I am taking a poll...What is the best family vacation you have ever had and why.
I am considering taking a vacation to somewhere tropical with my kids and I was wondering if an all inclusive or a cruise is preferred. My kids are 13, 12, 8 and 6.
And without being overly nosey-about how much did your favorite family vacation cost?
Since we discovered cruising, we find those to be the best family vacations we've had. Now are kids are older and actually go on their own cruises. I'd definitely consider trying one with your family, bet they all enjoy it. Both Royal Caribbean and Carnival have great ships for traveling with families/kids. As to the cost, thats hard to say, all depends on the type of cabin you book, do you need airfare?? If you have some ideas of what ships or a time frame you are looking at, try posting in the "bargain finder" here at Cruisemates and get some ideas:
I'm the family cruise editor here and I've taken my 9 year old on 13 cruises -- all of which we loved. Your children are a great age to cruise since there are some excellent youth and teen programs at sea for them to enjoy for free. Check out Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas class of ships -- they have rock walls, in line skating tracks, basketball courts, ice rinks, mini golf, pools, etc. Teens really like all the active options on this class of ships.
Good luck with your decision!
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Although we have yet to travel with the family, I can't imagine an All- Inclusive being less expensive for your size family than a cruise. We have done all inclusives which keep in mind include alchol. You have to be pretty big drinkers to warrent the prices you have to pay and for the size of accommodations. Breezes properties would probably be the best to compare. The only thing you are getting that is different are the "drinks" and water sports equipment. Cruise ships offer entertainment and security that your kids are on board and having a great time with others. You can economize with free beverages available at the buffet all day and "bring your own" to supplement your personal needs. There are family cabins (two rooms) plus verandah which would offer you more space: Carnival, Princess, Celebrity to name a few lines. Newer ships have great variety of things to do and places to play for adults and children. Keeping the kids busy will give the parents so free time too. We are booked with our daughter and the grand children for next Winter. Everyone is so excited to be finally cruising with us.
Hi Mommabee...my family just returned from a cruise to the western caribbean. We all had a blast. Our group included 6 adults and 5 children ages 11, 10, 8, 8, and 7. One big family vacation. We opt for cruising because there is something for everyone (even my father who is in a wheelchair). We saved a lot by booking our own excursions and transportation. We have only done one land vacation together...and i'll just say we probably won't be doing that again after our eyes have been opened to cruising!!!
We have not done a land based all-inclusive yet with our daughter because most limit the age to over 4 and she is three. She has been on 5 cruises and will do her 6th this Sept. We love cruises, she loves cruises. We do the economy thing and check prices and go off-season. I take my own soda (not because of cost but for Pepsi) and we buy our airfares online. We have found it very reasonable to cruise. I have checked the all-inclusive prices as we are getting close to her 4th birthday but it looks like we would spend a lot more and I'm not sure the quality and activities would be there.
We have done NCL and Carnival with her and love both. NCL gives you a break on the cost and tips for kid's under 13 so that helps. with Carnival it is the same cost for her as taking another adult but if you can manage to go off-season the price is good. Visit the website of some of the cruise lines and look at some of the online travel agents to see what you would get for your money. Also, the cruisecritic message boards has a really nice section on family cruising.