If you’re reading this, we’re guessing that a cruise has already caught your eye for a potential upcoming vacation. Perhaps you have already taken a cruise and are now considering another one, to a new part of the world, or on a different ship. But have you thought about taking the whole family on a cruise? Whether that means just the parents and kids, or a big multi-generational group of your extended family, it’s a great way to spend quality time with everyone while still giving each person the chance to try things they love, and experience new adventures, too.
The biggest reason to make a cruise your next family vacation, though, is one that is hard to ignore: cruise vacations give you the most bang for your buck. Here are just five ways this value plays out on a cruise.
1. Staterooms are Designed with Families in Mind
Compared to hotels on land-based vacations, cruise ship staterooms come packed with perks and amenities that make it easy for families to share a room—or to have connected rooms. Carnival has staterooms that can accommodate up to five people, as well as rooms with an extra bathroom. Services like 24-hour room service and 24-hour room steward assistance also elevate cruise accommodations above your average hotel or motel.
2. Save on Restaurant Bills
It’s no secret that restaurants at hotels and airports are often overpriced and don’t offer a lot of variety. On road trips, cheaper options such as diners, fast food chains and gas stations can take a toll on the body—and your mood! On a cruise, most of your meals are covered in the fare you paid up front, and there is an unparalleled range of cuisines to choose from. This makes catering to picky eaters, whatever age, much easier, and also lets each member of the family indulge in their favorites. It is a vacation, after all!
On Carnival, the foodie options include buffets with all sorts of global dishes, plus eateries specializing in Italian, Mexican, seafood, steakhouse fare and casual burgers. The only time you’ll pay more is when you opt for a higher-end dining experience, and even then you’ll be paying a lot less than a comparable restaurant in most cities around the world.
3. Fun, Fun, Fun — For Less
Sure, babysitting services and kids’ clubs are available at some hotels and resorts but it’s typically the more expensive properties that offer them and they don’t come cheap. Taking the family on a cruise will help you avoid sticker shock on your vacation bills. Each of Carnival’s ships offers great kids’ programming that lets different age groups meet fellow kids and do what they love most—giving parents some time out for themselves. Best of all, they are included in your fare. Camp Ocean is for kids 2 to 11; Circle C caters to the 12 to 14 set and Club 02 is designed for teens 15 to 17. Carnival also offers Night Owls group babysitting for little ones aged 6 months to 11 years, for a nominal additional fee.
Looking for more togetherness? Cruises also offer great onboard options you can participate in together, such as WaterWorks, the onboard water park, live interactive shows, and the ropes course. Up the ante even more with the exhilarating new SkyRide on Carnival Vista.
4. Go More Places & Do More While You’re There
Driving can be tiring and airline travel is so often a drag. There’s a way to skip all that bother and see a bunch of destinations all in one trip, and—you guessed it—it’s on a cruise.
With itineraries as short as 2-3 days, mid-length trips of 5-7 days and cruises longer than a week, you have the chance to see as many port cities as you’d like. Which helps check off wish-list destinations for everyone in your family and also helps with that bucket list of dream activities, too. Every destination Carnival sails to offers a broad range of things to do in port, from leisurely beach days or shopping tours to action-packed sports such as diving, ATV-riding and zip lining. Doing these activities as part of a shore excursion through your cruise line can help keep costs down compared to booking your own trips if traveling by car or air. Check out the hundreds of options Carnival offers in port.
5. Planning is a Breeze
Designing your own itinerary, complete with airport layovers, rental cars, maps and time zone changes can be challenging. In some cases, you’ll need a vacation from all that vacation planning! Not so with a cruise. Perusing all the info at Carnival.com will make planning your family cruise vacation a breeze, from choosing your ideal itinerary and activities to your staterooms and dining. If you’re traveling with a large brood, a cruise planner can help you make the best selections and take care of the booking process for you. Travel agents can also help arrange the air transfer to your departure port. Once you’re onboard, all you need to do is sit back and relax—or, if you prefer, put on your dancing shoes and get ready to rumba! As seasoned cruisers will tell you, one of the other big advantages to planning and then sailing on a cruise is all about your wardrobe: pack once, unpack once when you’re in your stateroom, and away you go. Bon voyage!
This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind.