5 reasons to get on board
There was a time when taking a cruise meant wearing your fanciest jewels and tuxedo to attend ritzy parties and formal affairs. Nowadays, cruising is for all ages and many of the latest ships are designed with families in mind. From action-packed activities to exciting excursions, there are so many reasons why you should consider a cruise for your next family getaway!
One phrase you’re unlikely to hear the kids say on a cruise is “I’m bored…” From sprawling water parks and mini-golf courses to racetracks at sea, you’ll never run out of things to do on board the ship. Most cruise lines offer daily activities catering to all ages, so every member of the family will have a blast with everything from treasure hunts to salsa dance lessons offered.
All aboard: The Norwegian Bliss offers activities and entertainment for all ages. Speed demons can fly around the ship’s racetrack (the largest one at sea) and play an exciting round of galactic laser tag. Those seeking the ultimate adrenaline rush can zoom down one of the ship’s two water slides, including the heart-pumping Ocean Loop slide where the floor drops out from under you and takes you around the side of the ship! After an action-packed day on board you can take in an award-winning musical, stroll along the shops at 678 Ocean Place or test your luck at the Bliss Casino.
One of the most exciting things about taking a cruise is that you get to explore multiple destinations while only having to unpack once. Whether it’s exploring the Mayan pyramids in Mexico, strolling along the cobblestone streets of Havana or swimming with pigs in The Bahamas, you can pack so much more into your vacation time with a cruise. You can discover exotic ports of call you might not have visited otherwise – all in one trip!
All aboard: While many ships offer week-long itineraries, the MSC Divina also has extended 10-and-11-night itineraries around the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. With several itinerary options, you can discover exotic ports of call including the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Colombia and Panama. When you’re not on land exploring, there are plenty of adventures to be had on board. Splash around the ship’s Aqua Park, soak up the sun by the infinity pool at the back of the ship or take in a Broadway-worthy show at the theatre.
A common myth is that accommodations on board cruise ships are tiny, cramped and not suited for families. The reality could not be more different! Many ships offer comfortable balcony staterooms that can fit families of four. Some ships even offer bunk beds, which are sure to be a big hit with the little ones. And of course, you can’t beat the shifting views of sparkling blue waters and tropical isles outside your stateroom window, or from your balcony.
All aboard: The award-winning Norwegian Getaway offers a variety of comfortable staterooms, which provide a peaceful haven to return to after a day spent at sea or exploring on land. The staterooms have queen beds that can be converted into two beds, sleeping up to four people with the option for connecting staterooms. Not that much time will be spent in your stateroom with so much to do on board! Spend your days whooshing down water slides at the Aqua Park, take in a stand-up comedy show and then finish off the day with a meal at one of the ship’s 28 – yes, 28! – dining options.
Another misconception about cruising is that it’s over-the-top expensive. Much like any vacation, there are cruises for every budget. Considering everything that’s included, from entertainment and dining to kids programs, sports and amenities, cruises are actually very affordable. Some cruises even include beverage packages and daily gratuities! What’s more, with a cruise you get to explore more than one beautiful destination – so you’re getting multiple vacations for the price of one.
All aboard: The Marella Discovery 2 is one of the ships that provides beverage packages in the price of your cruise. You can enjoy wine with dinner and cocktails by the pool with the All Inclusive Beverage Package, and forgo any worries about tipping with daily gratuities already included. Plus, the ship has tons of other amenities for you to enjoy: from soaking up the sun by the outdoor pool, tackling the rock climbing wall or aiming for a hole-in-one at the mini-golf course. Finish off your day at sea with the ship’s Movies by Moonlight, where you can watch the latest box office flick under the stars complete with popcorn and hot cocoa.
You won’t have to worry about keeping the kids entertained for the day with most ships offering supervised kids and teens clubs with a wide range of activities for all different age groups. Of course, kids aren’t the only ones who get to have fun on board! While the little ones are having a blast, you can spend some quality time together taking in a Broadway-worthy show, enjoying a pampering spa treatment or relaxing on the pool deck.
All aboard: You and the kids will never run out of things to do on board the MSC Seaside. The ship is the first cruise ship in the world to have Slideboarding technology on board – a combination of a water slide and a video game in one. Dare devils in the family can get their adrenaline pumping on the zipline spanning the length of the ship! Kids will also have a blast at the LEGO® and Chicco® kids clubs, which provide plenty of activities for all ages and Fun Time Dinners with the entertainment staff, so parents can enjoy a romantic date night at sea.