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A Single Parent’s Guide to Cruising


Organizing a trip and traveling with kids requires a lot of work, practice and patience, especially if you’re a single parent. Family vacations are a perfect opportunity to spend some time with your children, but sometimes it takes so much planning, scheduling, rescheduling, and patience that you barely have any time to relax and devote attention to your little ones. But, if you choose to go on a family cruise, your life will be much easier. Cruises include entertainment, services, ready meals, playgrounds and many other super fun activities for children, so that you can also have some “me” time and relax. If you’re a single parent planning to take your kids to a cruise, here are some things to consider.

Don’t smother them
You know that kids love their independence, especially on holidays. Try not to spend every minute of your cruise watching them and trying to control them. Most of the cruise lines have programs and areas designated for kids where they can engage in different activities. They usually have different programs for different ages, and each of these are led by experienced and qualified staff, so you can really relax knowing your kids are safe and entertained.

Have some “me” time
Just as your kids want to have freedom, so do you. Remember, this is a family vacation, which means you are allowed to have some fun too. So, while your kids are playing, you can go explore the ship, listen to a lecture from a guest speaker, take a fun class, relax by the pool or try some cocktails at the bar. Some cruises even have night babysitters if you wish to hit the club.

But still spend some time together

If your kids want to spend the whole cruise at the kids’ club or staring at their smartphones, that’s totally understandable. But, in order to spend some quality time together, you can designate meals as family time. This way, you can ask them about their day and how they’re enjoying the cruise.

Come prepared
No matter where you’re going, always make sure to travel with your and your children’s passports. Also, if you’re divorced, make sure the other parent knows about the trip, when it starts and when it ends. Additionally, some cruise lines require a notarized permission from the other parent. If you miss some of these, it can really ruin your whole vacation, so better come prepared.

Be smart when choosing a trip

There are some shorter and relatively inexpensive cruising options when you just need a quick getaway. These ships usually have a lot of programs and activities that are suitable for all ages including things such as game rooms, pool games, rock climbing, and many others. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more luxurious experience with all-inclusive package and best service, there are luxury cruises that offer all of these and more. These cruises also have programs designed for children, but these kids’ programs are not offered throughout the entire year. Have that in mind when planning your next holiday and browse through cruise deals in 2018, and you’ll surely find a cruise that best fits your needs and wishes.

What about shore excursions?
Some cruisers let parents leave their kids at the kids’ club or day care so that they can enjoy the excursion alone, and others require one parent or guardian to stay onboard. It’s best if you check with your cruise line for details like these. Even though you might feel uncomfortable to leave your children behind, sometimes it’s the only option. Toddlers can’t handle too much walking, and it would be a shame if you missed those beautiful excursions.

So, if you like what you’ve just read, consult with a travel agent or check out some cruise offers online, grab your kids and have a fun, stress-free vacation. Bon voyage!