Looking for the perfect gift idea? How about a family cruise? Giving the gift of travel is one of the most rewarding and memorable things you can do for your family. It’s an investment that brings lifelong returns. In fact, 3 in 4 adults still remember family vacations as a child more than other celebrated occasion. But when you’re traveling as a family, with kids of different ages, adults and even grandparents; choosing a destination that makes everyone happy can sometimes be a challenge.
Cruises on the other hand, are a one-size-fits-all vacation. With shipboard activities, entertainment and experiences geared towards guests of all ages and interests, everyone will have a good time. And a cruise isn’t just another gift that they will eventually outgrow or lose interest in, it’s a gift of shared experiences and memories that will last a lifetime. Here are ten reasons why a cruise makes the perfect gift for your family:
Cruises are a great value
You get an awful lot for your money when you cruise. Expect your fare to include accommodations, meals and most shipboard entertainment, making it a great all-inclusive package. You also have the flexibility to customize your cruise by adding on premium experiences such as specialty dining, beverage packages, entertainment and shore excursions. That way you can customize your cruise to reflect your lifestyle and your budget.
Hassle-free cruise ports
More and more families are turning to cruises over land vacations simply because they want to avoid air travel. Most families in the US live within driving distance to a major cruise port, making cruising a convenient option to flying.
Visit several locations, unpack once
Simply settle into your stateroom, unpack your bags and wake up in a new exotic location each morning! No packing and unpacking and hopping from hotel to hotel.
Something for everyone
Cruise ships are designed to be enjoyed by all ages and interests. So if you’re wondering how to please everyone, from toddlers to teens, and still have adult activities too, a cruise is your answer. Most ships have supervised kids clubs and organized activities that are broken down by age range, as well as night clubs and designated areas for teens to socialize. There are also plenty of adult areas for those times when you want a quiet escape or maybe just some recreation time on your own.
Cruises are as easy as 1-2-3
Simply pick an itinerary that you like, decide how you are going to get to the cruise port and pack your bags. Once onboard the ship you can expect the crew to cater to your every whim. No mapping out itineraries, no vacation rental headaches, just relax and enjoy being pampered in luxury.
Today’s cruise ships are designed with a wide variety of stateroom sizes and configurations. Although standard staterooms accommodate 3 or 4, most newer ships feature suites and family staterooms that sleep as many 8. Still some families find the best option is to reserve 2 adjoining staterooms. Not only can you enjoy added room and space to keep your belongings, but you’ll love having 2 separate bathrooms!
Lots of options
Cruise itineraries range from 2 – 14 days or more in length, and sail to destinations like the Caribbean and Bahamas, Mexico, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Alaska, Europe and beyond! And rates are as little as $300 per person. So there are plenty of options to fit you schedule and budget.
Ships are climate controlled
You’ll never have to worry about rain or cold ruining your cruise plans. Rainy days at sea are the perfect chance to explore everything that the ship has to offer, including shows, movies, restaurants and clubs, casino, spa treatments, classes, shopping and more!
You’ll have all the conveniences of home
Cruise ships are like floating cities with all the conveniences that you left behind at home. No need to worry if you forgot to pack something, your ship will have plenty of shops stocked with just about anything you might need. Of course ships provide a number of other services too like salons, laundry facilities, meeting centers, Wi-Fi, satellite TV, medical centers with pharmacies, gyms and spas.
You can enjoy each other’s company as much or as little as you want
A family cruise is great way to reconnect with your family, and to enjoy each other’s company. But there are plenty of room to spread out and enjoy your space too.
We’re here to help
In a sea full of options, how do you pick the perfect cruise? Let our cruise specialists point you in the right direction. We have completed training with all major cruise lines and can help you select a ship and itinerary that best suits your family and your budget. When you book your cruise with Magic Family Travel you can enjoy some exclusive benefits and amenities too, like exclusive group and contract rates, cabin upgrades and onboard credits that aren’t available anywhere else.
Want some more information or a quote? Fill out this form and we’ll be in touch soon.
