10 Reasons to Try Cruising with Kids
I have discovered cruising as a new way to travel and honestly, I think I may have the cruise bug. We took my son on his first ever cruise at age 3, which was a Mediterranean cruise on board Enchanted Princess. It was also my first cruise with a child in tow. So naturally, I looked at everything from a parent’s perspective. After kids club tours, lots of questions to staff and careful consideration, I can confidently tell you that Enchanted Princess is a child friendly cruise ship. Keep reading to find out why. This post might just inspire you to start cruising with kids.
This blog post has been written in sponsored partnership with Princess Cruises. All views are my own.
The following 9 reasons to try cruising with kids are based on the Enchanted Princess cruise ship. Facilities and policies may differ from ship to ship and with different cruise lines.
10 Reasons to try Cruising with Kids
1. It’s the easiest and most stress-free way to travel with kids
Just because you become a parent doesn’t mean you have to stop seeing the world. But admittedly, seeing the world with small humans in tow does make things quite a bit harder. What I have realised is that cruising is a way to visit maximum destinations with minimal effort. In fact, the journey becomes part of the pleasure and part of the experience (especially if you're on a family friendly cruise ship). If your cruise departs from a native port (e.g. Southampton, UK for me) you also cut out having to take a flight.
Once you get yourself on that ship with the kids, you no longer have to worry about coordinating any aspect of travel. You simply hop on and off the ship as you like, and enjoy each new place as they come. Again, think, maximum destinations and minimal effort! That’s what we parents need right?
2. The kids club is excellent, and free!
I was amazed by the kid’s club on board Enchanted Princess. Camp Discovery is split into three very spacious rooms, one for ages 3-7, one for ages 8-12 and a teen room for ages 13-17. The room for ages 3-7 even has a soft play area and an outdoor deck (which is completely safe and shaded from the sun). Their meals are provided and parents can drop them kids off just a few hours, or a full day.
3. There is an evening babysitting service
If parents want to enjoy a special dinner or simply a child-free evening, the kids club on Enchanted Princess runs a babysitting service where little ones can be picked up as late as 1am. They can go to sleep on comfy bean bag beds until parents are ready to collect. Whilst I don’t think that my son would be ready for this at three years old, I think older kids would find it really fun and a bit like a sleepover. There is no option for babysitting within your stateroom or cabin, but the kids club late night babysitting is a good alternative.
4. There are lots of opportunities for the kids to ‘try something new’
For slightly older kids, there are plenty of ways to ‘try new things’ on board. With tennis courts, a sports court, a running track and mini golf, they may even find a new hobby to take home with them. Inside the kids club for ages 8-12 and the teen club, there are also lots of arcade games, board games, pool tables and table football pitches.
5. There are plenty of child-friendly dining options
Although there are eight a la carte restaurants on board Enchanted Princess, I think that the World Fresh Marketplace (the ship’s only buffet restaurant) is a great place to eat with kids. As it’s a buffet, there’s no waiting around for multiple courses when kids are getting ‘hangry’.
There’s also other brilliant child-friendly options such as Gigi’s pizzeria. Kids would love to see their pizzas being skillfully tossed in the air and made from scratch in the open kitchen. The staff are extremely friendly and always happy to put on a show. There is also a gelato parlour and an ice-cream hut on the mail pool deck.
Kids are also more than welcome in the a la carte restaurants. There is such a huge variety of food on board the ship, there would be something to suit even the fussiest of eaters.
6. The suites can have room dividers to give children and parents privacy
I also ‘vetted’ the mini suite on board Enchanted Princess to see if it would be family friendly. The large sofa converts into a bed, allowing a family of 4 to sleep comfortably in one suite. I really liked how the suite has a thick curtain room divider, so parents can have a bit of privacy or keep watch a film whilst the children sleep. This is the type of detail I would never have noticed before becoming a parent, but now I see it is worth its weight in gold for cruising with kids! The mini suite also has a full sized bath, another detail I know is very important for young children.
7. The cinema nights under the stars
Children would love to get involved in the ship’s open air cinema nights, when films are projected on a huge screen on the deck. The sun loungers become comfy cinema-style loungers and thick blankets and fresh popcorn is provided for that cosy cinema feel. This would be perfect for ages 6 and up.
8. Kids places are cheaper
The 3rd and 4th passengers of any booking are always cheaper, meaning kids places cost less. The prices differ depending on which cruise you are looking at, but it’s worth knowing this when considering lead prices.
9. Kids will be amazed by the entertainment on offer
Enchanted Princess always has a variety of shows on within their theatre, often with two performances each day. I was amazed at the standard of these shows, with an incredibly talented cast and huge visual production value. I watched two shows on board called Rock Opera and 5-Skies and thought my son would have been completely mesmerised by both, but particularly 5-Skies. There is a different act / show on every evening of the cruise and these are inclusive of the cost of your cruise.
10. It is an experience they will never forget
Granted, this one is age dependent. But my son experienced his cruise age 3. He's now about to turn 5 and he still talks about the cruise on a regular basis and says; 'Mummy I think we should book another cruise'. It's amazing what they remember and a cruise will be like nothing they have experienced before.
As with all travel, I would always advise shopping around and doing extra research to make sure that a cruise is right for you. All cruise lines offer something a little different, but I can honestly say I can’t wait to take my son on his first cruise, hopefully on board Enchanted Princess, in the near future!
Find out more about my recent cruise by reading The Ultimate Cruise Ship Guide to Enchanted Princess
Check out the latest cruise deals with Princess Cruises
Want to find out more about Enchanted Princess? Check out my Ultimate Cruise Ship Guide to Enchanted Princess.
Have you ever considered cruising with kids? What would be the most important child-friendly aspect of a cruise for you? If you have any questions or further advice, please leave a comment below. Jess x