Introduction Here’s the Truth About Cruising: Dispelling Some Myths and Finding the Right Cruise for Your Family Thinking of cruising with your family? Cruises make for an excellent family vacation, but it’s important to plan carefully if you want to find the cruise that’s right for everyone in your clan. The experts at CruiseCompete have done the research for you, covering the entire spectrum of options with information on mainstream lines like Disney, Royal Caribbean, Carnival and NCL, as well as unique alternatives like luxury, river and small ship excursion companies. It’s important to remember that not all cruise lines have children’s programs. Some lines have minimum age requirements for children (and pregnancy policies for expectant parents!), and others don’t permit children to sail at all. If you’re planning a family vacation, pick a cruise line that meets your specific needs, where the kids will be entertained and you can actually enjoy your time on board. It will feel much more like money well spent that way.
This guide is designed to kick-start your planning. You’ll find all the information in an easy-to-read format, with brief summaries so you can see at a glance if the cruise line fits your basic requirements, followed by more detailed information about the atmosphere on board, the destinations you can travel to, and the specific children’s programs available for your kids. Let’s begin by dispelling some commonly held misconceptions about cruising. Myth No. 1: Cruises are too expensive for a family vacation. Reality: A cruise is actually one of the best travel values out there. Most cruises include your selected shipboard accommodations, 24-hour cabin service, standard meals in the dining room and/or various buffets, ports of call, and most entertainment aboard the ship. Children’s programs are also included. On some lines, even airfare and transfers may be included. In addition, many lines are now moving toward a completely all-inclusive format, which makes your cruise experience even more streamlined and simple. Even with all these included amenities, a seven-night cruise generally costs less than seven nights at a comparable resort. The food alone, breakfast, lunch, snacks poolside, dinner and cookies and milk at a resort add significant costs to a land vacation. Myth No. 2: People only take cruises when the weather turns cold. Reality: Cruise travel is a year-round pastime. Sure, it is a great way to beat the cold, but families also take cruises during the summer months when children are out of school. Regardless of the time of year, you can find the perfect cruise for your family. Cruises to the Caribbean and Bahamas run year-round, the Alaska cruising season runs May through September, Europe runs from April through November, Bermuda runs from April through October, and the Panama Canal runs between September and April. Myth No. 3: You have to have a lot of time for a cruise vacation. Reality: Cruise lengths actually vary significantly to meet personal tastes. They can vary from a quick three-day jaunt to a world cruise that lasts 100 days or more. It all depends on what you want; there’s no shortage of cruise itineraries to meet your needs.
Policies subject to change without notice, always check with your travel agent regarding pregnancy policies and children age policies prior to booking your cruise.
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