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Holidays on Cruise Ships with KidsHolidays on Cruise Ships with Kids by PaulB

If you're like most couples with young kids, nothing sounds worse than being cooped up with a boatload of geriatrics and your little kids. While the image of cruising is changing, it's still hard to get over this preconception. In reality, a cruise might be a perfect vacation for you and your family.

Here are some key things to think about when planning a cruise adventure.

1. Number one is cost and relaxation. While a cruise with a baby in a small cabin might work, packing 2 older kids in with mom and dad might spoil the relaxation of a cruise. Think of the cost/benefit trade-offs when planning and deciding to take a cruise. For example: No sex for a week, 8PM bedtimes and living in a perpetual mess you have to step over, may not seem like a vacation.

2. Most cruise lines have excellent and FREE child-care programs that will take care of kids 3 or older (2 or older for potty-trained kids on Carnival and Norwegian), which makes even thinking of 4 to a cabin imaginable. Many kids end up preferring childcare to being with mom and dad and it gives parents total flexibility in planning excursions and alone time. However, kids must be potty trained and may even be excluded if they violate "3 strikes" rules.

Additionally, you'll find out very quickly if your child does not like the childcare concept. On a recent cruise to Alaska, our five year old couldn't stay away from her new pals, while the couple we were traveling with could not convince their son to try it more than once.

3. Cruise ship pools do not allow swimming diapers due to different public health rules, so no babies in the pool.

4. Talk to cruise staff about the appropriateness of excursions for your kids. While cruises always try to have you reserve excursions up front, most, if not all, do not get completely booked until the days before they take place, so you can almost always book on the ship after talking to staff with direct experience.

Make sure to ask whether the excursion might be scary for little kids, whether rest rooms are available, and importantly if there's a chance dad might have to carry a four-year-old up 450 steps.

5. Bring a group. Cruising is really a perfect way to travel with extended family or another couple or two with kids. The size of the ship and the number of excursions allow for plenty of separation, while providing lots of opportunities for friends and family to re-unite at dinners or events.

Long travel gives dads the added concern of keeping kids from getting bored on the journey. There are many more ways to do this than the good old portable DVD player. For other travel activities with kids, there are some good ideas you can keep at the back of your mind when the "how much longer?" questions start coming fast and furious.

Paul Banas is a founder of GreatDad.com. He writes articles on kids activities, unusual baby names, toilet training, traveling tips and many more topics related to dads.

Article Source: ArticleRich.com