Going on a cruise can be great fun, but it’s also a wonderful opportunity for bonding. If you’re taking a cruise as a family with Thomson cruises or other operators, you’re sure to have a good time. However, it’s a good idea to think ahead and plan everything — especially if you have young children. This could make the difference between playful bonding and stressful parenting.
So, how to begin? A good first step is to get your kids sold on the prospect of spending time on a cruise. Don’t just fleetingly tell them you’re doing it — you need to really get them interested. Tell them stories about how fun it will be to roam around on the high seas, of the fun activities available on a ship, of the adventures awaiting on the ports you’ll go through. Get them involved in the research process right from the beginning; that will help get some healthy communication going.
The reason why it’s important to make the planning process a family matter is because this will get your children engaged in the upcoming adventure. Failing to do so will increase the chances of the little ones getting impatient and bored, which in turn will work very much against the spirit of enjoying some quality family time.
Aside from planning ahead together with your kids, it’s also important to be flexible. The schedule should work more as a guideline than a set of written rules. The whole point of going on a cruise is relaxing, so there’s no reason to be uptight if something doesn’t go exactly as planned. Also, remember that most cruises feature children’s programs that you can take advantage of when you need a break from your intensive parenting duties.
Finally, you may want to come up with some backup plans if, for some reason, everything else seems to fail. This means loading up on comic books, toys, maybe some video-games, diverse snacks, music players and so on. These will be useful decoys in those times when the kids seem to be getting annoyed with the idea of being “stuck” on a boat. Don’t by any means make these diversions the focus of your cruise, but make sure to keep them at hand as a last resort.
The single most important thing to remember is to get your kids excited about the idea of going on a cruise. Do not assume they’ll just have to enjoy it, because that kind of attitude is unlikely to translate in a good experience out on the sea. If you can get them looking forward to the holiday, the rest should be plain sailing!