With your kids, your partner or your parents in tow, it can be tough to make sure everyone is having the best time ever on a weekend getaway. Well, we've got good news: On a 3- or 4-day cruise, there's something for everyone, from heart-pumping thrills to lounging on untouched beaches. While the kids build castles out of glistening white sand, the adults can taste the delicious staples of local cuisine. It's time to embark on an unforgettable journey that the whole family will be talking about for decades. And to help you make the most of your epic family weekend adventure, here are some tips for how to survive — and plan for — your upcoming expedition with the whole family.
Whether you start your cruise in Miami, Florida, or Galveston, Texas, be sure to book some local
activities ahead of time to kick off your adventure in the best way. Make the most of your port
of departure by planning to arrive the day before your cruise. Take the kids to the Galveston
Island Historic Pleasure Pier for a night full of rides and carnival food. If you're departing
from Miami, buy tickets to the Perez Art Museum in advance, so you can make the family-friendly
contemporary art exhibits part of your weekend fun. Even though the greatest adventures are yet
to come, your family will start making memories before they even step foot on the ship.
It can be stressful to find activities for the kids and their friends as you try to relax on your
weekend getaway. By
booking things in advance, you give your kids the adventure of a lifetime
and yourself the chance to lounge stress-free after you depart. Choose a Bahamas cruise and plan
an excursion to Perfect Day at CocoCay (Opening May 2019*), where the kids can conquer the
tallest waterslide in North America, while you can sip on rum cocktails at the swim-up bar.
Then, plan to float down the lazy river with the whole family at Atlantis resort on Nassau
Island. With activities booked and an itinerary planned in advance, you'll be able to take in
the beautiful sights in peace, while the kids have the best weekend ever.
Adventures abound no matter where you choose to cruise but picking the right vacation
destination can help make the whole family happy. If you're looking for a Bahamian
where you can show the kids the stunning beauty of the Caribbean, choose the 3- or 4-night
Bahamas cruise. You'll depart
Miami, Florida through CocoCay to Nassau and back, hitting
the highlights of The Bahamas. If you're hoping to find a private paradise, this cruise is
right one for your family. To experience even more of what the Caribbean has to offer, head
on a Western Caribbean
where you'll dip your toes in the white-sand beaches of Nassau
before soaring over the world's longest over water zip line in Labadee, Haiti. With beauty
behind every corner, you can't do your family wrong with either option.
While you may spend your getaway days chasing your kids around the ship deck or across a
Mexican beach, you can always find some peace and quiet on a weekend cruise. Check the
children into Adventure Ocean for a few hours during the day while you're at sea, and
your way to the adults-only pool to sip on some cocktails. Or head to the fitness center
a seaside workout. With your kids splashing around in the on-deck surf simulator, while
and your spouse enjoy the ocean breeze flowing through your hair, you'll all be having
time of your lives.
As soon as you step off the boat, it's time for an adventure that everyone will enjoy.
the day with beach-side Bahamian conch salad, with local-caught shellfish served
refreshingly with citrus and cilantro. Finish off by shopping for artisanal items at the
huge Festival Place in Nassau. If you're enjoying time in Key West, take a stroll down
Duval Street before diving into a piece of Key Lime Pie. Or if you find yourself in Cozumel,
Mexico, head to Tulum to teach the kids about the Mayan ruins. And when the
needs a break, take a stroll to nearby Akumal Beach, or relax by the pool when you
back at the ship. There really is something for everyone in each travel destination.
Part of cruising through the Western Caribbean is experiencing the local culture and
learning about its centuries-old history. Help the kids learn about the past by making
historical exploration fun for everyone. Climb the steps of the Mayan ruins in Tulum,
Mexico, and listen to local pirate tales in Nassau, The Bahamas. Between the stone
of centuries past and the stories of intrigue and adventure, your little explorers will
learn a ton while having a blast. A little imagination can go a long way.
