All families want a destination but if it is a Cruise Destination then everything goes too high. With an average age of just 11, kids are still excited about everything. In fact, kids are often excited about things that only adults are excited about.
That’s why it’s a good idea to anticipate what your family will like when you’re planning a cruise, and then go a little overboard with the activities. When you do it right, your trip can be a family affair that everyone looks back on with fondness.
If you’re traveling on a cruise you’ll likely be faced with the task of getting the kids excited about some of the ports on the itinerary. If you’re on a 7-day cruise, that’s a lot of time to try to get everyone excited about the ports.
1. Start early 2. Involve kids in planning the vacation 3. Pre-buy your cruise tickets and reserve your staterooms before you even land in the port city 4. Tell the kids about the places you’re going to see, both in person and on the Internet 5. Show them photos of the ports you plan to visit, so they can get a feel for the places 6. Tell your kids about the experience you had.
Cruising is a unique vacation—one that is about relaxation, exploring new places, and getting to know your fellow travelers as well. There are a lot of destinations that are just too far from home to travel on their own, and cruises are perfect for those destinations. The good news is there are some cruise vacations that have been proven to be especially exciting for young people.
These destinations have been specifically selected to cater to kids, and they are filled with activities, attractions, and entertainment that will keep children engaged and excited. One of the best parts of cruises is that kids can be active and still enjoy the party atmosphere, while adults tend to relax.
The cruise is booked and the countdown has begun! But there’s a problem… Your kids don’t quite understand what a cruise is and where they’re going, and they’re not as excited as you’d hoped. Don’t worry about it. That’s exactly why we’ve put together this list: here are seven ways to get kids excited about the different ports you’ll be visiting on your cruise.
List of What You Read
Read books about the places you are going to visit.
One of the best ways to learn about a destination and immerse yourself in its culture is to read about it, both fiction and non-fiction. Go to the children’s section of your local bookstore and see what books are available in your area. But don’t limit yourself to that – also check out the non-fiction section of travel literature and browse through these books.
The type of books that work best largely depends on the age of your children. If your little ones can’t read yet or are just learning, try to find picture books, even if they’re not place-based and more general, like stories about a day at the beach or a boat ride. By having a simple idea of what the different ports of call might look like, your children will be able to better understand and become more involved in the journey.
Find destination books/color pages.
Don’t just read about travel destinations, buy travel-themed coloring books or print out a few pages of coloring books about the places you plan to visit on your trip. Adults and teens can even have fun with the many adult coloring books and pages that have become popular.
On the Crayola website, you can find free coloring pages with flags of different countries and popular landmarks. We also found these fun beach-themed coloring pages. And for adults, we found travel-themed coloring books at Lonely Planet and Wanderer.
Learn together the important phrases in the local language.
While it is unlikely that you will need to know the local language, as most cruise ports are tourist-oriented, an interesting way to immerse yourself in another culture is to learn a few phrases in your native language. You can simply Google common phrases a visitor should know in [language], or buy a small phrase translation guide.
Practicing a few words and phrases with your children each day in the weeks leading up to your cruise will recharge your batteries, and who knows, they might come in handy during your trip. MORE: How much does a children’s cruise cost?
Watching films or television programs on site.
These days it’s easy to find movies and TV shows on just about any topic imaginable. Search online for movies about the places you visit or stay, and queue them up for streaming or on-demand so the whole family can watch them. If your children are still very young, try to find travel destinations or cartoons that they would enjoy.
Message: You can also find shows and movies on cruise ships! And don’t forget YouTube and its collection of talented cruise and travel vloggers. You can get a picture of almost any cruise ship or destination. For starters, can we suggest a Cruise Radio channel on YouTube?
Make a list of foods you would like to try in port.
Each area offers dishes and recipes that residents love and cook often! At Cruise Radio, we think one of the favorite parts of a cruise is eating the many delicious things found on the ship and in the ports. If your children are passionate about cooking, increase the anticipation for the holiday by researching popular dishes at each port and making a list together of what you would like to try.
If you like to plan ahead, you can even figure out in advance which restaurants are best for those meals, and you probably won’t need the kids’ help. Message: If you want to get a taste of your destination before you travel, find recipes and prepare a few meals in advance. And if you really like something, make sure you buy the authentic, local version while you’re there! READ MORE: 25 cruise tips for beginners
Ask them to help you arrange visits.
Horseback riding on Half Moon Cay (Photo courtesy of Holland America Line) One of the best ways to get kids – and everyone else – excited about the holidays is to involve them in planning activities and outings. Of course, you don’t want to involve the kids in planning every port of call, especially if it’s a long cruise, but try to involve at least a few of them.
The excitement of your horse-loving daughter may well skyrocket when she decides you should all go horseback riding on the beach at Half Moon Cay, and the excitement of your history- and photography-loving son will double when he discovers that a tour of the ancient fortress and old town awaits him in Dubrovnik.
See photos of the main attractions you can see during your stay.
If you tell your children which islands or port cities you will be visiting on your trip, they will probably not know about some of them. To really help them understand what destinations will look like, you need to provide some context – and a great way to do that is by looking at photos.
You can look at the pictures the cruise line posts on its website, or just open up good old Google and search for pictures of each port. Make sure you find the different attractions you want to see in each location, like B. the Mayan ruins in Mexico, that one resort and beach in the Bahamas you bought a day pass for, or the Colosseum in Rome.
This gives the children a visual image of the trip and helps them understand what the holiday will be like. For tips on how to involve kids in planning a cruise, see our article 8 Ways to Involve Kids in Planning a Family Cruise. Save it for later! This article contains links to Amazon. We’ve come a long way in the past few decades, from the days when kids had to be dragged on a vacation.
With the wide availability of cheap plane tickets and cruises, kids and families can travel to new and exciting places without a second thought. But, that doesn’t mean that traveling to new destinations won’t offer some offbeat or unique experiences. Read more about cruising with toddlers and let us know what you think.