Why take your child on a cruise
March 8, 2016 | By tickettolearn
Every child should go on a cruise, for thousands of years it was the most efficient means of travel. Cities were built along coastlines and waterways in order to make the trading of goods most efficient. When you arrive in port, you are arriving like sailors arrived since the city was founded. It has been less than 100 years that we could fly from one place to another.
Today, global trade is still done by ships. Let your child experience, what life aboard a ship is like; the roll of the ocean, sea breeze, nothing on the horizon but water and on a clear night stars so bright since there is no light pollution.
As a parent, cruises also make travel a lot easier. You unpack once. Since you travel while you sleep, you wake up refreshed in a new port rather than scrambling through security at airports, waiting for your flight and then repeating the drill when you land. Airports have been built away from the cities, while cities were built around the port. In most ports, one can walk off the ship right into the city, saving time and money.
Kids of all ages love life aboard a modern cruise ship. They have an independence that parents are hesitant to allow at hotels in big cities. Food is available 24 hours a day without having to ask a parent for $20. There is usually entertainment for all kinds for all ages – Broadway musical like productions, movies, bingo, video arcade. While you may wish to leave some of this behind, the sacrifice of having it available outweighs the downside. Parents get a mental break when on ship. The variety of food options will appeal to the pickiest eaters. The accommodations are small but very efficient and prepare your child for a college dorm room.
The hardest part of taking a cruise is deciding where to go. Using what your child is studying in school plan to go where they are currently learning about. A Mediterranean cruise covers Greek history, Roman Empire, Egypt and Biblical times. Dock in Venice or Istanbul to experience where east initially met west. See ancient ports in Portugal and Spain that launched the earliest explorers. Spend a week visiting the Baltics States of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Poland, and Russia to see the Russian influence – both old and new. Go from the French coast to England like William the Conqueror, or the opposite direction like so many English armies did including D-day, June 6 1944. Visit multiple Caribbean Islands and get a sense of the uniqueness of each as a result of which European country settled it. Pass through the Panama Canal, an amazing man built path between the Atlantic and Pacific that changed world trade. Be amazed at the modern Arab cities of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Muscat. See Asia visiting Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Explore the remoteness of the Northwest travelling from Seattle to Anchorage along the calm inlet passage.
There are small, medium and large ships to choose from. If you are worried about sea sickness, start with a large ship and pick a cruise where the waters are likely to be calm. But the reality is, if you are in port during the day and sleeping at night, sea sickness will not be an issue.
Taking a cruise with your child offers so many topics of conversation. The brochure says there are 3,000 people on board but it never seems crowded. The dining room has hundreds of patrons but the kitchen is no bigger than your kitchen at home. How does the captain navigate? What are the economics of a cruise? How does the operator recruit so many workers from around the world to work on the ship.
Talk to your travel consultant, consider what your child is studying and hear the options. If your concerned, stat with a short 3-or 4 day cruise in the Caribbean. If you want to be adventuresome like we were, go all in with a 19 day ancient capitals cruise visiting Rome, Athens, Jerusalem, Cairo and Istanbul. Enrich your child’s education by exposing them to new and different places. A cruise is a great way to start, but talk to an expert to pick the right cruise line for you, the best time of year for your trip, pick the right ship, best cabin and most convenient dining option. The excursions in port also need to be carefully thought out if you want to get the most out of your investment of money and family time. Consider all the options: A Baltic cruise, Spain and Portugal cruise, Coast of France cruise, transiting the Panama Canal.