Cruising with your kids
This holiday can easily accommodate everyone's interests as it offer loads of activities and entertainment.
Cruise ships have so many activities and entertainment options that this holiday can easily accommodate everyone's interests. Yet, when considering the possibility of a cruise vacation, most parents shudder at the idea.

That's mostly because no one knows what they may be getting themselves into. And there's no greater fear than the unknown, is there? Well, here are some dos and don'ts about cruising with your kids that will make you feel better not to mention a lot more educated than before you started reading this.

Do check the minimum age requirements for your cruise line. Some cruises don't allow babies younger than six months to come aboard. So plan ahead. Double check what the exact limits are for infant passengers.

Don't expect a bathtub for your kids. Unless you've boarded a ship specifically made for the kiddies, listen up! Cruise ships are not necessarily like regular hotels. This is no reason to panic though. If you can afford it, why not upgrade your room to a suite. Otherwise, the little ones will LOVE the shower. (Most of them do, at least.) If none of these solutions work for you, don't stress. You can always sponge clean at the basin. You are on holiday after all. Time to have fun!

Do pack your beach bag like you would a diaper bag. Fill it with everything! For a successful trip, pack snacks, food, extra clothing, diapers if need be, and disinfectant for those little accidents. The ships will of course cater for all of these but there is a possibility that it could not be the brand that you fancy and we all know how picky kids are. Rather be safe than sorry.

Don't forget the spending money! Kids are charged much less than adults but one needs to remember that there upkeep is hardly ever free. They will always need something to do. Cruise staff are there to help with the younger ones, but the older kids will want to explore once the ship docks and they never leave without souvenirs. So moms and dads, pack some extra cash for emergencies and for pleasure.

Do bring lots of sunscreen. Such an important do! You are on a cruise ship, in the middle of the ocean. The last thing that you or your children needs is to be confined to the cabin due to some excessive sun exposure. And yes, we are referring to the "red as a lobster" sun exposure. Use your sun block regularly, and pack hats, sun glasses and clothing that can block the UV rays.

Don't be afraid of the balconies or railing. The worst fear any parent could have on a ship would be that their young ones climb on and fall off the railings. There is no need for alarm. Cruise lines cater for the kiddies and nine times out of ten the balconies in the rooms are Plexiglas or have a wall that is too high for any one (adult and child) to fall off. You can breathe a little easier now!

Do make use of all the activities available for the kids. Let kids be kids and call ahead to find out what activities the cruise ship will have for the little ones. Most ships have groups of staff trained to look after your kids with games that ensure hours of fun and maybe even a little time for you to have an ice cold cocktail next to the pool.

Don't leave your kids alone on the ship. Even though a ship is a very safe place, its still the best bet to keep your children in your site at all times. Even when they want to have a nap, sit with them. Maybe catch up on some reading. The cruise ship is unfamiliar and a child may panic if they don't see something or someone that they are accustomed to.

Do enjoy the time as a family. Cruises are fun and sometimes it happens once in a blue moon. Take advantage of the trip and enjoy your time together. This is especially possible because on a ship, there is only that much distance one can have unless you jump off!

So, ready for that cruise yet? Check out these great offers from from just R4 696! Includes flights, transfers, food and your cabin!


Read Parent24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Everything from parties to pre-schools in your area.