If you’re lucky enough to have a multigenerational family who want to holiday together, why not think about making your next break a cruise? As more people retire and plan holidays with their children and grandchildren, there’s been an increase in multigenerational cruising – and there are many reasons for this!
Cruises can bring the whole family together and please everyone, from the youngest to the oldest. Plus, with the popularity of cruises growing among people of all ages, companies are getting better at accommodating the wants and needs of diverse groups of people – which means that these types of holidays are only going to get better!
So, if you’re thinking about your next family break, here are eight reasons why cruises make great multigenerational holidays.
1. Cruises are more affordable
There was a time when cruises were only accessible to the most affluent of families, and just the word ‘cruise’ evoked a sense of unaffordable luxury. But, today, cruises are more affordable than ever – and when you’re splitting the cost between multiple people, things become even cheaper.
Because the cost of a cruise includes absolutely everything – accommodation, travel, food and drink, entertainment, and excursions – you get far more bang for your buck, as the cost of all this on a traditional break will almost always be considerably more.
And, as any parents will know, breaks that take place out of term time aren’t cheap, as prices tend to rocket during these times. But multigenerational cruises are specifically designed to take place during the holidays, making it easier and more affordable to take kids away.
Plus, splitting the cost of everything means you may be able to enjoy a longer break than you imagined, or upgraded accommodation, making your holiday even more special.
2. Cruises allow you to see far more
No matter how old we are, many of us never lose that childlike curiosity for seeing the world – and one of the biggest benefits of taking a cruise is that you get to see far more than you would on a land-based break. You can see multiple destinations without having to deal with transfers and flights, allowing you to have all kinds of diverse and varied adventures.
If you do have young children in your extended family, there’s a special kind of joy in seeing them discover new places. On a cruise, the world can open up, new cultures can be appreciated, history comes to life, and you can re-experience the beauty of the world through their young eyes.
Travel is also an incredibly educational experience, and as children learn more about the world, they learn more about themselves. For parents and grandparents, being able to see children they love expand their horizons and grow and develop is especially meaningful, and another way a cruise can be an unforgettable holiday experience.
3. Cruises cater for all diets and tastes
It’s rare to find a multigenerational family who all want to eat the same thing! The taste preferences of children and teenagers often differ from adults, but cruises offer something for everyone.
While many cruise ships still have a main dining room, most also have plenty of other restaurants that serve all different types of cuisine – from Mexican, Indian, and Asian to pizza, pasta, and burgers. Most restaurants have special kids’ menus too, so whether the children you’re travelling with are picky eaters or adventurous foodies, there’ll be something to whet their appetite!
Dietary restrictions are also taken care of, so if any family members are vegan or gluten-free, or have any other food allergies, they’ll be well catered for – just be sure to notify the ship in advance.
Plus, having such a wide variety of places to eat means you have more opportunities for varied meals. You can eat together as one big family, or break up into smaller groups and have your own culinary experiences.
4. Cruises are stress-free and convenient
Travel can be stressful, even when you’re not travelling with your whole family and young children. There are flight delays and cancellations, airport queues, lost baggage, weight restrictions, hotel check-ins, taxi bookings…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Plus, when you’re travelling to more than one destination, things can get even more challenging.
But a cruise provides you with a truly stress-free holiday. Everything is taken care of for you, from meals and accommodation to excursions and entertainment. All you need to do is turn up! Not only is this convenient, but it also means everyone can relax and focus on what’s important: spending quality time with each other and enjoying the experience.
Travel stress is minimised even further when you remember that you don’t have to pack, unpack, and repack multiple times to see many different destinations. Just unpack once and have all manner of exciting travel experiences.
5. There’s entertainment for everyone
A tricky thing about land-based multigenerational holidays is that it can be hard to find activities that everyone wants to do. Also, if you’re on a beach holiday with bad weather, you’re often stuck indoors – and if you have disgruntled children in tow, this isn’t fun for anyone.
