Looking for a holiday to suit all ages? An extended-family, children to grandparents, or maybe a group of friends getting together for a big birthday bash? A cruise could be just what you’re looking for. Here are 10 reasons why.
Multi-generational holiday planning
Planning a holiday with grandparents, parents and children? For the parents in the middle this can be a stressful proposition – but not on a cruise. Choose a family-friendly cruise and you’ll have a superb range of activities, with entertainment and dining options to suit all ages. For the group organiser, no need to worry about keeping your extended family fed, entertained and happy, or where they might be. Everyone can go off and do their own thing in complete safety and you can get together by the pool, over meals or at shows and share some of the good times.
Packing and unpacking and relocating from one hotel to the next can sap the pleasure from any holiday. Think of your cruise ship as a floating hotel. You don’t have to worry about getting from one place to another, lugging cases and herding others. In some of the world’s favourite cruise zones you’ll wake every morning in a new destination, yet you only have to unpack once.
Great group value
All your accommodation and meals are paid for in advance, and so are most of the amenities, entertainment, sport and leisure options. There might be additional charges to cover laundry, bar tab, internet fees, and dining in specialty restaurants but you can limit these if you’re prudent, and many cruise lines offer drinks packages to help control costs. A great holiday with all the trimmings and no unpleasant surprises at the end.
Flexible cabin configuration
Most cabins are designed for two but there are also some with convertible couches and fold-down bunks. Family cabins can accommodate three or four, sometimes more. Teenagers might need their own cabin, since each cabin has just one bathroom and storage space can be limited, in which case adjoining cabins are the way to go. Cots for babies and toddlers are usually available from your cruise line but advance notice is required. If you want a bathtub, this is also an option with many cruise lines.
The facilities on larger cruise ships make them ideal for families and groups. Spas, beauty parlours, casinos, climbing walls, ziplines, multiple swimming pools with water slides, gyms, exercise classes, cooking lessons, cocktail making sessions, razzle-dazzle shows, the latest hit movies and fine-dining restaurants and super-chefs are just some of the options the bigger ships offer. So there’s no excuse for a single moment of boredom, whatever the makeup of your group.
Larger cruise ships will often have a children’s menu, and buffet-style dining offers nutritious choices even for fussy eaters. Poolside dining is another great option for families. If you need a gluten-free, vegetarian or diabetic menu your cruise line should be able to offer suitable dishes. If anyone in your group has a food allergy, tell the cruise line before you lock in your booking, and make sure the restaurant staff know as well.
Kids clubs are a great option for families, dividing children into age groups and providing suitable activities and services to keep them occupied. The age range for kids clubs is generally from two or three until mid-teens, although some cruise lines cater to even younger children. Teens have their own places to hang out, away from kids’ play areas and parent-friendly pools and bars, and under the watchful eye of experienced activity coordinators. Some cruise lines also offer in-room or group babysitting services.
Where else could you expect a choice of entertainment that might include hi-voltage original production shows, themed parties, rock and roll bands, adults-only comedy clubs, or a silky-smooth crooner in a dimly lit bar? Cruise operators are constantly ramping up their entertainment, and you can expect to be dazzled by their unique and creative shows and performance spaces. Some cruise lines also have dedicated channels screening on the in-room TV, with programs suitable for children.
Planning and booking is easy
Choose your ship and cabin or cabins and you’re done. No need to search through hotel booking sites for the best deal or work out how to get from place to place. Choose the right cruise line and you don’t have to worry about food for the fussy eater in your group, or whether there’ll be enough to keep everyone entertained. Cruise lines are expert at bookings group travel, and if you book enough cabins, you’ll get extra perks, or even a cheaper cabin price.
Discover the world
If you want to experience some of the more exotic parts of the world but concerned about language or food or just getting around, a cruise makes perfect sense. For travellers not so comfortable in a new environment, including small children and older travellers, cruising gives them a familiar base, and familiar food to come back to from your shore excursions. That’s a real confidence booster when you’re far from home.
From Australia and New Zealand through the Pacific, offering mini Sea Break getaways, and taking guests to celebrate Australia’s favourite events, including Melbourne Cup, P&O Cruises has been taking Aussies on their dream holidays for 85 years. Pioneering new destinations, including the South Pacific, and exclusive destinations such as The Conflict Islands, P&O is one of Australia’s favourite cruise lines creating unique experience on the perfect, stress free holiday for all travellers. We’ve got it all covered – from accommodation to included meals, entertainment and more. For more information visit pocruises.com.au, call 13 24 94 or visit your travel agent.