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Cruising with kids is, when you think about it, a genius holiday idea if ever there was one. With age-specific supervised kids’ clubs, amazing kid-friendly activities, tasty family dining and flexible accommodation options, a family cruise is one of the best ways to spend quality time with your loved ones - not to mention one of the easiest!
But if you don’t have much cruising experience, you probably have some questions about how it all works. What are the ins and outs of cruising with your kids? What tips and tricks will make your family holiday the best one yet?
Here are 5 ways to plan the best family cruise holiday ever. Hint: It won’t be hard!
First thing’s first - you need to decide which cruise is right for you and your kids! A popular way for families to choose their cruise is by picking a destination you’re all dying to visit.
Dreaming of the white sand beaches and turquoise waters of the Pacific Islands? Jump on a cruise to Fiji, New Caledonia or Papua New Guinea! Keen to snorkel in Far North Queensland, or see the wilderness of Tasmania? Then head into your own backyard on a P&O Australia cruise. Want to see the waterfalls of Fiordland, explore glow worm caves or wander through Hobbiton? Then a New Zealand cruise is for you.
If you’re not fussed about the destination (they’re all amazing, to be honest), then pick a cruise based on travel dates, number of nights, cruise theme or budget.
Cruiselings' Tip: Check out our School Holiday Deals!
Cruises depart from a number of cities like Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide (plus Auckland if you’re across the ditch) so pick a departure port close to home to keep everything nice and easy.
No matter where you’re cruising to, ensuring your accommodation suits the specific needs and preferences of your family is a must. Do you want a suite of rooms? Bunk beds? A big balcony for family breakfasts? Luckily, choosing the right room is really easy with P&O, so you don’t have to go through the whole Goldilocks “this is too big, this is too small” dilemma.
Whether you’re a family of four or an extended family of many more, finding accommodation that’s just the right size is typically a cinch. Rooms are available in a wide range of configurations, including options for families of five. One handy hack is opting for Interconnecting Rooms. These are neighbouring rooms with internal doors, which will give you and your family the perfect combination of proximity and privacy!
Whatever kind of cabin you choose, remember that each room is serviced daily - so you can spend less time tidying up and more time winding down.
There are a wide array of awesome family-friendly activities onboard every P&O cruise - so check out what your ship has on offer, and be sure you and the kids make the most of every single experience.
Explore our incredible interactive waterparks, play in a band, or join the adrenalin junkies at P&O Edge Adventure Park, where you can race down a zip line, or Walk the Plank (safely).
And don’t forget the Kids Clubs! There are 4 age-specific fully supervised Kids Clubs running daily activities from arts and crafts to music and sports. They’re a great way for your family to give each other some space - the kids can make some new friends their age, while parents can kick back by the pool with a book and cocktail in hand. Even better, Kids Clubs are included in your fare!
To learn more, check out our Top 5 Fun Cruise Experiences for Kids.
Cruiselings' Tip: Planning a big birthday party of family reunion? P&O offers special deals for group cruises - so if you have a big family shindig coming up, chat to one of our cruise consultants about perks and privileges. If you cruise for at least 7 nights, you could get some extra onboard credit or an event package.
Your family will go bananas (sometimes literally) over a P&O shore tour. Whether you’re feeding wild dolphins, exploring ancient temples, snorkelling over shipwrecks, or speeding around on a banana boat, a shore tour is a sure-fire way to make special family memories. But be careful - most tours fill up fast, so you’ll need to get in early to avoid missing out.
The best chance of securing a place on one of our shore tours is to book it by logging into Cruise Control. You can often book as early as 6 months in advance, and bookings close 3 days before departure. Once you’ve made a booking, everything is organised for you. Some shore tours even offer children’s prices for ages 2 to 12 years, and infants aged less than 2 years sitting on a parent’s lap aren’t charged for the tour.
Plus have a look at P&O’s Best Price Guarantee - If you find the same tour for less elsewhere, we’ll offer a 110% of the price difference back to enjoy in the form of non-refundable onboard spending money (such as tasty poolside meals and tropical drinks).
To ensure your family cruise holiday is a fun, relaxing experience for all, it’s a good idea to read up on our guidelines for travelling with children. This includes our rules on suitable supervision in rooms and around the ship, age restrictions, identification for international and domestic cruises, and requirements for children with medical or special needs.
We will make every effort to accommodate your family’s needs, so be sure to let us know if you have any questions or concerns! That way, we can help you ensure your holiday is smooth sailing from start to finish.
Planning a family holiday can be a massive headache - but our all-inclusive family cruises take all the hassle away. Just choose your favourite cruise, pick your room preference, and book! It’s that easy.
With all your travel, accommodation, cooking, cleaning and onboard entertainment included in the price, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more cost effective and convenient family holiday idea - plus you’ll only need to unpack once! Check out your cruise options today, and get booking - you’ll be Parent of the Year in just a few clicks.Check out our range of School Holiday cruises today.