Top tips for taking the grandchildren on a cruise holiday

Date published: 24 Apr 15

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Top tips for taking the grandchildren on a cruise holidayThanks to their flexible board options and wealth of child friendly activities, cruise holidays are the ideal choice for grandparents planning the perfect summer break. Whilst you relax in the sun with a glass of vino and a good book, your grandchildren can enjoy a veritable treasure trove of attractions – from basketball and rollerblading, to swimming, surfing and miniature golf, all within a safe and controlled environment.

If you’re a grandparent taking your descendants on their debut cruise, there are few things to remember. Here, we’ll discuss the best child friendly cruise lines, and share some hints and tips on how to enjoy a hassle-free cruise with little ones (and not so little ones!).

Choosing a child friendly cruise line

Whilst most cruise lines accept children aboard their fleet, some provide more children’s facilities than others, so it’s important to shop around to find the one that’s right for you and your pint-sized fellow travellers. Here, we’ve highlighted three cruise lines who excel in keeping kids entertained aboard their vessels.

P&O Cruises

With a vast fleet sailing to every corner of the globe, P&O Cruises are experts in carrying a multitude of different passengers – not least children.

To ensure they provide the perfect environment for adults and children alike, P&O have five ships designated to ferrying families around the globe. With a variety of different destinations on offer, P&O Cruises’ Aurora, Azura, Britannia, Oceana and Ventura ships are ideal for grandparents cruising with their grandchildren.

Each of P&O’s family friendly boats are built to offer a safe, comfortable and above all, fun, environment for adults and children. With fun child-friendly attractions, family sized cabins and a diverse kids dining menu, P&O offer comfort and well-being whatever your age.

Princess Cruises

Princess CruisesPrincess Cruises have one of the best-designated children’s entertainment programmes of any cruise line, with daily entertainment, activities and clubs for children of all ages.

All of Princess Cruises’ vessels (excluding Ocean and Pacific class) offer staffed Youth Centres and Teen Lounges, where children between the ages of 3 and 17 years can relax, play games and socialise safely – good news for grandparents looking for a little me time.

Royal Caribbean

It seems Royal Caribbean aren’t content to cater for a single generation. Across their twenty three strong fleet, they manage to keep every passenger happy – no matter their age.

Kids are kept interested with a plethora of fun and thrilling activities: Little thrill-seekers will love the FlowRider – a surf simulator that lets you surf or boogie board atop a torrent of realistic waves; whilst big kids can partake in a teen disco, rock climbing wall and in-line skating.

Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Anthem of the Seas, is a brilliant choice for kids – take a look at the Telegraph’s review here.

Tips for cruising with your grandchildren

Although choosing a cruise line with enough child-friendly facilities and activities will make cruising with your grandkids easier, there are a few things you can do to ensure the waters remain calm during your trip. Below, we’ve listed a few hints and tips on cruising with your grandchildren.

Firstly, be aware that cruise lines have different age restrictions in place for travelling children – Cruise1st UK have a useful guide here which sums these up for the major lines.

Involve the little ones in the planning

Top tips for taking the grandchildren on a cruise holidayBe sure to involve your grandkids in the holiday planning and preparation. From going over the route and explaining what they’re likely to see in each port of call, to filling them in on all the great attractions on board – involving them in the trip planning prior to travel will make sure your grand kids are as excited about the trip as you are.

Set the ground rules

You may dote on your offspring’s offspring, but trust us: they’ll play up on their beloved grandparents if given half a chance. That’s why, it’s important to set some ground rules early on. Though marketed as a megalith of fun, cruise ships can be dangerous, so it’s important to keep a close eye on the little ones at all times. If they’re proving too much of a handful, book them into the on board kids club for the day and enjoy a well-deserved spot of R&R.

Carry the correct documents

It goes without saying, that carrying the correct documents when travelling with kids is absolutely crucial – particularly when crossing international waters. Passports are required for children as young as three when passing border crossings, so it pays to have the documents at hand at all times.

Enjoy it

Cruising with your grandkids should be an unforgettable experience neither you nor the kids will ever forget – relax and enjoy it!

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