You must think I am obsessing posting another blog about holidays so soon this week (Have you seen “10 Must Haves for Tot Friendly Travel!”) but I can’t stop looking if I am honest and as it is my first in such a long time I really want to make sure I get it right and am not disappointed. So, something we have been thinking about is possibly going on a cruise. I have never been but have always longed for a relaxing Caribbean cruise or the fun of an Iglu Cruise which is much more practical than attempting a relaxing break with a toddler. However, I have my concerns about whether it is really practical to take a toddler or young child on a cruise and whether or not I would just be panicking the whole holiday that my adventurous, no fear child would somehow end up overboard. So, I reached out to my lovely friends in the blogging community to see if any of them had dared to cruise with tots and to hear their thoughts…
- Talya (from Motherhood The Real Deal) said: We just came back on a 7 day cruise to France, Spain and Portugal and are now hooked! The children’s facilities were amazing – night nursery, kid’s club, children’s tea and swimming pools all a big hit and we are already thinking about our next one. We also couldn’t believe how affordable it was even during the school holidays! – Okay so this made me just a little bit excited… can I go now?!
- Emma (from Island Living 365) told me: We love going on cruises! It is perfect for the whole family, including grandparents. There really is something for everyone. I would book last minute as you can get a bargain. Also we always book an inside room as it is far cheaper. An inside room is also better if you have children as they will sleep really well! – Ooo that is a good tip I wouldn’t have thought of as I’d have probably gone automatically for outside!
- Victoria (from Mummy Times Two) said: We went on five cruises before my daughter was six. I can honestly say they were the best holidays we have ever had. My top tip, is to book an inside cabin, because it means the children can stay up later to enjoy the shows in the evening without having their sleep disturbed in the morning by the light coming through the window. – I am definitely getting the feeling I should pick an inside room!
- Jenny (from The Gingerbread House) made a good point: We went last year with our 4 and 6 year old. They had a great time with the children’s tea, swimming pools and kids clubs. Can I admit us adults were bored silly! – I think Jenny makes a really good point. It’s not ALL about the kids so I’d better make sure I pick a cruise that has a lot for us adults too.
- Finally, Samantha (from Home Heart Harmony) said: We took our two children aged 6 (girl) and 3 (boy) on a Celebrity cruise back in 2009 along with my whole family and my niece (8) and nephew (5). It was an amazing holiday but as a parent, very stressful! The room was extremely cramped with the four of us in it which made for a fair bit of tension! The evening meals were amazing but expecting our kids to sit and behave for such a long stretch every night was, looking back, totally unrealistic. We had to resort to DVD players and headphones for the boys who just couldn’t stay seated for so long (2-3 hours!) without mischief! There was a very stressful moment on the top deck in the evening when my 3 year old got away from me and ran full pelt up a stair case at the edge of the ship in high wind. I was terrified he would get blown overboard and still have nightmares about it to this day (he is now 11!) All in all, I would say my kids were too young at the time for any of us to appreciate the holiday fully. I would consider another cruise now that they are older as there is no doubt it’s an incredible holiday, giving you opportunities to see places you may otherwise never visit. The service was amazing and we felt we were in the lap of luxury but could not relax and make the most of it with such young children. – I really appreciate an honest opinion and I think I would definitely be looking for a cruise that was “child-focused” with perhaps a more relaxed dining experience. Things like this will definitely take presidence over adult activities for me. To be honest with how long it’s been since my last holiday, I’d be happy with a pool and sun lounger!
Thank you so much to all the wonderful mamas who gave me their thoughts on cruising with young children. I have to say that I am really really keen on the idea now, even more so than before. Is it strange that I think in this random head of mine that it feels safer than staying in a resort?! I think I’d be a lot happier about my little one attending clubs and activities on the boat than in a hotel where anyone could get access. I love the idea of moving from place to place and definitely think something like and Iglu Carnival Cruise would be a great idea for us. When we do decide where we are going and what we are doing, I will be sure to let you all know. Until then, keep hitting me with your holiday ideas and if you have thoughts on cruising with young children then please do leave me a comment!
This is a collaborative post – all thoughts and opinions are my own