Four reasons to book a kid-friendly cruise next school holidays

kid-friendly cruises

Guess what! Cruising is back and it’s one of the best ways to spend some quality time together as a family. Let’s face it, while family holidays are the perfect chance to make some memories, they can sometimes be a lot of hard work as well. But not with a cruise, where you can relax too! If you’re hoping to book a special trip for the school holidays, it’s worth looking into a kid-friendly cruise. There’s a little something for the whole family… 

Keep the kids entertained next school holidays and enjoy a leisurely trip away. Say goodbye to racing through airports while tensions are high and kick off your trip the way you intend it to go – stress free! Kids will have a ball with the long list of activities and making new friends, leaving you to truly relax and enjoy your holiday. Here, we round up the top four reasons why cruises are so popular among families, and the best 2022 cruises for children.

1. Dedicated Kids’ Clubs

kid-friendly crusies

Children of all ages will love the Kids Clubs

Ask any parent who’s ever gone on a cruise and they’ll tell you: a family-friendly cruise is only as good as its kids’ club! When you’re narrowing down your options, pay special attention to the ship’s cruise activities for kids, and how the kids club works.

With a kid-friendly cruise like P&O Cruises, access to the Kids’ Club is included in your fare. There are four age-specific groups: 

  • Turtle Cove (2 years – 5 years)
  • Shark Shack (6 years – 9 years)
  • HQ (10 years – 13 years)
  • HQ+ (14 years – 17 years)

Each kids club has its own area that’s equipped with age-appropriate games and fun activities for children. For example, Turtle Cove (2-5 years old) area is kitted out with arts and crafts and a soft play section to keep the littlest ones entertained, while Shark Shack (6-9 years old) has dress-up costumes, PlayStation and Lego. Plus, dedicated Youth Staff have many children’s entertainment ideas, such as scavenger hunts and movie nights. For the tweens, there are pool and air hockey tables, Playstation and DJ booth for dancing and karaoke, while the teens’ club has indoor and outdoor spaces to hang out and meet new friends.

The P&O Cruises Kids Clubs are fully supervised by dedicated youth staff, so you can drop your child off knowing they’re going to have a fun and safe time. The kids clubs are open till late plus , P&O Cruises offers late-night babysitting services for children, which is great if you want to schedule a date night (charges apply to late-night babysitting)!

2. Onboard activities to keep kids busy

kid-friendly cruises

Enjoy over 60 on board activities

A cruise is every kid’s dream holiday because there is so much to do. As a parent, you know what that means: they’ll come running to you at the end of the day with stories, then be well and truly ready for bed when the time comes. 

The Kids’ Club aside, P&O Cruises has over 60 onboard activities to keep the whole family busy and entertained! All P&O ships have their own P&O Edge Adventure Park, which is a godsend for kids (and adults) who have extra energy to burn. There are a range of activities including zip lining on the top deck of the cruise ship and walking the plank (literally).

Along with the kid-friendly cruise activities, you can opt into shore tours when you reach a destination. The list of offerings varies from port to port, but you can expect things like guided tours, workshops, or watersports like snorkeling. 

3. Guilt free relaxation for parents

kid-friendly cruises

Parents can relax and enjoy some child-free time.

While the kids are off having the time of their lives at the Kids’ Club, it’s the perfect opportunity for the parents to kick back, relax, and steal some me-time.

You could choose to sip a cocktail and read a book by the child-free pool. You could treat yourself by booking in for a spa treatment or visiting the shops onboard for some retail therapy. Or if you’re feeling more adventurous, you can sign up for a yoga class or challenge your partner at table tennis or lawn bowls. The choice is yours!

4. It’s easy to plan

easy to plan

All the planning is taken care of!

One of the best things about cruising is that you won’t have to worry about any admin! The all-inclusive fare covers the essentials like accommodation, all main meals in designated restaurants and four-age specific kids clubs, plus little extras such as daily room cleaning. Depending on the length of your cruise, you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars per person, which is far less than you’d cough up for flights, hotels, entertainment and other land-based trip expenses.

Once you’ve booked your cruise for your chosen date and destination, all you need to do is show up to the port on the day of departure and let the cruise line take care of the rest. 

As for kid-friendly holiday packages, keep an eye on P&O’s deals to try to snatch the best fares. P&O Cruises also offers a variety of payment plans to make it easier for families to budget for their trip. By booking sooner rather than later, you’ll also be able to request the best family-friendly room option, such as a triple or quad room to keep your family close together.

Top 4 cruises for family holidays

If you’re ready to book your cruise for the school holidays, take a look at these popular and affordable kid-friendly cruises:

  • P&O Cruises Whitsundays Cruise (20-24 Sep): When a long weekend is calling your name, look into this 4-night Whitsundays cruise. It departs from Brisbane and cruises up the East Coast before docking at the white-sand shores of Airlie Beach, where you and the kids can snorkel, scuba dive and explore to your heart’s content.
  • P&O Cruises Christmas Cruise (18-27 Dec): Unwind from the school term with this 10-day Christmas cruise. Departing from Brisbane, it cruises all the way to New Caledonia and Vanuatu, visiting the beautiful beaches of Noumea, Mare, Port Vila, and Santo, before returning back to Brisbane. There are also Christmas cruise departures from Sydney and Melbourne.
  • P&O Cruises Barrier Reef Discovery Cruise (24 Sep – 1 Oct): Spend the school holidays exploring one of the world’s great wonders. This 7 or 8-night cruise starts in Brisbane and stops at Airlie Beach, Port Douglas and Cairns, where the kids will love checking out the rainforest from above on the Skyrail.
  • P&O Cruises New Years Cruise (27 Dec – 4 Jan): Ring in the new year with zero stress thanks to this 8-night international cruise. You can either depart from Sydney or Brisbane, then you’ll check a few tropical islands off your bucket list: Port Vila, Vanuatu and Lifou and Noumea in New Caledonia. Each spot is special in its own way, and the little ones will be blown away by both the beaches and the culture. If you’re based in Melbourne, there are New Year’s Eve cruise departures from Melbourne as well.

The school holidays can be stressful, with parents having to find ways to fill the days and keep the kids happy and occupied. Treat the family to a kid-friendly cruise, kick back and relax!

Essential Details: P&O Cruises

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