Source: Carnival Cruise Line

Cruising is a fun and convenient way to explore different parts of the world.  With so many things to see and do – both on board and shoreside – the options are endless for an action-packed and memorable family holiday!

If you’re thinking about booking a family cruise and not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered! Follow these travel tips to ensure your upcoming family holiday is nothing but smooth sailing!

1. Do your homework!

Make sure you research different cruise options before booking your family holiday. Have a look at what each cruise offers for example, Kid’s Clubs, family activities, total number of sea days and ports of call. Age requirements and amenities specifically for kids vary between different cruise lines, so it’s best to find this out before making a booking.

Get in touch with a Travel Agent who specialises in cruises. Getting expert advice in which ships cater for families and which ones will best suit the cruising experience you a looking for will ultimately help you decide which cruise is best for you and your family.

2. Don’t Overdo It

It can be challenging to find that sweet spot between packing EVERYTHING including the kitchen sink, and under packing and missing the cruise essentials!

When it comes to packing, versatile cruise wear is the best way to go – lightweight attire that you can dress up or down or layer up if it gets chilly of an evening Don’t forget comfortable shoes and a backpack for exploring on Port days.

Pack an extra pair of swimmers or two, so you have more time to dry off between swims.

Powerpoints are quite limited in guest rooms, so taking a power board to charge up multiple electronic devices at once is super handy.

Worried about finding the Kids on a big ship without mobile coverage? Pack some walkie talkies!

It can be hard finding good fitting gear for Kids, so BYO snorkel gear, life jacket or floaties.

Once you have checked in and boarded, it can take several hours before you can access your room and your luggage. Take a carry-on bag with you, filled with everything you might need to day one of the cruise e.g. passports, cruise documents, swimmers and sunscreen.

3. Slip Slop Slap & Stay Healthy

Sea sickness can really put a dampener on a fun holiday! To acclimatise yourself, spend as much time as possible out on deck, using the horizon as a point to maintain your equilibrium. To help reduce the likelihood of developing sea sickness, book an outside cabin mid-ship (the natural-balance point) where there is less motion. Seek advice from your doctor about preventing motion sickness whilst at sea. Even if you’re a not prone to sea sickness, it’s always a good idea to pack some over-the-counter medication – just in case!

Washing hands regularly and using an antiseptic hand gel can help keep your family healthy while cruising.

Sunscreens provide essential protection from the sun, however they have been found to be extremely harmful to our beloved coral reefs and marine life due to their chemical composition. Luckily, there are now many eco-friendly sunscreens available, so you can keep protecting your skin and our oceans at the same time!

Source: Cruise Critic

4. Get The Kids Involved

A cruise holiday offers the perfect opportunity to spend some quality family time together. When planning your cruise holiday, get the kids involved and let them pick out a couple of on-board and shore-side activities. It will help create a better cruise experience for all family members!

Source: Cruise Critic

5. Take Advantage of Kid’s Clubs

Most ships have Kid’s Clubs catering for 2-17 year olds and these are split into age groups. They are highly secure, professionally run and included in the fare. Parent’s often report kids didn’t want to leave the Kids Clubs because they were having too much fun! Babysitting options are also available on board at an additional fee.

With peace of mind that the Kids are being well looked after and having the time of their lives, take the opportunity to enjoy some alone time;  whether it’s a couples massage, romantic dinner or cocktail at sunset!

6. Allow An Extra Day Pre Cruise

Avoid the stress of flying in the same day as your family cruise departs (potential flight delays, luggage going astray!) and consider arriving a day or two before you set sail. This will ensure you are refreshed and relaxed before you set sail and also gives you a chance to spend some time exploring the embarkation port.

Situated directly across the road from Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal, Holiday Inn Old Sydney is the perfect pre-cruise family accommodation choice.

Holiday Inn Old Sydney is located in the heart of The Rocks, a historic harbourside precinct which is renowned for its old-world charm, historic buildings, twisting cobblestone laneways and weekend markets.

Within walking distance to Sydney iconic landmarks – The Sydney Harbour Bridge and The Opera House – CBD and the trains and ferries at Circular Quay; Holiday Inn Old Sydney is the ideal base from which to discover all Sydney has to offer with your little explorers! Or put your feet up and take in the panoramic views of Sydney Harbour while the kids enjoy splashing around in our rooftop pool! Kids will also enjoy the hotel’s Kid’s Corner and complimentary “Little Big Travellers” Activity Pack.

Kids under 12 also stay and eat free at family-friendly Holiday Inn Old Sydney.

You can find out more about family pre-cruise accommodation at Holiday Inn Old Sydney here.