One of the main complaints that families regularly refer to when surveyed about their vacation experiences is the added costs that they incur whilst on holiday that they had not originally budgeted for.
This of course can add up to a large amount of extra spend, especially if you are a big family group, even on all the little extra treats we so enjoy whilst taking a well earned break with our kids.
The big advantage of cruise vacations is that so much is included in the price you pay that you have much greater control over your spending especially as a great deal of the entertainment and food is included in the brochure price.
The only extras that you will pay on a cruise holiday is the drinks, tips for the staff (which can often be paid in advance when booking the cruise) and any excursions that you may want to go on whilst visiting various ports.
When you compare this pretty much all-inclusive arrangement compared to staying in a hotel or a villa and finding your own entertainment and food you would be very hard pressed to match the value and overall cost of a cruise deal.
Although all the main cruise ship operators are slightly different in the way they feed and entertain their customers, some might offer more activities (Royal Caribbean are good for this) and some offer more dining options (NCL offer free-style dining which is very popular) the overall quality of the food, service and entertainment will be of a high standard whoever you decided to cruise with.
The main point to bear in mind is that cruising holidays have well and truly shaken off their original over 50’s image that they used to have and all the cruise operators positively embrace families with entertainment, activities and food to satisfy all ages. Disney cruises are of course renowned for a family orientated experience but they also offer plenty to ensure the adults have an equally good time. Most of the other well known cruise operators have fun things to do for the kids throughout the day if they don’t want to hang around the pools, even things like juggling classes and Wii tournaments are likely to be on a daily itinerary.
When you take into account all these extras and the fact that your main expense of accommodation, food and entertainment are available at an all-inclusive price, it is easy to see why cruises are such good value for families.
If you are travelling in a big group, most of the large cruise ship operators should be willing to offer you a discount off the brochure price and if you book early enough you will hopefully be able to get accommodation that is all in the same part of the ship or adjacent rooms if you want them!
It would certainly be advisable to use a booking agent when planning your cruise as the sheer logistics of individual bookings and trying to co-ordinate everyone would be enough to make you need the holiday even sooner if you attempt to do this on your own. An agent can handle all the payment arrangements and make sure you get the cabins you want, giving you a great start to your holiday plans and great value as well.