If you thought cruise holidays were strictly reserved for the elderly and the odd eccentric millionaire, think again. Cruise holidays are now very popular with families, and if you are thinking of introducing the family to the joys of such a holiday, here are some essential factors to bear in mind.

1.Make Sure The Kids Fully Understand The Tour Program – There’s definitely no turning back once the floating hotel leaves the first port, and it is therefore essential that your kids are fully conversant with the activities that are available for the duration of the holiday. A market leader like the Royal Caribbean, for example, are particularly focused on the family atmosphere, with all kinds of water sports, indoor gaming rooms and even treasure hunts to keep the kids amused, and with activities suitable for all ages from 3-16, there’s something for everyone.

2.Look For Real Life Cartoon Characters – Every child has their favourite cartoon characters, and some cruise lines adopt live creations of the best known cartoon characters, such as all the Disney characters that we all know and love, and a few more besides. They usually have live performances that will ensure your kids are riveted to the stage, and with just about every cartoon character represented, they will probably watch every show.

3. On-Board Child-Care Facilities – While you want to spend time with the children, there will be evenings when you and your partner would like to take in a cabaret, and with on board child care, you can relax in the evenings, knowing the children are being monitored. This especially important if you have a young baby or toddler, and with babysitting services, you can have the best of both worlds. There are informative blogs you can find after a brief Google search that will tackle on things to consider when booking a cruise holiday.

4. Check Out Children’s Menus – Some children are very fussy eaters, so you ideally want a cruise with a child-friendly menu. You know your children better than anyone, so make sure the kid’s menu offers some variety and includes some of your kids’ favourites.

5. Look For Family-Oriented Evening Entertainment – Obviously, there will be some entertainment that your kids will not be interested in, but it is nice to have a few shows that the kids will particularly enjoy. Family time together is an integral part of the annual holiday, so make sure the menu includes some family-related activities.

The ideal thing to do is to have the whole family involved when searching online for suitable cruises, and once the children know the site URLs, give them a couple of days to browse the many cruise holiday operators. If they make their choice, at least you know they are happy with the program and won’t get bored!

If you plan on going in the high season, you should start looking a few months in advance, as the best family-friendly cruises are usually booked quickly, and that also leaves you more time to browse the many child-friendly cruise holidays that are available today.