All Hands On Deck!

March 21, 2016

Just the thought of vacation should be relaxing, right? Unfortunately, getting into the weeds of actually planning one can get tricky, particularly when you’ve committed to taking the whole family along. Finding a venue that satisfies multiple generations’ interests and mobility levels can be a huge challenge – how will Grandpa get his afternoon snooze when the kids are ready for their 3rd round of mini golf?

A family cruise ( could be the answer you’re looking for. Since cruises are designed to please the multitudes, they offer a unique opportunity for vacationers of all ages to relax when they want and how they want, without having to sacrifice individual preferences. They’re also a great way to bring the generations together in a relaxing setting, away from the pull of real world responsibilities; and unlike, say, renting a vacation home together, there’s no heavy lifting on your part. Here are some benefits to consider:

Family Meals Together: Most families struggle to align weeknight schedules to eat together; Sunday dinners are a wonderful tradition but require some effort – particularly if Grandpa lives elsewhere and has to be driven to and from. Cruises allow family members to enjoy meals together that draw on a variety of cuisines (so there’s usually something for everyone), offered in multiple settings all over the ship. So you and your family can enjoy a sit-down meal in the dining room one night, with more casual poolside fare the next – no cooking or clean up required!

Games and Activities: If Grandma has always wanted to teach the kids shuffleboard, now’s her chance. Cruises offer a wide variety of group activities and games for all ages and skill levels; they’re a great venue for cross-generational play as well as a chance for seniors to enjoy watching grandkids cavort in more youthful venues from the comfort and safety of a lounge chair.

Shoreline Visits: Sightseeing can be a lot of fun, but also somewhat challenging if an elderly relative is struggling with mobility or cognitive issues. Cruise ship port visits allow families traveling together flexibility around who leaves the ship and who stays on board. Most cruise lines plan plenty for people to do who prefer to stay aboard ship on docked days, so they don’t feel like they’re missing out.

Family Entertainment: Today’s cruises offer a spectacular variety of entertainment options that are designed to appeal across generations. Broadway musicals, ice shows, aerialists, stand up comedy – there really is something for just about everyone, and enough for people to try something different each night. And if Grandpa needs a little rest from the grandkids, most cruise companies offer youth programs for kids to keep them busy a few hours a day (Carnival features CarnivalKids for the little ones, and Club 02 for teens).

Want more information? Head to Business Insider for info on the 10 most popular cruise lines.