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Going on a cruise with kids?

(17 Posts)
Northerner7777 Fri 21-Feb-14 16:15:15

Been looking at a holiday and came across a Thompsons Cruise. Never been on one before but would be a good experience. Bit pricey though especially with 9 of us.
Youngest would be 7 when we went with the oldest 19. The rest all somewhere in between.
Is a cruse a good idea or should we just have a fortnight in the sun?

Creamycoolerwithcream Fri 21-Feb-14 16:33:03

I've been on 5 cruises with my DC and have really enjoyed them. It depends on what your family enjoy. If your children like jumping in and out of big swimming Pools or all day on the beach then a cruise may not be a good option for you. They work for my family because of the mix of being able to sunbathe and sightseeing in a new place nearly every day. The evenings on cruises are a lot better, in my opinion than in a hotel. We usually have a cocktail, 3 or 4 course meal, watch a show, go to the casino or have drink in a bar or watch a comedy show. There is usually a lot going on during the day such as ice carving demonstrations, quizzes, clubs for the children etc. I've been with Disney, royal Caribbean, ncl and carnival and am actually trying a Thomson one this summer. From what I have read it sounds like a good value 3 star cruise as opposed to Disney which was a 5 star experience.

revealall Fri 21-Feb-14 21:31:41

How many are late teens? This is the age that would least enjoy a cruise I think as it's mostly young families (under 16 and couples). The 19 year old won't fit into either camp.If the ports are good for them (ie beach ones if they like lounging or somewhere they want to see) then it might beworth it.
Think everyone else will love it. Boats are fun!

Northerner7777 Fri 21-Feb-14 21:48:39

They will all be under 14 when we go except for the twins (16) and the 19 year old.
I have no doubt that the youngest lot will like it but now you mention it not sure about the older ones...
Think a little sit down with them all will be the best way forwards. May help to decide if its a good idea and if so, where we go.

DramaAlpaca Fri 21-Feb-14 22:55:54

I'd agree that the older teens may not enjoy a cruise holiday. We did a cruise when the DC were 14, 13 & 10 and that went really well, but when we went again when they were 18, 17 & 14 the older two got very bored as they felt they were too old for the activities & the eldest wasn't allowed to join in anyway as he was over 18 sad

yourlittlesecret Sat 22-Feb-14 15:32:33

A lot of parents with older teens have recommended cruising to me as being great for older teens confused. We have never been before but this year have booked a Thomson cruise and stay. DS15 and 18 so I hope this isn't a mistake.........
As far as activities go they are unlikely to be interested in kids clubs or entertainment. They do like adult sporty / water activities but we also have a week in a hotel for that.

KateShmate Sat 22-Feb-14 15:48:20

I'd say that cruises are just as good for older teenagers! Cruises are very relaxed, and I think teenagers would enjoy being able to have a lie in, laze around in their room for a bit, pop down for breakfast when they want to, and then go and lie next to a pool listening to their iPod.
Not to mention the food 24/7 ;)

DramaAlpaca Sat 22-Feb-14 16:04:24

To clarify my earlier post, I think as long as you choose your cruise line carefully you should be fine taking older teenagers.

The second cruise we were on that my older teenagers didn't really enjoy was with P&O which is quite a formal cruise line, but it was chosen and paid for by the grandparents who like that kind of thing. My almost 19 year old wasn't allowed to join in any of the teenage get-togethers as he was considered an adult, so he felt a bit isolated. He'd only agreed to go to keep the grandparents happy, but ended up flying home halfway through because he missed his friends. A more family-friendly cruise would have been better for him, I'm sure.

The 24/7 food went down well, though grin and the teens did enjoy the ports of call.

Northerner7777 Sat 22-Feb-14 22:49:10

We have had a look at a cruise and stay from Thompsons. It looks good. A week touring unknown places and a week in the sun. A win win for everyone. Plus, as its been said, 24/7 food where teenagers are concerned is a huge advantage smile

Ive heard Thompsons is very family friendly and they have a sports deck and a swimming pool which is good for the older lot. Younger lot have kids clubs and lots of other things they can do. Plus evening shows for the whole family! Sounds like the sort of holiday that would suit us.

I think a week in the sun swayed it though, especially for the eldest (although he was really getting interested in all the new places we will hopefully be seeing). All the rest seem up for it. grin

foxdongle Sun 23-Feb-14 08:21:09

Hi our kids love cruising, we are due to go on our 4th in may.
they are now 12 and 14. they first went on a cruise aged 6 and 8.

They say cruises have been their best holidays even piping Florida to the post! They love the food ,entertainment, kids clubs, sports/swimming, seeing wild dolphins once when we were out at sea, all the excitement of arriving at a new port etc.

our friends cruise and one of their daughters was 17 on their last one - they hardly saw her, she made some friends and was out at the late night disco every night and spent her days in the spa/chatting by the pool/having meals with friends etc.

our nephew has also always loved cruising he is now 21 and still goes with his parents/us but takes his girlfriend along too now.
we have cruised with Thomson and it was great.
I bet you would all love it!

Creamycoolerwithcream Sun 23-Feb-14 08:37:01

Northerner, we booked a cruise and stay from Turkey for all the reasons you gave. We have teenagers and thought a week cruising and a week all inclusive in Turkey was the best of both worlds.

yourlittlesecret Sun 23-Feb-14 09:24:36

Northerner7777 we are doing the Thomson Mediterranean cruise with a week in Majorca. We have never been to Barcelona, Herculaneum and Pompeii or any of the other ports.
I've never fancied a cruise because I don't like the idea of compulsory formal dining. I chose it because Thomson seem to have a reputation for informality and a mainly British clientèle. This would not matter to me but it does matter to teenage boys who would like to meet and chat up girls. Also we have a beach week to look forward to in case the cruise is not a hit.
DS1 is 18 and looking forward to being allowed to go to the ship casino hmm.

MillyMollyMama Sun 23-Feb-14 12:51:29

If you are worried about expense, OP, do check out how much the shore excursions will cost for all 7 of you. Could be a fortune! Also check the tipping policy. Again, could be a fortune.

I do actually think your 19 year old could be isolated as he may be too old for the teen activities. I think you need to check what he can do or he will be with you all the time. There may be loads of 19 year olds on the cruise, but my suspicion is there won't be.

Creamycoolerwithcream Sun 23-Feb-14 12:59:49

Thomson has tips included and excursions are about half the price of royal caribbean ones but still they really do add up. Obviously lots of ports are in places you don't need to book a trip.

revealall Sun 23-Feb-14 15:58:36

Actually that is a good point about excursions as it won't be as simple to DIY, as say a family of our.
Check out Cruise Critic (or on here!) for which ports are easy to do trips yourself. Generally if it says something like "Civitavecchia for Rome" it'll be more trouble than a city stop like Barcelona or a beach resort like Villefranche.

MelanieCheeks Sun 23-Feb-14 17:55:41

Cruise critic is a great source of info!

Most ports will have hop on hop off buses to allow you to explore at your own pace.

I've cruised with Thompson twice- very relaxed, plenty to do for all ages.

Northerner7777 Mon 24-Feb-14 16:40:24

Thanks very much everyone. Had a look at all the critics and the excursions etc. Seems like its what everyone wants so were going for it. A Thompsons cruise and stay in the Med. Bit pricey but will be worth it if it is the last family holiday we have while there all kids and we got a good discount deal
Thanks for all the insight to experiences and opinions.

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