Tag Archives: cruising

How to keep your kids amused on a cruise holiday

15 Aug

I’ve been on a total of two cruises in my life-one with my mom from Florida to the Bahamas, and one with Aaron, my parents, and my brother on a very small ship with only a few cabins, on the Great Barrier Reef.  Both were pre-kids, and both were fantastic.

Me snorkelling off our little cruise ship on the Great Barrier Reef

Me snorkelling off our little cruise ship on the Great Barrier Reef

I’d love to go on another cruise, but obviously things would be a little bit different now that we have two little balls of never ending energy.  I clearly know nothing about cruising with kids, but Emma Jane does, so sit back and enjoy her knowledge:

The idea of a cruise holiday conjures up all manners of wonderful ways to relax. Whether your idea of relaxation involves some quality time at the gym, a massage, live entertainment, or simply reading in the sun; a cruise offers so many great ways to unwind. But you can’t truly unwind until you know the kids are safe and having as much fun as you are!

Cruises make travelling with the family a breeze. There’s entertainment and facilities for all ages, which are professionally supervised, so you have the option of playing as a family or leaving the kids while you unwind.

The Westerdam in Sitka.  Photo courtesy of My Cruise Stories (aka I stole it from my Mom's blog)

The Westerdam in Sitka. Photo courtesy of My Cruise Stories (aka I stole it from my Mom’s blog)

 

On-Board Facilities

Cruise ships are renowned for their terrific swimming pools, whirlpools, and on some ships, even waterslides! Some ships offer rock-climbing walls, basketball courts, skating, adventure playgrounds and mini-golf! All these activities are a great way to spend time as a family and burn off some excess energy- guaranteed to get the kids to sleep at night. Research your cruise liner beforehand to find out exactly what facilities are available.

Some ships even have special cafes for kids (photo courtesy of my Mom's blog My Cruise Stories)

Some ships even have special cafes for kids (photo courtesy of my Mom’s blog My Cruise Stories)

 

Cartoon Character Visits

Many cruises offer themed appearances of cartoon characters, who host parties, live entertainment, and even fireworks displays. These are great for the younger kids (and those young at heart). Check out the family cruise options at cruiseabout.com.au to see the speciality range of themed cruise lines, including a great range of popular cartoon characters from Disney, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks, and more. These friendly faces will make lots of fun appearances during your holiday!

Children’s Centres

Family cruise ships offer a range of supervised care options. Children’s centres are suitable for ages from three to 17. These activities are a great way for kids to make some friends on your holiday. For the littlies, there are arts, crafts and lots of stories to stimulate young imaginations. For the tweens, they get a bit more space and the opportunity to make friends, hold their own parties, and make their own games. For teens, they can hang out and listen to the latest music, learn to dance, play sports, or for the more sedate, watch movies and chill out.

Day Trips

Last but definitely not least; the kids will love the day trips as much as you will. Open their minds with new sights and sounds as they learn about new places, cultures and ways of life. The options are as endless as the number of cruise routes, so take a look at the itinerary with the entire family in mind, and use the opportunity to give the kids a head start on their geography lessons!

Cruises are a great way to get some quality time with the kids, but also allow mum and dad to have some time together. The kids have the chance to make new friends and expand their horizons. With a wide range of options both on and off the ship to keep the kids amused, you’ll have no trouble finding time for that massage or finishing that book!

*This post was sponsored by Cruiseabout

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Flash-way-back Friday. A post from my Mom

31 Jul

So it’s not Friday…. Oh well.  I don’t really have time to write a blog post because we just got the internet up and running.  I have a billion emails to answer.  But in my inbox, I found a ready made blog post written for me by my mom, knowing that I’d need something to post.  Go Mom!!  P.S. No baby yet.  Sigh.  Hopefully soon…  And thank you everyone for continuing to vote for me while I didn’t have the internet.  You guys rock, I’m number 2 now!!!!!  Please continue voting 🙂

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A post from my Mom:

People don’t tend to remember much from very early childhood.  If something traumatic happens though, memories tend to stick from a very early age.  My first memory comes from an ill-fated boat ride about age two.

Since Sheri has no internet for a bit due to her recent move, I thought I might help out a bit and give her something to post.  She has her flashback Fridays, so this is a flash way, way back Friday post.  Long before Sheri ever existed, her mother was once a little girl.  And since I now have a cruise blog it does seem fitting that my earliest memory involves a boat.

One day we set out for a ride in my father’s boat.  He had a fairly small one, about 16 feet long or so.  We had quite a few people in that little boat.  In addition to my parents and I, we had my sisters, one a couple years older than me, and the other just a baby.  Also an aunt with baby cousin came along on that trip.

Apparently, this boat previously had a hole in it, which had been patched.  My mother envisioned a tiny hole, my father later said it had actually been about the size of a dinner plate.  Had my mother known that in advance, probably none of us would have set out in that boat that day.

Somewhere along the line the patch broke free.  The boat flipped over and dumped everyone into the water.  My mother lost her purse.  It sank to the bottom of the lake.  A tragedy we heard about many times throughout childhood.  As a child I did not see a lost purse as that awful, but as an adult, I realize a woman’s purse is pretty much her lifeline.  Everything is in that purse, her identity, keys to everything she ever needs to open, her money and credit cards.  It contains stuff of everyday life which one cannot do without.

My mother, aunt, and the babies floated away from the boat.  I only know they were there from other people’s stories.  My personal memory involves only my father and older sister.  We stayed with the boat.  My sister climbed out of the water and sat top of what was once the bottom of the overturned boat.  My father and I clung to the side of the boat, still in the water.

My sister and I wore dresses that matched in style, but not in color.  I think mine was blue and hers lavender.  Over that we wore bright orange life jackets, the only color life jackets came in way back then.  Probably a good thing we all had them on that day.

I tried to climb up on top of the bottom of the boat.  I wanted to sit up there with my sister.  My little 2-year-old arms and legs just could not manage it though, so in the water I stayed clinging to the side of the boat with my dad.  I think I even asked him to put me up there, but he didn’t, probably afraid I would just fall off.  Later my sister said she had not felt any happier up there than I did in the water.  She was wet and cold.

Eventually a coast guard boat came to rescue us.  They wrapped me in a scratchy wool blanket and stuffed me in a dark bunk below deck, so all I remember about that boat is lying in a dark room for what seemed like a very long time, but probably really wasn’t.

My sister got to go up on deck and see everything that went on.  Once again she got to be on top of things, while I stayed down below. They scooped my mother, aunt and the babies out of the water too, probably before rescuing us.  I don’t know where they all went on the Coast Guard boat though.  Probably up on deck.  Sigh.

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