Planning for Family Cruise Vacations
The thought of a cruise is always an exciting and amazing thing, especially when it is a family cruise. During the modern times, planning that perfect family cruise could be a hard thing to do, because you are presented with so many choices, in terms of destinations, ports, services, ships and so on.
So, to sail in that dream ship of yours with your family you definitely need to plan ahead. Firstly, it’s important that you choose the right voyage and the ship fit for your family. Next, to keep within budget, you need to book your package wisely, choose shore tours carefully, and be mindful of all the extra ways cruise lines in recent years have come up with to separate you from your dollars.
Choosing the right destination and cruise length
Making the right decisions here is highly important. Be practical and don’t fall to the attraction provided by the cruising lines’ product offerings that seem like magical. Consult your family and see whether they prefer sand sun, rainforests, glaciers or historic European capitals with monuments.
For example, if you choose a Caribbean cruise, you need not worry about kids of any age since that place provides fun activities for kids of all ages. Give a pail and shovel to a 2-5-year-old, sit him on the sand near the water's edge, and he can dig and play for hours. Give a teen some dollars to try WaveRunners, and parasailing, and she'll be back to beg for more money before you've even read three pages of your novel.
Hence as shown in the example, go over the facts and make the right decision in choosing the right destination. Choosing the right destination will provide fun for everyone in the family.
With regard to the cruise length, if you feel hesitant or unsure of a long cruise, book a three to four day sail. This will also be less costly and work well with your budget as well as help you experience a portion of the ocean life and make you confident of experiencing rolling ocean waves. But making the cruise shorter will cost you one of the great attractions of cruises: lazy sea days for lounging and admiring the limitless horizon.
Choose a children's program that fits your family's needs
Children's facilities and activities not only vary from line to line but also may differ among ships flying the same flag. Most programs operate at sea from 9am to 10 pm except for meal breaks. From 10 pm to about 1:00am most lines offer group babysitting for a fee. Before you book, be sure that the kids' program functions for your age child and for your sailing.
Cruise lines have programs specially designed for preschoolers, grade-schoolers and teens. Make sure to go over these programs and choose the right one for your family.
Be smart on prices
Obviously, most of the time, brochure rates are deceptive. So to get a great deal, try to book your cruise with a high volume cruise only agencies. They will be able to get you the same cabin for less. However, some lines now require the agencies to provide rates approved by them.
Nevertheless, try high volume cruise only travel agencies available online or through phone. And forget to shop around.
It used to be that except for drinks, shore tours, gambling, spa treatments and the occasional specialty coffee, everything else onboard came with your cabin price. Not any longer. Although cruise lines haven't "unbundled" these items, charging for services and amenities once included for free, the ships now offer a range of new possibilities, each at a add-on.
So be smart and say no to these unwanted add ons. If you are not careful you will go over your budget in a flash. Also, impose limits on those sundaes and specialty dinners.
Source and References: www.budgettravel.com