Devouring different kinds of food is one of the best parts of traveling, no matter where your
destination is. Be sure to research your ports of call ahead of time to find the best local
spots and delicious regional food. In Nassau, try the fried shellfish specialty "cracked conch"
or pigeon peas and rice, a Bahamian staple flavored with tomatoes, thyme and a hint of bacon. In
Labadee, Haiti, tuck into the traditional fried pork dish griot or the hearty wheat porridge
labouyi ble. Creating a foodie wish list ahead of time is a good way to ensure that there's
something tasty for everyone to enjoy no matter where you go. So, whether you're chowing down on
a plate of conch fritters in Key
West or testing your spice limit with some cochinita pibil —
slow-roasted pork with fiery spices and bright citrus — in the Yucatan, you can rely on the
universal rule: Local is better.
You may be planning your family weekend getaway last-minute — so whatever you do, don't forget
your sunscreen! Whether you'll be playing with the kids on the white sandy beaches of Costa
Maya or exploring the Cozumel ruins with your partner, you
definitely don't want the beating sun to put a damper
on your trip. Preparing ahead of time for the sun by bringing sunscreen and weather-appropriate
clothing is a must, no matter where you choose to cruise.
Each excursion you choose is designed with safety in mind, and if you book your activities ahead
of time, you'll know which activities the kiddos can participate in with you. So it's time to
spend your days getting in touch with your thrill-seeking side with the whole family and go
ziplining in Labadee, conquer the
tallest waterslide in North America at Perfect Day at
CocoCay*, or go snorkeling beneath the waves and through the colorful coral in Cozumel.
each shore excursion, skilled professionals will show you the proper way to adventure, so you
can live the wild life without worrying about safety.
While your cruise ship has boundless deck space and activities, your room should be tailored to
the size of your family. So make sure your last-minute weekend cruise is the best it can be by
booking a room with enough space for everyone. If you're traveling with your kids, their cousins
or their friends, book adjoining rooms so adults and teenagers can hit the hay when they want to
without disturbing anyone — a detail everyone will appreciate. And if you have a really large
group, look into a suite so everyone can stay together while also having some privacy.
There are countless things to do on a 3-day or 4-day cruise, but that doesn't mean you have to
do everything. Sometimes taking a deep breath by the pool is exactly what you need. All members
of the family can enjoy nightly entertainment, world-class dining venues, on-deck watersports
and rock-climbing vacation adventures. But don't be afraid to split up at sea for a few hours so
each family member can take in the activity of their choice — and so the adults can grab a
beverage by the pool. As the kids ice-skate at the ship's rink, mom feasts on carne asada at the
Mexican restaurant, and you head to the spa for a bit of luxury, the whole family will be having
the experience they've dreamed of. Book a reservation in advance to one of the ship's specialty
restaurants to share stories of the day's adventures while you dine on world-class fare. The
important thing is taking it all in without overloading your schedule.
Just because the cruise has to come to an end doesn't mean that you can't relive your new
over and over again. Spend your 3- or 4-day cruise stocking up on memories with the whole gang.
photos, take videos and enjoy the time you have with your group, making memories and keepsakes
the whole family. Strike a pose in front of the massive Mayan ruins in Tulum, grab the goggles —
an underwater camera — and snap some colorful photos while snorkeling in Costa Maya. There are
shortage of moments to capture when you're cruising. If you're not the best family cameraperson,
take advantage of the ship's professional photographers, who will capture moments you'll
for the rest of your life.
Family vacations can be an absolute blast for each member of the family when you set sail into
the gorgeous green waters of the Caribbean. Whether you plan ahead of time or book a last-minute
cruise right before launch, you're bound to have an unforgettable adventure with the whole
group. From taking on adrenaline-pumping activities to relaxing on the beach while listening to
the waves crash around you, you'll bring the family on amazing explorations in beautiful
destinations. And by keeping these tips in mind, you'll be able to lounge like royalty
rest of the family lets loose.