Best Cruises for Families | A cruise is the perfect adventure holiday for all the family; not only do you take to the high seas, but multiple stops along the way mean you can explore different towns, cities and even countries as you go.
The best thing about it is you don’t need to worry about arranging travel, or cramming the kids into a car. Instead, your kids are free to roam the spacious decks and partake in top quality activities and entertainment.
Of course, there are some cruises out there that cater strictly to the adult crowd, on which, children aren’t allowed. Don’t let this put you off. There are plenty of family-friendly cruise options out there, especially during the summer holidays. P&O Cruises offer two fantastic, fun packed, family-friendly cruises on two of their best loved ships, the Aurora and The Oceana.
Whether you’re travelling with toddlers or teens, The Aurora is set to cater to your family needs. Its Toybox Playroom is geared toward children aged between two and four, while Jumping Jack’s take children aged five to eight. Both run from 9am to 10:30pm, during which kids are provided with their own supervised private pool and a host of other activities. They also provide a babysitting service all the way up to 2am, giving you a little freedom to relax.
For older children aged nine to twelve, there’s the Quarterdeck club running from 9am until 11pm, or even later if it gets busy. Here they are provided with a variety of activities to prevent boredom from setting in.
For those of you travelling with teenagers, they can get together with other teens in Decibels, which runs from 10am to 11pm, or later during peak season. There’s a bar (don’t worry, it’s non-alcoholic), TV and other entertainment, as well as a late night disco which is put on by the youth staff.
Naturally, there’s plenty for adults to do as well. Aurora is the perfectly family ship, providing fun for all the family.
Just like the Aurora, P&O’s Oceana is geared up to cater for children of any age. Toddlers aged two to four are invited to join The Splasher, where they can enjoy their own little playground, complete with toys, games and activities, as well as quiet areas where they can read a book or settle down in front of a film.
For the slightly older five to eight year olds, there’s Surfers. Here, the kids are kept entertained by myriad games and activities, such as face painting, treasure hunts or even fun and friendly pirate duels or gladiator bouts. There’s also time to chill out in front of a film in the evening while sipping on a milkshake.
Nine to twelve year olds have their own group too: the Scubas. They are provided with their own room, with video games and a jukebox to ensure they are always entertained. The staff arrange a good selection of activities, like scavenger hunts or games in their own private pool. In the evening, there are fully supervised pool parties and discos.
The teens are left to their own devices in the ‘adult-free’ (though supervised) H2O club, to give them that air of independence they’ll be looking for. Here they can be left to chill out in front of a film, play some video games or challenge each other to a game of pool or air hockey. There’s also an arcade, competitions, organized activities and a teen night club.
Like with most things, you’ll find the best deals for P&O Cruises online. Co-operative Travel offers some great packages on their website. Just ensure you check which children’s facilities are operating at the time you’d like to go. You can be sure that they’ll be running at full capacity during the school holidays.