We are considering taking a mediterranean cruise with our kids, ages 10 and 8. We have cruised the carribean together and loved it. Has anybody cruised Europe with children at these ages and do you recommend it:? All words of wisdom are welcome!
Just came back from doing the Mediterranean on the Crown Odessey (Orient Line). There were some kids on board, mostly older. Parents of younger kids (under 11) said their kids were bored and did not appreciate all that there was to see and do off shore. As one kid commented: "All we see each day are ruins, and more ruins and churches even when it isn't Sunday..." Judge for yourself but if I was deciding I wouldn't spend the money for children in the Mediterranean. The greatest vacation I had with my children when they were 8 and 10 was the beaches in Jamaica--Turtle Beach in Ocho Rios in a townhouse right on the beach.
Carnival Cruises seem to cater more to children with their programs on board then Orient does. Part of it might be the destination as well. Just my opinion...hope it is helpful.
Just a thought....I think for the cost of the cruise for a child you could send them to Disneyland with a trusted relative and they would have more fun. As a potential cruise mate I have no desire to listen to children and parents being miserable in a confined area, like a ship, not only are you unhappy but so are the people around you who have left their "beloved" children at home. Treat yourself to a quiet restful vacation.
Just a thought!
We just got back from a 14 night Northern Europe cruise with our 8 & 10 year old. We had a great time and it was a wonderful experience. I don't know why some posters are telling you that it's not a good idea.
This was our first trip to Europe for the 4 of us.
Go and enjoy yourself with your family. I'm sure you'll have a great cruise. We're already booked for the Med next summer too.
Your kids are old enough to have an idea of what they like, so if you choose Royal Caribbean your kids will be able to stay in the kids' programme instead of going ashore if they're not too keen on any particular port of call. When we went ashore in Gran Canaria, which is more of a shopping stop than anything else, our 4-yr old stayed on board. The kids' programme on royal Caribbean is great and both our kids had a great time even though there weren't many other kids on board.
We took our children on a 7 day Mediterranean Cruise two years ago and they not only had a great time, but they met children from all over the world. To this day, one of my sons writes to his pen pal he met on the ship. If you can afford it, do it. We're planning a 12 day Mediterranean cruise for next year. Our children are really looking forward to it, and so am I.
Hi, we took our 2 year old son with us to the Mediterranean cruise on the Golden Princess in Sept. 2001. It was such a wonderful adventure for my son. I did a lot of research and tried to mix "must-see" sites and fun things to do. For example, in Istanbul, we went to the underground cistern near the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque. It was dark, wet, and a little spooky but my son enjoyed seeing the enormous head of Medusa upside down at the end of the path. Great place to beat the heat in the middle of the day. We went to the Grand Bazaar and so many friendly turkish citizens would greet and play with him while we browse through their shops. We took him to see a Belly dancing show. We had a blast and he enjoyed twirling his cloth napkins like the other patrons.
We took public transportation in Athens and he enjoyed flirting with the female passengers (on the buses and trains). Had ice creams along the dock and even treated a Greek girl to ice cream.
Best place was Barcelona. We took him to see a Flamenco dance performance and a bullfight. I think he enjoyed the bullfight a little more than I would like. Then we took the bus touristic and rode on the top open-deck for two hours just to get a glimpse of this large city. We rode two cable car rides (American would call them sky trams or enclosed sky lifts) up to a military fort. We went toy browsing in a model train shop and stamp collecting shop. You must take your kids to Parc Guell. It is fun and colorful and a great photo opportunity to see the city below you.
Anytime you travel with your kids will be a great learning experience. Take the time to plan such an unique vacation and your kids will never forget this special time. We avoiding the ship excursions because my son would not like being confined and hushed all the time and there are always going to be a few grumpy adults who believe cruising is for the "mature" people and kids should stay at home or just go to Disneyland.
Happy Sailing. We are taking my son to the Orient in 5 days aboard the Regal Princess.