Cruisin' with the Fam

cruising with family[trip style = cruising] {more pics below}

Not cruisin' as in Sunday drive, cruisin' as in drifting the open seas, visiting far-off lands and clinking champagne glasses.

2 Memories Two memories stick out from my last cruise experience: the flowrider surf simulator (pics below) and enough family reunion t-shirts to sink a ship.... But seriously, the family reunion t-shirts got me thinking: cruising is an excellent family getaway option.  There's a reason you see so many intergenerational family groups getting together aboard the open seas...for better or for worse.

Why Cruise with the Fam? When traveling with a big group, the key is to enter an environment that's stimulating yet relaxing, exciting yet serene and busy yet low-key. Taking on the wild blue yonder with your family might seem overwhelming, but take heart: cruising takes you in, disperses you over multiple floors, engages you in fun activities, encourages you to eat more than you could dream of, introduces you to new places and brings you all together for dinner to talk about it!  Choosing to cruise for the "2010 Jones family reunion" offers something for everyone from bridge-playing grandma Jean to Buzz Lightyear-obsessed toddler Tommy.

Family Cruising Highlights + Insights

  • Thou shalt rarely utilize thy wallet: Almost everything (except alcohol, certain restaurants and organized shore excursions) is included.
  • Thou shalt enjoy child-minding: Most major cruise lines offer complimentary kids programs for kids aged 3 - teen. Some ships even offer baby & parent programs as well.  Don't forget, if the cruise line has kids programs, it most likely has nightly babysitting as well!
  • Thou shalt engage in activities they enjoy. Choose a cruise with lots of activities so everyone can get lost in their niche--even if that's simply lying by the pool or singing along at the piano bar!
  • Thou shalt choose thy ship wisely: small ship vs big ship?  With smaller ships like The Yatchs of Seabourne you'll encounter an intimate experience with each other, staff and other guests; whereas larger ships can sometimes cater to each family member's individual tastes a little better given the scale of their offerings.  For example, Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas has a zip line, aqua theatre, dual flow-riders and rock-climbing walls in addition to the regular list of items one would expect from a cruise liner.
  • Thou shalt seek adventure beyond the open seas.  Ports of call offer cruise-goers the opportunity to regain their land-legs and explore new territory.  Keep in mind: small ships can venture into less populated destinations, whereas larger ships will need to dock or tender in major ports of call.  Which would you prefer?
  • Thou shalt choose thy shore excursions wisely.  Often cruise-endorsed excursions are overpriced and touristy to- the-max.  Seasoned cruisers usually opt to hire a taxi tour guide for the day or find a great beach and lunch spot.

When To make cruising cost-efficient for every family member--or Aunt Zelda who may be the financier--choose to cruise in off-season: - Caribbean: late fall to mid-december, spring, late summer & early fall (hurricane season) - Europe: late fall, winter, early spring - Alaska: early spring, early fall

Best Cruise Lines + Cruise Websites for Family Travel - - - - - - -

flowrider [me on the flowrider]

flowrider rccl [my husband on the flowrider]

rock climbing freedom of the seas [me rock climbing]