Cruising is the perfect family-friendly vacation, but many child-less couples and groups of friends are discouraged by the idea of a ship swarming with children.
Read the reviews on any cruise line, and one of the main gripes is when children are allowed to wander through the ship, bored and causing trouble.
They usually end up in the adult-only facilities without supervision, and often their parents are unaware (or simply indifferent) to the fact that their little darlings are causing trouble.
Itineraries that are for longer than a week are usually less likely to have as many children onboard, and if you choose an itinerary that gets off the beaten track such as the Amazon or Galapagos you’ll also find less children on the ship.
Here are a few more ways to choose a cruise that won’t be completely overrun by children:
Cruise Outside of School Holidays
Traveling during the school holidays is expensive. Prices for flights skyrocket, so if you need to travel to your departure point you’ll need to factor in this expense. Cruises are also often booked out a year in advance for the school holidays, and this is the time of the year where you’ll find ships completely overrun with children.
Try to avoid cruising too close to the holiday periods, as parents are now pulling kids out of school a week early, or sending them back a week late. If you can take a vacation in the middle of the school term you’ll find far less kids, and often the kids who are cruising will be a little older.
Choose a Cruise Catered to Kids
This may sound contradictory, but let me explain.
There’s nothing worse than bored kids, who will usually run around the ship, hanging out on the stairs and taking over the pools. On family orientated cruises like Disney, there are so many activities and facilities for kids that they’re actually entertained all day. The cruise line goes out of the way to keep them busy, so you won’t need to worry about kids running rampant and can relax while they’re being entertained.
Not only will they be out of the way, but you’ll be able to use the almost-empty adult-only facilities, and pay less than if you were choosing a more upmarket cruise line.
Try an Adult-Only Cruise
While most cruise lines limit the number of kids allowed onboard, sometimes you just want to completely relax and not worry about kids cannonballing in the adult-only spa, and babies crying during dinner.
Try P&O, who have three ships that are exclusively for adults. The Ardonia, The Oriana, and The Oriana sail around the world, and feature the best in fine dining, elegant surroundings, and extensive art collections onboard.
Sail with a Luxury Cruise Line
Azamara, Oceania Cruises, Silversea Cruises and Seabourn are luxury cruise lines that will ensure you have a truly once-in-a-lifetime vacation. While they don’t outright ban kids, the higher prices and lack of child-friendly facilities (you won’t find any kids clubs) mean that families with small children usually go elsewhere, and you can cruise in peace.