If a European river cruise isn’t already on your travel bucket list, it should be. Unlike the large-scale ships and fast pace that comes along with ocean cruising, river cruising offers a more relaxed and up-close and personal experience. River cruising is not just for the adult traveler. Recently companies such as Tauck, AmaWaterways, and Viking and Avalon have introduced itineraries that are specifically with families in mind, offering a hassle-free way to explore the culture and history or Europe with kids.
Here are 10 reasons why a scenic river cruise is the perfect way to explore Europe with your family:
1. There’s more included
Most cruise itineraries are all-inclusive vacations with exciting family-friendly shore excursions, onboard activities, and exclusive experiences built into the cost of the cruise.
2. Fun for all ages and interests
Kids love all the kid-friendly activities and excursions, onboard amenities, and sharing the fun with other kids their age, while parents and grandparents appreciate the ease, service, and elegance of river cruising – and the fact that virtually every expense is included. One upfront price covers all shore excursions led by handpicked local guides.
3. An easy and flexible way to travel with kids
On river cruises, your “hotel” comes along with you as you travel, so your family unpacks only once and doesn’t pack up again until it’s time to go home. Family river cruises also offer great flexibility and variety with a blend of culturally–immersive guided sightseeing ashore, organized onboard fun, and time for just relaxing and doing as your family pleases.
4. It’s safe and accessible
Parents can enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that it’s easy to keep a watchful eye on the kids. And relax in knowing that in the event that an accident or emergency occurs, you’re never far from land. Riverboats are also full accessible, allowing for a comfortable and convenient vacation for guests with disabilities.
5. An unforgettable way to see Europe
What a memorable way to expose your children or grandchildren to the history, food, culture and beauty of Europe in ways the kids can appreciate. Sail right into the heart of historic European cities and quaint towns and let expert tour guides make sure you all see, learn and do more than you ever could on your own.
6. Become immersed in local culture
Most cruise itineraries provide interactive fun and hands-on activities – cooking classes, storytelling, cultural explorations, exclusive experiences – that are fun for every age and generation to do together. You’ll become immersed in local culture and be able to see and experience the country in ways that average tourists don’t.
7. It’s a great way to decompress
Leave your troubles behind! Riverboats are much smaller in size than ocean cruise ships, and offer a more relaxed and comfortable way to travel. The average riverboat accommodates less than 200 passengers so you won’t get lost in the shuffle. A high crew to passenger ratio means you can expect personal service from a by a welcoming and accommodating staff that will cater to your every need.
8. You can see and do more
You can experience more in a short period of time. Riverboats can easily navigate inland waterways stopping at multiple ports of call along the way, sometimes even visiting more than one in a day. Unlike ocean cruising itineraries that are limited to visiting a few larger, touristy cities; riverboats take you inland to some of the most beautiful and historic places in Europe.
9. Smooth sailing!
Inland waterways are usually calm and smooth, and cruises are comfortable and scenic. There’s little chance for motion sickness on a riverboat.
10. These small vessels are big on fun!
There’s no shortage of fun onboard a longboat! Although there are no casinos and Broadway shows, you’ll enjoy quality entertainment and dining options, beautifully designed shared spaces, and panoramic views. Some riverboats boast amenities like putting greens, swimming pools & jacuzzis, fitness clubs, spas and bicycles for guests to use at port. Many cruises also provide onboard games, movies, arts and crafts classes, cooking classes, and interactive experiences for all ages and interests.
October is Plan a Cruise Month and for the second year, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is sponsoring the #CruiseSmile Sweepstakes. This digital and social sweepstakes offers the chance to win a cruise vacation each week during the month of October. A variety of cruises will be showcased at CruiseSmile.org under the themes; family-friendly, cultural, exploration, fun in the sun and exploring nature.
Disney Cruise Line is being featured Oct. 3, 2016 during family-friendly cruise week. During that time Disney is supporting #CruiseSmile with a 7-Night Eastern or Western Caribbean Cruise giveaway aboard Disney Fantasy. Anyone can enter now through Oct. 6, 2016, for a chance to win.
To be eligible to win a Disney cruise, participants should simply post a photo featuring a great “Cruise Smile” on Twitter, Instagram or the campaign landing page CruiseSmile.org, using hashtags #CruiseSmile and #sweepstakes and tag a friend for additional chances to win. Visit CruiseSmile.org for complete details!