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Why Cruises Are the Perfect Vacation for Single Parents

Families come in all shapes and sizes, and so do vacation options. For the single-parent vacation, a family cruise aboard a ship can easily be one of the most enjoyable trips you’ll ever take with your kids. Cruise vacation packages are high-value trips that keep your budget in check, let you get entirely away from everyday stresses, and gives everyone in your family the chance to effortlessly make new friends on board. Here are six more essential reasons why cruises for single parents are ideal family vacations.

mother and her child enjoying the sea breeze onboard a carnival ship

For More and Better Bonding Time  

Coming together as a family is more fun on a cruise, and Carnival ships have perfected the single-parent experience. Give your child, and yourself, a thrill a minute with fun onboard activities available on the cruise ships. Activities and dining options vary by ship, so choose the cruise with the fun you love the most. Here’s a sampling of Carnival’s family-focused activities meant to create smiles, build memories, and make it a breeze to vacation as a solo parent:

  • WaterWorks, an onboard water park, to get your heart rate pumping and your kids splashing
  • SportSquare, your gym at sea and an area for family activities, such as mini golf, volleyball, and basketball
  • SkyRide®, an aerial bicycle over the ocean on a suspended course, for new thrills and a one of a kind experience spent together
  • Our ropes course, a fun, safe, maze with challenging obstacles over sparkling blue waters, perfect for family-friendly competition
  • Seuss at Sea, whimsical activities for the youngest kids and young at heart, sharing timeless characters, together

father and son playing ping pong onboard a carnival ship

For Built-in Play Dates, Parties, and Hangouts

Ah, isn’t it nice to know you’re off the hook when it comes to planning play dates and hangouts for your kids while on a cruise vacation? Carnival is well-known for its supervised kids’ clubs and programs that are organized into age-appropriate groups. Here’s where your kids can make new friends:

  • Camp Ocean keeps 2 to 11-year-olds busy, active, and having fun in a supervised environment divided into age-based groups, including Penguins (ages 2 to 5), Stingrays (ages 6 to 8), and Sharks (ages 9 to 11).
  • Night Owls® is a supervised party at nighttime for kids 11 and under that lets you enjoy some nightlife until as late as 1 a.m.
  • Circle “C”®a lounge-like place to chill and cruise for 12 to 14-year olds, offers dance parties, games, outdoor movies, and more supervised teen-appropriate activities.
  • Club O2® gives high schoolers, ages 15 to 17 a place to call their own while you do your adult thing. From sports and video games to faux proms and music jam sessions, no one will want to be absent from Carnival’s version of high school on the high sea.

For Plenty of “Me” Time

Every parent, especially a single parent, needs a blissful getaway, even on a family cruise. You’ve got it with Carnival’s Serenity Adult-Only Retreat. While your kids are deck side having fun, you’ll enter a different type of onboard oasis complete with peace and quiet, and a nearby bar to quench your thirst. If you can’t get enough serenity, opt for Carnival’s Cloud 9 Spa to make your single-parent cruise complete. Unwind with a massage, facial, body wrap, and more without worrying about the kids. They’re only a call away.

woman relaxing in a hot tub in cloud 9 spa

For Exploring the Sights Together

Cruises pack in loads of fun on board and on land with a variety of mini-excursions at ports of call. Family excursions let you explore new places with your kids, from ancient cities to crystal caves and zip lining through the jungle. Whether it’s a quiet tour or an adventure in the treetops, all the details of your tour are taken care of by Carnival, so there’s no planning needed on your part. Here are other excursions you might enjoy while at your destination port:

Sharing the cultures, histories, and distinct cuisines in various ports of call with your kids is one more added layer of an already magical, extraordinary vacation that you as a resourceful single parent can create.

father and 2 children going up a chair lift in the caribbean

For Stress-Free Dining

Do you have visions of corralling your kids while seated in a formal dining room next to snuggling honeymooners or mature couples who just want a quiet journey? Carnival understands the experiences single parents have when dining out with children of any age. There are plenty of kid-friendly options on Carnival cruise ships where you’ll be able to relax at dinner time as a solo parent. Some of Carnival’s most fun onboard options that every family member can enjoy include everything from pizza by the pool to New England-style seafood at Seafood Shack and Guy’s Burger Joint created by TV personality, Guy Fieri, who just happens to make one of the best roadside grilled burgers at sea. By the way, breakfast on board will be a breeze once your youngest kids find out they’re having a pancake party with The Cat in the Hat and Friends from Dr. Seuss’ world at Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast.

mother and son eating spaghettis and meatballs on a carnival cruise

For Unforgettable Holiday Celebrations

It’s your turn to cruise through the holidays this year. Celebrations on a family cruise give you and the kids that extra-special serving of holiday spirit. Plan a single-parent cruise for the following holidays:

  • A Funtastic Christmas cruise is an unforgettable holiday on the high seas for solo-parent families. Sail on a ship decked out from bow to stern with Christmas lights, wreaths, and trees. Experience caroling under the moon, an ugly sweater holiday contest, live-on-stage holiday shows, and a special Hanukkah service at sunset. Plus, your kids can mail a special letter to Santa from the sea.
  • A Funtastic Thanksgiving cruise means you get to spend more quality time with your child instead of prepping, cooking, and cleaning for the holiday. Have a traditional turkey dinner with the trimmings in a not-so-traditional setting.
  • An October destination cruise is a perfect way to celebrate Halloween. Be sure to pack your costumes for family contests and dance parties under the stars.

A vacation aboard a cruise ship is designed to give a single parent the best of both worlds — bonding time with family and relaxing alone time for a respite from the daily responsibilities of parenting. Treat yourself and your kids to the vacation of a lifetime with a Carnival cruise.

Note: Onboard activities, shore excursions, and dining options may vary by ship and destination.