Booking a family cruise is really exciting, but deciding on your accommodation can be tricky. There are lots of different staterooms on offer and choosing the ideal accommodation depends on several factors, including the size of your family and age of your children.
It’s actually possible to fit your entire family in one stateroom, with many cruise lines offering cabins to accommodate up to four passengers, and in some cases as many as six.
Cabins accommodating four passengers usually feature twin beds that may be pushed together if you wish, along with an additional sleeping area of two upper berths that fold down from the ceiling or wall or possibly a pull-out sofa bed. Your Cruise Expert here at Bolsover Cruise Club will happily discuss the different layouts available with various cruise lines and ships. You needn’t worry about getting beds down and putting them away in a morning either; your cabin steward will ensure this is done for you.
Some suites are specifically designed to accommodate families, providing plenty of space for up to six guests. These suites usually feature two or more bedrooms and even two or more bathrooms, plus additional showers, making it ideal for getting large families up and out of the door without argument! Whilst more costly than standard staterooms, suites are great if you have older children or would prefer your own privacy whilst still keeping the family close.
If a suite is out of budget and you don’t fancy sharing a stateroom, booking adjacent or interconnecting cabins is another popular option. Interconnecting cabins allow you to open a central door to effectively create one large stateroom, with most passengers choosing to allocate one cabin to the children and one to the adults. Most interconnecting cabins comprise two of the same stateroom category, though some cruise lines may use other combinations, such as a suite and balcony cabin for example. In cases like this, interconnecting cabins could sleep up to 10 passengers. Balcony cabins may also be interconnected using the divide between verandas, with alterations made upon request on arrival where available.
What’s the Damage?
Pricing for family cabins does vary between cruise lines, with other factors including type of cruise, time of year, size of the stateroom required and how many people will be sharing it. The best way to arrange the ideal accommodation to suit your family is to let one of our expert cruise consultants run through the various options. They will look at all possibilities and give you a run down on the benefits of each, so you’ll get the most suitable stateroom at the best possible price.
It’s perfectly possible to combine an amazing family holiday with a little space and privacy for the grown-ups. Speak to one of our Cruise Experts about cruise lines that allow parents to book children into cabins across the hall or just a few cabins down the corridor. Interconnecting cabins are another popular option and whilst not all cruise lines offer these family-friendly accommodation types, we can always find something to suit the whole family.
What About the Little Ones?
Infants and babies mustn’t sleep on bunk beds or pull out sofa beds, with all family cruise lines offering travel cots on request instead. These are simple to organise and can be arranged by our cruise consultants as long as you let them know at the time of booking.
There are other options available for children who are too big for travel cots but too small to sleep in upper berths. These include pull-out sofa beds and cabins featuring rollaway beds.
I Need Extras
In addition to travel cots, there are plenty of other extras available when it comes to keeping babies and parents happy on board.
Nappies, baby wipes and baby food can usually be found on sale in the ship’s shops if needed, and some cruise lines also offer nappy disposal units and bottle warmers in your cabin, though like travel cots, these will need to be requested at time of booking.
Some cruise lines also offer bedtime kits to help the kids get a good night’s sleep, including Norwegian Cruise Line, who provide a Nickelodeon-themed kit comprising a toothbrush, drink cup, bed throw, pillow case, nightlight and story book.
If you’re looking for a few precious baby-free hours, many cruise lines now offer babysitting services in addition to the usual night nursery. In-stateroom babysitting may also be available for an additional fee but this is based on staff availability and on the cruise line you are travelling with.
We are often asked whether balconies are safe for children and the answer to this is yes. Many balcony doors are equipped with child locks to prevent children reaching the balcony unaccompanied. Balcony types vary between cruise lines, with some featuring solid flexiglass fronts and others comprising small spaces between metal rails. All balcony rails must stand a minimum of 42 inches high, so it would be difficult for a small child to climb. Our Cruise Experts can provide you with full details of balcony types specific to your ship, so please feel free to ask.
We recommend that children are instructed not to go out onto the balcony alone, however, it is ultimately the responsibility of the parent or guardian of each child on board to ensure their safety and wellbeing.