So you’re thinking of taking the plunge and booking your first family cruise. Being the first one, you won’t be sure exactly what to expect and how to go about preparing for it: where to go, what to pack, what to do on board, etc. Well, don’t worry, the 10 tips below will help you out and have your fellow travellers thinking you’ve done this a million times before!
1. Choose a company you can trust
There are literally hundreds of companies out there offering cruises and cruise holidays, including companies like Saga Travel. These days you can find everything from low budget packages to all inclusive luxury. What you choose will depend very much on your budget, but make sure it’s a reputable company.
2. Select your ship
Do you go for a mighty cruise liner or a more homely type of ship? Larger liners usually have more for the kids to do, with swimming pools and a wide range of leisure facilities on board.
3. Find the right destination
Get the kids involved in this too by looking at a map and pinpointing places you all might like to go. You might not be able to tick off everywhere on your wish list, but it’s a good, fun starting point.
4. Book the time off
Make sure there are no clashes with work or school. If you’re going to a tropical destination consider going in winter when things are usually quieter.
5. Check passport and visa requirements
Have all the kids got passports? And are the adult’s passports in date? You should also check whether you’ll require visas. The company you’ve booked with should be able to advise you on this.
6. Pack layers and formal wear
As well as all the usual things you’d take on holiday, pack some extra layers for breezy evenings out on deck and formal wear for posh dinners
7. Get acquainted with the ship
Once on board, make sure your family knows their way around the ship. Designate a meeting point just in case someone gets lost.
8. Pay attention to the safety briefings
It’s important that all your family are familiar with the ship’s safety procedures, so make sure they pay attention to the initial safety briefing.
9. Plan your day trips
It’s a good idea to plan mini itineraries for day excursions, including what to see and do.
10. Get to know the staff
Make a point of getting to know the staff — they often have helpful tips on how to make best use of the ship as well as what to do on shore.
Once you’ve done all this — relax, lie back on deck, take the load off and enjoy your first time at sea! Many people are nervous about their first cruise, so if you’re unsure, go for a shorter break first time around. With plenty for the kids to do and relaxation for the adults, it probably won’t be your last!
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