Spotlight on Multi-Generational Cruises
Vacations are often about bringing family together, and the further you get away from the “day-to-day” the more memorable your gathering will be! There are lots of options—from camping to resorts, theme parks to cruises. If you’re thinking about a family reunion/multi-generational trip, there’s always someone in the family that takes on doing all the research and making all the plans. That can be a fun process, but it’s also very time-consuming (and sometimes tedious). The problem arises once the actual vacation begins. . .that planner usually ends up getting “stuck” with handling all the on-site needs. . .dining reservations, planning the day, etc. We say “No Fair!”
Two options that take the burden away are all-inclusive resorts and cruises. While we can help plan an all-inclusive resort vacation, we think cruises still have an edge for multi-generational vacations. Why? Here are a handful of reasons we say that:
• Ships offer a wide variety of stateroom types so that each party within the group can enjoy the accommodations that fit their own budget, lifestyle and capacity.
• Onboard you’ll find a broad range of activities that appeal to everyone—toddlers, kids, tweens, teens, young adults, moms and dads, and grandparents will all find something to enjoy
• Dining arrangements can be made so your group is together at meals, but can rotate through different tables each night so you can spend time with everyone in your group.
• Cruises are pretty inexpensive given all that’s included.
• Ships now leave from a lot of different ports meaning you may not even need to fly to get to a ship.
• Cruises can take you to some amazing places. . .like the countries of your family’s heritage
• They make life easy on the organizer or sponsor of the gathering.
o About the only ad hoc decisions you need to make while on the cruise are which excursions or activities you’ll participate when in port. (we can even help you pre-plan those if you wish)
o And we’ll make the pre-planning, booking, financial collection, and arranging special services a breeze (it’s what we do)
All that said, we think there are few “Best Bets” to consider when planning a Multi-generational cruise vacation.
Ship Best Bets
Like Nothing Else Afloat
At the top we recommend the Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas on Royal Caribbean. These two ships are unmatched by anything else afloat and have a number of features that make them perfect for the multi-gen set:
• Oversized Family Staterooms that can accommodate up to six people
• Suites in a private complex—perfect for the highly experienced luxury cruiser in your family that is used to the finer things
• An extraordinary kids and teens program with terrific facilities, staff and activities all day and well into the night
• The DreamWorks Experience
• Mini-golf, FlowRider surf-simulators, a zip line, a carousel, and a huge complement of pools and spas
• Great family entertainment including Broadway-style shows
Search for Oasis and Allure of the Seas cruise vacations here.
The Haven on Norwegian
Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Epic will soon be joined by the Breakaway and Getaway, and these ships are also fantastic for the diversity of accommodations, activities and space the offer. What set’s them apart (and a few of the other Norwegian ships) is what’s known as The Haven complex. This is a two-deck, private area on these ships that features high-end suites, a private pool/courtyard, and it’s own restaurant, lounge and exercise areas. For the well-to-do traveler that wants to take the rest of the family on a cruise, this “ship-within-a-ship” concept means they can enjoy a true high-end luxury experience while still being on a cruise that’s both affordable and enjoyable for the rest of the family.
Start your search for a Norwegian Cruise vacation here.
The Disney Experience
It’s Disney, so the appeal to the youngsters is obvious, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise the the experience for adults. We say that with confidence and you can get more detail from our blog about the Disney Fantasy. In short:
• Disney is a premium cruise experience—definitely a notch up in terms of overall onboard experience.
• The adult-only spaces on their ships will likely surprise you—especially on the Dream and Fantasy. These areas are both spacious and magnificent.
• Their accommodations, especially for a larger family in your group, are terrific. Their family balconies feature split bathrooms so that getting everyone cleaned up isn’t a waiting game.
• The crew truly convey the Disney spirit in a way that’s even more evident than at their parks.
Start your search for a Disney Cruise vacation here
Destination Best Bets
In this category, we have two suggestions—Alaska and River Cruises (Europe and Asia). Here’s why.
• Alaska is truly appealing to all ages and a cruise there is really about the places you see and the memories you’ll make as a family group. There are also CruiseTours that limit the cruise aspect to as little as three days, which can be appealing to a larger group with people that haven’t ever cruised before and have some reservations.
• River cruises are a great “once-in-a-lifetime” trip for a family that wants to explore their ancestry and history, but still spend a good deal of quality time together (and not be stuck on a bus). River cruises really afford the chance to get up close to the destination and see what it was like for family in the ‘old country.’[fblike]