Whether your family vacations together often or is gathering for a special milestone event, a cruise can please the youngest, the oldest and everyone in between. There’s been a gradual increase in multi-generational cruising as more members of the Baby Boomer generation retire and arrange vacations with their children and grandchildren. Many cruise lines are responding by making changes to better accommodate the needs and wants of multi-generational groups. Keep reading to learn how.
Staterooms for families
Many cruise lines have family suites that are designed for up to eight people, making it easier than ever to enjoy your trip together. There are also more connecting cabins so that you can open the doors to make a spacious family suite or close them when you need your privacy. Of course, the best thing about your cruise is that if everyone opts for their own cabin or suite, you’re still close by and can spend your day enjoying all the onboard activities or shore excursions.
Dining for everyone
Cruises are terrific for picky eaters and adventurous foodies alike, and there’s probably at least one of each in every multi-generational group. These days, cruise ships have gone well beyond the days when the main dining room and the buffet were the only dining choices.
They now offer multiple restaurants serving different types of cuisine from sushi to fresh pasta, so everyone can find something they like. Of course, you can still enjoy the main dining room, as a great place for the entire family to sit and chat around a big table; and a casual buffet, where even the child who only eats fruit can be happy.
Togetherness…or age-appropriate pursuits
You and your family members can spend all your cruise time together if you like, but chances are that different generations will enjoy spending some time with their peers. Most family-oriented cruise lines have equipped their ships with fabulous children’s programs that have a mix of structured and unstructured activities, with a bit of education combined with fun.
Many ships also have spaces just for teens, where they can play games, watch movies, learn to be a DJ, or just relax. Teens also tend to make good use of the pools, hot tubs, and sports facilities with the new friends they meet on board. The kids’ clubs and teen lounges are off-limits to adults, but there are lots of other spaces for the mature members of the group to enjoy, including the ship’s fitness center, spa, theaters, lounges and casino. Most ships also have adult-only spaces. Imagine the luxury of sitting by an adults-only pool, listening to music instead of kids!
Today’s ships have such a variety of staterooms, features and amenities that picking the best one for your family can be a challenge. This is where a cruise travel professional can be extremely helpful. Their in-depth knowledge of cruise lines and ships can guide you toward the best choice.
A world of destinations
The Caribbean is a very popular cruise destination for all types of vacationers, including multi-generational groups. It’s warm, beautiful and easily accessible from multiple home ports along the East and Gulf Coasts. But, there’s a whole world of cruise destinations out there, and your family can be as adventurous as you are willing to be. Alaska is a great family destination, with loads of family-friendly shore excursions. Discovering Europe on a cruise is a thrill for families, too.
To help make the choice, you could conduct a family poll. Or, think about why your family is getting together – maybe that will be your guide to selecting a destination. For example, if the family is celebrating Grandma and Grandpa’s 50th wedding anniversary and they met while they were students in Rome, a cruise up and down the coasts of Italy might be just the thing.
If you’re stumped on picking a destination that will please everyone, ask your cruise travel professional for help! Your travel professional can also find out if your group qualifies for any special discounts on board, and give you information on shore excursions that everyone can enjoy.