Cruising with small children

(7 Posts)
jacksgrannie Sat 09-Jul-11 22:02:56

We have just returned from our first cruise with P & O, which was a great success. It was an adults only cruise, but we spoke to lots of people on board who had taken their children/grandchildren cruising and they had loved it.

We are hoping to take our son, dil and two grandsons (6 and 2) on holiday next year (will have to be August).

Can anyone recommend any cruise lines/ships which are particularly good for children. What sort of itinerary would be best? Would it be best to go for a large ship (more children for them to play with)? Any tips gratefully received.

Cunard. We've taken DS1 on 6, one on QE2 and the rest on QM2. I cannot recommend it highly enough. We've done East Bound Transatlantics from New York, 2 Round Britains and a Caribbean with him. The nursery/childcare facilities are brilliant and the staff are amazing.

DS1 is coming up 6 and whinging to go on another, but until DS2 turns 2 we won't be back. sad. Once he turns 2 though we intend to be back onboard. grin

Book as soon as you can, the ships are very, very popular with families. Our friends are already booked. Quad cabins tend to be inside, but if you book on certain voyages the children travel for free! Cunards children facilities are a very well kept secret and the same families travel again and again.

Childrens tea is offered at 5, there is group baby sitting from 6-midnight, so the adults get chance to be adults. Frankly DS1 would spend every second of the cruise in the nursery if he could. He LOVES it!

We have always made friends onboard, DS1 is still intouch with his Canadian "girlfriend" from last year.

Book it, you won't regret it.

If you Son and family don't want to go, I'll come instead. grin

Aftereightsaremine Sun 10-Jul-11 07:38:26

We have cruised with Disney a few times. The children eat with you which is lovely. It's so family friendly. My dcs love having so many characters on board, an autograph book is a must. The only down side is days at sea when the pools get very very crowded but we think it's worth it & have booked another one for next year.

ajandjjmum Sun 10-Jul-11 07:41:12

I think Ventura is focussed on family cruising and have a higher proportion of family suitable cabins.

Our DC were older when we first cruised, but these have always been successful holidays.

Cunard definitely. Hermione has said most of it but I'd just add that the QM2 is far and away the best of the 3 ships to take children on. The QV and QE, although they 'welcome' children, they actually don't in practice. We go with 6 adults and four children and on neither ship could we could we book suitable staterooms. They have a max of 3 people per room and my brother has 3 children. We were told on several occasions by Cunard staff on board that this is to discourage people from bringing children although they do have the same facilities as the QM2.

On the other hand, the QM2 is utterly brilliant for children. Ours ranged from 8 to 2 and they all adored it. We do transatlantic every couple of years and dd (3) still talks about it now and loves watching videos on youtube. As Hermione said, it's understated. You don't get the climbing walls and big water slides etc but the kids' clubs are fantastic, the children adore them. The staff are great with the children, always treat them with respect, remembering their names and what they like etc. In return the children have always felt comfortable and have behaved impeccably.

The rest of my group are going again next month. We're not because I'm pg and unbearably seasick without the injection and DH, DD and I are absolutely gutted about it.

I used the travelbands last year when I was pg. The weather was calm from NYC to Southampton, not a ripple all week!

jacksgrannie Sun 10-Jul-11 11:09:29

Thanks v much for the replies. Hermione - QM2 sounds fab. Need to do the research now. DH not too keen on transatlantic though - thinks it would be too much time at sea. Will do some research on itineraries. Thanks again.

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