines have to offer in the way of children’s programs. You can read about all of the cruise lines children’s programs, and the services they provide in much greater detail here.

Contemporary Cruise Lines

Upscale Contemporary Cruise Lines

Premium Cruise Lines

Ultra-Premium Cruise Lines

Ultra-Luxury Cruise Lines

Small Ship Cruise Lines

River Cruise Lines

Luxury River Barge Cruise Lines

Expedition Cruise Lines

Sailing Vessels/Yacht Cruise Lines

 

 

 

 

Contemporary Cruise Lines

Upscale Contemporary Cruise Lines

Premium Cruise Lines

Ultra-Premium Cruise Lines

Ultra-Luxury Cruise Lines

Small Ship Cruise Lines

River Cruise Lines

Luxury River Barge Cruise Lines

Expedition Cruise Lines

Sailing Vessels/Yacht Cruise Lines

 

Other things to consider:

Working within a budget?  Most of us are.  Here’s a handy tool to help you figure out your actual cruise costs.

Next, think about your packing strategies.  My child recently asked me whether she could pack her slinky for a cross-country flight.  (Had to say no on that one, because we really needed to include some socks instead.)  Get packing tips here.  Don’t forget to print that packing list.

And finally, don’t forget about shore excursions- there are SO many family-friendly options.  Be sure to check them out here.

I have a vested interested in family vacations, so I write about the cruise line options a lot.  Visit my blog here, scroll through, and you’ll see lots of stories about the different aspects of family cruising.  Enjoy your vacation!!

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