You know what they say….never say never…and so Easter just gone we went on our very first family cruise with P&O on the family friendly Ventura to Spain, Portugal and France. I have to be honest….I wasn’t sure how it would work out for us but it turns out that a cruise makes a great family holiday. So much so, that I would actually book another one in a heartbeat (finances permitting). So why am I now banging the drum loud and proud about why a cruise makes a great family holiday? Here’s why:
The childcare during the day is excellent
I have to admit I was a little reluctant about the notion of leaving my four year old daughter in the Kids Club but after seeing how happy my daughter was there any anxiety I had about it totally disappeared. I can’t comment on all cruise providers but The Kids Club with P&O on our holiday was really well thought out with a great programme, the staff really attentive and engaging, and quite honestly my daughter would have spent every hour of every day in there if she could have. She was literally so eager to get there and hang out with her new chums every day.
You can have carefree nights thanks to the night nursery
Again, I won’t lie…I was pretty anxious at first about using the night nursery provision where you put your children to sleep at night before transferring them back to your room after your evening out aboard the ship, and this might not work for all children but it worked a dream for our daughter who was three turning four at the time. She went to sleep happily there every night once we settled here there with the other children much like a very well thought out sleepover with separate sleeping stations separated by curtains – probably preferable to going to sleep by herself in a cabin! – and whilst you’re given a pager so the night nursery staff can contact you in case they should need to, we never actually had to use it, not once.
Which means you can actually have a life!
The two factors above meant that hurrah! we actually could have a holiday as parents. Most family holidays you come back feeling like you need another holiday but not this one. Time by the pool by yourself reading a book, enjoying the day and evening entertainment, a workout in the gym, and even some pamper time in the spa….what more could you want?
Meals are entirely flexible
One thing that was hugely helpful was that you could cater to little one’s and their hunger in a number ways. You can rock up to the breakfast buffet anytime or sit down and have table service. You can dine as a family in more formal setting or take the kids along to the kids tea. There is always something to eat somewhere which means you never have to listen to that I’m hunggggggggry whine, not once, all holiday.
Exploring is (almost) hassle free
There’s no denying that it’s just so easy waking up in the morning, and being at a different port in a different country. You just trundle off the ship and go off exploring. If the kids aren’t into it you can just trundle back to the ship a couple of hours later meaning you can sate your wanderlust and your child’s desire to splash around onboard in the pool every day. Everyone’s happy…it’s the ultimate compromise. I should also add that the no flying factor is HUGE. I have never known such a stress free embarkation or disembarkation on any holiday which really makes for a good beginning and end to your holiday.
The children truly love it!
My daughter was practically begging us to go on another cruise as soon as it finished. I told her she would have to go out and get a job. But honestly, when everyone’s as happy as this, it’s a bit of a no-brainer as to what I’ll be doing again this time next year….I’m already eyeing up the routes as we speak.
Have you considered going on a cruise as a family? Do share in a comment below.
*This post is not sponsored in any way but my own honest account of our cruise experience. Pictures credited to P&O Cruises.