It can be tricky accommodating an entire family when planning a vacation, especially when it spans three generations. It’s likely anywhere the kids want to go will be too rowdy for grandparents, and anywhere the seniors fancy will be too tranquil for rambunctious nippers. City breaks are expensive and stressful for families with young children, and can be impractical for older travelers. Resorts can be fun, but often they’re geared predominantly around kids. Then there are the logistics of hotel rooms, transfers and mealtimes. If you’ve reached the end of your tether in organizing the family getaway, cruises might be your next vacation port-of-call.
It might be a bit of a cop-out, but cruise ships are the perfect way to sneak some relaxation time away from the kids. With dedicated, age-group organized children’s clubs, infinite pool time and lots of other little squirts around for them to make friends with, they’ll be in heaven. Increasingly, cruise ships are improving their facilities for children, and among the on-board activities you might find ten pin bowling, wall-climbing or even go-kart racing. For younger ones, there’s also the option of nursery care, meaning you get to have the evening off from Peppa Pig to indulge in a romantic meal.
Every taste is catered to on a cruise ship, meaning your quality time will be spent doing what you want, whether that’s poring over a great book in the library, sculpting your abs in a dance class, or being primped and beautified in the ship’s spa. In the evening, most ships provide many different entertainment options. You might spend the evening rocking out at a concert, taking in a Broadway show or playing with fire at the roulette wheel. As for the dining options, along with the usual buffet choices, most cruise ships have several different restaurants, from laid-back pizzerias to intimate haute cuisine spaces.
Bringing older family members on a cruise is a great way to spend some quality time together as a family, especially on a voyage that promises to be scenic. For older travelers, cruises are ideal; unpack once, then relax. Most cruises also offer a range of enrichment programs; because it’s important to keep grey matter challenged. There are computer classes and language courses, wine tastings and dance classes. There are also lectures and seminars on sea days. For those with mobility problems, some cruise ships have motorized pool lifts, specialised on-board medical staff and wheelchair accessibility, but of course it’s important to do some research before making the reservation.
And when you have all had your fill of generationally appropriate activities, it’s time to come together in the evening as a family. After all, there’s nothing like catching up on the day’s adventures over dinner.
Francesca Smith, our author, is a mom of two boys and three Cocker Spaniels. She loves romance novels, picnics and watercolor painting. Her favorite part of the world is the Mediterranean.
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