FFHQ Travel Expert Hazel Fogarty, reveals why a multi-generational cruise should be your next family holiday.
Family holidays are changing all of the time. Travelling with parents, grandparents and extended family has become increasingly popular and is still on the rise.
With the growing group numbers, the list of ‘must-haves’ stretches, with many factors having to be taken into consideration. What type of holiday can suit everyone from elderly family members right down to a family travelling with a whole brood of children?
For me, a multi-generational cruise solves a whole load of issues at the same time. Even if you and your family can’t stay in the same place for very long without some sort of drama, don’t despair, it may still be an option for your next trip.
Here are my top reasons for choosing a cruise as my favourite get-away:
My favourite type of holiday is a cruise holiday, I shout about them at every chance I get. I wasn’t always convinced and had a tough time trying to convince the other half to try one. Luckily, once he did, he was hooked. For me, the surprising thing about cruising is the space. People assume that a cruise will be claustrophobic.
Even in a floating hotel, there are plenty of places to escape to, regardless of whether you need to hide from the family or you just need some time alone. Going for a walk on the walking track, a spa treatment or a hidden corner with a book watching the world float by are my favourite things to do when I need a little me-time.
I have spoken about this before, many many times! I swore I would never be one of the parents who dropped the kids off at the kids club every day. I tried to spend time with my youngest, she had no interest. She begged to take part in the children’s activities and go to the kids club, as much as she could. So, she spent a lot of time learning a new language, creating works of art, having pool parties, putting on a show and having the time of her life.
Did I feel guilty? Yes, initially but it allowed us some time to enjoy our holiday without having to worry about bored children. Aunties, uncles and grandparents love your kids, but you need to remember that they are not there to look after your children. The holiday is for your group. Everyone’s interests and wants should be considered. If there are a group of children travelling, make sure that you choose a cruise line that has something for everyone.
3. No fights over the bill at dinner.
We have all been there. The parent who insists on paying for dinner, the family member who disappears when it’s their round or the fussy eater who insists on only eating the bread and drinking the tap water.
On a cruise, your meals are included. You can have a fine dining experience or a laid back casual meal every evening and not have to worry about splitting the bill afterwards.
It takes a level of pressure off and cruise ships have eateries that suit even the fussiest of diners. If you want to eat with the children, this is a lovely way to spend some quality time together before the evening activities. Some cruise lines offer children’s meal sittings, or meals in the kids club if you want to have a meal child-free.
My top tip - look
for free drinks package offers. Even if
one of your party doesn’t drink, the waters and minerals can still add up so if
you see it on offer, go for it.
4. Special occasions and making memories.
Organising a party or getting babysitting for all of the kids for a family wedding or event can be a nightmare. Not on a cruise! You can celebrate anything now, if you want to get married at sea, celebrate a birthday or just go away as a family, your cruise line will be able to reserve seating, offer packages for the celebration or capture the memories for you.
Most family-friendly cruise lines offer facilities and services that will make your stay as hassle-free as possible. Group babysitting, speciality dining, couples spa treatments, group karaoke or going to a gig, they tick all of the boxes.
The great thing is that if your parents want to go out dancing while you are reading bedtime stories to the littles, or if your kids are going to a disco, you can disappear to the casino for a flutter, watch a movie under the stars or go ashore with a clear conscience, knowing that your little (and big) treasures are well entertained and looked after.
Just remember that you do have to return to the cruise ship!