3 Tips for Choosing the Best Cruises for Large Families


Being together with the family is considered by many to be a precious way to spend their time. What could be cozier than embarking on a cruise together, surrounded by super fun amenities and headed to a locale that will make everybody happy? Cruising as a family offers many benefits, such as all-inclusive pricing and an easy travel experience in which somebody else deals with logistics while you can simply relax. Cruises also famously offer something for all ages, as do their destination ports. Still, there are things to consider that will make the experience more stress-free and conducive to fun.

  1. Plan & Research Your Trip

The first step to a successful family cruise is to sit together and create a plan. Address basic logistical questions like when can everybody make time, and what season do you want to travel in? Where do you want to go, and what do you want to do when you arrive?

Next, you can research which cruises for large families offer the criteria that you’re looking for, from onboard amenities to itineraries. Reach out to travel agents, check out reviews online and generally perform some due diligence before you book. You might generate a list of questions (contributions from all) to ask a booking agent or liaison from a cruise line.

Although you want one person to take the lead during these planning sessions, be sure to get feedback from everybody, so that nobody gets soured, feeling as though their opinions weren’t considered.

  1. Book & Arrive Early

Booking early will ensure you get the rooms that you want and the package that you’re looking for. Experts say that booking six months out is appropriate, and offers enough time to shore up the family’s collective wants and needs before slipping out to sea.

Being in a time crunch while traveling is a predicament that nobody wants, so make sure that you’re in the city from which the cruise embarks at least a day before boarding. Murphy’s Law states that if you’re cutting it too close, you may just wind up with delayed or canceled flights or traffic jams that could make you late. If you’re traveling a great distance just to get to the port, consider that you may want to have some time to recover from jetlag before you start the proper cruise experience.

Planning things out this far in advance also ensures that passports and other documents can be obtained and rendered up-to-date, and it also offers you the opportunity to check out some types of travel insurance that you might want to take out before your trip.

  1. Be Prepared

It’s important that everybody in the family understands certain elements of the trip, like what to do when arriving at a port destination. While still onboard, discuss potential situations that could come up, like what to do if you’ve left the ship to wander around a tropical island. Make sure that everybody knows the ship’s itinerary, and that every member of the family has the ship’s contact information, just in case of an emergency, like being caught up in some market far from the ship when you hear the boarding call. These types of conversations will help to avoid panic situations.

It’s also important to remind the kids that they may be stepping into another culture and to be respectful of it. They should also be given a delicate primer on when to be wary of people. For instance, if they are approached by an authority figure, how can they verify that person’s bona fides? Again, sound judgment can prevent panic situations or confusion later on.

Family cruises are ideal situations for bonding in a stress-free and fun, relaxing environment. As long as you develop some basic plans before you book, you and your brood should have the time of your lives and create memories that will last a lifetime.