Not every child is a good traveler and not every child is going to like the idea of going on a cruise. Your child might have heard from a friend about a boring experience or there might be a phobia of being on the water that he or she is not comfortable disclosing to you. But there are a few tips that you can employ to make your kids first cruise experience enjoyable for them and by extension for you.
Participation In Planning
Every child likes to feel involved and even in control of some part of his or her life, which includes vacation plans. Older children might like to look at the cruise line’s website to offer input on the ship selection or the activities to book. Younger kids are not going to have as much real input but you can ask simple questions about what they would like to see or do on a cruise. Tell them that you can get off the ship and go to a beach if they are interested or that you can go explore the jungle. Having some idea of what is coming will help to reduce their anxiety and let your child prepare for the trip.
Plan A Trip To The Kids Club
Almost every ship that allows children also has a designated kids space. Some are designed only for older kids who don’t really require a sitter while others offer childcare for younger guests. But all kids club areas offer an introduction “party” or welcome aboard for children and their parents on the first day of the cruise. Even if your child has no plans of visiting the club area during the trip, the welcome party is a good time to stop in to meet the other children on the cruise. Cruise ships are huge and your child might not run into other children for a few days unless he or she checks out the kids space.
Plan On Some Down Time
With all of the activities and fun happening throughout the ship, don’t forget to plan on some downtime for your child. This time to relax and decompress can be in the cabin reading a book, watching a movie or whatever your child does at home just to relax. But a trip filled with constant activity can create a grumpy child who isn’t going to be a fan of the next cruise vacation.
Children take a great many clues from their parents on how to react to new situations. So be sure to remain positive even when waiting in line or trying to find a seat at the pool. Also, talk about anything that you think your child will enjoy and get his or her opinion. And finally, relax and enjoy some quality time with your child away from electronics.