Quick Tips for Cruising with Kids to the Caribbean

Three people snorkel with orange tropical fish.

A Caribbean cruise with the family is a great way to get away from the everyday. If you’re a parent, just imagine all the sea and shore adventures you could have with your kids. Multi-generational cruising is also popular among families, bringing grandparents and other relatives on board for fun in the sun. If you’re looking to have an ultimate vacation in the Caribbean with the whole family, you may wonder how to keep kids entertained while working in some relaxation, too.

Here are tips to help plan the ultimate vacation when cruising with kids to the Caribbean:

1. Choose the cruise that excites the whole family.

Are sandcastles and snorkeling at the top of your list, or does your family love hiking trails? Every Caribbean cruise itinerary offers opportunities to relax on magnificent beaches and embark on adventures. If your family has been dreaming of waterfalls, you could see some of the best in Jamaica. If you have avid readers who love stories by Judy Blume and Ernest Hemingway, you may want to visit Key West to see why these literary legends called it home.

No matter where you go, one of the best days will be at Holland America Line’s Half Moon Cay. Here are some of the ways you can make the most of your day at Half Moon Cay, the highest-rated private island in the Bahamas.

2. Give kids fun roles to play.

From being the photographer for the day to reading maps in museums, there are different ways you can keep your kids engaged on a Caribbean cruise. Give them journals to write about the family’s daily adventures. Have a fun family sandcastle competition on the Caribbean’s breathtaking beaches. Let them be the videographer for the day, capturing fun family videos that they can narrate.

3. Book kid-friendly shore excursions early.

Spots can fill up quickly for shore excursions, so it’s important to book early. From snorkeling among tropical fish and stingray experiences to fortress visits and horseback riding, there are plenty of things to do on shore in the Caribbean. Some activities may be considered more difficult though, such as hiking steep trails. Plus, there could be age limitations with different excursions. Connect with one of our Personal Cruise Consultants to help you narrow down the best kid-friendly shore activities.

4. Enjoy onboard family fun.

There’s a lot to enjoy on board with Holland America Line. Soak up the sun poolside. Bring the family along for pickleball lessons. Enjoy shows on the World Stage. Plus, there’s the Kids Club for those 3-17 years of age. Activities include arts and crafts, sports, video game competitions, scavenger hunts and more. Note: The Kids Club is not offered on cruises that are 25-days or longer.

5. Set aside time for refreshing breaks.

A cruise vacation is a great adventure, and any adventure can be a lot for little attention spans. Consider booking a stateroom or suite with a verandah so you can take in the views and have all your comforts right there, including their treasured stuffed animals. If anyone gets antsy, switch it up and have a bite at the kid-approved Dive-In or a sweet treat at the Lido Market. And if you’re looking for some “me time,” check out the Greenhouse Spa & Salon® while the kids have fun at the Kids Club.

Explore family travel with Holland America Line to learn more. If you have other tips or fun family ideas for those traveling with kids, share in the comments below.


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