But summer vacation is coming up and I am thinking about fun stuff we can do if we can get enough time together for a trip, and I'm thinking about cruises again. What experiences have you had? What kinds of things do they have for kids to do? Would you go on a cruise again?
I have been on a few cruises, always with my whole family (meaning Grandparents, Parents, Aunts/Uncles, Cousins.) I have always enjoyed these vacations but I will highlight some things you might want to consider.
- The cruise can change the itinerary at any time for any reason they see fit. I have never been on a cruise that stuck to the original itinerary. Can't speak for all cruises ever, but that has been my experience. One time the change was pretty bad. We were scheduled to go to Grand Cayman, but instead we went to the Dominican Republic. Waaaaay different. Grand Cayman is very much a tourist destination, the Dominican Republic does not have the infrastructure to handle tourism ie there is trash every where, dirt roads, few to no stop signs etc.
- You are on the boat the majority of the vacation. If you like seeing other places then I think traveling straight to the place might be a better option.
- Which cruise line? I have cruised Carnival and Royal Carribean. I thought I would like RC, but ended up much preferring Carnival, but aren't they the ones who have all the recent troubles? So that would worry me since they would be my top choice.
- I love the food and entertainment on Carnival but I have heard other people who like the laid back casual nature of RC. RC has the gimmicky things you see on the commercials but be ready to wait in line for those types of things. Yes, lines.
- I prefer for the cruise to be all inclusive when it comes to food. My mom has taken several cruises and says that a lot of times 'freestyle' means paying for the freedom of choosing your own thing like sushi for dinner or whatever.
- I never go on the tours off the boat. I always walk until I find a beach or walk until I am in town. I get a taste of the local scenery and feel like I have had a more authentic experience.
In light of everything in the news lately I would actually not take a cruise because one thing I do know is that they do not refund you for anything. Once you are on that boat you are kinda screwed!
And also, don't forget your passport! Don't bother trying a birth certificate because they may not accept it! They denied my aunt access to the boat a few months ago when she was ready to board with her son because they said her BC was not authentic....it was her original BC from the hospital.
There are great things like the feeling of being in the middle of the ocean that you can't get on any other Vaca, but there are downsides, too!