Traveling as a family can be a fantastic experience for all and kids have the time of their young lives on cruise holidays. Kids are well catered for aboard these state-of-the-art vessels, some even more so than others, but regarding shore excursions, parents must select activities, excursions and tours that are suitable for their kids if they’re all to have as much fun off the cruise ship as they will aboard it.
Know your kids
This is the most important point to make about kids and shore excursions so it’s no accident that it’s at the top of the list. Whilst certain activities may look great on paper, if you know your kids aren’t going to be into it, or even worse will have a horrible time, then look at doing something else. There’s so much to see and do on shore excursions around the world that there really is something for every family to do as a family, though if there’s something that you’ve long yearned to do and you know the kids won’t be into it – take a look at #5.
Involve your kids in the decision making process
Kids respond better to shore excursions when they’re involved in the decision making process and it also makes their experiences at sea all the more interesting for them, plus they feel important when they’re involved in the process of selecting which activities the family partake in. Although there’s plenty for kids to do aboard the ship when at sea, planning shore excursions as a family are a lot of fun and will give you something to research and discuss before and during the cruise.
Don’t attempt too much
Depending on the age of your children, it more often than not pays not too attempt too much on the one shore excursion, even though there’s so much to see and do. Sometimes it’s best to pick just one activity per shore break and make the most of it or select something simple to follow. For example if you have only four or five hours to spend at a port of call and you want to go snorkeling, perhaps a catamaran cruise on top of that will prove to be too much, so look at doing something simple after you’ve had your fill of snorkeling, like relaxing on the beach.
Look for adventure
Adventurous activities that will stand out in their memories for many years to come are some of the best activities for kids, and they’ll never forget the time they swam with dolphins in Mexico or went dog sledding in Alaska. These are experiences that families are able to look back upon for many years to come and there are many adventurous activities to enjoy as a family. Other popular family activities include diving and snorkelling, and there are many opportunities for underwater adventures when families join one of the many cruises setting sail to tropical destinations, and if you’re looking for something really extravagant – perhaps a helicopter ride.
Leave the kids on the ship
It may seem tantamount to abandonment, but sometimes it’s best to leave the kids on board if there’s a babysitting service or a children’s program that runs during the shore leave period. Sometimes there are things that mum and dad want to do that aren’t suitable for the kids due to lengthy traveling times or the romantic nature of the activities they have planned. Whilst there’s so much to do as a family, sometimes a few hours of privacy are what mum and dad need to make their holiday complete.
Sofia Walton is a traveler enthusiast who enjoys outdoor activities. She occasionally writes for blogs as a guest author on topics relating to her hobbies and travels.