But on a cruise, there’s plenty to keep you entertained – no matter the age or weather. Young children will be spoilt for choice, with a whole host of activities to get stuck into, from creative arts and crafts to storytime and trampolining. Most cruise ships also have on-board waterparks, where kids will have a blast splashing around and zooming down slides.
Some cruise ships have dedicated children’s programs and kids clubs that offer a mix of structured and unstructured activities, usually with a side of education mixed in with the fun. There are often special spaces just for teenagers and older children, too, where they can watch films, play games, try out sports facilities, have a go at activities like DJing, and hang out with other teens.
There’s just as much for adults too, from bingo, bars, and casinos to fitness centres and spas, themed dance nights, and adult comedy. And, if that weren’t enough, there’s also plenty of entertainment that the whole family can enjoy together, from cupcake decorating and line dancing to table tennis tournaments.
6. A cruise gives you room to spread out
Just because you’re all on holiday together doesn’t mean you need to spend every waking hour together. No matter how much you may love your kids and grandkids, it’s only natural to want to have some quiet time while you’re on holiday, whether that’s with a partner or on your own. And, a cruise gives you the space and opportunity to break off when you need a bit of room.
If you’re hoping to enjoy some adult-only time, most cruise ships offer supervised activities when you’re docked at a port, allowing the grown-ups to go off and do their own thing, knowing the kids are safe and happy. Alternatively, you can take your grandchildren off their parents’ hands for a while, and give your own children some time by themselves.
Off-board, the same applies. You can choose to explore a port or town separately from your family, wandering around at your own pace, eating at the restaurants that appeal to you, and checking out the attractions that interest you the most. Or you can explore as a whole family, and experience everything together.
The way you spend your cruise is up to you – but it can be reassuring to know that if you want some space or independence, you can always break away.
7. You can enjoy private family activities
If you’re travelling with a large family, you can usually do your own thing when it’s time to explore. Many families prefer not to join the rest of the passengers on scheduled activities, and want to spend time together as a family – and that’s something most cruise lines are happy to accommodate.
You can pre-arrange private shore excursions like wine tasting, art tours, or treks; keeping costs low by booking a group rate. Or you can simply enjoy some independent exploration, and wander around at your own leisure, as one big family.
Being able to enjoy private family activities off the ship means you’ll create precious memories on land as well as on sea.
8. There are so many destinations to choose from
Finally, cruises make great multigenerational holidays because there are so many destinations to choose from. Being able to visit so many diverse places – and see multiple destinations in one go – means you have an excellent chance of pleasing absolutely every member of your family – no matter how many of you there are.
If you’re a family of beach lovers, cruising along the tropical islands of the Caribbean is an excellent choice. And, because there are so many exciting and varied offshore activities available, from hiking to zip-lining to simply kicking back on the beach, everyone will hopefully be happy…whether you’re after action and adventure or some lazy relaxation!
If your family is into culture and history, cruising around the Mediterranean should go down well. And when you’re not stopping off and strolling around atmospheric old cities, there’s plenty of time to soak up the sun on the beach or the swimming pool on board. Foodies will also have plenty of opportunities to explore the local cuisine.
For nature lovers, remote wildernesses like Alaska are breathtaking – and seeing breaching whales and soaring eagles is just as special to an eight-year-old as an 80-year-old. If you’re unsure what to do once the ship docks at a port, a staff member will be able to help, from setting you up with a cruise excursion to helping you arrange private tours.
If you’re planning a multigenerational holiday, we hope this article has shown you why a cruise might be the most logical – and exciting – choice.
Cruises have entertainment for all ages, provide delicious meals for all tastes and diets, and give you the space and opportunity to spread out as individuals or spend time together as a family. And, when you’re travelling as a big group, cruises just make financial sense too!
Plus, cruises allow you to see far more of the world than you would on a traditional holiday. They also remove all the stress and hassle of holiday planning, leaving you free to enjoy your break and focus on making cherished memories.
Are you planning a multigenerational holiday – and are you tempted by a cruise? Have you been on a cruise before, and if so, what did you make of it? We’d love to hear about your travel experiences in the comments below!