If your family is fortunate enough to have two, three, or even more generations that want to vacation together, a cruise needs to be at the top of your list for vacation ideas.
Whether your family vacations together often or is looking forward to a milestone event that’s compelling enough to bring everyone together, 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 Boom 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.
STATEROOMS FOR FAMILIES
For example, more staterooms are now designed to hold more than two people. Older ships are being retrofitted and new ships are being designed with cabins that can accommodate larger families. 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 some privacy. Your cruise travel professional can steer you toward the ships that can best accommodate your family group.
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. Cruise ships have gone well beyond the days when the main dining room and the Lido deck buffet were the only dining choices. Many ships have multiple restaurants serving different types of cuisine, so everyone can find something they like. Of course, most ships still have a main dining room, which is a good place for the entire family to sit and chat over dinner around a big table; and a casual Lido deck 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 the 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 tends 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. Some ships are even establishing adults-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 multigenerational 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.
It can take some time to get a multi-generational group to select a mutually agreeable time and place to cruise, so don’t delay.